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All About Pool Sanitizers

A basic — and important — aspect of essential pool maintenance includes keeping the water inside your pool clean, clear, and free of algae. The safest and most popular way to keep your pool healthy is by sanitizing it with chlorine. Understanding the role of chlorine for proper pool upkeep is pretty simple once you’re familiar with the basics of pool chemistry.

Types of Sanitizers

Chlorine Tablets (Trichlor)

Known to be powerful, effective, and relatively inexpensive, chlorine tablets are the most commonly used primary sanitizer on the market. Chlorine tablets dissolve evenly and kill viruses, bacteria, and algae, making them one of the easiest and most effective methods available.

Cal Hypo (Calcium Hypochlorite)

Another popular type of chlorine is Cal Hypo, which is an incredible pool sanitizer and gives the added benefit of calcium to your water. Granular Cal Hypo is used for shocking the pool. It typically has a high available chlorine content and is great as a weekly shock. It is also very effective at killing algae.

Sodium Dichlor

Sodium Dichlor is used for shocking the pool or as a primary sanitizer. It is also popular for use in spas and hot tubs. Sodium Dichlor is versatile because it has a long shelf life, is fast dissolving, and has a near-neutral pH. Dichlor is usually used as a pool shock and is popular among pool owners because of its ability to dissolve quickly.

Liquid Chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite)

Liquid chlorine is probably the most affordable sanitizer option, and it’s also the fastest acting. However, the shelf life of liquid chlorine is very short, which means that the percentage of chlorine starts to degrade quickly if not stored properly.

Non-Chlorine Shock

Non-chlorine shock, such as Fresh N’ Clear, are not sanitizers but are imperative when it comes to essential pool water maintenance and upkeep. Non-chlorine shock helps prevent chloramines and removes non-living organics from the pool water. It does not affect the pH balance of the water, and the pool is safe to swim in 15 minutes after application.

DIY TIP: Read and follow product label directions. With the pump running, add product directly to the pool or spa water unless the label specifies otherwise. Never mix chemicals.

Important Tip to Remember

Now that you have more information on the types of sanitizers available, it’s still important that you do your own research regarding the best option for you based on the type of pool you own. Additionally, always be mindful of the strength of chlorine — active and inert ingredients — in the option that you choose.

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.