Island Wave Pools
The Pool Learning Curve

How long does it take to go from a pool rookie to a pro? Experience might be the best teacher but reading about basic pool knowledge here will save you some headaches and quickly elevate your pool knowledge. This guide answers some of the top questions new pool owners have.

Are Pool Chemicals All the Same?

There are a lot of pool chemicals and each has different chemical names, uses, brands, and even delivery mechanisms. It’s tempting to give up, grab the most affordable chlorine you can find, and keep pouring it into your pool. But you’ll soon find you need more. In the end you’ll spend less time, money and energy when you use good quality chemicals strategically. Let us explain.


A sanitizing chemical kills the bacteria and viruses in your water. There are two: chlorine and bromine. You can’t use them together, and your pool most likely runs on chlorine.

When it comes to purchasing a chlorine product, look for one with a high percentage of available chlorine. A low percentage, or low-quality products, will contain filler material that leaves a weird residue in your pool, which actually makes it harder to clean.

Grab a starter kit from Pool Supplies Canada for high quality chlorine, or buy a seasonal supply kit so you don’t have to keep ordering throughout the pool season.


Chlorine isn’t what makes your eyes red when you open them in the pool. It’s actually poor pH balance that hurts them. When we first get into the pool we bring our natural oils with us, which shifts the pH balance. Other debris in your water can do the same, moving pH up or down. Balancers re-balance your pH level.

Proper pool pH is 7.4, the most comfortable for your eyes, mouth, and skin. A pH test kit can tell you where your pool is, and then you add up or down chemicals to get it to the right level. Buy high quality balancer chemicals from Pool Supplies, unlike some other brands, you won’t have to drop buckets in to get results with our balancer chemicals.

Remedy Chemicals

There are a handful of other pool chemicals that fix specific problems your pool could develop over time, depending on its conditions. They are:

  • Algaecide: Kills algae growth
  • Clarifier: Removes debris from poor quality chemicals and other sources by helping it to collect in your filter
  • Stain Remover: Removes stains from metal
  • Scale Remover: Removes calcium, which naturally builds up over time, depending on how hard your water is
  • Conditioner: Keeps the chlorine levels in your pool higher - but don’t over-use it, it is possible to have too much

Pool Shock

There’s another pool chemical? Yep. Pool shock is a sanitizer, usually a high dose of chlorine. You can’t swim in a pool after you use pool shock, usually for about 24 hours, but it will take care of nasty contaminants. For example, you could use pool shock if someone had an accident in the pool. Pool shock often has other benefits, as Pool Supplies Canada’s Multi-Shock does.

When Do You Close Your Pool?

The last thing new pool owners think about is what happens when they need to close their pool, but once the weather starts to turn, you start to wonder when and how to close it.

Once your pool’s water is consistently below 23 degrees Celsius, it’s time to close it. Usually, this is in early October. Don’t be in too much of a rush to close the pool though. If you close it and the weather warms up, you are likely to have serious algae growth in the Spring.

Leaving your pool open too late isn’t a real problem unless it freezes, as a freeze can damage in-ground pool pipes that haven’t been prepared. That’s why many pool owners also use pool anti-freeze, to keep the water somewhat liquid after closing. Of course, depending on how many trees are on your property, getting a lot of leaves in the pool can be annoying too, so try to close your pool before the leaves start falling.

What About Opening A Pool?

It’s smart to think ahead and order you pool opening chemicals early, to beat the opening season rush and potential shortages or delays. You do need many chemicals when you first open your pool, not just to get the water healthy and pristine again, but also to give the pool liner and pipes some maintenance to keep them in good working order all season long.

Pool Supplies Canada’s Chemical Kit has everything you need when you’re opening your pool again: a pool shock (ours is non-chlorine) a stain & scale remover, and an algaecide.

Do Pool Safety Covers Matter?

If you have an inground pool, then your more experienced pool-owning friends will have safety covers, and not just because they have young kids or pets. Tarps might look like the affordable and simple option, but experienced pool owners know that fighting with a tarp isn’t worth it. It costs more in time and maintenance and opening a pool without a safety cover in spring means more cleaning. Save yourself the trouble and buy an inground pool safety cover.

Learn About Pools from Pool Supplies Canada

There are no silly questions, especially for new pool owners! Pool Supplies Canada is here to share our knowledge and save you time and hassle. Just contact our team at Pool Supplies Canada whenever you have questions about your pool!

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