Ideal Chemical Levels for Your Pool

Proper Chemical Balance in Pools

Maintaining chemical balance in your swimming pool’s water is essential for keeping algae and bacteria at bay as well as ensuring that the water is safe and comfortable for swimmers.  Here’s a quick reference guide that gives you the ideal chemical levels and recommendations for how to raise or lower the levels if they are out of balance:


  • Ideal level = 2.0
  • To raise chlorine levels = Shock the pool
  • To lower chlorine levels = Turn the chlorinator down


  • Ideal level = 7.4 (Summer), 7.8 (Winter)
  • To raise pH = Add soda ash
  • To lower pH = Add muriatic acid (diluted) into the pool with the pump running to ensure that the acid spreads throughout the water as quickly as possible.

Total Alkalinity

  • Ideal level = 80-100 ppm
  • To raise total alkalinity = Add baking soda
  • To lower total alkalinity = Add muriatic acid to the deepest part of pool while the pump is off.  Allow this to sit for at least 20 minutes, then turn the pump back on.

Calcium Hardness

  • Ideal level = 250-500 ppm
  • To increase calcium hardness = Add calcium chloride
  • To decrease calcium hardness = Drain pool and refill


  • Ideal level = 20-50 ppm
  • To raise stabilizer levels = Add cyanuric acid
  • To lower stabilizer levels = Drain pool and refill

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