Best Chemical Kit?


New member
Apr 28, 2017
So having read up on which chemicals I should have for my new aboveground saltwater pool (it hasn't come yet, I'm stocking up before it gets here) I'm still pretty confused. I know I need stuff to control the ph and alkilinity levels, shock, stabilizer, calcium, something to control the metals, and obviously pool salt, but I can't seem to find a kit that has all of these things! (Not including pool salt, ill of course buy that separate) Even the most inclusive one, (Saltwater Pool Chemical Kit - Pool Opening Maintenance Kit) seems really pricey and doesn't even have calcium hardness in it! Anyone have advice on buying chemicals? (Especially where and how much I should pay?)


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
NW Ohio
Welcome to TFP!

Are you asking about a kit containing chemicals? You wouldn't want one of those anyway, you probably won't need all of them. Also labeling everything as "salt water" is just a marketing gimmick, there is no difference between them and anything else. And you really don't want to use test strips.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Save your money. There's no need to stockpile chemicals. In over five years I have never once needed to raise my pH nor my Total Alkalinity, so if I had boxes of baking soda and borax just in case, the boxes would have rotted by now. You might not ever need them, either. Your pool will be vinyl. It doesn't care how low the CH is. There's no plaster to dissolve. Worst thing that can happen is that the water gets kind of foamy. Wait and see if it does. Even if it does, it may not be bad enough that you feel like bothering with it. If the CH is real low, you might never need to clean the SWG plates! So no need to buy Calcium, either

Not knowing what the local water is like, I can't comment on how much acid you might need. It's readily available anyway.

The only things you can be sure of needing are bleach for the initial startup, CYA, and salt. And you don;t need to get them at the pool $tore, either. Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

Now... test kit. Here's where you can spend your money, but wisely: Get a TF100. I'd add the XL option now, since that particular refill reagent is virtually impossible to find in stores. Take your pick of salt tests. FWIW, I don't think anyone who owns a speedstir regrets buying it. And, no, I don't get a kickback. I wish I did.