Which chemicals do I need and best place to buy them?


Bronze Supporter
Dec 24, 2018
Columbus, OH
Hi everyone! We finally almost have the yard leveled! Rain is coming in so that is a minor setback but I'm feeling pretty good about our work so far! I have been buying upgrades for the pool even though it is not up yet (see signature...upgraded filter/pump and Hayward skimmer so far) and NEED to know which chemicals I need to buy and the best place(s) to buy them from. I have read that liquid chlorine is the best (6%-10% I think?), but how much do I need to buy? What other chemicals do I need to buy? And please be specific whether it is liquid or tablet/dissolving form as well as brands. I live in the Midwest and have hundreds of trees behind my backyard (none of them are near the pool) with very humid summers and we can get quite a bit of rain, if that changes anything lol. I just don't want to wake up to a nasty green pool. Thanks in advance! :)


Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
May 23, 2018
Fuquay-Varina, NC
Although I'm still mostly a newbie, I can make a few basic suggestions.

You already mentioned liquid chlorine, which I would suggest purchasing at least 5-10 gallons of stuff that's at least 10%. One thing you need to be careful of when buying chlorine is the date stamped on the side of the jug. It's normally in an odd format similar to "19 041" or something similar. It's called a Julian date. The 19 refers to the year 2019 and the 041 would refer to the 41st day of the year. In 2019, the 41st day was Feb. 10th. Please try to get the freshest chlorine you can acquire. If it's within a month or two, there's nothing to worry about. If it's more than 4 or 5 months old, just realize it might have lost a good deal of its potency.

Also, you can safely purchase one container of Cyanuric Acid (powder form). You could buy both of these at any local Walmart. I'll give you some links so you can see the brands that I have bought this spring. You will need cyanuric acid to bring up your CYA levels (which you can test for using your TF-100 test kit). I think of CYA as a kind of sunscreen to make my chlorine last longer on hot, sunny days. The chlorine will still get used up, but just not as quickly as if I had NO CYA at all. Make some sense?

Clorox Pool&Spa Pool Chlorine Stabilizer, 4 lbs - Walmart.com
Pool Essentials Chlorinating Liquid - Walmart.com
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Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
Franklin, NC
How much Pool School have you read? These three articles should cover it:

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Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
SE Kansas!
@kb109 I second these product recommendations.
You will also need muriatic acid 31.5, you will have to get this at a hardware store, usually in the paint section. Depending on your local water's alk level, you might only need 1 gallon for the season, or several. Start with 1 and do not store it with the bleach, it is not affected by temp like bleach is. Bleach or liquid chlorine should be stored in the coolest, darkest place you have.
Tim highlighted the 3 articles I was going to refer too :D Bookmark those links! ;)
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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015

Congrats on the soon to be up pool! You're way ahead of the game by starting with TFP and asking your questions here. Often you can find 10%+ liquid in 2.5 gal refillable containers at pool stores or industrial supply stores like Napco or HASA. You'll also need some acid. Most of us use 34.5% muratic acid but you can use less strength if it's easier for you to handle. That's it. Liquid chlorine, MA, sweep/clean when needed and the test kit you already have is all you need to maintain a sparkling pool TFP-style.

Pool Math is a superb tool and if you buy the subscription it will keep a record of your test results. Very helpful. You should review Pool School and ask any questions you may have.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
The only given is chlorine, because sunlight depletes it, and CYA. Everything else depends on test results.

If you have incredibly soft water, you might need to add baking soda. Maybe even raise pH with borax. So here's what you do: test your fill water. If it comes out of the faucet with 60+ TA and pH somewhere above 7.2 you can skip the borax and baking soda. But if it turns out later that you need it, it's only as far away as the nearest grocery store. If pH is at 7.8 or above and/or TA is triple digits, buy a gallon or two of muriatic acid. CYA is a given, and you;ve gotten good advice. about where already.

As mentioned above, chlorine does degrade over time, so there's no point in buying a palletload if it's going to be stored out in the heat. By the time you use the last jugs, it'll be nothing but expensive salt water. Standard loss is about 2 ppm per day. That means about 60 ppm per month. In a pool your size, that's less than 5 gallons of 10%.

What you need to do is fill the pool and get it circulating and check for leaks on the hose and filter. Add 3 ppm FC any time there. Fumble with the sock and the CYA granules and get that suspended somehow in front of the return. By the time you're done with that, the water will have had plenty of time to mix, so you can test pH and TA and make necessary adjustments. Then you can let the kids in. Just caution them not to play with the CYA sock, because if it spills, and the granules sit on the liner, you'll end up with white freckles on the vinyl.

It's really quite simple once you start doing and the chemistry gets out of the abstract and into the concrete. You're starting with a fresh fill, so it should be a piece of cake.
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Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
Like others said, it depends on your test results. Since your pool doesnt have water yet, and If you already have the TF100 test kit............ Test your tap water if thats what you are going to fill the pool with. If your pH is high, or low, then that will tell you if you need to go ahead and get Muratic Acid or not.

Also test it for TA. That will tell you if you need some baking soda or not.

You will definitely need Liquid Chlorine. So get several gallons of that because you will need to add chlorine every day. A few gallons will last you a while.

CH is not important to vinyl pools unless its extaordinarily high (above 600), so test your tap water for that just because you can but dont by anything unless the CH is way high.

You will need CYA. It doesnt expire or go bad, so get some of that. I get enough for a whole season. You'll have to top it off every few months due to dilution, 12 lbs will get you where you need to be to start, and you'll have enough left over for top off and last you all summer long.
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