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Pool and Spa Chemicals: An integral part of a water maintenance program

3. Specialty products
Specialty chemicals are designed to enhance your pool and/or hot tub’s water quality and correct any problems that may have occurred. There are many different brand names, however, and they all fall into the following main categories:

  • Algaecides: There are many different types. They can be used on a maintenance schedule to prevent algae formation and/or used to assist in the destruction of algae.
  • Natural enzymes: These can be used to reduce the organic load in water and, thus, reduce the amount of sanitizer and oxidizer required.
  • Sequestrants: These are used to protect surfaces and equipment. Some can be used to remove existing stains.
  • Clarifiers: Can be used to remove, or help remove, tiny particles in your pool and/or hot tub water that the filter cannot. Clarifiers will make your water sparkle even more.
  • Cleaners: There are many different cleaners available for surfaces, equipment, and filters, ranging from natural enzymes to strong acids or bases.

In summary
Pools and hot tubs are fun. The chemicals prescribed by a maintenance professional—when used properly—will enhance your enjoyment, keep you safe, and save you money.

If you own both a pool and a hot tub, you will notice that sanitizer levels are much higher for your hot tub—but you might not understand why.

There are many reasons for the discrepancy, including your hot tub’s higher water temperature, faster water flow (which dissipates sanitizers more quickly), and increased levels of bodily wastes (such as oils, skin particles, and hair). Since these things generally contribute to sanitizer demand, more chemicals are needed.

Think of it this way: having five people in your 1900- to 2650-L (500- to 700-gal) hot tub is equivalent to having 250 of your closest friends in your pool!

Dave Huxtable is president of Mursatt Chemicals Ltd., in Woodbridge, Ont. He has worked in the pool and spa/hot tub industry for more than 30 years. He can be reached via e-mail at

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