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Pool Chemicals Explained by the Pros


Introduction to Pool Chemistry

The Doheny's line of swimming pool chemicals is specially formulated to keep your pool sparkling clean with minimum effort. This guide provides an overview of these products and the circumstances under which they are most useful, beginning with our award-winning chlorine.

The Doheny's DIRECT PURIFICATION SYSTEM provides you with more effective chlorine at an even lower price. How do we do it? By cutting out the middle man.

Our competitions' chlorine travels from place to place across the country and then sits on a shelf at the store before you pick it up and carry it home. Doheny's Chlorine arrives fresh because we ship DIRECT to your pool the same day that you place your order. Fresh chlorine from Doheny's cleans your pool water more effectively than deteriorated chlorine that has lost its potency.

Smart Packaging for Pool Chemicals

Doheny's pool algaecide, pH plus & stain remover.


Pool Sanitizers

When to use Sanitizers
Sanitizers are used to keep water clear of bacteria and inhibit/control the growth of viruses, algae and organic contaminants.  The two most common pool water sanitizers are
chlorine and bromine.

Choose the one that’s best for you

Chlorine is a disinfectant and the most popular sanitizer used in pool water.  Chlorine levels are determined with a pool water test kit and measured in parts per million (ppm).  The ideal chlorine residual (chlorine residual refers the the chlorine remaining after all reactions and dissipation have occurred) in pool water should be between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm.

Bromine is an alternative sanitizer to chlorine.  Bromine levels are measured using a test kit.  The ideal Bromine residual is 3.0 ppm.  Bromine is not as harsh on skin, eyes, hair and swim wear as chlorine, and does not produce a chlorine odor.  Bromine is slower dissolving and is more effective than chlorine in hot water.

We recommend sanitizing with stabilized 3” chlorinating tabs, 1” chlorinating tabs, skimmer sticks or 1” bromine tabs.  These can be conveniently dispensed by placing them in a chlorinator (or brominator), floating feeder, or skimmer basket.  If you prefer to sanitize by pouring directly into the water, then Di-Chlor Chlorinating Granules is a good choice.  During pool start-up you may need an extra does of chlorine or bromine in order to satisfy the initial demand of the water.  Use your test kit often to check your chemical levels and adjust your dispenser as needed to increase or decrease the flow.  Factors that affect the amount of sanitizer you need are temperature, pool usage, rainfall and pH.  Higher water temperatures, heavy pool usage and heavy rainfall all result in the necessity for increased chlorine or Bromine.

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Pool Balancers

When to use a pool balancer

Balancers are used with sanitizers to help prevent algae growth and cloudy water, maximizing the performance of chlorine.  Quick and simple testing before problems arise can prolong your pool’s life and provide you season after season of enjoyment.

Maintaining proper pH levels

pH Level is the acid/base content of water.  The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.  Ideally you should strive to maintain pH levels between 7.2 and 7.6 in order to prevent eye/skin irritation, pool surface and equipment damage.

Total alkalinity is the measure of certain minerals in the water.  These minerals act as buffering agents and allow you to readily control your pH.  In plaster pools, under normal conditions, a measurement of 100 to 150ppm is ideal.  In painted, vinyl or fiberglass pools, a reading between 125 to 175ppm should be maintained.

Calcium Hardness measures the level of calcium and magnesium minerals in the water.  These minerals exist naturally in all water, but levels vary greatly across the country.  An acceptable hardness level is from 225 to 300ppm hardness for plaster pools and 175 to 250 ppm for vinyl, painted and fiberglass pools.  Low levels of calcium create corrosive water which can damage equipment.  Raise hardness levels by using calcium boosters.  Lower hardness levels by using calcium hardness reducers.

Stabilizer is a chemical that prevents the UV rays of the sun from prematurely dissipating the chlorine level. It is important to test your stabilizer level because stabilizer stays in your water indefinitely.  If stabilizer was added in the past, you generically just add it based on the gallons of water added this season.  Too much stabilizer can cause cloudy water.

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Pool Shock

When to use Shocks

Use shock to quickly raise the chlorine level in your pool.  Various bacteria and organic pollutants can resist normal chlorination and result in contaminated and cloudy water.  This build-up is highest during hot weather and periods of heavy pool usage.  Weekly treatments with shock will break up these contaminants.  It is best to apply shock in the evening so it can work overnight and be down to normal levels by the next day.  Be sure your filter continues to run during this time.

Doheny's Super Shock

GREAT VALUE! This fast acting shock features 68% calcium-hypochlorite as an active ingredient to help clear the most contaminated pools.

Doheny's Super Shock Plus

EXTRA STRENGTH! Super powerful shock with 73% calcium hypochlorite for crystal clear pool water. Fast acting with minimal residue effectively kills bacteria, stops algae in its tracks and destroys organic contaminants.

Doheny's Lithium Premium Shock

FAST & NON CORROSIVE! Super strong shock will not fade or bleach your vinyl liner! Destroys most major organic waste, yet
won't leave deposits on fittings or other plumbing.

Doheny's Di-Chlor Chlorinating Shock

Di-Chlor with 56% available chlorine kills algae and will rid your pool of unsightly algae spots. Ideal for use in vinyl lined, fiberglass or colored plaster surface pools.

Make your favorite shock--

Doheny's Oxidizing Shock

CHLORINE FREE! The active ingredient potassium monopersulfate effectively keeps water clear while controlling contaminants. Safe for all pool surfaces.

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Pool Algaecides

When to use algaecides
Algaecides are used to prevent algae growth and kill existing algae that survive general chlorine dosages.  Algae is an aquatic plant that grows rapidly in pool water when a combination of warm water and lack of chlorine or other sanitizing agents exist.  The most common types of pool water algae are green, pink, black and mustard.  Initial signs of algae growth are slipperiness on pool surface, green or cloudy water, and spots on pool walls or floor.

Algae Preventers

Doheny's Algaecide 60
Our most popular algaecide, Algaecide 60 treats up to 200,000 gallons! Use once a week to prevent algae growth. High doses even kills existing algae. Contains no metals so it won't stain surfaces. Non-foaming.

Doheny's Algaecide 50
Get the job done right with this non-metallic, non-staining algaecide. Kills all types of algae and won't leave residue.

Doheny's Algaecide
Save money with this economically priced algaecide. Prevents most forms of algae, including common green and mustard algae. Non-foaming formula will not cloud pool.

Algae Killers

Doheny's Super Algaecide Plus
Super strong algaecide even kills persistent yellow mustard algae. Powerful formula contains 7% chelated coper which also prevents common green, pink and black algae growth. Will not foam or cloud water. Amazing strength--treats up to 200,000 gallons! Effective in all parts of the country.

Doheny's Total Algaecide
Extra-strength formula kills ALL types of stubborn algae, including black, mustard, pink and green. Non-foaming, non-staining formula also significantly clarifies pool water. Prevents new growth for 90 days.

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Pool Enzymes

When to use Enzymes
Enzymes are the all-natural way to clean up the body oil and lotion that can cloud your pool water and leave a ring of scum around your pool.  Adding enzymes such as Nature's Magic to your pool water once a week prevents oil and scum build-up.  Enzymes also linger in the filter, keeping it clean.

Understanding Enzymes
In the human body, enzymes help us digest food and eliminate toxins.  That’s why doctors recommend enzyme rich foods such as yogurt, figs, and bananas.

Your pool water is a fertile environment for living organic matter. Enzymes break down that organic material into their base components and consume the residue.  What they are most effective at is destroying oils, fats, detergents, dirt, pollen, and all other sorts of organic material.  Since enzymes are used to clean up oil spills, you know they will work on the small amount of oils that produce scum in your pool.  Enzymes are also effective in preventing foaming in pools and spas.

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Pool Stain Removers

When to use stain removers
Stain removers are used to remedy stains, scale, discoloration and cloudy water caused by metals coming out of a solution (precipitation) in the water.

Scale is when the precipitated metals form hard, white deposits on pool walls and equipment.

Stain is when the precipitated metals have color and are deposited on the pool walls or floor.  Precipitated metals may also remain in the water causing cloudiness and discoloration.  To remedy this condition, a sequestering agent is required.  This will help your filter remove precipitated metals.

Choose the one that’s best for you

Doheny's Extra-Strength Metal Out
An easy, inexpensive solution to remove stains, scale and discoloration caused by metals in your water. This powerful concentrated sequestering agent is ideal for areas with excessive metal and mineral problems

Doheny's Metal Out
Regular use of this less concentrated formula is ideal for controlling general stains and helps maintain a sparkling clean pool. Easily eliminates scum and mineral deposits.

Doheny's Stain Remover
Professional strength granular acid, yet it is safe for all pool surfaces. Helps remove stains, residue and spotting from all surfaces. Pre-dissolve in 3 gallons of water, distribute throughout the pool and watch those stains disappear.

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Pool Clarifiers

When to use Clarifiers
Clarifiers are used to remove particles from the pool that are too small to be caught in the filter system, causing cloudy water.  Flocculents or clarifying agents will cause these particles to cling to each other, making them larger, so they can be removed from your water through vacuuming or filtration.

Choose the one that’s best for you

Doheny's Water Clarifier Plus
Even the best maintained pools have tiny suspended particles that can escape the filtration system. Our Water Clarifier Plus binds those particle together so they are large enough to be trapped by the filtration system, leaving your pool water sparkling and clear. Bottles feature child-resistant caps. Highly concentrated for quick, effective results.

Doheny's Water Clarifier
Less concentrated than the Clarifier Plus and more economically priced. For general maintenance to achieve crystal clear water.

Doheny's Extra-Strength Flocculent
This product thoroughly settles un-filterable suspended debris (carbonates, silica, dead algae and spore-like materials) to the pool bottom so it may easily be vacuumed out. Use with normal pH and free chlorine levels. Our Extra Strength Flocculent contains no corrosive aluminum or ammonia, will not affect pH and is safe for all pools and filters.

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Pool Cleaners

When to use cleaners
Cleaners are used to clean unique pool surfaces and devices that become spoiled by chemicals and organic materials that come in contact with the pool.

Doheny's Filter Cleaner & Degreaser
For cleaning sand and/or D.E. Filters. Prevents channeling. Just pour into your skimmer. Effectively reduces the amount of time and work you spend on pool maintenance.

Doheny's Cartridge Cleaner
If you have a cartridge filtration system, this cleaner will help you keep it working efficiently and effectively. Specially formulated to remove dirt, soap, grease and film. It effectively cleans all cartridge filter elements.

Doheny's Foam Away
Nobody likes to see the water in their pool or spa foaming...Foam Away takes care of the problem instantly! Our defoamer eliminates and prevents foaming and sudsing. Works both in pools and spas and is sanitizer compatible.

Doheny's Tile & Vinyl Cleaner
Spend less time cleaning the walls and bottom of your pool, and more time enjoying pool fun with this special formula that removes grease, grime and scale. Eliminates waterlines!

Doheny's All Surface Cleaner
Just spray it on to remove stubborn stains fast! Powerful Mildew deterrent. Non-abrasive formula works well on pool and spa covers, plastic and canvas patio furniture, umbrellas, awnings, solar blankets and other deck accessories.

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Pool Algaecides