Swimming pool products

I would be very interested to hear from members as to the best and most reasonable products to use for the pool. I have found over the years that it is a false economy buying what seems really cheap chlorine etc. It seems that so many shops now sell products but where to start?

I have found that Gamm Vert's are normally good but maybe a bit more expensive. Are the Bricomarché products any good?

Thank you for any advice


Ok, this is going to be a controversial reply so if you are easily offended too bad!

Cash Piscines are box shifters, very cheap indeed but the quality of somethings are not good and it sounds as if advice is one of those. The lovely Claire at PPL (not actually sure what PPL is?) You must be one of their best customers no wonder Claires winning personality has you hooked. I can only give you and others the technical response as trying to take on a personality is something I doubt I could win, unless you like Geeks!

Lets look at the facts:

I don't know what type of choc you are using but I suggest you read the panel on the back and report in. There are only really 3 packaged choc's available although the strength of some will vary a little, they are:

1. Trichlor, (trichlorinated isocyanurates) or some french anagram of similar (probably round the other way).

2. Dichlor, (dichlorinated isocyanurates) as above for the rest.....

3. Calcium hypochlorite.

150 choc pastiles (20 grams usually) is 3kg Please tell me I am wrong! in an 11 x 5m pool guessing at 1.5m depth, 82.5m3 volume.

Option 1 Trichlor, would give you assuming you started at zero chlorine approximately 33ppm of chlorine and you would be adding approximately 20ppm cyanuric acid (half your total amount)

Option 2 Dichlor, would give you 20ppm chlorine and adding 8ppm cyanuric acid.

Option 3 Calcium hypochlorite, would give you 24ppm chlorine although no cyanuric acid it would add more calcium to the water.

5 litres of hivanage on top of that dose is a complete waste as the first thing the chlorine will do is begin to burn out the hivernage (oxidise it)

You then repeat the process when you open the pool. If you are using trichlor you will now have the full amount of cyanuric acid for the whole season. Have you measured your cyanuric acid level? (not with a dip strip)

Your pool fittings and pipework including the pump and salt cell will all begin to age prematurely.

You could if required choc with liquid javel although I would not advise that high doseage without a very good reason for it for less money and certainly not increasing your cyanuric acid level.

Over to you.


We also have a salt pool, and always use either PPL (cash piscines) or Julians, this is our pools 9th Season and we followed instructions from the lovely Claire at PPL and never had a problem with ours, to close down 150 Clorine Choc pastilles , 5 lts hivernage.. and to open 150 chlorine choc and either 5 or 6 bags of salt ... and out pool is always crystal clear..... very seldom have to add ph plus or minus... our pool is a 11 x 5 metre pool...

Chris, you got divorced over shopping at Everblue?

Seriously, packaged chemicals, which I am not particularly fond of are made by huge chemical companies and for a fee they will put your name on the tub. I can literally pick up the phone this afternoon and have my company logo on a tub of multiaction within hours.

As I said above, salt tablets for water softners are ok providing they are pure enough and as you have just stated some you bought were not because they can be high in metals such that staining can be an issue. I am good at clearing stains BTW.

Hi John, Yes there are stand alone CYA testers, they are quite good, still have mine in case I get caught out with flat batteries on my photometer. Around the €39 mark but yet to one in any french pool shop I have been in so I can ship from the UK if your interested.

That's all really good advice John, thanks.

Is there a DIY test available for "cyanuric acid stabiliser" ?



I always visited my local Everblue stockist for most things to do with the pool. They may not always have been the cheapest, but you can be certain that the products they sell are generally fit for purpose. I bought salt tablets from a brico once, and they stained the liner. All in the past, as due to divorce, and lack of funds and interest, I'm just letting the pool go - it can be someone else's problem.

Ok who to answer first, let's get Rogers gripe out of the way.

I support the truth, not the pool industry per se.

Pool salt is different because it is stabilised so conatins cyanuric acid stabiliser. Have you read my post on "Opening up for the new season" It gives a breakdown on why you need cyanuric acid stabiliser but too much is bad.

The crime would be paying extra and not recieving what you paid for. If your pool has a good level then of course you should avoid stabilised salt and use water softener salt providing it's pure enough.

I have seen stabilised pool salt from €9 to €12 a sack so not that much of a rip off, of course if you don't need it don't use it.


Packaged products, I am not a fan of, the multi action gallets and choc used widely contain cyanuric acid stabilser in quite a large proportion around 60% is stabiliser so after a seasons use (assuming you started at zero) your pool will contain more stabiliser than you most likely need and by the time you start next season you will begin to loose control of your pool so end up draining a reasonable amount of water out and replacing it with fresh as cyanuric acid happends to stay in your pool unlike the chlorine. Calcium hypochlorite doesn't contain cyanuric acid but does contain calcium to slow down the disolving of the tablet so in some hard water regions that would be a poor choice to.

Anti algae really isn't much use, save your money, if you have an algae problem then chlorine works faster anyway. It actually get re labelled and sold as Hivanage, they probably sell more of it then. Over winter when the chlorine level drops to zero there maybe some small benefit as a safety thing but I don't use it. The winter cover should keep out the light so alage doesn't grow and the temperature falls so alge doesn't grow much then either and in the spring just chlorinate, maybe choc with liquid chlorine NOT choc.

pH + and - are the same throughout so it doesn't matter who's you buy, just buy the cheapest.

On to alternatives,

The best way to chlorinate your pool is with liquid chlorine, use javel from a brico at around €18 for 20 litres. It has 9.6% active chlorine so you add 100ml for every 10m3 of your pool size.

pH - hydrochloric acid again from a brico about the same price as javel. around 200ml for each 10m3 of your pool size to reduce the pH by around 0.2 (it is difficult to be precise as it depends where your pH is to start with, the higher it is the more you will need to bring it down by 0.2 as the pH scale is logarithmic not linear but you'll soon get used to it and the savings! Be careful with acids, they burn and fume so goggles and gloves are advised.

NEVER mix chlorine with acid it may kill you!

pH+ is soda ash, buy the cheapest.

Alkalinity, that's bicarbonate of soda, buy the cheapest, 900grms will increase each 10m3 alkalinity by around 50ppm.

That is about all you need in your pool to look after it, no magic stuff although there are some cases where additional products can be used like flocculents/clarifyers.

Never add concentrated chemicals into a skimmer, always dilute where necessary or disolve in a bucket of pool water before sprinkling or pouring around the pool in front of the returns when the pump is running.

I can only comment about salt, not being a user of galets or Javel, The Salt sold for water-softeners in places like Leroy-Merlin work out to less than 7€ for 25Kg From a pool shop you will need a second Mortgage :-) some here will support the pool industry by claiming that their salt contains a secret ingredient or stabiliser or something but the claims cannot support the rip off prices which trade on peoples Gullibility.