Top 10 Chemicals needed to open your Swimming Pool!

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When starting up a swimming pool in the spring, several chemicals are essential to ensure the water is clean, balanced, and safe for swimming. These chemicals play various roles in sanitizing the water, preventing algae growth, and maintaining the proper pH and alkalinity levels. Here are some of the key chemicals needed for starting up a swimming pool.

  1. Chlorine: Chlorine is the primary sanitizer used in pools to kill bacteria, viruses, and algae. When starting up a pool in the spring, it’s essential to shock the pool with a concentrated dose of chlorine to eliminate any contaminants that may have accumulated over the winter. You can use either granular chlorine, liquid chlorine, or chlorine shock products for this purpose.  Once your pool is open, remember that the only safe swimming chlorine range is between 1-4 ppm.
  2. pH Increaser and Decreaser: pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the pool water. The ideal pH range for swimming pools is typically between 7.2 and 7.6. pH increaser (sodium carbonate or soda ash) is used to raise the pH level if it’s too low, while pH decreaser (sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid) is used to lower the pH if it’s too high.  If your pH ever falls below 7.0, then your water is acid and will destroy all surfaces, and your equipment, including your heater. 
  3.  Alkalinity Increaser: Total alkalinity is a measure of the water’s ability to resist changes in pH. Proper alkalinity levels (typically between 80 and 120 ppm for liners and 100-125 for plaster) help stabilize the pH and prevent rapid fluctuations. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is commonly used to increase alkalinity when necessary.
  4.  Calcium Hardness Increaser: Calcium hardness refers to the concentration of calcium ions in the water. Maintaining the proper calcium hardness level (usually between 200 and 400 ppm) helps prevent corrosion of metal components and plaster surfaces, as well as scale formation. Calcium chloride is often used to increase calcium hardness in pool water.  Be careful not to overuse calcium chloride as once the calcium is in the swimming pool water, there is no simple way to remove it.
  5. Algaecide: Algaecides are chemicals designed to prevent or control algae growth in the pool. Adding an algaecide during startup can help inhibit algae growth as the pool water warms up and becomes more conducive to algae development. Choose an algaecide appropriate for your pool type and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosage and application.  Many algaecides contain copper, which works great, but be aware that if you choose a copper-based algaecide, you will need to use a CuLator Metal Eliminator to remove those ionic metals, or they can stain the swimming pool surfaces or turn your pool water colors.
  6. Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid or CYA): Stabilizer helps protect chlorine from degradation due to UV sunlight exposure. Cyanuric acid is the most common stabilizer used in outdoor pools. Adding stabilizer during startup can help maintain chlorine effectiveness and reduce the need for frequent chlorine shock treatments.  Be careful not to over-use Stabilizer, as there is no effective way to remove CYA from the swimming pool water.  Try to always keep your CYA level between 30-50.
  7. Metal Sequestrant: Metal sequestrants are chemicals that bind to metals in the water, preventing them from causing staining or discoloration on pool surfaces. If your water source contains high levels of metals such as iron or copper, adding a metal sequestrant during startup can help prevent metal-related issues. We recommend starting up the pool with Super Start-Up or maintaining it with Mega Maintain.
  8. Metal Eliminator: Use a CuLator Metal Eliminator and Stain Preventer PowerPak 1.0 for pools under 20,000 gallons or a CuLator Ultra 4.0 for larger pools, pools on well water, or problem pools.  Using CuLator is a great way to protect your pool and spa surfaces and equipment from stain-causing metals like rust, iron, copper, manganese, nickel, cobalt, silver, aluminum, and lead.  The easiest way to control metals is with a CuLator Ultra 4.0 for the entire summer season.
  9.  Clarifier: Clarifiers are chemicals that help improve water clarity by causing small particles to clump together, making them easier to remove through filtration. Adding a clarifier during startup can help clear up cloudy water and enhance overall water quality.  However, this may not be necessary if your filters are clean or new.
  10. Sunscreen: This one is for you before you go into the pool, protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays with sunscreen! A sunscreen’s sun protection factor (SPF) is only fully effective for two hours after you put it on, make sure to reapply! 

Before adding any chemicals to your pool, it’s essential to test the water to determine its current chemical balance and identify any specific needs. Use a reliable pool water testing kit to measure pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, chlorine levels, and other parameters. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each chemical product, and always wear appropriate safety gear when handling pool chemicals. By properly balancing and treating your pool water at startup, you can ensure a clean, clear, and safe swimming environment for the season ahead. Using this Range Based Balanced Pool Water Guide will help you identify how to correct your pool chemicals.

Top 10 Metal Removers for Swimming Pools and Spas 2023!

Beautiful Children in Swimming Pool

Below are newest top 10 metal removers for the swimming pool industry 2023.

  1. Natural Chemistry Metal Free: Known for its eco-friendly formula, effectively sequesters metals while being gentle on pool surfaces. 
  1. CuLator Metal Eliminator and Stain Preventer by Periodic Products:  CuLator permanently removes and eliminates all stain-causing metals from the pool water, providing lasting protection against staining and discoloration. CuLator is patented and non-toxic. 
  1. Jack’s Magic The Purple Stuff: This powerful sequestering agent is designed to remove stains caused by iron, copper, and manganese, offering long-lasting protection against further metal buildup. 
  1. SeaKlear Metal Klear: Effectively suspends metal, prevents staining, and improves water clarity. 
  1. Leisure Time Metal Gon: Suitable for all pool types, this metal remover is designed to sequester metals, preventing staining and scale formation. 
  1. GLB Sequa-Sol: GLB Sequa-Sol is a cost-effective option for metals, preventing stains, and maintaining balanced water chemistry. 
  1. Pool Mate Metal Out: This fast-acting chemical effectively sequesters iron, copper, and manganese, preventing stains and scale formation, and improving water clarity. 
  1. Bio-Dex Protect All Supreme: Specially formulated to sequester metals and prevent scale.  Super concentrated formula. 
  1. Baquacil Metal Control: Designed for use with Baquacil pool care systems, this sequestering agent prevents metal staining and helps maintain crystal-clear water. 
  1. In The Swim Super Stain Away: Suitable for various pool surfaces, this powerful agent eliminates stains caused by iron, copper, and manganese, enhancing water aesthetics. 


In this list, the term “Metal Remover” is a misnomer. Sequestering agents and chelating agents react with metal ions to produce molecules too small to be removed by pool filters. Metal removers sold in the pool industry do not remove metals from pool and spa water but rather suspend the metals in the water temporarily. The only product that REMOVES and ELIMINATES metals is CuLator Metal Remover and Stain Preventer. 

Maintaining a clean and balanced swimming pool is crucial for optimal water quality and enjoyment. One common challenge faced by pool owners is the presence of metals, such as iron, copper, and manganese, which can cause staining and discoloration. Eliminating metals from your pool water ensures stain-free and healthy swimming pool water.  

CuLator SpaPak Question

CuLator SpaPak Question

Message: Hi,
I have recently purchased from Amazon a few packs of Culator for improving my hot tub water which contains metal from my well.
I would like to know if I can reuse it after 1 treatment. If yes what is the procedure to keep it for the next refill in 3 months.

Thank you
You do miracles!

Hello Michael,

Thank you for the email. 

Yes, you can reuse the CuLator SpaPak several times.  All you must do is rinse it with fresh water, let it air dry and then place it back in the skimmer (or where you place it) when you refill.  The CuLator polymers will get dry and crunchy.  This is normal.  They will rehydrate when you place them back into the water.

Thank you for the compliments!  Please let me know if you have any other questions.


CuLator Removed Copper From My Swimming Pool!

Thank you kindly for the information!  Historically, for the pool, I’ve simply used the CuLator 1.0 packet in my skimmer basket with good results.  I did try the CuLator 4.0 inside the GatorCage as an upgrade/replacement, but it did not seem to perform much differently.  Not complaining, but if the 1.0 is working, it would be simpler for me to just continue that routine.

As far as actual movement and lifespan, continuously using on of the CuLator packets has kept my copper levels fairly steady at 0.1 ppm.  Sometimes 0.0 and sometimes 0.2, but very flat.  I was north of 1.0 and going higher when I started using them just under 2 years ago when we bought the pool.  Previous owner did not unfortunately manage the water chemicals very well – pH way out of spec, ridiculously high chlorine and CYA, plus he added algaecide doses every week…

Everything is now in much better shape, but I think there is some damage to either the heater and/or copper pool pipes (underground) allowing them to leech copper still.  However, I do think it is getting better (reduced)!   Actually planning running for several weeks later this summer when I have a bit more free time without the CuLator to see how fast the levels are rising, but assume there will still be a need long term for the CuLator.

Thank you again!

CuLator with Copper Removed from Swimming Pool Water

CuLator Solves Copper Cyanurate Problems in Swimming Pools

We received a question from a customer who had purple gunk at the bottom of his swimming pool.  We suspected that he had copper cyanurate.  We had him check his CYA level which was very high.  His copper level was also very high.  High copper + High CYA = Copper Cyanurate.   We had him drain the pool water and refill until the CYA was between 30-50.  When he drained the water, there was a light purple residue (sand) which showed up on the street pavement.  Obviously, that purple sand was copper cyanurate.  He was instructed to add a CuLator Ultra 4.0 to his pump basket and the problem was solved.

Here is what was said in his own words:


Here are the photos of our pool. The last two photos show the residue that accumulated in the street at the end of the vacuum hose. The numbers are looking great; we will be placing the CuLator Ultra 4.0 cartridge in the pump basket this evening! 

Once again, thank you for all your help. I look forward to doing business with you in the future.



Pool closing…thanks for all your help this Spring with our “Purple Haze” problem. We survived the summer with pristine pool water and no problems.

H.D. Long Island, NY

What’s That White Stuff On My CuLator Bag?

When CuLator is placed in the skimmer basket (or the pump basket), and you use a phosphate remover (or a weekly maintenance which contains a phosphate remover), the phosphate remover can collect on the outside of the CuLator bag. This does not interfere with the working of the phosphate remover nor the CuLator product. It just looks ugly because it looks like a white goo that resembles Crisco. If you see this form on the outside of the CuLator bag, just rinse it off. Some examples of phosphate removers are Natural Chemistry Phosfree, Orenda PR-10000, Leslie’s Pool Perfect Weekly.

Phosphate remover on the CuLator bag phosphate remover on CuLator bag

What are the little black spots in my fiberglass pool?

When you see little black spots on your fiberglass swimming pool, it could be a few things.  First, try to remove them with a vitamin C tablet.  If that doesn’t work, then have your water chemistry tested to see if you have a high phosphate level.  If you do, use a phosphate remover then balance the pool water to see if that solves the problem.

Cobalt can also cause spots like these.  The gel coat delaminates a bit from the surface and these spots can develop.  Just place a CuLator Ultra 4.0 into the pump basket to see if that lowers the metal level to remove the staining.

Gel Coat delamination does happen with some fiberglass pools.  Check with your pool manufacturer to see what they can do, but doing a phosphate, or stain treatment is much easier to deal with.

If you have any questions, give Periodic Products a call at 954-764-7654 to discuss.

Why does the CuLator Ultra 4.0 Swell Up?

culator metal eliminator
Holding CuLator Ultra 4.0 Up To The Light
When CuLator is added to the skimmer or pump basket, it usually swells up and becomes very puffy. This is normal. The best way to see if the CuLator is catching metals is to hold it up to the light. In this case, there is some blue at the top showing that the CuLator is binding copper out of the swimming pool water and preventing stains.


Why does the CuLator Ultra 4.0 puff up? The CuLator polymers “hydrate” when they enter the water and puff up.  As they bind the metals out of the pool water, the CuLator bags will “shrink” back down to a much smaller size.  So, when is CuLator finished?  It is easier to tell with the Ultra 4.0 because the bag will be about 1/2 full, or the contents will feel watery inside or they will feel sandy.  With the 1.0 it is a little bit harder to tell, but when the bag feels almost empty or there is a lot of color in the bag after a month, then it is exhausted.

Used CuLator with Iron in Ultra 4.0 GatorEgg
Used CuLator with Iron in Ultra 4.0 GatorEgg
CuLator Ultra 4.0 used with Copper Inside
CuLator Ultra 4.0 used with Copper Inside


Opening Your Pool with CuLator Metal Eliminator

Ultra PowerPak 4.0

When you open your pool here are a few hints:

  • Place a CuLator Ultra 4.0 into the pump basket and run a few days before adding any swimming pool chemicals (as long as the pH is above 7).
  • Leave the CuLator Ultra 4.0 in for the entire summer to grab metals out of the water and keep your water clear and to prevent staining.
  • If you are worried about any metal levels in the water, add some sequestering agent to the water to hold the metals in suspension until the CuLator will pull them out.

    CuLator Metal Sequester
    CuLator Metal Sequester


Swim and have fun in a metal free and stain free pool!


CuLator Ultra 4.0 used with Copper Inside
CuLator Ultra 4.0 used with Copper Inside
Used CuLator with Iron in Ultra 4.0 GatorEgg
Used CuLator Ultra 4.0 with Iron Trapped Inside

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Review of CuLator Metal Eliminator with Before and After Shot

Before and After CuLator

Before and After CuLator

This pool was greenish from oxidized iron and lower alkalinity.  After the chemistry was balanced and a CuLator Ultra 4.0 was used to remove the metals from the water, the pool stair stains were gone, the cloudiness was gone, and the metals were out of the pool water.

Here is the review:

    I placed the CU Lator in the skimmer basket last week. The results from the test at Leslie’s is no copper. The chlorine and other test items were just about ok. So yesterday the family used the pool.
    I want to thank you for the product, CU Lator, and the kind and attentive assistance you gave to me in getting my pool dilemma resolved.
    Now I will have to learn how to balance the pool chemicals, so it  does not repeat again.
Thank you again and have a nice day.
F.T.  Lincoln Park, NJ