CHLORINE: is the primary sanitizer used to kill algae and bacteria in the pool water. The proper chlorine level should fall between 1.0 and 2.0 on your test kit. During hot weather, you should try to maintain a higher level to prevent algae.
pH: is the acid level of the pool water. You must maintain a good pH level otherwise or chlorine will not work effectively. The proper pH level for your pool water should fall between 7.4 and 7.8 and will change with rainwater or alot of bather use.
ALKALINITY: is a pH "stabilizer". Alkalinity helps keep the pH level within the proper levels so that the chlorine can work effectively. Alkalinity helps prevent pH "bounce" from rainwater and bather use. The proper alkalinity level for your pool water should be between 100 and 120.
STABILIZER: forms a protective bond around the chlorine, making it more resistant to being burned off by sunlight. This makes the chlorine last longer and work more effectively. Pool water should be stabilized when you freshly fill a pool or add large amounts of water. The proper level of stabilizer for your pool water is 35 ppm. To increase the stabilizer level, you need to add stabilizer conditioner. If you rarely need to add water to your pool, you may only need to test for stabilizer levels annually.
REMEMBER: Safe and clear swimmable pool water can only be achieved when all four of the above chemicals are maintained. A good alkalinity level helps keep the pH level in check, a good pH level helps keep the the chlorine working effectively, stabilizer keeps the chlorine from being burnt out by the sun, and chlorine kills all the germs and bacteria that creates cloudy water and green algae.
The results are a crystal clear swimming environment that you can enjoy all summer long