What Can I Use Instead Of Chlorine Tablets
If, for whatever reason, you currently do not have chlorine tablets, then as an alternative, you can use:
- Chlorine granules
- Liquid chlorine
It is important to note that the strength of these chemicals differs, and you should choose accordingly.
The difference to chlorine tablets is that tablets produce slowly free chlorine and chlorine granules contains less free chlorine.
Balance Your Pool Water
Excluding chlorine, are the remaining chemicals in your pool balanced? Balancing your water is an important step that pool owners sometimes forget. The very first thing you want to do is get an accurate reading of your chemical levels.
If you dont have a home testing kit, we recommend either purchasing one or taking a water sample to a local pool store and testing it there. Getting the most recent and the most accurate chemical readings is imperative before adding any additional chemicals.
Why Is It Paramount To Raise Your Pools Alkalinity Level
Your swimming pool can come to immeasurable harm if it contains water with low alkalinity. You risk your pool walls becoming etched, delaminated, or cracked. Some metal surfaces will give way and melt under the corrosive water, which aftereffect is a stained pool wall.
Even the slightest alterations on pool water chemical composition can cause severe fluctuations in the pH levels. When the pH level becomes unbalanced, the phenomenon is called pH bounce and can cause low alkalinity in the pool, as the case may be.
With low alkalinity, the standard amount of chlorine added to your pool would be useless. It would only be useful when more than the usual amount is added for standard results. This means you buy more chlorine and waste more time trying to get to an adequate concentration level with the substance. Asides its effects on your pool, a low alkalinity swimming pool is unsafe for swimmers as the acidic water can cause nasal, eye, and skin irritations.
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Tips & Tricks For Raising Free Chlorine Levels
If you are going to raise the free chlorine level of your pool, then these tips will help you during the process.
- Give the process enough time to run
- Dont seek cheap techniques over effective ones
- Use the tablets or granules from a renowned company
- Raise free chlorine level at a proper schedule
- If you mess up, seek help from experts
- Always test the water before you start the process
- Stay with one variety when it comes to chlorine choice
- Replace the drain part of the pool with fresh water
Safe Chlorine Levels For Pool Water
Maintaining chlorine levels within the ideal range ensures that the water is safe and minimizes buildup of chloramines. Pool water test kits can help determine if levels are outside the ideal range, but swimmers might notice a chlorine smell, or complain of minor eye or skin irritation. If the levels are out of the safe range, do not allow swimmers in the pool until it is properly treated and the levels test within range.
- Free chlorine: ideal range 2.0 to 4.0 ppm, safe range 1.0 to 6.0 ppm
- Combined chlorine: ideally less than 0.2 ppm, safe below 0.5 ppm
- Total chlorine: should be equal to free chlorine most of the time
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Use Sodium Thiosulfate To Lower Chlorine
A cheaper alternative to store-bought neutralizer is sodium thiosulfate.
It lowers your chlorine but also reduces pH levels at the same time. So when using it, be sure to test after each dose to adjust chemicals as needed.
We recommend starting with a small, half cup scoop. But if the manufacturer includes instructions, follow them.
How To Physically Reduce Combined Chlorine
Secondary disinfection systems like UV and Ozone are quite popular in commercial pools. Ultra Violet systems can destroy formed chloramines, but not nitrogen compounds themselves. UV itself is not an oxidizerit is a sanitizer. That said, UV is capable of breaking down monochloramine and dichloramine. Once trichloramine is formed and off-gassed, UV can no longer touch it…for obvious reasons. This means UV has a limited impact on indoor air quality. But we are told that if trichloramine does stay waterborne and passes through a UV chamber, it will be destroyed.
Ozone is also a point-of-contact system, like UV, so ozone also has a limited impact on indoor air quality. One advantage ozone has over UV, however, is that ozone will oxidize and destroy just about anything. Yes, that includes nitrogen compounds, organic bather waste, and waterborne chloramines. Ozone is also a powerful sanitizer that can kill germs and diseases. Ozone is the clear favorite for outdoor pools, mainly because a major contaminant in outdoor pools is sunscreen. UV systems have a hard time shining through a substance that is designed to block UV. Ozone does not have such an issue.
Advanced Oxidation Process is similar to Ozone, in that it is a point-of-contact oxidizer. It has the ability to destroy pathogens and oxidize nitrogen compounds too.
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How Do I Correct Bad Chlorine Or Ph Balance
Public pools have done it. Most pool owners have done it. We have done it. If you are like the majority of us, you probably have put too much chlorine into your pool. As you have probably guessed it, it is not very uncommon among the pool community. But, is too much chlorine in your pool a big deal? Lets look at why adding too much chlorine to your pool water can be dangerous and how you can fix it below.
Why Too Much Chlorine Is Dangerous
Having too much chlorine in your pool water can be dangerous. Exposure to high levels of chlorine can cause lung irritation, skin and eye damage, and provoke asthma. Not only is it bad for your health, but it can be bad for your pool due to the increase in chlorine.
High chlorine levels decrease the pH of your pools water, making it more acidic. The more acidic the water, the higher the likelihood of corrosion. This corrosion can affect metal piping, equipment, and the surface of your pool . It can also damage pool accessories and anything else that goes into your swimming pool water.
How to Detect if Your Pool Has High Chlorine Levels
While many people think they can smell or feel when their pool has too much chlorine, the only way to know if you have high levels of chlorine is by running a test. Ideally, you should be testing your chlorine level every day, especially if your pool is left uncovered for long periods.
Here is how to check your water using a chlorine test strip.
The Difference Between Total And Free Chlorine
Chlorine is chlorine is chlorine, right? You add it to your pool, your pool is clean, and thats that. Its not a difficult concept to understand. Well, except for the fact that theres more than one type of chlorine in your pool water, and if youre not keeping track of how much of each type is in the water, your pool may not be as clean as you think it is.
The key to keeping your pool sanitizedand keeping swimmers safe and healthyis understanding the difference between total and free chlorine.
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How Often To Shock Your Pool
How will you know when to shock a pool? Dont wait for a bad smell or eye irritation before you shock your pool. It’s recommended that you should do a pool shock once a week. The more you use the pool, the more often you need to shock it.
Occasionally, you may need to perform an extra pool shock after:
- Heavy pool use, like a pool party.
- A severe rainstorm.
What Is The Maximum Allowable Level Of Combined Chlorine
The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group recommends that Combined Chlorine Levels should not be allowed to exceed 1 ppm.
It may be noted that PWTAG does not recommend closure of a pool if Combined Chlorine Levels exceed 1 ppm, but recommends that the problem be resolved on top priority.
In any case, if Combined Chlorine Levels exceed 1 ppm, the pool may practically become unusable due to the pungent ammonia odor, skin & eye irritation and cloudiness.
For more information on Pool Chlorine Types refer to my post Complete Guide To Pool Chlorine Types. .
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Does Chlorine Consumption Change With Water Temperature
Warmer water losing more FC due to sunlight than colder water is not true.
Chlorine loss from the UV in sunlight does not depend on temperature because it only depends on the number of photons per area entering into the pool and on the concentration of chlorine. The photons of light are traveling much faster than the molecules containing chlorine so the temperature which relates to the speed of those chlorine molecules is irrelevant. From the point of view of the photons, the molecules of chlorine are essentially standing still so the cross-section of those molecules which is the area with which the photon has a quantum probability of reacting with the molecule is independent of the temperature and only related to the concentration of such molecules in the water.
Chlorine consumption that is related to temperature is for chemical reactions with chlorine such as oxidizing pool covers, bather waste, pollen, leaves, algae, etc. And yes, algae grows faster in warmer water but such consumption won’t matter if there is sufficient FC/CYA since algae will get killed before it can reproduce so the rate will be based solely on the rate of blown-in algae spores which is usually not measurable .
A pool with a solar cover that is opaque to UV would lower the loss of chlorine from sunlight that is not temperature dependent but would increase the loss of chlorine from oxidizing the cover which is temperature dependent.
How Shocking Your Pool Works
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How Many Chlorine Tablets To Add To The Pool Per Week
Chlorine Tablets are handy to produce free chlorine in your pool.
They usually dissolve within 24 hours .
With the help of a floater or a dosing system, chlorine is continuously added to the pool water.
This way, you dont have to worry so much that there is not enough chlorine in the pool.
But how many chlorine tablets do you have to put in the floater per week?
Its hard to say because its difficult to dose the chlorine with a floater.
I recommend putting 1 chlorine tablet in the floater and testing the chlorine level. If there is too little chlorine in the water, you can simply add another chlorine tablet.
Normally, 1 chlorine tablet per week is enough to keep the pool clean with free chlorine.
Tip: Hang the floater in the pools return to better distribute the chlorine.
Can Fc Targets Be Lowered For Pools Open In Cold Weather
Though the growth rate of algae slows down as water gets colder, the reaction of chlorine killing algae also slows down. So lowering the FC level too much could be risky.
The main advantage of the cooler water, especially if the sun isn’t on the pool due to clouds or a cover, is the lower daily FC usage. I’d keep the FC at whatever level you normally need to do to prevent algae.
Though it’s possible that at some cold water temperature the algae growth plummets, why take the chance that it doesn’t?
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Breaking Your Chlorine Lock
While there are many ways to solve this issue, we will only be covering a few of them. Please select the option you are most comfortable with.
Partially Draining Your Pool
One of the simplest methods to breaking chlorine demand is by partially draining your pool. The severity of the chlorine lock determines how long this method takes. Unfortunately, theres no exact science to this. Simply drain your pool little by little, refill it, test it, and repeat if necessary.
Shock Your Pool
Another method of breaking chlorine lock is shocking your pool. Bring your chlorine levels to 20ppm or three times higher than the current levels. We recommend using a non-chlorine oxidizing shock until your free and total chlorine reads the same.
We typically see more pools with a high demand for chlorine during spring opening season. A lot of the times, pools sit for months accumulating a ton of different contaminants. This is one of the reasons we always recommend balancing your pool before you close it. You dont want to compile pool issues or push them to the side. Although high chlorine demand is more common than you might suspect, it is something pool owners can handle themselves.
Give us a call if you think your pool is experiencing this same issue. Make sure you have your most recent chemical readings before we can offer any help.
Managing Chlorine In Your Swimming Pool
Makes more sense now, right? Whats most important is consistency and understanding details matter as soon as you become a pool owner. For someone who owns a pool, getting to enjoy the element of your spa-like backyard is the biggest perk. If you are struggling to get your Chlorine levels properly balanced reach out to us at Shoreline Pools. As the leading pool service company in the New York Tri-state region, you can reach us by dialing and speak with one of our customer service pool professionals!
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How To Raise Your Swimming Pool Chlorine
You first need to test your existing pool chlorine level to determine if you just need a slight adjustment or if you need to shock the pool in cases where you have combined chlorine in the water.
Do you already have a chlorinator, chlorine feeder, or chlorine floater? If so, you will be adding your chlorine to this device. If you typically add chlorine directly into your skimmer, stop doing this . Adding regular chlorine pool products to your skimmer causes the chlorine in the water travelling to your pool equipment to drastically rise and reduce your pH level, making the water passing through the pool equipment corrosive. This will damage your pool equipment over time, causing corrosion and introducing unwanted metals like copper into your pool.
There are several variations of chlorine you can add to your pool:
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Your Phosphate Level Is Too High
Phosphates are algae food, and these can be found in swimming pools to varying degrees.
If you have a particularly high phosphate level, this can make algae even more aggressive and force your chlorine to work harder to keep it at bay. This will indirectly use up a little more of your free chlorine, leaving less of it in your water to deal with everyday contaminants.
This gives the impression your chlorine isnt working when its actually working overtime.
With that being said, phosphates arent nearly as problematic as some pool experts will have you believe. After all, algae wont even be able to get going if you just maintain a high enough free chlorine level.
Solution: Maintain a free chlorine level above 3 parts per million and you wont have to worry about algae even forming, let alone feeding.
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Natural Chemistry Pool Perfect
Natural Chemistry Pool Perfect is a great way to complement chlorine sanitation by using enzymes to break down organic matter in the pool water, which allows it to dissipate more efficiently. Pool Perfect also contains compounds to reduce the phosphate levels in your pool that can increase the risk of algae growth.
How Does Ph And Cya Effect Free Chlorine
So what determines how much, or the proportion of active chlorine to reserve chlorine in your pool?
Basically, it depends on the pH of your water and the concentration of cyanuric acid . Typically speaking, most of the free chlorine is held in reserve by the cyanuric acid and the rest of the free chlorine break up into proportions dictated by pH .
The most important point to remember though is this – the amount of active chlorine ion your pool water is determined by the concentration of CYA. You need enough CYA in your water to create a proper reserve of chlorine, BUT, too much CYA can reduce the amount of active chlorine in your water to levels too low to fight pathogens and oxidize bather waste. This is called overstabilization of pool water and, mistakenly, is referred to as chlorine lock by the pool industry due to them not acknowledging the importance of the CYA/FC ratio.
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How Much Shock Do I Need To Raise Free Chlorine
To raise free chlorine in your swimming pool, you need a DPD kit to test the water. The test will help you find out the amount of total chlorine and free chlorine in the pool.
With the test result, you will be able to deduce the amount of combined chlorine present in the pool water. If its higher than 0.2 ppm, then you need to shock the pool.
Combined chlorine = total chlorine free chlorine.
But you need to know the right amount of shock to add to the pool. The target is to always raise the free chlorine to a point known as the breakout point. The value of the breakout point is the combined chlorine multiplied by 10.
If the combined chlorine is 0.7 ppm, you should raise the free chlorine to about 7 ppm. You can follow the calculation here to determine the amount of shock you should add to your pool.
If you still find it difficult to do the calculation, simply raise the free chlorine to 10 ppm and allow it to drop.