Cyanuric Acid: The Chlorine Supporter
Meet the chemical that helps your pool stay sanitized, but is too often overlooked. Cyanuric acid works together with chlorine to protect it from breaking down in the suns ultraviolet rays. Yes, even saltwater-generated chlorine needs some protection. And unless you have a pool that never gets any direct sunlight, youll need cyanuric acid to keep your chorine effective.
To increase your cyanuric acid, dilute it, add it directly to your skimmer, and run your pump for about eight hours to make sure its properly circulated. The only way to lower your cyanuric acid, unfortunately, is also the only way to lower your salt levels. Youre going to give your water a partial drain. Womp womp.
The recommended cyanuric acid levels for outdoor pools between 70 and 80 ppm, and the recommended levels for covered pools is between 20 and 40 ppm.
How To Test Chlorine Level
You can purchase testing strips that will let you measure the pH value of your pool. These strips can indicate how acidic or basic your pool levels are. Additionally, there are liquid reagent test kits that function on more or less the same principle. However, you need to ensure that these kits have not been previously contaminated to avoid faulty results.
If you need a more accurate reading, then you should use a DPD test kit. This will allow you to measure your free chlorine as well as pH values. DPD is short for N, N Diethyl-1,4 Phenylenediamine Sulfate.
How To Lower Chlorine In Your Pool
- |January 14, 2020
Maintaining a pool can be a tricky business. Theres machinery to figure out, plumbing to keep clear, walls to keep clean, and chemistry too? Balancing your pool chemistry might seem like a daunting task and chlorine levels most of all.
It may seem that more chlorine equals a cleaner pool, right? Well, theres actually a happy medium to be had and were here to help you find it. So if youve accidentally over-chlorinated your pool and need a quick fix, look no further! Lets get your pool back to its happy place.
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Add The Required Quantity Of Chemicals
It is best that you do this in the early evening since this will help prevent degradation due to direct sunlight. It is also better to pour shock around the edges of your swimming pool.
If you have a pool with multiple water levels, try and pour any shock you add to the water as near the deep end of the pool as well.
Swimming Pool Chlorine Test Methods
Testing the chlorine level is one of the easiest pool tests you can do. Multiple companies make test strips that are easy to do and only take a few minutes to perform the test. More expensive test strips are available that can test total chlorine as well as free chlorine. Chlorine test kits are also readily available.
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Test The Pool’s Ph Levels
After rising the tester clean, fill the large tube to the top solid line with pool water taken from a depth of 18 inches. Add one drop of solution No. 4 and mix it by gently swirling the tube. This solution is sodium thiosulfate, a chlorine neutralizer. Add five drops of Solution 2, a phenol red indicator, and mix by gently swirling. Compare the color with the pH color standards on the plastic tester to determine the pH level of your pool water.
Note: Dont perform this test if the residual chlorine is above 3.0, as you will not get an accurate pH reading. The residual chlorine must first be adjusted to normal levels.
Ph For A Perfect Swim
Ill keep the chemistry-class lingo here brief: pH is a measurement of how acidic or basic a substance is. The scale covers 0-14, and anything below 7 is acidic, while anything above 7 is basic.
The ideal level of pH for pool water is almost just in the middle, and will help chlorine work at its full capacity. In order to increase your pH, youll want to use a pH increaser such as soda ash or baking soda. To decrease your pH, you can use a pH decreaser such as muriatic acid. With both of these types of chemicals, youll want to dilute them first and then pour the solution slowly around the perimeter of your pool, and then run your pump for eight hours. Dont forget to follow the manufacturers instructions.
The recommended pH level of your water is between 7.4 and 7.6. Keep in mind that human eyes and mucus membranes have a pH of 7.4. So not only does your pH keep your pool water clean, but it also keeps it as comfortable as possible, too. And theres nothing basic about that.
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What Is A Saltwater Swimming Pool
A saltwater swimming pool uses a chlorine generator for sanitization. Swimming pool chlorine generators create chlorine in the pool water directly, removing the need for users to manually add chlorine-based chemicals to the swimming pool. Free available chlorine is continuously produced at a level which is automatically controlled. This has the benefit of removing the need for storage and transport of chlorine-based chemicals. However, as with any equipment, the chlorine generator must be maintained regularly to prevent fouling.
Most chlorine generators require a salt content of 1,5004,500 parts per million as sodium chloride in the swimming pool.
There are two types of saltwater systems: in-line and off-line.
Uv Rays From Sunlight
Chlorine and sunlight do not get along. This is a fact.
In short, the UV rays produced by the sun have a major effect on chlorine. When exposed to UV rays, chlorine ions begin to separate, which eventually destroys them. And as your chlorine burns away, your sanitizer level drops.
This is the very reason why CYA , or chlorine stabilizer, exists. Its a chemical added to chlorine that keeps it active longer, and shields against harmful UV rays.
But with or without CYA, the sun still takes a toll on your chlorine levels. Fortunately, the best way to prevent that is by shielding your entire pool from the sun itself.
A solar cover acts as a barrier between your water and outside, reducing the exposure your chlorine gets to the sun. In doing this, the cover also helps to improve your pools heat retention while reducing water loss.
TIP: The more opaque the color of your solar cover is, the better the UV protection.
Even if the sun is nowhere to be found, hot weather is enough to mess with your chlorine.
But how could that be? If the sun isnt out, then shouldnt your chlorine work just fine?
Not exactly. When solar rays arent messing with your chlorine, the suns heat stays busy by evaporating water out of your pool.
And naturally, with any pool water loss comes chemical loss.
Luckily, the solution here once again is simple: use a cover.
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Your Disinfection Team: Chlorine & Ph
Chlorine and pH, your disinfection team, are the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick. As a residential pool or hot tub/spa owner, it is your responsibility to regularly check the chlorine concentration and pH of the pool or hot tub/spa water to help protect yourself and your family and friends from recreational water illnesses.
Chlorine is added to the water to kill germs. But it does not work right away. If used properly, free chlorine* can kill most germs within a few minutes. CDC recommends pH 7.27.8 and a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm in pools and at least 3 ppm in hot tubs/spas.
If using cyanuric acid, a chlorine stabilizer, or chlorine products with cyanuric acid , CDC recommends pH 7.27.8 and a free available chlorine concentration of at least 2 ppm in pools. CDC recommends not using cyanuric acid or chlorine products with cyanuric acid in hot tubs/spas.
* Free available chlorine is the more active form of chlorine that kills germs.
Before You Start Know Your Size
When it comes to balancing your chemicalsand by the way, choosing pool equipment and deciding how long to run your pump every dayits important to know how many gallons your pool contains. Make sure to calculate your pool size as soon as possible, and write it down so that you wont forget it. This will prevent you from overshooting your chemicals, or putting too much strain on your equipment. Knowing the dimensions of your pool will also help you choose the right winter cover. Okay, PSA over. Basically, calculate your pools size and youll make your life instantly easier.
Knowing your pool size will save you a lot of money on maintenance costs, but itll also help you find the perfect heat pump, like the Energy-Saving ComforTemp Pool Heat Pump 95,000 BTU to heat 18,000 Gallons. According to customer Steve, Simple install and simple set up. Heated my pool from 66 to 82 degrees in about 2 complete days.
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Free Chlorine Vs Total Chlorine: Whats The Difference
Chlorine is a standard chemical element thats oftentimes used to provide people all over the world with clean drinking water. The reason that chlorine is highly effective and important for water quality monitoring is because its able to kill bacteria via a chemical reaction. Whether youre treating your swimming pool or work in a water treatment facility, using the right amount of chlorine can keep the water free from impurities.
When chlorine is added directly to pool water, it breaks down into such chemicals as hypochlorite ion and hypochlorous acid, both of which are effective at killing bacteria and various microorganisms. You should know the difference between free chlorine and total chlorine because each type of chlorine functions differently when in water. If you want to determine the effectiveness of your sanitation efforts, its important to properly identify the levels of free chlorine and total chlorine in the water.
Since chlorine is able to kill bacteria and similar microorganisms, its primary applications involve being used as a disinfectant in swimming pools and for the treatment of drinking water. Chlorine can also be used to make consumer products like textiles and paints. The vast majority of pharmaceuticals will use chlorine during the manufacturing of new medicines.
What Causes High Chlorine Levels
There are a lot of reasons your chlorine levels in your pool are too high. Maybe you just shocked your pool after a big backyard barbecue and added a bit too much. Perhaps you went on vacation, leaving way too many chlorine tablets in the dispenser.
Many pool owners will use a chemical called cyanuric acid in their pools to protect the chemical structure of chlorine, keeping it from breaking down as quickly from the strong rays of the sun. Adding too much chlorine with a splash of cyanuric acid is a recipe for an over-chlorinated pool.
Speaking of the sun if your pool sits in a nice shady spot in the corner of your backyard and hardly ever gets any sun, theres a good chance that the chlorine you are adding may not be burning off as quickly as a pool in direct sunlight. You may not have to add as much in the future to keep your levels where they need to be.
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Using The Pool Test Kit
Each test kit comes with specific instructions which you should follow to complete the test successfully. A good tip is to capture water below the surface of the pool testing deeper water can provide a more accurate reading. Make sure you have filled the tester to the appropriate levels .
Youll then be instructed to add drops of the chemical reagent intended for the chlorine test, cap the kit and give it a few good shakes. Once the reagent is fully blended, compare the color of your water sample with the standard color guide on the mixer.
How To Test For Free Combined And Total Chlorine In Your Pool
Measuring the amount of chlorine in your pool is essential if you want to keep your pool water clean and sanitized. Maintaining the proper levels of chlorine in your pool will also allow the water to be clear and sparkling. While its recommended that you test your pool water every day, your pool should be fine if you only test the water every other day. Testing the pool water is particularly important if your pool is left uncovered, which exposes it to sunlight, rain, leaves, and wind.
There are three methods that you can use to test for free, combined, and total chlorine in your pool, which include chlorine test strips, chlorine test kits, and an electronic/digital chlorine tester. Chlorine test strips are made from plastic with a chemical pad attached to a stick. The chemical pad can react with the water and will change color in order to provide you with a rough estimate of how much free chlorine, combined chlorine, and total chlorine are in your pool.
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How To Test Pool Chlorine With Test Strips
There are two ways to test your pool chlorine: test strips and test kits. Test strips are a bit easier and more convenient to use than test kits. Test strips tend to be the method of choice for non-professional, pool owners.Test strips often come in small, cylindrical containers that feature color scales on the outside of the container that correspond to each of the chemicals tested on the strip. To conduct a test, simply take one of the strips from the container and dip it in your pool water. The container should include instructions on how long to hold the strip under water, as well as how long to let the strip rest before comparing the test colors to the color scale.To test chlorine, match the appropriate test on the strip with the chlorine color scale on the container. The color will likely not be an exact match with any of the benchmark colors on the testing container. Use your best judgement to estimate the tested ppm based on the color of your test strip compared to that of the lighter and darker colors that most closely match yours.
Easy Steps In Pool Water Testing Without Kit
You may not know it, but your chemistry teacher has taught you an important skill for any pool owner: how to test pool water without a kit. Remember those experiments on acids and bases? Who knew that would come in handy when you run out of test kits, huh? The following method works whether you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool. That said, lets get started.
Gathering A Proper Water Sample
Take samples far from your skimmer and return jets, and well below the surface . Use a clean container test container. If you are bringing the sample to a store, make sure it has a lid.
Different Types Of Tests
There are several ways to check the chlorine of your pool, ranging from paper strips to digital tools. When deciding on the right test for you, we recommend considering a few factors like, accuracy, ease of use, and cost.
One method involves using test strips that you dip in the water. These strips are usually inexpensive and easy to use. The strips contain several color blocks which change color in the presence of certain chemicals.
Another common method to test the chlorine level in your pool is to use a pool test kit, which tests water samples using chemical reagents that indicate the level of chlorine present using coloring comparison. We find this method to be more accurate than other tests, along with being simple and cost effective. In addition to testing chlorine levels, pool testing kits can also test for a variety of other important parameters including pH, alkalinity, bromine, total hardness, and cyanuric acid.
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A Swimming Pool Chemical Calculator
Adjust sliders to calculate the amount of bleach or chlorine to raise free chlorine levels in the pool.
Chlorine is the most popular disinfectant for swimming pools. There are three main measurements for chlorine, Free Chlorine , Combined Chlorine , and Total Chlorine . Free Chlorine is most commonly tested because it represents the amount of chlorine free in the water for disinfecting. Chlorine is very effective at eliminating most microorganisms in the water that cause disease, bacteria, and algae. Some parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia are resistant to chlorine and need to be treated with UV or Ozone.
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More About Pool Chlorine
Swimming pool chlorine levels should be tested daily or every other day if a chlorine generator is used. Chlorine is constantly being consumed by sunlight and contaminates. It is important not to let the Free Chlorine levels reach zero. Once Free Chlorine is zero, there is nothing to protect the pool water from microorganisms and other contaminants.
Chemical Formula: HOCl
Hypochlorous acid plus Hypochlorite Ion is what’s referred to as “Free Chlorine.” HOCl is the active agent responsible for the oxidation of both organic and inorganic materials in chlorinated water. HOCl is formed when chlorine is dissolved in the water.
The formula is as follows:FC = HOCl + OCl-
LOW FREE CHLORINE EFFECTS < 0ppm:
HIGH FREE CHLORINE EFFECTS > 4ppm:
Chemical Formula: NH2Cl
Tips About Pool Chlorine