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.
Determining If Your Pool Has A High Demand For Chlorine
The quickest way to determine if your pool is experiencing a high demand for chlorine is to perform a test for free and total chlorine.
Free chlorine shows the level of disinfecting chlorine available to sanitize your pool. Free chlorine isnt interacting with contaminants, yet. Total chlorine is the amount of chlorine, used or not, in your water.
In the test, if your free chlorine reading matches your total chlorine reading, your pool is NOT experiencing a high demand for chlorine. This is a normal reading.
However, if your free chlorine reading is different than your total chlorine reading, then theres a problem. You shouldnt have a free chlorine reading of 3 and a total chlorine reading of 7.
Tips On Adding Chlorine To Your Pool:
- Stay with one variety of chlorine, as mixing products can make it difficult to maintain consistent chlorine levels in your pool.
- You can add regular retail liquid bleach, but there is no reliable way to determine how much chlorine will end up in your pool, as the shelf life reduces the chlorine effectiveness. So, we do not recommend using retail liquid bleach.
- If you are using the same chlorine you always have, then you can add without problems. If this is the first time adding chlorine, or you have switched brands or the type of chlorine, then you should add a portion, and retest the chlorine level to avoid adding too much chlorine. Adding too much chlorine can contribute to higher combined chlorine levels.
- If you use a chlorine floater, these tend to get pulled toward your skimmer. Depending on your pool configuration, you can tie the floater to one section of the pool, preferably where the water flow rate is high.
- Always keep chlorine on hand to avoid a gap in chlorine levels. If you use trichlor tablets for example, when you are getting to the bottom of your bucket, you need to make a trip to the pool retailer.
- If you test, or have tested, your cyanuric acid and it is getting to be high , then you have two choices:
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When Do I Need To Shock My Pool
On average it is recommended that a pool owner shock their pool at least once a week during peak swimming season. However, it should be noted that the need to shock your pool should really be dictated by how often and how many bathers use your pool in direct correlation to weather conditions such as long periods of sun or rain.
As a general guide, you should shock your pool when:
- Algae begins to grow in your pool
- The free chlorine level of your pool measures zero
- The combined chlorine level rises above 0.5
Drain Some Water And Refill The Pool
If time is not a consideration, draining and refilling some of the pool water is also an option. Keep in mind: This may affect your pools chemical balance . In the event that you decide to drain and refill your pool, here are a few guidelines:
- Drain and replace about to ½ of the pool water. If your pool has a liner, NEVER drain your entire pool.
- Use one or more garden hoses and drop them into the side of the pool to replace the water.
- Test the chemical levels and adjust accordingly.
- Chlorine levels can take some time to return to normal levels.
How To Raise Pool Chlorine
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals recommends keeping free chlorine between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm. The Center for Disease Control recommends free chlorine be kept above 1.0 ppm for pools and 3.0 ppm for hot tubs. If you find your free chlorine to be below these recommended ranges, it is important to add the appropriate chemicals to your pool to increase free chlorine back to the desired level.There are several chemicals that may be used to raise your free chlorine. These include chlorine gas, chlorine tablets, sodium hypochlorite , calcium hypochlorite , trichloroisocyanuric acid , dichlorine , and lithium hypochlorite. For more information about each of these sanitizing agents, read our post Types of Pool Chlorine Sanitizers.To determine how much sanitizer to add to raise your free chlorine to the desired levels, we recommend using the Pool Calcualtors free chlorine test. More information about how to use the test can be found in the video below. When your free chlorine levels get too low, we recommend using calcium hypochlorite to raise them back up.
Chlorine Alternatives To Sanitize Your Pool
Chlorine is without a doubt the best and most effective sanitizer on the market. However, there are several reasons why some people go another route.
Some people are just more sensitive to the stuff than others, for example. And some people just prefer using something a little gentler.
Whatever the reason, there are a few other things you can try.
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Raise The Level Of Pool Chlorine
Raising pool chlorine can be much easier than trying to lower chlorine levels. Simply adding chlorine in the form of chlorine tablets, granular chlorine, liquid shock or powder shock will increase the total amount of chlorine within the pool. It is always better to start small when adding chlorine to avoid over chlorinating and test your levels to see if the pool will require more chlorine to be added after.
Chlorine is the number one used pool chemical. We sell Chlorine in 3 Chlorine Tablets and Chlorine Granular form.
How To Raise Free Chlorine In Pool Water
OK, so you have tested the water in your swimming pool, and you determine that you have low free chlorine in the pool. The next question is, how do you raise the free chlorine level back up?
When chlorine is being added to a pool, the amount of free chlorine residing in the water is being increased. So, just remember that your chlorine level should be anywhere between 1 and 4 parts per million . Ideally, the perfect level is 3 ppm.
There are a couple ways you can do this, with liquid chlorine or granulated chlorine. However, experts recommend granulated over liquid. Its a much more powerful substance. Listed below are some of the most useful ways to manually raise your pools chlorine level.
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Stop Adding Chlorine And Start Swimming
For chlorine measurements only slightly higher than the recommended chlorine concentration, lowering chlorine levels in your pool can be as easy as not adding chlorine to your pool.
Switch off your chlorine feeder, remove the chlorine floater from the pool or remove chlorine tablets from the skimmer. Abating the continual influx of chlorine into your pool allows the chlorine currently in the pool to get used. Swimming in the pool can help speed up this process as the chlorine works to eliminate the bacteria introduced by the swimmers.
Stabilized Versus Unstabilized Chlorine
The type of chlorine you routinely add to your pool will likely be stabilized chlorine. This is chlorine with cyanuric acid added to the chlorine which increases the time the chlorine will stay stabilized in sunlit pool water. The addition of cyanuric acid helps maintain chlorine levels in outdoor pools up to three to five times versus adding unstabilized chlorine. Unstabilized chlorine does not have a cyanuric acid added to the chlorine and must be added separately.
When you shock the pool with chlorine-based shock, this is typically made of unstabilized chlorine, as adding stabilized chlorine to shock the pool would increase the cyanuric acid levels of the pool too much.
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How To Reduce Chlorine Levels In The Pool
First things first, if chlorine levels are too high, stop adding chlorine! Turn off your automatic chlorinator or remove your chlorine floater from the pool. There are a few different ways to lower the chlorine levels in your pool:
The least expensive option is to allow the chlorine to dissipate naturally. After shocking the pool, leave the water uncovered, and allow the chlorine time to gas off on its own. Aerating the pool and circulating or agitating the water will help excess chlorine dissipate more quickly. But if youve accidentally added too much chlorine shock, and you need to use the pool sooner than later, there are a few other methods will help get you back in the pool faster. Pools located in shady areas may not be able to use this method reliably since its largely dependent on direct sunlight.
When using Sodium Thiosulfate, add 2 oz. per 10,000 gallons of pool water to lower chlorine levels by 1.0 ppm. If using chemical methods to reduce chlorine levels, this one is probably the cheapest and most reliable method.
Why Does Chlorine Need To Be Tested Regularly
All sorts of things can reduce chlorine concentration in pool or hot tub/spa water. Free available chlorine breaks down pee, poop, sweat, and dirt from swimmers bodies instead of killing germs and uses up chlorine, which means there is less to kill germs. The sunlight and hot tub/spa jets creating droplets or mists from the water also uses up free chlorine. Thats why the free chlorine concentration must be routinely tested. And remember, the time it takes for free chlorine to kill germs is also affected by the other member of the disinfection team, pH.
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You Have No Stabilizer
As effective as chlorine is at sanitizing pools, it has one major weakness.
When exposed to the suns UV rays, even in water, chlorine is literally burned off and released into the air.
This is why outdoor pools, or any pool under direct sunlight, require a chlorine stabilizer to shield their chlorine from the sun. Without a stabilizer, free chlorine can disappear from an exposed pool in a matter of minutes.
This is also why shock treatment is often added to a pool at night, as it ensures it has enough time to work before the sun comes into play.
Solution: Add 30 to 50 parts per million of cyanuric acid to your pool in order to protect it against UV light.
What Ph Balance Is So Important
As you can tell, off-balance pH levels can cause some issues. For example:
- Low pH irritates the skin and eyes. It can also irritate the mucous membranes in your nasal cavity. This is because acidic water will strip away your bodys natural oils.
- Low pH corrodes equipment. Everything in contact with acidic water is basically being worn away, which is why if left unchecked, it will corrode your plumbing, accessories, liners and other equipment.
- Unbalanced pH kills chlorines power. Whether its low or high, unbalanced pH is the super-villain of your pools germ-fighting hero. In this scenario, you can add all the chlorine you want and your pH levels will render it useless.
- High pH clouds the water. While cloudy water in and of itself is not necessarily unsafe, it does usually signal an underlying issue. And besides, no one wants to swim in murky water!
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What Should I Do If I Cant Get A Chlorine Reading
If you cannot get a chlorine reading when testing your pool water, you need to determine if your pool has a High Demand For ChlorineThe quickest way to determine if your pool is experiencing a high demand for chlorine is to perform a test for free and total chlorine.
Free chlorine shows the level of disinfecting chlorine available to sanitise your pool. Free chlorine isnt interacting with contaminants, yet. Total chlorine is the amount of chlorine, used or not, in your water.
In the test, if your free chlorine reading matches your total chlorine reading, your pool is NOT experiencing a high demand for chlorine. This is a normal reading.
However, if your free chlorine reading is different from your total chlorine reading, then theres a problem. You shouldnt have a free chlorine reading of 3 and a total chlorine reading of 7.
What Causes Chlorine Demand
Aside from bather load and debris, you may also run into this issue in the spring when you open your pool.
During the winter, as the water sat stagnant and untreated, it may have accumulated quite a bit of organic contaminants that will take a lot of chlorine to neutralize. This could also happen if the pool is open, but hasnt been cared for properly or in a long time.
Heavy rainfall can also be a factor depending on the chemical makeup of the rainwater. Theres no way to test this for sure, but if you have trouble maintaining a chlorine reading after a rainstorm, chances are you have chlorine demand.
Runoff can introduce contaminants into the water that will essentially use up all the chlorine. Be sure to keep fertilizers or other non-pool chemicals away from the pool.
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United Chemical No Mor Problems
No Mor Problems is designed to work synergistically with the chlorine in your pool. The special formulation breaks up chloramines and reduces the need to add extra chlorine back into the pool. It also works to clarify your pool water and unclog filters to speed up filtration times. No Mor Problems is also an algaecide, which means that it eliminates algae and prevents regrowth. Best of all, it is completely biodegradable and non-toxic, so it is safe for your family.
Why Is Raising Swimming Pool Chlorine Important
This Page at a Glance
If your pool at least partially relies on chlorine as a sanitizer and you find your chlorine level to be low, then it is critical you adjust the chlorine level up.
You generally want to maintain a level of 1 3 ppm of chlorine in your pool, although for commercial pools they generally need a level of 3 5 ppm. The low limit of 1 ppm is important, as levels less than 1 ppm are not effective at keeping the water sanitized. Because of this, experts often recommend you keep your residential chlorine level at 2-3 ppm. The diagram below shows where your home swimming pool chlorine level fits in a chlorine range of 0 10 ppm:
A visual guide to your swimming pool chlorine level.
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High Levels Of Contaminants
This is easily the most common cause of chlorine loss.
Because if there are any contaminants in your water, your chlorine is going to attack them. And in the process, your chlorine will get used up, which lowers your chlorine levels.
But thats whats supposed to happen, at least at a gradual rate. If its happening really fast, then its time to check the water
A pile of leaves at the bottom of the pool soaks up your chlorine the same way bodily oils from swimmers do. Point being, all contaminants, both the ones you can and cant see have a major effect on your chlorine levels.
Here are a few common contaminants that cause chlorine loss in swimming pools:
- Affects your pools pH, which controls chlorine effectiveness
To prevent contaminant-related pool chlorine loss:
You Have An Algae Bloom
Algae is nasty stuff once it begins to take hold, it can take a huge amount of sanitizer to properly kill it off.
This is whats known as having a high chlorine demand, and it means your daily chlorine level gets used up almost instantly as it tries to fight off a potent source of contamination.
While even early-stage algae are often visible, its not always obvious you have algae just by looking at your water.
Solution: Brush your walls to dislodge algae and shock your pool to completely kill everything in the water. This requires a chlorine dose thats 10 times stronger than your usual level.
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