Replace Your Pools Water
Dilution is ultimately the best remedy for balancing your chlorine levels f they are much too high.
You have to realize that your pools pH, calcium hardness, alkalinity, and other properties will also change with this option. Youre basically getting a fresh start.
This option can be expensive and takes a while. You should drain around 1/4 of your pools water and then fill it back up.
Once the new water has thoroughly circulated for a few hours, test the water at an elbow deep depth once again. Repeat the process until your chlorine levels are back in the ideal 1.0-3.0 ppm range.
Youll now also have to go through the steps to balance and equalize all of the other water properties in your pool such as pH, alkalinity, hardness, and cyanuric acid levels.
How Do I Lower Free Chlorine Level
Postby lisab»Fri 30 May, 2008 19:05
Postby Denali»Fri 30 May, 2008 19:45
lisab wrote:New pool owners – have only shocked the pool 4 times. The first three times the level went up to 10, then back to almost zero by the next day. Last night we shocked the pool, had filter running most of night and my test strips are showing the free chlorine to still be really high.1. We shocked the pool and then put solar cover on. Should we have left it off? Also had solar cover on most of the day today. Would that have anything to do with it?2. If necessary, how do you lower the chlorine level 3. We were told to shock the pool once per week. If the FC level is still high, should we be shocking it?Sorry! We’re new pool owners and very confused! Thank you!
Can Too Much Chlorine Cause Cloudy Water
Is your pool water looking a little dishwater-esque?
It happens to even the savviest of pool owners, so dont hit the panic button yet.
It is not unusual to have cloudy water with high chlorine levels in the pool. But while it is possible to have both cloudy water AND high chlorine levels in the pool, the cause of cloudiness is NOT because of high chlorine levels rather, your pools cloudy water is caused by some other underlying issues such as water balance, filtration, algae, or water mold issues. The very first step you need to take in fixing cloudy water is to test your pool water. Once you have your results from your test strip or test kit, read on.
Total chlorine is high & free chlorine is low
If your total chlorine level is high, but your free chlorine is low, that means most of the chlorine you have in your pool is already combined into something called chloramines combined chlorine is not available to sanitize your water. As a result, you may not have enough active chlorine to keep the water clear. So, this is a situation where your total chlorine is high and your water is cloudy, but its not the high chlorine thats causing the cloudiness its the low free available chlorine level thats actually making your water murky. In this case, youll need to shock your pool to get rid of the combined chlorine and keep the pool clear.
What if my total chlorine and free chlorine levels are both high?
So, what now? How do I fix a cloudy pool?
If You See Algae
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How Important Is Free Chlorine In Pool Water
Maintaining an appropriate FC level is the most important part of keeping your water clear and sanitary. Free chlorine is the primary sanitizer for pool water and one must maintain a proper residual concentration of chlorine in water at all times .
When free chlorine levels drop too low or go to zero, algae and pathogens are able to grow and replicate in your pool water. Pool water can have low FC levels and be hazardous to the health of swimmers even when the water is clear! This is why TFP will always say –
Clear water is not a sign of clean water!
Lowering Pool Chlorine By Replacing Existing Pool Water
Refilling a portion of your swimming pool can help reduce the chlorine level.
You can also reduce the chlorine level by replacing some of your pool water. There are several drawbacks to this method, however. The first is time. It will take some time to partially drain a pool and even more time to fill it. The second is cost. With many municipal water sources charging tiered rates, you can easily run your water usage into a 2nd or 3rd water pricing tier, significantly increasing the cost of water added to your pool. The third is you could throw your water out of balance, as pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and many other levels out of balance, causing more testing an more chemical expense. If your chlorine is high and you were going to backwash the sand filter, then this would be one reason to replace some of the water. Another reason is if you had other levels too high, such as total dissolved solids, copper, or cyanuric acid levels.
No matter which way you choose, always retest your chlorine level after you intentionally lower the chlorine.
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How High Is Too
Every persons sensitivity to chlorine is different, and when free chlorine is over 5 ppm, swimmers may experience itchy skin or irritated eyes, and dry hair.
Pools will naturally gas-off chlorine from the surface, and very high levels can irritate airways and lungs when inhaled for prolonged periods, especially indoor pools.
At chlorine levels over 10 ppm, swimsuits can begin to fade, and pool covers become damaged, and it may be unhealthy for swimmers. Generally speaking, for overall swimmer comfort and safety, close the pool and keep solar covers removed, until chlorine levels are below 5 ppm.
Use A Chlorine Neutralizing Product
There are many chlorine neutralizing products available on the market that are specially formulated to reduce the amount of chlorine in your pool without disrupting the pH, alkalinity or water hardness levels. Add the neutralizer gradually to avoid removing too much chlorine and needing to readjust the levels again.
Depending on the level of chlorine present in your pool, you may need to use multiple treatments to return the pool to a safe level for swimming.
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Risks Of High Chlorine Levels
Chlorine, when at the right level, is harmless to humans. Unfortunately, at extreme levels, it can pose health risks to anyone exposed to it.
The most common result of a pool with high chlorine levels is discoloring. This can lead to your brand new bathing suit fading too fast. Since chlorine can damage colors, it can even affect recently dyed hair.
Some common health issues caused by exposure to high levels of chlorine include:
- Respiratory illness such as asthma due to the excess chlorine vapor formed on the surface of the pool
- Eye irritation and over dilated blood vessels in the eyes, for those of you who prefer swimming without goggles
- Dry skin and hair
- Skin irritation characterized by a red rash with raised itchy bumps
Typically, these symptoms of high chlorine levels clear up after a few days or weeks. One extreme effect, though rare, is chlorine poisoning, which usually requires immediate medical attention.
Besides health concerns, excess chlorine levels could eventually damage your pool equipment and pool cover.
How To Tell If Your Pool Has Too Much Chlorine
The chlorine in your pool is made up of two types of chlorine compounds. Free chlorine is the âgoodâ type of chlorine that is still available to eliminate bacteria and microorganisms. Combined chlorine, also known as chloramines, is what happens after the chlorine has combined with organic matter and is responsible for the characteristic smell associated with chlorinated pools.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot smell how much chlorine is in your pool. Dry hair, sensitive skin and irritated eyes are all indicators of an over-chlorinated pool, but there is a less inconvenient and safer way to find out whether your pool has too much chlorine.
A DPD testing kit measures free and combined chlorine levels to give a total chlorine count. You could also use an OTO kit, but this only measures the free chlorine available in your pool. These types of titration tests are the most accurate method for determining the chlorine levels in your pool and help you better assess how to lower the chlorine levels in your pool if necessary.
To use the DPD testing kit, measure out a small amount of pool water and add buffered DPD powder to the water, which turns pink. Next, add a specialized FAS compound one drop at a time until the water transforms from pink to clear. Each drop of FAS compound is equivalent to 0.2 ppm of chlorine.
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Ways To Lower Chlorine Levels Fast
The good news is that if your chlorine levels are too high, time and sunlight will actually bring them down on their own. Its not the quickest way to get results, but its a natural part of the chemical reactions happening in your pool and will solve the problem given time.
No matter which option you choose, the first step is to remove all chlorine sources from your pool. Turn off the chlorinator, chlorine feeder, or saltwater chlorine generator and take the chlorine tablet out of the pool skimmer or floater.
Why Is My Total Chlorine High But Free Chlorine Low
To make sure your pool is sanitized, your free chlorine should remain higher than your combined chlorine. This occurs when too much stabilizer is added to the water or when the swimming pool isnt being partially drained and refilled periodically. Chlorine lock can also occur if the pH is unbalanced.
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Why Don’t They Make Chlorine Tabs Without The Added Cya
Chlorine is a gas. It must be trapped by some material for a residential pool owner to use it. The most stable and economically viable are:
- Calcium – Calcium Hypochlorite, or
- Water – sodium hypochlorite .
There are cal-hypo tablets that do not contain CYA. You need a special feeder for them. They will add calcium to your water whoch can cause other unwanted problems as the pool CH rises. Calcium is the same as CYA, it does not go away without draining the pool water.
That is why a Salt Water Chlorine Generator is so easy and appropriate for a residential pool owner. You create your chlorine on site. Only thing you use is electricity. The device that creates the chlorine will last years if properly sized and water chemistry is properly maintained.
Make The Switch To Saltwater
This isnt a total chlorine workaround, but you wont have to add chlorine to your pool again.
Basically, a saltwater pool uses a salt cell to make chlorine on-site. That means that its also super stable, low chlorine levels. As a result, a saltwater pool has less irritating water. In fact, a saltwater pool has a similar salinity as the human eye duct. Thats why swimmers can feel the difference.
An added bonus is that saltwater pools have much lower levels of chloramines. That means more safety and less irritation.
Always wanted a saltwater pool but never thought you could cut it? It only takes a few hours of labor to make the switch, and if youre comfortable with installing electric units, you could even do it yourself.
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Lessen Pool Chlorine With A Chlorine Neutralizing Chemical
Several chemicals exist that will reduce the chlorine in your pool. If, for example, you are having guests arriving within a short amount of time and they plan to use the pool, then reducing the chlorine with a chemical neutralizer is your best option. The key is to follow the directions exactly from the product label, or you risk stripping your pool completely of chlorine.
Will Baking Soda Lower Chlorine Level In Pool
Baking soda can help to lower chlorine levels, but not directly. Sodium Bicarbonate aka Baking Soda is a high alkaline chemical, which raises waters pH and alkalinity. Hydrogen Peroxide wont work properly if your pool waters pH is low. So, adding a little bit of baking soda can make the difference by increasing the pH level of your pool water and help Hydrogen Peroxide to work effectively to reduce the chlorine levels. So, baking soda can influence the chlorine neutralization process.
Just keep in mind, higher pH speed up the chlorine evaporation and will produce chlorine gas. Thus, the chlorine evaporation will help to lower your pool chlorine, but, this will create too much chlorine smell around the pool, and people will get confused and start to think that, the pool has too much chlorine.
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How To Lower The Chlorine Level In Your Pool: 5 Simple Solutions
Want to learn how to lower the chlorine level in your pool?
Weve got you covered with these 5 simple solutions that will have you back to swimming safely in no time!
But what do you do if after all of that, your chlorine levels are too high?
What are some quick ways to lower the chlorine level in your pool so that you and your family can safely enjoy it?
Keep reading below to check out 5 simple solutions to test and lower the chlorine level in your pool.
How To Lower Ph Levels Using Sodium Bisulfate
If you choose to use a sodium bisulfate product to lower your pH or alkalinity levels, be sure to use some precautions.
Try not to use it on a windy day so that the powder wont blow back onto your skin or eyes, and get down close to the water when adding it to get as much of the product into the pool as you can, rather than into the air.
Then take the following steps:
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What Is The Difference Between Active And Reserve Chlorine
A good analogy for the role of active and reserve chlorine is this – think of the chlorine in your pool as an army. The solders on the front lines fighting the enemy are your active chlorine species. The reserve chlorine species are your soldiers waiting behind the front lines ready to replace an active soldier that dies in combat.
How To Measure Chlorine Levels In A Pool
The only real way to measure chlorine is to use a test kit specifically made for your pool. Keep in mind, this is a chlorine test, not a pH test.
However, most kits, like this one, will also easily measure pH, alkalinity, and other levels in your water.
These kits will have step-by-step instructions on the packaging that should be followed. The following is a general rundown of the process.
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Testing Very High Chlorine Levels
When testing very high levels of chlorine, 10 ppm is the maximum tested by kits or strips, and at higher levels than that DPD test samples will bleach out, or strips turn clear. If this happens, dilute your test sample with half distilled water , and multiply by two.
For example, shake out half of the water test vial and refill with distilled water, then multiply your test result x 2 to obtain readings above 10 ppm. The same can be done with test strips by mixing a cup of pool water with a cup of distilled water, or any water that has no chlorine or a known, lower chlorine reading.
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.
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To Decrease Chlorine Levels In Your Pool
- Here are the quickest ways to decrease chlorine levels in your pool:
- Stop adding chlorine to the pool water
- Heat the pool water: When water heats up, it allows bacteria to grow, which requires extra chlorine
- Dilute the pool by adding more water: You can do this by draining a portion of the pool water out and adding fresh water back in