What Is Chlorine Really And Why Should You Care
Chlorine kills bacteria through a simple chemical reaction. When you add chlorine solution into your pool, it breaks down into many different chemicals, including hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion .
Both of these chemicals kill microorganisms and bacteria, then combine with other chemicals , rendering them oxidized and harmless.
Chlorine can have some unpleasant side effects, however. Its a strong chemical with a very strong odor that can sometimes cause swimmers to have itchy skin after a dip, or to notice some color fading on their brand-new bikini. Ugh, what a bummer.
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
What Is Total Chlorine
Total chlorine is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine. Inexpensive chlorine tests, such as the common OTO test, which shows total chlorine as different shades of yellow, measure true chlorine because it is easier to test for than free chlorine and combined chlorine. In normal operation total chlorine can be used as if it was free chlorine because combined chlorine is usually zero. However when you have algae or some other problems, combined chlorine levels can be significant and total chlorine becomes useless.
PRO TIP: Save money on testing equipment by using a low-cost testing kit or test strips that measure total chlorine. Under normal conditions, you may simply assume total chlorine is the same as free chlorine. If you notice any algae, or experience a lingering chlorine smell, you may want to shock your pool.
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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.
Why You Have Low Alkalinity
The total alkalinity of pool water is directly correlated to the pH level of the water, inextricably linked like peanut butter and jam. When the pH level goes down, so goes the alkalinity, tilting the water from a neutral state to an acidic one.
If this is happening in your pool, its probably due to one of the following reasons:
The first one is rain. Rainwater is a common offender in the lowering of a pools pH level because it has a slightly acidic pH level of 5.
When it falls, it picks up atmospheric pollutants like sulfates, phosphates, and nitrates, becoming even more acidic. This acidity is then injected into the water, causing a drop in pH and alkalinity.
Pollutants from people in the pool is another reason for low alkalinity. A persons sweat or urine can alter the pool water chemistry. So, for everyones sake, try not to pee in the swimming pool, mkay?
Finally, chlorine tablets can be another reason for falling alkalinity. While they raise pH during shocking, the tablets themselves have a low pH level. As a result, using them will diminish your waters alkalinity level .
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Test The Fac Concentration So You Know How Much You Have To Raise It
How to raise free chlorine and bromine in pool. New way to tell if a pool is bromine or chlorine. On the other hand, chlorine can dissipate quickly. Add each directly to the pool water.
Some kits include a scale to indicate the bromine level, but if yours doesn’t, simply multiply the number on the free chlorine scale by 2.25 to determine the bromine level. 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. You cannot shock a pool now and then.
How to raise chlorine & bromine in a pool. Bleach is quite effective in increasing the free chlorine in an inexpensive way. Just make sure you are not using scented bleach or specialized bleach
Then place the chlorinator back into the pool, and the pool is ready to be used again. Chlorine is less expensive than bromine. When it comes to effectiveness, chlorine kills bacteria faster than bromine.
If spoon feeding chemicals, you may need to increase the amount added or the frequency. Add bromine to the pool if the test indicates that the level is below two ppm. You are creating chlorine so don’worry about the bromine reading as it does not apply to you.
Use your chlorine test kit to measure the chlorine level of the pool. Increase the amount of chlorine/bromine being used. What does free chlorine mean on test strip?
What Is Free Chlorine Combined Chlorine And Total Chlorine Pool Calculator
Raising Swimming Pool Chlorine
What Is The Difference Between Free Chlorine And Shock
Free chlorine is the standard chlorine that you use to sanitize your pool. When you shock a pool, you are making use of more amount or dose of chlorine to raise the free chlorine level in the water, quickly. Free chlorine keeps the water clean, whereas shocking is the process of applying chemicals to purify the water in the pool.
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Raising Pool Chlorine Can Be Much Easier Than Trying To Lower Chlorine Levels
How to raise free chlorine in my pool. Total chlorine is the amount of chlorine, used or not, in your water. 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. 3) turn on your filter.
This tool will tell you what you need to do in order to adjust your pool’s free chlorine level. Pool professionals who know how to raise free chlorine in pool use the higher ten times multiplier to make sure they have enough chlorine in the pool. Best time to shock a pool to raise free chlorine.
Start by testing the fac (free available. I put the liquid chlorine in about 2 hours ago and my fc level is at 2.5. Free chlorine isnt interacting with contaminants, yet.
Adjust your pool’s free chlorine level! I have a 18 foot round pool and i seem to be having chlorine demand i test the water and i get no chlorine reading i took a sample to a local pool store and they said my total chlorine was at around a 3 and my free was at 0 my ph and alkalinity reading are fine my cya is a little high at 80 but it read that last year and didnt have this problem i added powder chlorine and then tried liquid. Free chlorine too low and won’t budge where do you live?
How do i raise the free chlorine in my pool? A swimming pool chemical calculator. So, unless you are adding chlorine into your pool at a.
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Best Time To Shock A Pool To Raise Free Chlorine
You cannot shock a pool now and then. Evening or night is the best time to shock the pool. The reason is most of the people dont use the pool at this period. The process needs about five to six hours to complete. Therefore, you should let it run overnight.
Another viable opportunity to shock a pool is right after there has been a pool party. Whenever theres a communal gathering of people, the pool water will get a lot more polluted than usual. So, if you can deploy the shocking mechanism right after everyone has left the pool, itll be most effective in raising the free chlorine levels.
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What Is Chlorine And Why Should You Care
Chlorine is a chemical element thats used as an ingredient in a wide range of different types of products. Because of the disinfectant and bleaching capabilities of chlorine, its used as an ingredient in many cleaning products. Chlorine is also used in the creation of a wide range of basic consumer products, which include everything from paints and papers to textiles. This chemical is necessary in the production of PVC as well, which is a kind of plastic that can be the primary material for water pipes, vinyl flooring, and window frames.
What Happens If Free Chlorine Is Low
You might be familiar with at least one of the common side-effects of swimming: sore eyes, skin irritations, fading swimming costumes, and that odd smell that lingers until we take a shower. Those are some of the effects of low levels of free chlorine in the water.
When free chlorine levels are low, the little amount left in the pool water will be used up quickly by fast-growing microorganisms like bacteria, and this makes the pool unsafe for swimming.
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How To Reduce Pool Or Spa Chlorine Levels
Maintaining the correct chlorine level can be tricky. Different times of year require different levels of chlorine in a pool, as do varied levels of pool use.
And when super-chlorinating or shocking the pool, which is to raise the chlorine level to very high ranges to remove algae, bacteria and chloramines from the pool, its very easy to overshoot the mark, and over-chlorinate the pool.
Normal pool chlorine levels are usually 1.0 ppm to 3.0 ppm, depending on the level of stabilizer in the water . If your pool water is much higher than 2-3 ppm, read on
The Pools Filtration System
Proper water circulation and filtration are paramount to creating a healthy environment in the pool. When the pools filter is faulty, it can affect water circulation which may lead to a buildup as the skimmer will not be effective in removing debris. This in turn causes the free chlorine level to drop.
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Free Chlorine Vs Combined Chlorine Vs Total Chlorine
- |July 27, 2019
Taking care of your pool doesnt have to be a chore or a chemistry experiment. But chlorine levels in your pool should be measured and tracked on an ongoing basis. This simple task will keep your pool clean, disinfected, and sparkling all year long.
You dont need to be a trained chemist for this, we promise. Well break down the 3 chlorine statesfree chlorine, combined chlorine, and total chlorineand what they can tell you about the cleanliness of your pool.
Need a quick answer? Free chlorine is unused and ready to sanitize. Combined chlorine has already been used up but is still present in the water. Total chlorine is the sum of both.
Pool Chemical Monitoring Systems
There are a wide variety of pool monitoring systems that you can use to make sure that the water in your pool is clean from impurities. Its important to monitor the water quality in your pool because the buildup of impurities can lead to the development of harmful algae that can make it unsafe to swim in the pool.
The main systems that you can use to monitor your pool include:
- Automatic pool chemical monitoring systems
- Smart pool monitoring devices with wireless functionality
- DIY monitoring with an electronic meter
- DIY monitoring with standard pool test kits
Here at Sensorex, we can provide you with the sensors and testing equipment that you need to consistently monitor the quality of your pool water. Contact us today if you need help identifying which products are right for you.
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Dealing With An Excess
If the DPD test indicates that the combined chlorine is mainly monochloramine, then the free chlorine residual should be re-checked, to make sure it is at the right level. If it is, then the chances are there is too much ammonia, so bathing loads or pollution from bathers may be too high. Or it can indicate that the pool hydraulics are poor or the turnover period may be too long. If the combined chlorine content is predominately monochloramine it should be reduced by raising the free chlorine to ensure that breakpoint chlorination is being achieved.
If the pool water treatment system is operating effectively and the design bather load is not being exceeded then monochloramine and dichloramine should, during normal operation, be brought under control in an hour or so by breakpoint chlorination. This is complicated by the slow formation of ammonia from the breakdown of urea, by the recycling nature of the swimming pool water, and continual pool loading. But it should be possible to follow the ratios of combined to free chlorine and draw conclusions accordingly.
For example, if maintaining the correct level of chlorination reduces combined chlorine, the pool water is satisfactory. If increasing free chlorine also increases the combined chlorine, the pool water is unsatisfactory.
Its Important To Keep A Close Eye On Your Free Chlorine
So be sure to pay close attention to the free chlorine level in your pool every time you take a test reading of the water. You now know how important it is to know the amount of chlorine in your pool thats free and available to act as a sanitizer.
Keeping your free chlorine at the proper level will help your pool water be safer to swim in and keep it clear and pleasant to look at too. If you are not going to look at one chlorine measurement than ignore total chlorine because free chlorine is much too critical to proper pool water chemistry to overlook.
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Why Is Free Chlorine Level High/low In My Saltwater Pool
Like you learned earlier, you need to measure and adjust the FC level in your water by adjusting the percentage settings in your saltwater chlorine generator.
The higher you set the percentage in your saltwater generator, the more chlorine it will produce, and the more FCL will be high in your water.
You only need to raise FCL when it’s low or reduce it when high and that should be done in the percentage settings of your chlorine generator after taking FC reading.
As such, never adjust your SWCG before measuring and knowing the level of FC in your water.
Why Do Combined Chlorine Levels Matter
Having more than 0.2 ppm of combined chlorine indicates that your chlorine is falling behind. Your chlorine is fighting a significant enough oxidant demandparticularly with nitrogen compounds like ammoniathat its ability to sanitize is becoming compromised. This is a potential problem for the health and safety of bathers, since chlorine is the primary sanitizer. It’s our first line of defense against Recreational Water Illnesses .
Combined chlorine levels are also a reliable metric that tells us additional informationmuch like ORP does. We can tell instantly how efficient our chlorine is.
But as far as indoor air quality is concerned, combined chlorine is the closest measurement we have for knowing the rate and severity of airborne chloramine production. The higher the combined chlorine, the worse the air is going to smell. So it behooves pool operators to take combined chlorine seriously try to mitigate it in the first place, and reduce it when it climbs.
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How To Determine The Correct Swcg Percentage Setting
To know the right SWCG percentage setting to produce the ideal level of chlorine for your pool, you have to be aware of few things and they are:-
1). Determine the right FC level for your pool. FCL in your water goes hand in hand with the level of Cyanuric acid in your water.
2). Measure the actual FCL in your water and compare it with the appropriate FCL in your SWCG. Testing FC level should be done in the evening so that when it’s low, you adjust your chlorine generator percentage setting appropriately.
3). If the level of FC in your water is low, increase the percentage of your SWCG to produce more chlorine and reduce the percentage if the FCL is high.
4). If the FC level is not balanced within an hour, wait for 48 hours and repeat steps 2 and 3 until your FCL is balanced with the Cyanuric acid level in your water.