Ultraviolet Pool Sanitizing Light
Ultraviolet sanitation is a powerful disinfection method that uses short-wavelength UV light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by disrupting their DNA. UV light destroys cysts, algae, viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, and even kills pathogens that are chlorine-resistant, such as E. Coli, Giardia, Cyclospora, and Cryptosporidium.
Why Is My Chlorine Level So High
Overdosing your pool with chlorine is actually fairly easy to do, especially if youre not testing regularly.
Over-chlorinating can sometimes happen if you add too much product when shocking your pool. It can also happen if you have a problem with your liquid chlorine pump or leave it running too long.
Or you might simply mismeasure during regular maintenance.
Alternatives To Chlorine For Swimming Pools
Chlorine tends to be a go-to sanitation chemical for many pool-owners. Not only does it kill germs and bacteria, but it also oxidizes pool watereliminating organic debris like body oil, perspiration, and hair. By deterring algae, a chlorine system can assure your pools water, floor, walls, and tile are clean around the year.
Still, some homeowners opt for alternatives to chlorine. Chlorine has a rather strong odor, and it can aggravate the eyes and skin due to allergic reactions. Fortunately, several alternatives to chlorine exist. While some alternatives technically still utilize chlorine, albeit naturally creating it, others sidestep the issues caused by chlorine altogether.
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What Chemicals Should Be Kept On
As a minimum, the average pool will want to keep the following chemicals on hand even if you use a salt chlorinator, you will need these other pool chemicals from time to time:
- Chlorine tablets and pool shock
- Pool pH Up and/or pH Down
- Test strips or test kit
Every pool will also need other chemicals to raise calcium, cyanuric or alkalinity levels, usually once per year and clarifiers, enzymes, algaecides can be an important part of the overall routine, or are especially handy when youre in a pinch!
Theres lots to learn, with 12 categories of pool chemicals you wont need them all but its important to understand what they do, so that when you do need them, you know which chemical to use!
Calculating The Capacity Of Rectangular And/or Freeform Pools:
The formula for calculating the gallons in a generally rectangular pool, including freeform pools with more or less rectangular structures, is:
Length x width x average depth x 7.5
For example, a freeform pool like our I30 design is 30 feet long and 14 feet wide. Its depth ranges from 39 to 56 — its average depth might be about 49. With 12 inches in a foot, you need to calculate inches as a percentage of 12 rather than simply using the inches after your decimal point — 9 of 12 is 0.75, so the calculation for the I30 is:
30 x 14 x 4.75 x 7.5 or about 14,960 gallons.
The I30s true capacity is actually just 7,950 gallons, because it has a large tanning ledge and ample bench seating.
Most pools will probably have a true capacity well below the estimates youll get from this formula, because theyre also likely to have shallow-water features and forms that arent easy to measure or account for.
This is why its so important to ask your pool builder for accurate measurements, and why you should add bleach or other treatments in batches or stages, while testing your water after each round of added treatment.
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Salt Water Chlorine Generator
Salt has become very popular as an alternative way to generate and maintain Free Available Chlorine levels, providing an enjoyable swimming experience. Pool salt systems use salt in the pool water to generate chlorine through the process of electrolysis. Salt water passes through a salt cell where it receives an electric charge, converting it into chlorine. It does this consistently to keep the Free Available Chlorine level steady, and chloramines low.
Free Available Chlorine is what keeps your water clean, clear, and sanitized. However, if your pool smells like chlorine, theres a good chance that it actually needs MORE chlorine, as you may have a high chloramine level. Chloramines, or combined chlorine, are the real reason you hear about skin irritation and the chlorine smell. Chloramines happen when your Free Available Chlorine has combined with ammonia and other swimmer wastes. To remove chloramines, all you have shock or superchlorinate the water. This is where salt water pools excel, and a large part of what makes them so desirable.
- No more buckets of chlorine
- High initial investment, low maintenance cost
- Salt cell will need replaced every 3-5 years
Theres A New Sanitizer In Town
No matter which alternative you choose for your chlorine free pool, read and follow the manufacturers instructions carefully. If youve never used the new sanitizer before, understand that therell be a learning curve.
You want to make sure you do everything right so to make sure your non chlorine pool is sanitized and safe for summer swimming.
Happy Chlorine Free Swimming!
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Can I Just Put Chlorine In My Pool
The pulverized version of chlorine tablets can be sprinkled directly into your pool water. You can use this method if you like. Its also more time consumingtheres a lot of measuring to be doneand can, as with a chemical floater, bleach your liner or damage equipment if the chlorine builds up in one area.
Can I Add Salt To My Pool Without A Saltwater System
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It is recommended to wait at least 20 minutes to an hour after adding water balancing chemicals. You should wait 2-4 hours to swim from the moment you use calcium chloride in your pool. It is safe to swim once your chlorine levels are around 5 ppm or after 24 hours.
Subsequently, question is, what do you need for a saltwater pool? 7 Essential Chemicals you Need to Open a Salt Water Pool
- Alkalinity. Low or high alkalinity can affect the pH level which means it can throw off necessary adjustments for other chemicals.
- pH. Once you’ve covered the alkalinity levels, you’ll need to adjust the pH levels.
Moreover, how much salt do you put in a saltwater pool?
The ideal salt level is between 2700-3400 ppm with 3200 ppm being optimal. Before adding salt to your pool, test the water to check your salt level. If the level is low, determine the number of gallons in the pool and add salt according to the chart below.
Can you put too much salt in a saltwater pool?
An overly salted pool will generally not be a major problem , but at levels over 6000 ppm there may be corrosion damage to some of the metallic equipment. If you have tested the salt water levels and there is too much salt in your pool, here’s what you need to know.
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What Can I Use Instead Of Pool Shock
There are alternatives to chlorine including bromine, ionizers, and ozonators, though with each you’ll still need to use some chlorine. A fourth alternative is PHMB, which doesn’t require the use of any chlorine. All four have drawbacks, including cost. Chlorine is relatively cheap.
Beside above, how much bleach do I use to shock my pool? Calculate the amount of bleach you need based on the fact that 1 gallon will raise the free chlorine level of 30,000 gallons of water by 2 ppm. If you need to mildly shock a 30,000-gallon pool by raising the free chlorine concentration to 5 ppm, you need 2.5 gallons of bleach. To raise it to 10 ppm, you need 5 gallons.
People also ask, can you make your own pool shock?
Shock:Common unscented household bleach can be used to shock a pool. To increase the chlorine level by 5ppm in a 10,000 gallon pool, you would need 1/2 Gallon of basic household bleach.
Is shock the same as chlorine?
Chlorine is a sanitizer, and is necessary for maintaining a clear and healthy pool. Shock is chlorine, in a high dose, meant to shock your pool and raise the chlorine level quickly.
Baking Soda To Raise Ph And Alkalinity In Pools
Most people know that chlorine is an important chemical in keeping pool water safe for swimming. But adding too much chlorine can lower your pools pH as well as its total alkalinity. When alkalinity falls, it is more difficult to maintain a stable pH. Plus, a lower pH and alkalinity of your pool water creates several negative effects, from itchy skin and stinging eyes for swimmers to corrosion of your pool ladders, liner, or other components.
When your waters alkalinity is too low, any chemicals you add will exponentially affect the pH, creating a condition known as pH bounce. Youll also need to add more chlorine to get the same sanitizing effect, and your swimmers will complain. Overall, pool water with inadequate alkalinity levels can be frustrating and costly.
Fortunately, there is a simple and cost-effective way to maintain your pools alkalinity and pH. You might use it in your cookie recipes or to freshen your fridge. This handy tool for pools is none other than Arm & Hammer baking soda, although youll need pounds of it rather than a pinch.
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Pros And Cons Of Using Bromine To Sanitize Your Pool In A Nutshell:
- More stable than chlorine in hot water and at higher pH levels.
- Bromamines keep their sanitizing effects.
- Bromide ions can be reactivated, thus youll need a fewer amount of bromine tablets.
- Bromine is more expensive than chlorine.
- Its not UV resistant and can degrade easier and faster than chlorine in outdoor pools.
- It may give a slightly noticeable yellowish color to the pool water.
Why Is There A Chlorine Shortage Right Now
Blame two factors for the chlorine shortage, says CNBC. One, unsurprisingly, is COVID-19: Last summer, sales for swimming pools skyrocketed as people all over the planet stayed home during the pandemic, leading to an increased demand for prepared chlorine products.
But the other cause is more surprising: In August 2020, a chlorine plant just outside Lake Charles, Louisianaresponsible for making a bulk of the U.S.s chlorine tabletsburned down in the wake of Hurricane Laura, putting a huge dent in the production of chlorine tablets.
The BioLab facility will reopen in 2022, but in the meantime, its absence leaves just two domestic manufacturers of chlorine tablets: Occidental Petroleum and Clearon Corp. Even if both manufacturers increase production, theyd have to ramp up roughly 50 percent each to fill in the gap during the chlorine shortage.
Experts say the chlorine shortage will cause empty shelves in stores and extreme markups, which, because of the seasonal nature of pool usage, is about to come as a rude awakening to many outdoor pool owners. The financial services company IHS Markit says chlorine prices are expected to spike 70 percent this summer, compared to 2020.
If your average 50-pound bucket of chlorine used to cost $75 to $85, it now costs $140 and is expected to hit $158 in the near future, Scotty Heer, the owner of the Las Vegas-based Scottys Pool Service, told CNBC.
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How To Tell If Your Pool Has Too Much Chlorine
Hopefully, youre following our advice and testing all your chemicals at least once a week. If so, youll be able to see if your chlorine levels are too high right away.
But other things can happen to cause it to get too high and you may not realize it until you get in the pool.
Everyones sensitivity to the chemical is a little different. Some people notice itchy eyes or skin with as little as 5 ppm. Others might not notice it until its much higher.
If anyone complains of these symptoms, get everyone out of the water and test it immediately.
Smell is also a good indicator. If the levels are too high, almost everyone will notice the strong bleachy smell.
But keep in mind that there could be other reasons for the smell other than high levels. Sometimes its an indication of chlorine lock.
That also needs to be addressed quickly, but it usually means your chlorine is too low.
Chlorine Is Harsh On Your Skin And Hair
True. Even at the appropriate level in pool water, chlorine can dry your skin and make your hair brittle. And if theres copper in the water, chlorine can oxidize it, which is why blond hair turns green in the pool.
Chlorine can also bleach your swimwear, and weaken the fibers. This is why you must shower and thoroughly rinse your swimwear after swimming.
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Why Is There A Chlorine Shortage In 2021
So, how did that happen? As you may recall, 2020 was huge for at-home pools. In fact, there was a 23% increase in the number built in the United States compared to 2019, according to data from Goldman Sachs. In other words, there are a lot of pools up-and-running in 2021.
On top of that, one of the casualties of Hurricane Laurawhich hit the coast of Louisiana in August 2020was the Bio-Lab plant. The manufacturing facility produces most of the chlorine tablets used in the U.S., and it sustained significant damage in a fire resulting from the hurricane. According to Savannah Sher in an article on to BobVila.com: Bio-Lab plant isnt scheduled to recommence production until 2022, so the industry should expect to be off-kilter until then.
The Different Forms Of Chlorine
I already mentioned that chlorine used in swimming pools comes in either tablet, powder or liquid form, but there are some nuances you should be aware of before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
Each form has benefits and drawbacks, as well as different price-points, applications and overall effectiveness in specific situations. Theres no one-size fits all.
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The 6 Best Pool Chlorine Alternatives
Pools attract all kinds of pathogens and while most of them are harmless to humans, some are potentially hazardous and can cause really serious health issues. Chlorine is a very popular and inexpensive chemical used all over the world to kill germs in pools. Its popularity is not surprising: it really does a great job.
While chlorine is a really effective chemical, using it to keep your pool clean comes at a price. In certain cases, it has a strong smell and it can irritate your skin and eyes. It also requires that you regularly check and adjust your pools pH level, otherwise it becomes less effective.
If you want to keep your pool clean without chlorine, youre not alone. Theres an increasing demand for products that can serve as a reliable and safe alternative to chlorine. In this article, Ill show you the pros and cons of the most popular chlorine free and low chlorine pool systems to help you find the one that suits your needs best. You can choose from quite a few pool chlorine alternatives, so its advisable to learn about the possibilities before making a decision and investing in a new system.
The Different Types Of Chlorine
Whether you choose to go with tablet, powdered or liquid chlorine, know that these come in either unstabilized and stabilized variants.
Without turning this into a chemistry lesson, Id like to cover the basics when it comes to the different types of chlorine, and more importantly what each one means for you as a swimming pool owner.
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Healthier Alternatives To Chlorine For Swimming Pools
Chlorine, as a purification agent, has been used for water treatment and swimming pools since the early 1900s. However, there are increasing concerns of this chemicals widespread and the long-term exposure to human health. It is well documented that chlorine, when combined with organic matter, can produce toxic byproducts such as trihalomethanes . The health risk of THMs to swimmers is increased as chlorine levels are higher and the organic load is heavier . Chlorine, even at proper levels, can cause rashes and allergies in some people. Chloramines is known to irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Those suffering from asthma and bronchitis are at a higher risk.
Many consumers lack the knowledge and understanding to properly maintain the chemistry of their pool. Confusion on terms such as total chlorine, combined chlorine, and free and available chlorine is common. Understanding the need and timing to sock a pool relates to the previous sentence. Since chlorine cannot stabilize in the water on its own, a dry stabilizer is added to the water to make it resistant to sunlight. Many end users are not using the correct levels of the stabilizer which increases chlorine consumption or could be damaging to the surface of their pool.
Pros And Cons Of A Salt Water Pool
- It provides powerful sanitation and soft, clear water.
- No need for chlorine tablets.
- It continuously eliminates chloramines from the water without having to shock the pool.
- It reduces the risk of skin and eye irritation.
- You will hardly feel any chlorine smell.
- Its very easy to maintain, however you have to test the water at least once a week.
- High initial cost.
- You have to replace the salt cell unit regularly .
- Salt being corrosive may damage certain metal equipment of the pool, especially if the water chemistry or the chlorine generator is not maintained properly. Also, salt water may harm nearby plants if theyre regularly exposed to it.
- The pH usually rises rapidly in a salt water pool that you have to adjust regularly.
- If you want to reduce or avoid all forms of chlorine in your pool, this solution is not meant for you.
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