Pool Chlorine Levels: The Key to Fun & Safe Swimming
Do you remember the kid on your block who had a pool? His house was always the most popular one, full of kids in swimsuits and trunks scurrying around the backyard so long as it was sunny. Everyone – mom, dad, the neighbors, even the family dog – wanted their turn to take a dip, especially in the summer months.
Well, now that you’ve grown up and have your very own pool, you might have realized that all those people in the water translates into lots of cleaning time. For most people, chlorine is the ideal choice for killing all the bacteria in the water, along with all the dirt, hair and body oil that can leave your pool looking grimy after a party. The chemical is effective and efficient – but it can be very harmful, as well. According to the experts at My Perfect Pool, too much chlorine in a pool can irritate your eyes and skin, damage your swimsuits, and can even provoke asthma.
How can you be sure that your pool is perfectly chlorinated? Just like with balancing the other pool chemicals, with some careful planning and some vital solutions from an online swimming pool supply shop, balancing your pool’s water is easier than you may think:
Maintain the Balance
Ideally, you should be sanitizing your pool at least two times a week, and more frequently during the months that the pool sees heavy use. Before you add chlorine to your water, make sure that the other chemicals and treatments are balanced, too.
pH levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6, total alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million), and calcium hardness should be between 180 and 220 ppm.
Test your water and add the necessary chemicals to reach the ranges before you add any chlorine. Then, go ahead and test your water again to get a look at your chlorine levels. As the folks at Maintain Your Pool explain, the ideal chlorine level is between 1 and 3 ppm.
If It’s Too Low
If your chlorine level is below 1 ppm, you’ll likely see dirty, unsafe water before long. Thankfully, this is an easy problem to fix; simply add chlorine granules or tablets to the water and let them dissolve. Come back and test your water the next day, and continue to adjust as needed.
If you want a low-maintenance way of solving these problems, consider installing a chlorinator or toss a floating chlorine dispenser into the pool. These devices can be easily found from any pool supply store. With convenience in mind, they have slow-dissolving tablets that regulate your pool’s chlorine levels constantly.
If It’s Too High
On the opposite end of the spectrum, fixing excessive chlorine is not quite as easy. Unlike a pool with too little chlorine, where you can simply add more and let the chemical do its job, breaking down chlorine exactly in your control. The first step, of course, is to stop adding chlorine to the water. If you have a chlorinator installed, shut it off.
Test again a day later. If the chlorine is still too high, try leaving the pool cover off for a day. This works especially well in the summer, as the sunlight breaks down the molecules and eliminates the chlorine.
If you are careful to maintain balance in your pool, you can be sure that your house and your pool will always be the most popular one on the block!
Author Bio: Keith Salvador has been working as a landscaper in his hometown of Cincinnati – the U.S. city with the most swimming pools – for over 17 years. These days, he splits his time between working in the yards of his friends and neighbors and managing a pool supply store.