Keeping your pool clean and safe for use is not only paramount for the longevity of your pool, but also for your own health.
By maintaining the chlorine in your pool, you can ensure that the chemistry of the water is balanced, proper and safe to swim in.
Without having the right amount of chlorine in your pool, the water may be unsanitary, unclean, or even unsafe to use.
One of the most common issues with pools is over-chlorination. Most pool owners and manufacturers will advise ‘shocking’ each time you open it for the first time of the season.
This will ensure that it is ready and safe for use. However, shocking the pool involves adding lots of chlorine to get rid of dirt, grime, bacteria, algae and any other microorganisms that could be residing in the pool.
Whilst shocking is the right way to maintain the pool, you can use too much chlorine during the process, which can result in an overly high chlorine level. So, how do you rectify this?
How to lower chlorine levels in a pool?
In order to lower the chlorine levels in a pool, you may need to switch off your chlorine feeder, remove a chlorine floater and remove any chlorine tablets that you may have in the skimmer.
This will prevent a further influx of chlorine, allowing the chlorine already in the pool to be used up more quickly, and lowering the overall chlorine level.
Another simple way you can lower the chlorine levels in your pool is to remove the cover, and take advantage of the sun.
When exposed to the sun’s powerful UV rays, the chlorine in the water can break down much more quickly, with direct sunlight reducing the chlorine levels by up to 90 percent!
Then, you can monitor the chlorine levels and wait to swim until they reach a safe level. Once they are at a lower chlorine level, you can resume normal chlorination to keep your pool safe and sanitized.
Another tried and tested method is to turn up the temperature of the pool.
By increasing the temperature, more bacteria will proliferate, which will in turn use up more chlorine. This will lower the chlorine level drastically, and can help bring it down much faster.
You can also dilute the chlorine by adding more fresh water, which will disrupt the pH level and adjust the chlorine levels in the pool.
Finally, you can use a chlorine neutralizing product such as Hydrogen Peroxide, or Sodium Thiosulfate. These products are designed to react with the chlorine in the pool, and treat the water.
For instance, hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer which will work to produce water and oxygen when reacting with chlorine.
This will eliminate any excess chlorine in the pool and neutralize the problem. No matter which method you use, always ensure that you test the water before entering!
Can you swim in a pool with high chlorine?
No, you should not swim in a pool with high levels of chlorine. This is because chlorine can be very dangerous in high levels and can cause a range of health issues and problems.
For instance, exposure to high levels of chlorine in pools can cause severe skin damage, along with eye irritation and damage, and lung problems which could provoke asthma attacks.
Not only is this dangerous to your health and poses a risk for your skin, eyes and lungs, but exposure to chlorine can also damage the pool, and other accessories.
For example if you bring any accessories such as floats and swimwear into your pool, the high levels of chlorine can break down the integrity of the fibers and accessories, damaging them beyond repair.
It is therefore always best to wait to enter the pool after shocking, or after using powerful chlorine products, for the sake of your health, and for your personal belongings.
What can you use to lower chlorine levels in pools?
There are some products and chemical agents that can reduce the chlorine levels in your pool, such as Sodium Thiosulfate and pool grade Hydrogen Peroxide designed for treating pools.
You can use Sodium Thiosulfate such as this one:
before determining the level of chlorine and the safety of the pool as these products can dramatically impact the pH levels of the pool.
How long does it take for chlorine levels to drop in a pool?
If the chlorine levels are dangerously high in a pool, then you will have to wait to enter or swim after shocking or chlorinating.
For the best results and for the utmost safety, it is recommended that you consult the package instructions of the pool shock or chlorine that you used to see how long you should wait before using the pool.
Most heavy shocking products with granular chlorine will advise that you do not resume use of the pool until at least 24-48 hours have passed.
However, it is highly recommended that you test the chlorine levels of the pool before using it or swimming in the water again.
What is considered a high chlorine level in pools?
If there is a high chlorine level in the pool, with levels over 10 ppm, then swimmer’s swimsuits can begin to fade, or become damaged and pool covers can start to deteriorate.
What is even more important to remember is that swimming in this level of chlorine can be unhealthy for swimmers, and for the overall safety and comfort of those in the pool, you should keep chlorine levels below 5 ppm.
For the best possible conditions, try to keep the chlorine level between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm) to ensure that your pool is healthy, and safe to swim in.
Without keeping it at these levels, swimmers can have red eyes, sore skin and can suffer irritation and further skin issues or allergies.