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? Let’s 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 pool’s 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 (tiles, liners, concrete, etc.). 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.
Luckily, chlorine tests are very easy to perform. Multiple companies produce test strips that take only minutes to conduct. There are also other test strips available that can test total chlorine and free chlorine levels.
Here is how to check your water using a chlorine test strip.
- Open your pool.
- Wash your hands and dry them before handling the strips.
- Remove a test strip from the container. Be careful not to touch the pads on the test strips.
- Dip the piece into the water, by submerging your arm up to your elbow. This allows you to reach an accurate reading depth.
- Keep the strip in the water for a few seconds depending on the individual product instructions.
- Remove the test strip.
- Hold the strip horizontally, or lay the piece down, making sure the color pads are facing up, and the strip is not in direct sunlight.
- Compare the color of the strip to the color comparator chart included with the test strip package.
- You should be able to tell if you are high, low, or within the ideal chlorine range.
- If the strips you are using also test free chlorine, be sure to check both free and total colors. If free is the same as total, then you are in range. If the values are different, you will need to shock your pool to achieve the right levels.
Tips for Lowering the Chlorine in Your Pool
If your pool’s chlorine level is too high, you need to treat the chemicals in your pool. First, you need to determine the scale of your levels.
If your levels are only slightly too elevated, then you might want not to use the pool for an hour or so. This time of inactivity typically gets your levels within the appropriate range.
However, if your chlorine level is significantly high, you will need to do a bit more.
Option 1: Stop Adding Chlorine
If you have a chlorinator or a feeder, turn it offer. If you use a floater or tablet in your skimmer, remove it from your pool. If your levels are only slightly too high, the problem will usually solve itself thanks to debris, dirt, bugs, and those using the pool.
Option 2: Let In Some Sunlight
You can also uncover your pool for a few hours and let the sunlight do its magic. Ultra-violet rays that the natural sunlight produces destroys chlorine. In fact, leave your pool uncovered for 2-3 hours, and the direct sunshine of a clear sky can deplete 90% or more of a pool’s chlorine level. If you choose to take this route, make sure you monitor your water regularly so that you can resume routine chlorination when the readings drop.
Option 3: Add Neutralizing Chemicals
If you are in a hurry and need a quick fix, you can add a chlorine neutralizing chemical to your swimming pool water. The most common chemicals are Sodium Thiosulfate and Sodium Sulfite. You can also purchase a pre-packaged Chlorine Neutralizer.
No matter what you use, follow the instructions carefully. Typically, 60 grams will reduce the chlorine by 1ppm in an average backyard pool. Add your neutralizer gradually.
You should also look at your pH levels to see if you need to add in pH, as chlorine reduces the amount of pH in water.
Option 4: Replace Existing Water
Diluting your pool water is another option, but it takes time. Refilling your pool can also throw off your pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and other chemical levels. But, if you choose to take this route, make sure to test all of your levels to achieve the best results.
Get in touch with a Swimming Pool Expert.
If you are having a hard time handling your pool maintenance or have a question regarding your swimming pool, contact Intermountain Aquatech. Our experienced professionals can help you fix your problems and enjoy your pool in no time. Contact us today to get started.