Maintaining a hygienic and healthy pool environment along with balanced pool chemistry is not an easy job. While the proper level of chlorine helps us keep the pool healthy and allows other chemicals to function efficiently, too much chlorine (high levels of chlorine) might cause adverse effects on health and reduce the efficiency of other chemicals. You can correct increased levels of chlorine by following the simple steps we have mentioned below.
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Why Chlorine Level Gets Too High?
Many people recommend using a high level of chlorine when we clean our pools, i.e., while shocking our pools. High levels of chlorine are added to the water to eliminate and kill germs, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms, including algae.
If you add extra granules or tablets of chlorine to the water while shocking, it may result in excessive chlorine in the water. Excessive levels of chlorine in the pool may cause several health problems. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain the proper level of chlorine in the pool.
Disadvantages of Over-Chlorination
A slight increase or decrease in the levels of chlorine in the pool water is harmless. But if the change makes the pool over-chlorinated, it can negatively impact your health and safety.
Higher levels of chlorine in the water mean an acidic pH. An acidic medium may cause the following health problems:
- Irritation and redness in the eyes
- Itching of the skin with raised red bumps
- Surface vapors over the pool may cause respiratory problems like Asthma and burning of the respiratory tract.
Respiratory problems occur with prolonged exposure to over-chlorinated water, making the respiratory tract responsive to chlorine. A maximum number of these problems go by themselves within a couple of days or in a week.
In very few cases, we see the problem of chlorine poisoning. You can easily identify it by following signs and symptoms:
- Vomiting and Nausea
- Burning throat
- Pain in the chest while breathing
- Feeling of a tight chest
If you observe any of these symptoms or any other problem, immediately contact your doctor for advice and treatment if needed.
Higher levels of pH can also alter the functioning efficiency of chlorine. A neutral pH of 7.4-7.6 is ideal for chlorine to work most efficiently in water. Higher levels of pH (8 or more than that) and a more basic pool environment reduce chlorine efficiency below 20 percent.
A pH that is too high or too low can harm pool accessories, clothing, and other equipment. Therefore, it becomes necessary to maintain the proper pH level by adding the correct quantity of chlorine. Do check the pH of your pool by using pH strips.
If your pool water has a high pH, you should add sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid to lower it.
How to Identify Too Much Chlorine in Your Pool?
Our pool’s chlorine consists of two types of chlorine compounds: free chlorine and combined chlorine. It is free chorine, which eliminates bacteria and other microorganisms.
Combined chlorine is simply the chlorine combined with other organic matter. The smell that you get from a chlorinated pool is due to combined chlorine.
But you cannot tell the amount of chlorine by just smelling. Dry hairs, irritation in the eyes, itching, or redness of the skin indicate that your pool is over-chlorinated. There are many other simple and convenient methods to know the level of chlorine in your pool.
You can use DPD testing to know the chlorine level of your pool. It gives you total chlorine count by measuring both free and combined chlorine levels. People also use OTO kits for the same purpose, but this only gives you the results based on free chlorine present in the pool. These tests give you accurate and correct chlorine levels in your pool water and help you adopt proper measures if the level is too high or low.
Ways to Lower the Chlorine Level
The methods to be adopted ultimately rely on the level of chlorine in your pool.
● Avoid Further Chlorine Addition And Do A Pool Party
If your pool has slightly more Chlorine than the normal levels, then you can quickly lower it by just stopping more Chlorine addition and swimming more. For this, you can arrange a pool party with friends.
Turn off your Chlorine feeder, and don’t add any Chlorine granules or tablets.
Swimming more will lower the Chlorine levels as the Chlorine in the water will be used to kill the bacteria introduced by you and your friends by swimming.
The easiest and best way of reducing the Chlorine levels of your pool is to expose the pool to bright and direct sunlight for about 2 hrs. This will reduce the chlorine by up to 90 percent. Direct sunlight helps in releasing chlorine into the atmosphere by transforming it into chlorine gas. This happens due to the reaction between chlorine and UV rays in the sunlight.
Simply stop adding chlorine to the pool. You will be required to have a continuous check on the chlorine level to ensure that it doesn’t fall below 2ppm. Once a level of 2ppm is reached, you can again start regular chlorination of your pool.
● Making the Pool Water Warm
A warm environment is suitable for the higher growth of bacteria in the pool. Increasing the temperature will reduce the level of chlorine in the pool as it will be utilized to eliminate growing bacteria.
If your pool is already heated, just increase the temperature to 90°F-10°F above the suggested level for a short period. You should check the Chlorine level again and again.
● Add More Fresh Water
To lower the Chlorine concentration in the pool water, simply drain the pool water and fill it with fresh water. There are many disadvantages to this method.
It is time-consuming and expensive, depending on the electricity supply rates in your area. It also disturbs the pH and hardness of your pool water.
● Hydrogen Peroxide
Being an excellent oxidizing agent, hydrogen peroxide reacts with chlorine to give water and oxygen. You can notice this by tiny bubbles in the water.
A pH of more than 7.0 is ideal for the functioning of hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, do check and maintain the appropriate pH to get better results.
● Chlorine Neutralising Products
You can get high-quality chlorine neutralizing products from the market. They are perfect for lowering the Chlorine in pool water as they don’t disturb the pH or hardness of the water. You need to add an appropriate quantity of neutralizing products to maintain normal chlorine levels in the pool.
Alternatively, you can also use sodium thiosulfate.
Maintaining proper levels of chlorine gives you a healthy and more enjoyable swimming experience. If your pool gets over-chlorinated, then there are several ways to get it balanced to avoid any health problems. It also gives your pool a longer life. So, check and avoid over chlorination of your pool to have longer pool life and healthy swimming.