Chlorine levels in pools represent a key parameter to keep under control in order to guarantee pleasant and safe bathing experiences. Find out how to keep them under control
The question on how to reduce chlorine in pools often comes up when it’s too late: as chlorine levels have a direct impact on bathers’ swimming experiences and safety, it’s crucial to guarantee they’re always under control.
There are various different approaches to reduce chlorine in the pool: from stopping the current method for chlorination to embracing new sanitizing methods. Keep reading to find out about them.
The addition of chlorine is an important part of maintenance operations for pool owners and operators alike. In fact, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that the ideal chlorine level for your pool is between 1 and 4 ppm.
However, inadequate calculations or processes might lead to issues related to chlorine in pool water.
The causes of inadequate chlorine levels
Miscalculations may lead to higher chlorine levels than those recommended, resulting in unsatisfactory swimming experiences for users.
At the same time, pH levels in water also have an effect on chlorine levels. Extreme pH changes can also affect how chlorine works: while chlorine is most efficient in water with neutral pH levels (that is, between 7.4 and 7.6), levels beyond 8.0 will mean the pool is too alkaline, which sharply reduces its efficiency.
The consequences of deficient chlorine levels
Understanding chlorine levels remains important. While slightly higher-than-normal levels of chlorine in pools are harmless, exposure to an over-chlorinated pool can have adverse effects on the bathers’ health and well-being.
The effect of excess chlorine in pools is an alteration in pH levels of pool water, making it more acidic. Signs of high chlorine levels can include itchy sensations in the eyes, nose and throat, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lung irritation, and skin rashes.
Additionally, inadequate pH levels can also damage pool equipment, landscaping features, clothing, towels and swimsuits. It is vital to add the exact amount of chlorine to your pool in order to maintain the right pH level.
The first step in how to reduce chlorine in pool is to find out whether chlorine levels are excessive. At this point, it’s important to dispel a popular myth about chlorine: a strong chlorine smell doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an excess of chlorine in pool water.
In order to understand this, the two types of chlorine compounds must be considered:
- Free chlorine or, in other words, the “good” type of chlorine. This compound is able to eliminate bacteria and microorganisms.
- Combined chlorine, also known as chloramines. This is the result of combining organic matter (such as bacteria) with chlorine.
Combined chlorine or chloramines are responsible for the conventional smell associated with chlorine. However, this smell and its intensity is not an accurate indication of whether chlorine levels are high or not.
Dry hair, sensitive skin and irritated eyes are all indicators of an over-chlorinated pool. Fortunately, there are other less inconvenient and safer ways to find out whether chlorine levels have escalated:
- a testing kit can provide a total chlorine count by measuring free and combined chlorine levels;
- pH and chlorine controllers represent the most accurate current method. In this case, they’re able to automatically measure these parameters in pool water and provide adequate doses. This means the likelihood of experiencing high or low chlorine levels in your pool are strongly reduced.
Stop adding chlorine
The simplest step to minimize chlorine levels is to stop adding chlorine into pool water, whether this is done through a chlorinator, a chlorine feeder, a salt water chlorine generator or by putting chlorine sticks in your skimmer.
This quick step will likely return chlorine levels back to normal, being especially effective if chlorine levels are only slightly above normal.
Pick the right sanitizing system
Today, alternative water treatment systems such as Heliox UV, Neolysis or Freepool2 are indeed able to provide efficient disinfection while avoiding the unpleasant chlorine odor. We go more extensively through the possibilities of these systems below in this same article.
Additionally, the incorporation of automatic control units ensures consistent chlorine dosages with the aim to maintain proper chlorine and pH levels.
Remove the pool cover and expose water to sunlight
Another method when asking how to reduce chlorine in a pool is to remove the pool cover, if there’s one. This is because sunlight is known to lower chlorine levels in relatively short periods of time.
Use chemical products to reduce chlorine levels
Neutralizing chemicals are a great option if the pool needs to be available within a short period of time. However, precise instructions must be followed when using them, as misuse can lead to an excessive reduction of chlorine and pH levels.
Additionally, water must be tested after using one of these agents, as they tend to have an impact on pH.
Drain water and refill the pool
If there are no time limitations, draining and refilling some of the pool water is also an option when looking into how to reduce chlorine in the pool. However, you should take into account that this process may have an impact on your pool’s chemical balance, regarding pH, alkalinity, or calcium hardness.
Current developments in aquatic installations and technologies provide the final answer on how to reduce chlorine in pools. One of the key ones is to choose water treatment solutions that don’t use chlorine.
This results not only in eliminating chlorine-related issues, but also represents an ideal option for pool operators in search of eco-friendly systems that provide a pleasant bathing experience.
Among the key sanitizing options today are Saline chlorination (such as electrolysis), Neolysis and Freepool2 systems by Fluidra. These modern and efficient models replace chlorine with saline chlorination products (that is, they use salt).
In fact, saline chlorination systems generate chlorine gas by electrolysis, a process that separates elements from any compound by means of electricity. In this case, these systems take salt water to dissolve chlorine and sanitize water. Additionally, they achieve important energy and water savings, while making accessories and pool filters last longer.
In conclusion, the benefits of saline chlorination systems can be summarized as:
- Economic savings: these systems automatically preserve stable parameters in water, providing money savings for aquatic installations in terms of maintenance and the use of chemical products.
- Improved safety: saline chlorination systems avoid the need for manipulating chlorine and, thus, the possibility of accidents related to this process.
- Enhanced experience: saltwater pools incorporate a minimum level of sodium chloride, which translates into a more pleasant experience for users. Besides, they avoid other unpleasant factors such as the smell of chlorine and the issues in skin, eyes and scalp associated with chlorine.
- Sustainability: saline chlorination generates hypochlorite, a compound that turns into salt after decomposing. This makes it a sustainable process that doesn’t require the constant incorporation of more elements, while also reducing waste and the installation’s carbon footprint.
All in all, operators looking into how to reduce chlorine in pools should consider shifting from chlorine to modern solutions that are based on saline solutions.