Wondering how much chlorine to add to a swimming pool ?

Chlorine is a chemical substance that is added to swimming pools so as to make it safe for usage. When added to pools it kills both bacteria, germs and algae and it oxidizes the water. However the rightful amount of chlorine should be added to the pool if a low or excess amount is added to the pool it can have adverse negative effects to the people using the pool.

how much chlorine to add to a swimming pool
Determining the amount of chlorine to add to a swimming pool

Knowing how much chlorine to add to a pool is very essential when you want to ensure comfort of the people swimming in the water. The amount of chlorine to be added to the water is determine by the following.

The level of acidity of the pool (pH level)

Before adding chlorine to the water you should test and check the level of acidity in the water. Acidity level is measured in a scale of between 0 – 14 whereby 7 is neutral. Below 7 is acidic and above 7 is base. The waters of the pool should be slightly basic since this is the level that is comfortable for people to swim in the water. When the pH level falls and the water turns acidic it corrodes metals found on the pool and irritates the eyes and the skin. When the pH level rises and the water becomes too much basic the walls of the pool start to discolor due to formation of scales on them and the water looks cloudy. The chlorination process will also be slowed by this condition. Thus the correct levels of pH should be maintained before adding chlorine to the pool.

Deciding the type of chlorine to use

There are basically four types of chlorine one can use. Tablets, chlorine sticks and granules and a liquid form chlorine. Tablets and chlorine sticks are cheap and take time to dissolve in water. They are mostly suitable for spas. Granules contain calcium that should first be dissolved in a bucket at the right amount before being added to the pool. This is to avoid clouding of the pool caused by the formation of calcium hypochlorite. Liquid chlorine can be added directly in the pool at the recommended dose.

Size of the swimming pool

Knowing the size of the pool helps to determine the amount of water found in the pool and this is essential when adding chlorine. Since it helps you know the amount of chlorine you should add to the water.

Adding the chlorine to the water

Test and check the initial level of chlorine in the water using a pool test strip before adding chlorine to the pool. The chlorine levels should be maintained at a level of 1 part per million (ppm) to 3 ppm at all time since is the safest level for human usage.

Chlorination process

When chlorine is added to swimming pool water it dissolves and reacts with it to form two types of acids: the hypochloric acid and hydrochloric acid that kill the bacteria and germs found in the water. At daytime the hypochloric acid breaks up to produce a hypochlorite ion that oxides the water and kills any organic matter found in water. The levels of formation of this acids depend on the level of acidity of the water (pH level). When chlorination is being carried out the swimming pool should be closed and no one should be allow to enter the water since the acids have negative effects on the human body and it can cause hair loss and itching of the skin.

The effects of high and low levels of chlorine in a pool

When there is too much sunlight or the pool if is being excessively used the levels of chlorine in the water can reduce to a very low level. When the chlorine level becomes less than 1 part per million toxic bacteria, germs and algae start to accumulate and grow in the water making it unclean. The pool also turns cloudy due to lack of oxidation by the little amount of chlorine in the water.When the level of chlorine are much higher, the water becomes too much acidic and corrodes the metal pipes in the pool. The pool becomes uncomfortable to swim in since the water irritates the eyes and the nose. It makes the skin to itch and decolorizes the hair. It also fades swimming clothes.

Adjusting the level of chlorine in swimming pool

  • Increasing the levels of chlorine

When the levels of chlorine are very low they can only be increased by shocking the water this involves adding chlorine to the water

Ways of lowering the chlorine level in a swimming pool

  • Avoid adding more chlorine

Turn off the chlorinator and remove any undissolved chlorine tablets. This will help prevent the chlorine levels from rising higher than it is.

  • Expose the pool to sunlight

Remove any cover from the pool and let it be exposed to direct sunlight. This will enhance the chemical reaction in the water and destroy excess chlorine thus reducing the chlorine levels at a faster rate. Using a stabilizer such as cyanuric acid when the chlorine reach the recommended level prevents extra chlorine from being damaged by the sun.

  • Diluting the water

Chlorine level can be decreased by replacing the more concentrated chlorine water with clean unchlorinated water. This will take longer than exposing it to sunlight especially when the water is being removed and clean water used to refill the swimming pool. This affects the pH levels of the water thus a test should be done to check and adjust the pH levels after diluting the water.

  • Adding a neutralizer to the water

It’s the fastest way to counter excess pH and chlorine levels in a pool. The neutralizing agents (sodium sulfite and sodium Thiosulfate) reduce the pH levels in water and this reduces the level of chlorine. Since the neutralizing chemicals affect the pH levels of the water, the level of acidity should be checked and adjusted to the recommended level after some chlorine neutralization.

In conclusion the levels of chlorine in a swimming pool water should be checked on a daily basis and adjusted to the recommended level when necessary. Maintaining the correct amount of chlorine levels in a swimming pool makes the swimming pool safe for people to swim comfortably and avoids the negative effects that are brought by low and high levels of chlorine.