Chlorine is the single most important way to clean your pool water. This chemical defense neutralizes pathogens, such as “bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, as well as germs that cause viruses such as diarrhea and swimmer’s ear” (American Chemistry Council). Chlorine even helps combat pesky algae growth.
You need to test and replenish your chlorine level every week. Factors like temperature, sunlight, debris, and bather load can all burn through your chlorine level. But there are steps you can take to avoid excessive use and maximize your pool chlorine throughout the season. That’s good for your water and your wallet!
1) Measure Properly
Are you the type of person who cooks without a recipe or mixes the perfect cocktail without measuring? We’re sorry to say that magic touch won’t work on your pool! Water quality is like baking – there’s a specific ingredient ratio needed to produce a specific chemical reaction.
You first need to know how many gallons your pool holds. If you are an existing customer, we’ll have this on file for you! Otherwise you can use this formula to calculate the volume: length x width x depth x 7.5 gallons per cubic foot.
Then read the directions on your chlorine label. The amounts differ based on your volume and whether you are using granules or tablets. Simply add the measurements listed to achieve the correct parts per million (ppm). Don’t eyeball or guess – actually measure!
2) Use a Cover
Did you know direct sunlight destroys chlorine? That’s right – UV rays from the sun break apart chlorine’s ions when they’re in a liquid state. In fact, ultraviolet radiation “can reduce chlorine by up to 90 percent in two hours” (Sciencing).
Maximize your pool chlorine with a pool cover. Think of it like adding a giant sun visor over your pool. It reflects off the sun’s rays, keeping your water shaded. A cover also reduces water evaporation, which can lower chlorine levels as well. Read our post about the four types of pool covers here.
3) Test Regularly
The saying “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” definitely applies to pool chemistry! It would be like driving a car without a gas gauge. If you don’t know what your current levels are, there’s no way to determine what needs to be adjusted.
For example, let’s say it’s time to shock your pool. A 1lb. bag of our Poolife TurboShock treats a 10,000-gallon pool. But what if you have a 30,000-gallon pool and no idea how much chlorine is left? You might end up overcompensating and adding more shock than is necessary.
Remember that chlorine isn’t the only chemical level you need to monitor. That’s why we encourage you to take advantage of our free in-store water testing! Simply bring in a sample and we’ll run it for chlorine, alkalinity, calcium, cyanuric acid, copper, iron, manganese, TDS (total dissolved solids), phosphates, and salt. Read our post on the importance of water chemistry if you need a refresher.
Need help? Give us a call 319-200-7665.