Can you swim in a pool with low chlorine levels?
Should I swim in a pool with a “low” free chlorine level? Free chlorine is the most important number to monitor in your swimming pool water. You want it between 1.0-3.0 ppm. Free chlorine keeps the water clean and safe from harmful bacteria.
Free chlorine refers to both hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and the hypochlorite (OCl-) ion or bleach, and is commonly added to water systems for disinfection. Chloramines are also known as combined chlorine. Total chlorine is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine.
- Free chlorine is defined as the concentration of residual chlorine in water present as dissolved gas (Cl2), hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and/or hypochlorite ion (OCl-). A test kit which measures free chlorine will indicate the combined concentrations of HOCl, OCl-, and Cl2. Combined Chlorine.
- High CYA levels causes cloudiness in pool water. Cyanuric acid (CYA) is known as stabilizer/conditioner for your swimming pool. CYA levels should be in the 30-50 ppm range for most all swimming pools (indoor pools do not need CYA, as they do not suffer from degradation from the sun like outdoor pools).
- A low total alkalinity will allow the pH to fluctuate randomly. This number should be in the range of 80 ppm to 150 ppm, so if your test shows that it is low, add 1.4 lbs of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) per 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. This should raise the total alkalinity by 10 ppm.
Regardless of how frequently or what system you use to add chlorine to the water, the chlorine level should stay between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm) to maintain a healthy pool. Any higher and you start to run the risk of red eyes and swimmers itch.
- Chlorinators work with your existing pump and filter and are usually very easy to install. Another option is a floating chlorinator which is just a plastic vessel that holds tablets and floats in the pool. Whatever you do, though, please do not put chlorine tablets into your skimmer or pump!
- This low pH can cause skin irritation and make your eyes burn if you open them under water. Like high pH, chlorine and other disinfectants aren't as effective when the pH is low, making it possible for dangerous bacteria to survive. It can also hurt your pool, causing metal to corrode and vinyl linings to wrinkle.
- Pool Shock is used to kill algae; Algaecide is used to prevent it from growing in the first place. Step 6 - Add Chlorine Tablets: After balancing the water, adding Stain & Scale and Clarifier, filtering the water, shocking the pool and finally adding a dose of algaecide, you are ready for summer.
Updated: 18th November 2019