Chlorine Levels: Too much, too little or just right.
Water chemistry sounds a little like a class you might not want to take in college but it’s really important for pool maintenance. It’s what keeps the pool clean and working efficiently.
One of the most important factors in maintaining your pool is the chlorine levels. Chlorine is what sanitizes the water. Whether it was people sweating or kids peeing or preventing algae from growing, chlorine is like the soap for your pool. It removes bacteria from the water so you can swim in it without a care in the world.
The other thing to note is that chlorine evaporates in the sun and heat so chlorine might fluctuate after a hot day and the chlorine levels for a pool versus a spa can vary.
When you check your water with a test strip it provides you with a set of numbers and colors. The colors will correlate with the numbers and tell you the levels of things like PH and of course chlorine!
There are two measurements of chlorine in your pool. Total chlorine and free chlorine. Total chlorine is the amount of chlorine in the pool. Free chlorine is what’s currently not in use cleaning the water.
Total chlorine has an ideal range of 2-4 PPM which stands for Parts Per Million. While the number can be higher it should not exceed 10 because then the water will smell of chlorine.
Free chlorine levels should be between 1-3 PPM for a pool and 3-5 PPM for a spa.
If the chlorine gets too high or too low then there is a process called ‘shocking’ the water to fix it. If chlorine is too high there is a chemical called potassium monopuresulfate that will shock the water and reduce the levels of chlorine. If the water has gotten very dirty after a massive pool party then maybe you need to shock water and raise the chlorine levels. For that there is calcium hypochlorite.
Always make sure to stay out of the water while you are going through this process. If you want to use the pool then check the water first and make sure the levels are in a normal range.