Is it really possible to over-chlorinate your pool? Well, if we really think about it, putting too much chlorine isn’t really a big issue, unless of course, we want to use the pool immediately. In this post, we’ll be looking at a number of situations where quick chlorine removal is called for. But before we do that, let’s take a look at why we should be concerned about overly high chlorine levels in our pool.
Why do we need to reduce chlorine levels?
Remember when we said that we should wait at least 24 hours after shocking before using your pool? And that it is absolutely imperative that you test your water to see if the chlorine levels have stabilised before swimming? The main reason we chlorinate the pool is that it is the best option to use to destroy organic contaminants, and well, we’re organic! Here are some of the things bathers can experience if they take a dip in over-chlorinated water:
- Skin irritation or dermatitis - Basically an angry red rash characterized by itchy skin and red bumps. This happens as the chlorine tries to “eat” the layers of the skin.
- Eye Irritation - High chlorine levels can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to dilate, causing red-looking eyes.
- Respiratory attacks - Too high chlorine levels can also cause reactions to those with weak respiratory systems (think asthma) due to the chlorine fumes/vapor in the pool when the chlorine levels are high.
- Chlorine poisoning - There’s a reason why chlorine levels in tap water are strictly kept at low levels, consuming too much chlorine can cause chlorine poisoning which can be identified with the following symptoms: Nausea, dizziness, shallow breathing, tightness in the chest, and a burning sensation in the throat.
What chlorine levels do we need to aim for?
The recommended chlorine levels should be anywhere from 1ppm to 3ppm.
When do we need to remove chlorine levels?
Even though the constant problem that we have when we maintain our pools and spas is how to keep them chlorinated, there will be situations where we’ll need to quickly take out chlorine to make the pool swimmable.
- Accidental over-chlorination - This is more common in spas than in swimming pools, but it still happens! Miscounting the number of scoops of granular or liquid chlorine does happen and it can lead to having too high a chlorine or bromine level.
- Slow evaporation/chlorine dissipation - When you shock your pool and the chlorine levels still are a bit too high after a day or two.
- Too high cyanuric acid levels - high cyanuric acid levels can also slow down chlorine dissipation in your pool to the point that it takes forever for your chlorine levels to drop down to “swimmable” levels.
- Forgetting to turn down salt water chlorinators - Don’t laugh, this happens. Setting your salt water chlorinator to super chlorinate and leaving it on for extended periods of time (especially if you have an oversized chlorinator) can leave you with high chlorine levels.
Ways to lower chlorine levels
If after testing your water you find out that your chlorine levels are still above "unswimmable" levels (5ppm and up), here are some of the ways on how we can lower our chlorine levels down to the recommended swimmable levels (1 ppm to 3 ppm)
- Have the sun do it for you - The sun’s UV rays will naturally eat away with your chlorine levels. Yes, tried and tested method, but it will usually take a day or two for your chlorine levels to significantly drop. But of course, if it’s gloomy then it might take a while.
- Partially drain and refill your pool - This is usually the method of choice especially if you have high cyanuric acid levels that leave your chlorine levels both high and ineffective for extended periods of time. While this works, this will also wreak havoc on all of your other chemical levels, which leads to more work!
- Warm up your pool water - turning on the heater or heat pump will also help reduce your chlorine levels (and make your pool water much more comfortable of course!). Heating the water doesn’t do anything to the chlorine itself, but it does make bacteria algae much more active, causing the chlorine usage to increase and in turn, lowering your chlorine levels faster!
- Use a chlorine remover - Using a chlorine remover is the fastest way we can lower our pool chlorine levels down to swimmable levels without messing up our other pool chemical levels as well.
The Lo-Chlor Chlorine Remover
While situations that call for removing chlorine ASAP rarely come up, it’s always a good idea to have a bottle of Lo-Chlor Chlorine remove handy for those times when removing chlorine fast is an absolute must. The good thing is that a bottle of chlorine remover is pretty cheap and it’s super concentrated, which makes a little go a long way! The great thing chlorine removers like the Lo-Chlor Chlorine remover is that it’s compatible with all of the other pool chemicals and you can see results in just a matter of hours. So if you need to have a usable pool within the day, you can simply add some chlorine remover and wait a bit and the chlorine levels should drop to acceptable levels (be sure to follow the dosing instructions though)
We can’t recommend this product enough for spa owners as well! If you have a spa, the limited volume of water is very susceptible to chlorine overdoses and nothing can mess up a nice spa plan than high chlorine concentrations!
Yes, chlorine remover isn’t on top of anyone’s “must-have” pool chemical lists, but it’s something that’s great to have when you absolutely need it, placing it in our "nice to have" column for sure!
Impromptu pool party in the afternoon but you just shocked your pool? No problem! Gloomy days slowing down chlorine dissipation? No problem! Got distracted and added too much pool chlorine before a party or before using the pool? Reduce the chlorine with some Lo-Chlor chlorine remover!
*P.S. If our online store shows it as sold out, drop us a line as we always have new stocks coming and we'll put you in line for the next batch!
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)