Thus far in this season of Ricks’ Remedies, we have covered pH-The Ruler, Alkalinity-The Soother, Calcium-The Guardian, and Stabilizer- The Protector. Now comes the biggie… wait for it….Chlorine- The Cleanser!
There are several misconceptions about chlorine. The most common being, the smell of chlorine coming from your pool means you have too much. The reality is you don’t have enough! What you are actually smelling is something called CHLORAMINES. Chloramines occur when chlorine bonds with contaminates such as sweat, urine or body oils. (ewwww, gross!)
Chloramines, also referred to as Combined Chlorine (CC), have been known to cause issues such as smelly, cloudy water, burning eyes, etc. Because test strips don’t measure combined chlorine, it must be calculated. To calculate CC, we measure Total Chlorine (TC) and Free Chlorine (FC). TC is a measurement of all types of chlorine present in the water and FC is chlorine that has not bonded with contaminates and is available to do the work of sanitizing your pool and keeping it clear and smelling good! To calculate CC, use the formula TC-FC=CC. All measurements are in PPM (parts per million). The recommended level of FC is 1ppm to 3ppm.
Test Strip Reads
- TC=4 ppm
- FC=1 ppm
- 4-1=CC of 3 ppm
So now you’re asking yourself, “what do I do??” You have 3ppm of CC in your pool and the water is smelly and your eyes are burning! The answer is, shock the pool! To do it properly, you must reach BREAK POINT CHLORINATION, which means a chlorine level of ten times the calculated amount of CC is required to rid your pool of those nasty chloramines! In the example above, the industry standard and recommended number is 30ppm. When we achieve this, the pool will sparkle and smell good again!
Pool gallon calculations are not always accurate. With that being said, it is better to error on the high end when adding chlorine to be sure to reach break point. When using calcium hypochlorite shock (CalHypo) 73%, you must use a minimum of 3lbs to raise the chlorine level to 30ppm. Put it all in at once, this is no time to be shy! If enough isn’t used, break point will not be reached, and the problem will be compounded.
Expected results 24hrs after shocking
- TC=4 ppm
- FC=3.5 ppm
- CC=.5 ppm
Other sources of chlorine can be used as well. For recommendations, and dosage instructions, consult your pool store. Join us here again for the next installment of Rick’s Remedies and learn about the various types of chlorine and why we use them. Until then, stay safe and Happy Holidays from our family to yours!
Ricks Rule of Thumb:
1lb of calcium hypochlorite raises 10,000 gallons 10ppm
Next up: Chlorine types and why we use them!