How to Get the Most from Your Chlorine

Pools love chlorine. It is the most effective sanitizer to keep pools clean and clear. Chlorine has the ability to sanitize/disinfect and oxidize. Sanitation/disinfection is the ability to kill germs and pathogens. Oxidation is the ability to break down bather wastes and environmental materials. Chlorine has the one-two punch when it comes to water treatment. That is why it is so essential to maintain proper levels.


In order to protect our chlorine levels, you should be using a stabilizer or Cyanuric Acid. Cyanuric acid is essentially sunscreen for your chlorine. It helps to maintain the chlorine level in the pool by preventing UV degradation. Those hot summer days have the ability to degrade and lower your chlorine level. Cyanuric acid can be added as its own or in the form of stabilized chlorine (dichlor or trichlor powder or trichlor tablets). Stabilized chlorine contains cyanuric acid in them. If you are using trichlor tablets as your primary chlorine, you need to be cognizant of your cyanuric acid levels because if they get too high it reduces the effectiveness of chlorine. The way we reduce cyanuric acid levels is through dilution or the addition of fresh water.


For chlorine to work optimally, we need to prevent things from entering the pool that can increase its demand. This includes things that bathers bring in such as cosmetics, sunscreen, and bather waste. Optimally, you should encourage all bathers to take a shower before entering the pool. With commercial swimming pools, outside showers are required, but we know this is not something all homeowners have in their backyards. You can encourage users to shower prior to coming to use your pool, set up an outdoor shower that hooks up to a garden hose, or just use the hose.

We also want to prevent chloramines from developing. Chloramines, or combined chlorine, is when ammonia and nitrates from organic matter from skin, urine, and sweat, attach to the chlorine ion. This makes the chlorine ion ineffective at oxidizing and sanitizing and creating strong chlorine odors that can irritate bathers.  To rid the pool of chloramines, will require the addition of more chlorine which Is counterproductive to extending the life of your chlorine on hand! The best way to prevent chloramines is to maintain proper balance levels and insist that people shower.


Nobody likes waste. If your water balance is not properly maintained, your chlorine essentially is being wasted. The water chemistry needs to be maintained within acceptable parameters in order for your pool to be clean and clear, and to get the most effectiveness out of your chlorine. pH and Alkalinity play a big part in your chlorine’s effectiveness. If these levels are too high, it reduces the efficiency of your chlorine which can lead to bacteria development and algae growth. Both of which are going to require more chlorine!


Another way to extend the life of your chlorine is to produce it yourself. Now, we aren’t saying you should become a chemist and create chemicals in your home. However; you can create chlorine in your pool. This is done through a salt chlorine generator system. The salt system contains an inline generation system that uses salt that is added to the pool and creates chlorine through electrolysis.  Having this system reduces, not necessarily eliminates, your need to purchase and store chlorine at your home and helps to maintain a nice consistently balanced pool. Manually adding chlorine at the openings, for algae prevention and growth, and shocking does still happen.


The more effectiveness you get from your chlorine, the less chlorine you will use and the more money you can save. So, what measures are you going to take to extend the life of your chlorine? Give us a call today to see how we can help!

*This information is obtained from the Certified Pool and Spa Operator Handbook. This information may not be applicable to your pool based on your pool type and location. One should reference all applicable regulations and standards for your facility.

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