white jumping board for the pool
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How to Lower Chlorine Levels in Pools

When the chlorine level in your pool rises too high, it can pose a serious health risk for swimmers and those who come into contact with the water. It may cause irritation of eyes, skin and lungs as well as irritation of eyes, skin and lungs. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce chlorine in your pool so it is safe for use again.

Before anything else, it’s essential to determine your chlorine levels. Generally speaking, readings below three ppm are considered safe and acceptable for swimming in a pool. However, if it exceeds that mark, then it would be best to avoid using the pool until its concentration returns to normal.

Testing your pool water with various test strips or liquid test kits is possible. Be sure to test both free and total chlorine for accuracy.

Some testers come with a color coding system to help you quickly determine which tests are working and need replacing. The higher the hue, the more polluted your water is and that means you need to take immediate steps for remediation.

swimming pool
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For accurate results, use a strip or test kit specifically designed for testing chlorine levels – like Arm & Hammer Clear Balance(tm) Pool Maintenance Tablets. They’re user-friendly and help keep your pool safe without the mess of using commercial chemicals.

Once you know the correct scale, the next step is to calculate how much chlorine you need to reduce levels. There are various methods you can try – from adding a neutralizer to naturally dissipating existing chlorine.

Add a Neutralizer

Sodium thiosulfate, commonly referred to as chlorine neutralizer, is the most popular and straightforward chemical for reducing chlorine levels in pools. Unfortunately, it’s pricey so should only be used in small doses.

Another natural way to reduce chlorine in your pool is by allowing the water to be oxidized by sunlight, according to Alicia Johnson of Cleaning Green LLC. This can reduce chlorine concentrations in pools by up to 90%.

woman in the swimming pool
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You can oxidize chlorine in your pool using hydrogen peroxide, which will break it down through chemical reactions. However, make sure you use a special hydrogen peroxide designed specifically for pools; regular home cleaners won’t do the trick.

Hydrogen peroxide works best at pH levels greater than seven, but other oxidizers may work if your pool’s pH is low. You could also add some baking soda to the pool which will increase alkalinity and maintain pH levels.

The sun can also help dissipate chlorine, provided the concentration stays between 1 and 3 parts per million (ppm). To do this, open the cover and leave your pool unattended for a few hours.

Once the chlorine levels have been reduced, you can resume regular pool use. Be sure to check other water test results prior to swimming in order to guarantee the pool remains stable; pH, alkalinity and cyanuric acid should all be at safe levels.