In the world of swimming pools, chlorine is the most popular and widely used sanitizing option. Here are a few of the basic things to know about pool chlorine.
What is Pool Chlorine?
As the name implies, pool chlorine, is the chlorine used in swimming pools. Pool chlorine is a member of the chemical family known as halogens which includes both chlorine and bromine. By attacking microorganisms, such as bacteria, halogens use oxidation and kill them. Many pool and spa owners choose chlorine and bromine as their preferred sanitizer, because of their ability to kill bacteria and clean water.
Proper Levels of Pool Chlorine
Ideal pool chlorine levels as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are between 1.0-3.0 ppm (parts per million). It is important to test pool chlorine levels regularly as many factors can affect the chlorine levels, such as: dirt, debris, sunlight, and things brought into the pool on swimmers bodies. The effectiveness of your pool chlorine is also dependent on other elements of water chemistry, like pH, so it is important to keep all chemical elements in the pool balanced at proper levels. The best way to make sure your pool chlorine and other chemical levels are correct is with the use of a water test kit.
Chlorine is a great way to keep your swimming pool clean, however being that it is a chemical certain risks do accompany it so it is very important to use it safely and properly and make sure it is used at the recommended levels. Chlorine use over the recommended levels may cause bleaching of clothing, and skin and eye irritation.
Types of Pool Chlorine
Chlorine can be used in your pool in a couple of different forms. The type used is often determined by the type and size of your pool.
Tri-chlor, Trichloro-s-triazinetrione,is a tablet form of stabilized chlorine. This is the most popular type of pool chlorine; it is stabilized by cyanuric acid salt that binds the chlorine gas into a solid tablet form that is 90% chlorine. Tri-chlor tablets have a low pH of 3. Tri-chlor tablets should not be thrown directly into a pool as they can deteriorate vinyl and etch plaster when thrown directly in. They are normally introduced into the water with the use of an in-line feeder.
Di-chlor, Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione, normally comes in a granular form allowing it to dissolve quickly and work immediately. At only 62%, di-chlor levels of available chlorine are lower than tri-chlor but it is stabilized with cyanuric acid which gives it a long-lasting quality. Di-chlor has a more neutral pH value than tri-chlor at 7. Di-chlor can be one of the more expensive forms of pool chlorine treatment.
Cal-hypo, Calcium Hypochlorite, comes in both tablet and granule form, it is often used as a pool chlorine shock treatment. Containing 65% available chlorine and having a pH level around 12 it is very effective at killing algae quickly. It is also normally low in price.
Just remember no matter what type of chlorine or sanitizer you use in your pool it is important to always follow the directions and maintain proper levels to ensure a clean and safe swimming environment for all swimmers.