You were shocking your hot tub, and then, probably by accident, you happened to add more shock than normal. This has led to your spa’s having a higher chlorine level than normal. Well, now you are thinking of what steps to take to bring down that chlorine.
Hydrogen peroxide is one such chemical that you can use to bring down chlorine levels. It reacts with chlorine to leave water and oxygen behind.
Follow me in this article as I go into depth with how this process works.
What happens if chlorine is too high in a hot tub?
Chlorine is an excellent sanitizer for your hot tub. However, it must be used in moderation. This is a saying that is true for almost every substance out there. Moderation is key. When chlorine levels are too high, it can lead to the following.
- Poisoning by chlorine: Poisoning by chlorine is a rare occurrence. This is because it takes quite a substantial amount of chlorine for it to happen. It could happen in water that has an extremely high concentration of chlorine, like 10 parts per million or above. Poisoning can occur when an individual inhales or swallows chlorine. This can lead to a series of other health-related problems. Such problems include: nausea, improper breathing, and dizziness.
- Skin dehydration: When your skin is exposed to excess chlorine, it can lead to dehydration. Chlorine is an oxidizer that can strip your skin of those oils that help to moisturize its surface. When those oils are stripped away, the skin begins to dry up. Your skin can break up more easily. In addition, when these oils are stripped away from your hair, your hair loses its natural protection. Your hair might start to break easily as a result of making it brittle.
- Bleaching of swimwear: The swimwear you put on is also at risk. Like with your common bleach, which contains some amount of chlorine, the chlorine in your tub can act the same way. When you soak constantly in such overly chlorinated water, your clothes run the risk of losing color. The reason for this is that chlorine is a strong oxidizer and reacts with these colors. In addition, this can reduce how long those clothes will last.
- Damage to pool equipment: Excess chlorine can cause a pH reduction. This pH reduction means there is increased acidity. Increased acidic levels can cause damage to some of your tub’s components, such as the hot tub cover and some other delicate parts. Even the hot tub surface can be damaged by excess acidity.
What do I do if my total chlorine is too high?
If you need to lower your chlorine levels, the following are steps you can take.
Take a dip: Yeah, you heard me right. As long as the chlorine levels in your pool are not above 5 parts per million, you and other bathers can take a dip. Taking a dip in the water introduces contaminants from your body into the tub.
These contaminants give the excess chlorine something to work on. This way, you are helping to reduce the chlorine levels. However, if the chlorine levels are way higher than that, you must avoid that. It can be dangerous.
Sun exposure: If your tub is outdoors, all you have to do is slide back the cover and let the sun shine on it. The sun has UV rays. These UV rays help to degrade the excess chlorine and release it into the atmosphere. This method might not be so effective if you have already added stabilizers to the water. A stabilizer such as cyanuric acid prevents chlorine from being degraded easily.
Drain and dilute the tub: This method is quite effective at reducing the chlorine levels. All you need to do is drain the water in your tub through a hose. This you do to a desired level, and then you refill it. The only downside to this is that other chemicals in the pool will be affected. You must do proper tests for other chemicals and balance them appropriately.
Use hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is another option to lower the excess chlorine in your pool. Hydrogen peroxide is a very good option, as its byproducts are very eco-friendly. When hydrogen peroxide reacts with chlorine, it breaks down into oxygen and water.
This is how it happens. Chlorine gas hydrolyses into hypochlorous acid, which is then ionized into hypochlorite ions. The hydrogen peroxide then reacts with these hypochlorite ions to release the chlorine gas quickly and leave water and oxygen behind.
Use chlorine neutralizers: Chlorine neutralizers are compounds formulated to bring down the levels of chlorine in your tub. They are quite effective, but you must be careful. Chlorine neutralizers keep on working until they are used up.
This means that if you add more than necessary, it will keep neutralizing the chlorine even way below the normal levels. Before adding, make sure you test your pool properly. This will help you know how much dosage to deliver into your tub.
How long does hydrogen peroxide take to break down chlorine?
This depends on the size of your hot tub. However, in general, when you dissolve hydrogen peroxide in an overly chlorinated tub, it should take 2-4 hours to completely neutralize the chlorine.
How long does it take for chlorine levels to drop naturally?
In a natural scenario, where you just expose the hot tub to sunlight, the UV rays from the sun can take up to a day to degrade the chlorine. Though if you begin to add some other neutralizing chemicals such as sodium thiosulfate, it can take a shorter time frame. Adding neutralizers is a quick fix. In an hour or two, your tub’s chlorine levels are back to normal.
How much hydrogen peroxide is needed to lower chlorine in a hot tub?
In general, 0.48 pounds of hydrogen peroxide are required to destroy one pound of free available chlorine. When you want to add it to water, you will need 1 oz of pool grade hydrogen peroxide for every 100 gallons of water. This will lower chlorine levels by 5 parts per million.
How can I lower my chlorine level quickly?
One of the fastest ways to lower pool chlorine is by adding sodium thiosulfate. Sodium thiosulfate is a very effective chlorine neutralizer, and within an hour or two, your pool should be ready to use.
However, another option if you don’t want to engage in the use of other chemicals is by simply draining the tub. When you partially drain the tub, you then refill it. This process of refilling, in essence, dilutes the chlorine level. For example, if you drained your tub’s water to half and then refilled it, you have effectively reduced the chlorine levels by half.
Another method involves leaving the tub open and exposing it to sunlight. This might not be very quick. It will be less effective when there are chlorine stabilizers in the tub as well.
Will baking soda lower chlorine?
Baking soda can help to reduce chlorine levels, but indirectly.
Baking soda is made up of sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is a very alkaline substance. Thus, using baking soda helps to increase the alkalinity and pH of a swimming pool. Increased alkalinity is important for the proper functioning of hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer that reacts with excess chlorine to form oxygen and water.
So the baking soda doesn’t reduce chlorine levels directly. It rather serves as a primer to ensure that hydrogen peroxide works effectively.
If you want to increase the pH of your pool, adding 7 to 9 pounds of baking soda will do the trick.
Does vinegar remove chlorine?
Vinegar can, as it is an acid. However, you shouldn’t use this as an option to reduce chlorine. It can be quite dangerous. As mentioned before, vinegar is an acid; while the chlorine from which most shocks or sanitizers come is bound in calcium hypochlorite.
Calcium hypochlorite is a base, and when it reacts with an acid, they can react dangerously and cause the effervescence of chlorine. This release of chlorine is very rapid, and the fumes can be deadly. You really don’t want to be around there when this happens. So, as a rule, avoid mixing vinegar with chlorine-containing products.
Can I mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide?
No, you shouldn’t.
Mixing vinegar and hydrogen peroxide can create a new compound called peracetic acid. This acid is quite toxic and can cause irritation to your eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. A general rule is that you should avoid mixing household cleaners together.