Balance is integral to life. And this balance is what helps us enjoy things. When things are out of balance, even seemingly enjoyable things can become distasteful or uncomfortable. A case in point is over-salted food, over-marinated chicken, and even an over-chlorinated pool.
Swimming is a wonderful hobby that can be enjoyed by all and sundry. It even has many benefits, such as contributing to fitness and building muscles. One of the things that can dampen such an experience would be swimming in an over-chlorinated pool.
Below in this article, you will get guidance on signs to watch out for in an over-chlorinated pool.
Can you swim in a pool if the chlorine is too high?
It isn’t recommended to do this, as there are a lot of health risks involved. From lung irritation to skin and eye irritation, it can also trigger attacks in asthmatic patients.
What are the side effects of too much chlorine?
Among the side effects of having an over-chlorinated pool are:
- Chlorine poisoning: Chlorine poisoning, although rare, can happen in an over-chlorinated pool. The poisoning occurs when one inhales or swallows chlorine. This can lead to a series of other health related problems.
- Skin dehydration: Exposure of one’s skin to chlorine causes dehydration by stripping the skin and hair of their natural oils. This causes skin dryness and irritation.
- Bleaching of swimwear: Chlorine is a powerful oxidizer and coming in contact with your swimwear can be harmful to its colors. This can reduce the life span of such clothes.
- Damage to pool equipment: Chlorine lowers pH. Lower pH also means more acidity. These acidic levels can be corrosive to your pool accessories, such as metal piping and pool skimmers. Excess acidity can damage even the surfaces of the tiles and concrete.
What is the highest chlorine level safe to swim in?
The CDC recommends that the ideal chlorine concentration should be between 1 and 3 ppm (parts per million).
Can chlorine in a pool make you sick?
Chlorine can react with the mucosal membranes of your body. When it reacts with water, it forms hydrochloric and hypochlorous acids. These chemicals are both toxic to humans. The effects of chlorine poisoning in a pool can lead to the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- A burning sensation in the mouth
- Throat pain
- Stomach pain
- Stools with blood.
- Airways inflammation: The chlorine vapor from the surface of the pool can trigger attacks. This can happen to people who are already asthmatic. Chlorine can be a great irritant to the air passages like the nostrils, trachea, and lungs. Irritation of these pathways in someone already having respiratory problems poses a health risk.
- Eye irritation: Swimming in a chlorinated pool can lead to chlorine getting in your eyes. The chlorine then reacts with your eye surface, stripping the tear film away. This can lead to a series of problems because your eyes are now more vulnerable to infections. Some of the complications that could occur include teary eyes and conjunctivitis. It is a good precaution to always wear goggles when going swimming.
How do you get rid of too much chlorine in a pool?
Use of neutralizers:
One can use chlorine neutralizers such as sodium thiosulfate, sodium sulfite, or even sodium bisulfite to rapidly neutralize the chlorine levels in a pool. One has to be careful though, as sodium thiosulfate can remove all the chlorine in the water.
Addition of Ascorbic acid:
You can add ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) to your pool’s water to neutralize chlorine. Ascorbic acid readily reacts with combined chlorine to form products that are not hazardous. This is why it’s very much preferred. The only thing to watch out for is the reduction in pH.
Addition of hydrogen peroxide:
Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer that reacts with water to form water and oxygen. The best formulation for quality results is the food-grade hydrogen peroxide, which is at about 35% concentration. This concentration is higher than the 3% that is used for medical purposes. Also, for optimum effectiveness of the hydrogen peroxide, the pH of the water must be at a level above 7.0.
How do you remove chlorine from water naturally?
Stop adding chlorine:
When you realize that the chlorine levels are high, stopping the addition of more chlorine will be the first step. Already there’s debris and other contaminants in the pool. These will use up the chlorine.
Exposure to sunlight:
The ultraviolet rays from the sun help to break down chlorine naturally. This will only work for pools that are exposed to sunlight and not indoor pools.
Draining and dilution of the pool:
This method involves draining off some of the water and refilling the lost volume. This creates a dilution effect and creates a balance in the concentration of chlorine. It could be time-consuming and also take a lot of time because you will be draining a very large pool.
Swimming in the pool:
If the levels of chlorine in the pool are not too high, your family and friends can dive in. The contaminants on their bodies react with the chlorine, causing it to be used up. Only use this method when the chlorine levels aren’t too elevated.
How long does it take for chlorine levels to drop in a pool?
Depending on the amount of chlorine used, time could vary. But in cases of heavy shock, the chlorine will require a time-frame of about 24-48 hours before it drops to reasonable levels (5 ppm) safe for swimming.
Will baking soda lower chlorine levels in a pool?
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 sunlight reduce chlorine?
The sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays. Chlorine, when dissolved in water, forms hypochlorite ions. In the presence of UV rays, the chlorine ions that have dissolved in the water, break apart releasing chlorine gas into the atmosphere.
These UV rays are quite effective as they can cause a reduction in chlorine levels by 90 percent in just under two hours.
Another way sunlight helps in this is by increasing temperatures. On bright sunny days, the weather tends to be warmer. Under these temperatures, the chlorine gases easily evaporate from the pool.
Does heating a pool reduce chlorine?
Raising the temperature of your pool affects chlorine levels. Warmer temperatures cause the proliferation of bacteria and microbes. This leads to the use of more chlorine.
Does vinegar lower chlorine in pools?
No, it doesn’t. It is dangerous. Vinegar is acetic acid and the chlorine being used is in the form of sodium or calcium hypochlorite. These two substances, when they react, liberate chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is very poisonous when inhaled.
Avoid mixing chlorine-containing products with acids. It is quite dangerous.
What happens if you over shock a pool?
Firstly, shocking a pool refers to the use of either chlorine or non-chlorine-based chemicals to do the following:
- Break up combined chlorine
- Rapidly increase your pool’s chlorine level.
- Discard algae and other harmful pathogens.
In a literal sense, you can’t over shock your pool. Shocking kills algae in your pool, and this is a good thing.
But for pool owners whose pools have vinyl liners, you would do well to be cautious. Excessive granules of pool shock can settle on the liners. Also, the presence of chlorine can cause permanent damage, leading to leakage.
Does too much chlorine lower pH?
Increased chlorine levels lower the pH of your pool’s water, making it more acidic. Long-term exposure to acidic water is not good for your metallic equipment and pipes due to its corrosive nature.
Can too much chlorine cause cloudy water?
Among many factors, chlorine can make your pool’s water turn cloudy. When excess chlorine is added to the pool, it can cause calcium to solidify into calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate build-up is what leads to the cloudiness we see in the water.
There are so many other factors that can lead to the cloudiness of water, such as faulty filters, high alkalinity, and other pool chemicals. But to be 100% certain that chlorine is what is responsible, using a testing kit is your best bet.
Can too much chlorine make a pool green?
If there is the presence of metals such as iron and copper in the water, chlorine can oxidize these metals and turn the water into a shade of water.