When it comes to pool water chemistry, it is pertinent to use the right chemicals to disinfect. One of the chemicals that is needed for pool safety is liquid chlorine. Liquid chlorine is part of pool care and maintenance tools because of its immense benefits to pool water. It is one chemical that provides three essential benefits to the pool; it is a rapid sanitizer, efficient algaecide, and a strong oxidizer. But will it raise the pool pH?
No, liquid chlorine doesn’t raise the pH of your pool. Sodium bicarbonate (soda ash) is the compound that is used to raise pH in a pool. When you add liquid chlorine to your pool, it will initially raise the pH because of the alkalinity of the substance. But once the chlorine is converted to hypochlorite (the disinfectant) and HCl, it will balance with the Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) in the water, making the net effect of liquid chlorine on pH to be zero.
But this does not mean that you can add any amount of liquid to your pool. If you add it in excess it will alter the pool water chemistry. This article will help you to know how to apply it to get maximum benefits. In the next sections, you will learn how to add chlorine to your pool, the right quantity, and the best time to do it, plus more information regarding the effects of liquid chlorine on your pool.
What is liquid chlorine?
Liquid chlorine in an aqueous solution is called sodium hypochlorite. It is produced by mixing the chlorine gas in water. Liquid chlorine is mostly an inorganic sanitizer though it also contains cyanuric acid. The active ingredient in it is sodium hypochlorite.
Will liquid chlorine raise pH?
No, liquid chlorine will not raise the pH when it is added to water in the pool. This is because liquid chlorine has a pH of 13 and makes hypochlorous acid (HOCl) which is the killing form of chlorine and sodium hydroxide (Na0H) that raises pH. So when the hypochlorous acid is degraded by ultra-violet rays, HCl is formed which balances the effect of sodium hydroxide. The same thing happens when used for oxidation and killing of bacteria. It produces hydrochloric acid. The amount of hydrochloric acid produced is always proportionate to the amount of sodium hydroxide used up. So at the end of the process, the liquid chlorine will have no net effect on the pH.
Can liquid chlorine lower the pool pH? Yes, having excess chlorine in your pool will produce acidic compounds in excess, and this will make the pool water pH go down. This is why opting for only the correct dose is recommended. The low level of pH will make the pool water more acidic and there will be a higher likelihood of damage to the pool’s components.
How to effectively add liquid chlorine to your pool
The good thing about liquid chlorine is that you don’t need to add much or excess of it to your pool. This is because each gallon contains a measured quantity of your pool. Again, it is non-inflammable, so you are on the safe side. You can add the liquid chlorine to your pool using two different methods. One method is to add the liquid chlorine via your pool’s mechanical chlorination. The other method is pouring it directly into the pool. You can add your liquid chlorine to your pool especially when the sun isn’t yet out. It will enable you to get the best result.
How much liquid chlorine do I add to my pool?
When it comes to pool care, as already stated, the need to apply necessary chemicals for its treatment can’t be overemphasized. It is one thing to know the right chemicals to use but another thing to use the right dosage. If you need to use your liquid chlorine properly then you should be careful with the dose you use. If you have already clean and clear water, you can add only 3 oz of liquid chlorine per 1,000 gallons of water. You need to add it with your pool filter running. You need to always maintain the chlorine level at 3ppm to have a safe pool.
How long does liquid chlorine last in a pool? Liquid chlorine has a very short shelf life. So it can lose its potency up to 50% in its first 6 months when it has been opened.
The best period to add liquid chlorine to the pool
The problem with liquid chlorine is that it isn’t a stabilized form of chlorine. So the best time to use it is in the dark, most evenings when the sun sets. It doesn’t need sunlight because it will quickly burn it off. So using it at night will be a lot better.
Can I shock the pool with liquid chlorine?
Yes, liquid chlorine can be used for pool shock. This is because it can be poured directly into the pool. Unlike chlorine tablets that need to be dissolved before use, you don’t need to dissolve them before use.
Effects of using excess liquid chlorine in your pool
You would be killing your swimming pool with excess use of liquid chlorine in your pool. This is why it is advisable to use the recommended dose at a time. Excess use of liquid chlorine will lower your pool pH which means you have thrown your pool into chaos already. Below are other effects of having high liquid chlorine in your pool.
- It can cause skin and lung irritation
Apart from reducing your pool pH, you will be exposing your skin, eyes, and lungs to toxic compounds. The water will become acidic and cause damages to the part of the body. The eyes and lungs will be irritated; your skin will itch. If the level of acidity is too high and the eyes are exposed to it for a long time, it can damage the eyes.
- Increased damage for asthmatic patients
A pool with high liquid chlorine will be dangerous to those with asthma. In some persons, it can even invoke asthma. So, it is better to keep away from swimming in a pool with a high chlorine level.
- Damages the pool components
Another area that the use of excess liquid chloride will destroy is the pool’s components. The acidic concentration of the pool water may affect the tiles of the pool, metal piping, liners, and other surfaces of the pool. Other pool accessories may also be affected too.
Tips on dealing with excess chlorine in a pool
It is not a good idea to leave your pool with high chlorine when notice it. Some people wait until they feel it before they can take action. But that’s not ideal. The best thing to always do is testing the pool water to be sure. After all, it doesn’t take much from you because the process is easy to carry out.
- Test your water
This should be the first thing to do. Just open your pool, dip your test strip into the water, and dip up to your elbow level. Keep the strip there for few seconds, remove the strip and hold it horizontally down, make the color pads face up. Now compare the color of the strip to the color comparator of the strip package. This will help you know if it is high or not. If it is high do the next thing
- Stop adding more chlorine.
- You need to turn your chlorinator off if you are using it.
- Then let in some sunlight. The sunlight will take it from here. The ultra-violet rays created from natural sunlight will destroy the chlorine. You can leave your pool still uncovered for about 3 hours. This will help the chlorine to be depleted up to 80%. You need to be careful though to prevent the chlorine from becoming too low for the pool.
- Use neutralizing chemicals. You can try this method if you are in hurry to get over with the exercise. Either get sodium sulfite or sodium thiosulfate. These two neutralizers can help neutralize the excess chlorine in your water. Adding either of these chemicals will need you to check your pool pH until you get the ideal range.
- Dilute your existing water. This is another option you can go for if you want the natural way. You just have to replace your water or dilute the existing one. So if you have time replace your entire pool water, but if not, you can simply get some water out, and then refill with fresh water. But you may throw other pool properties off the range. Like your alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness. So it’s ideal to test all the properties to be sure that none of them is out of range.
Importance of using liquid chlorine in your pool
When it comes to pool chlorination, the use of liquid chlorine is more pronounced, since it comes with enormous benefits as a sanitizer for the swimming pool. Though it doesn’t raise the pH of a pool, it offers other benefits to pool owners. Below are the benefits you can enjoy using liquid chlorine.
- Kills bacteria and contaminants
This is the most important benefit of liquid chlorine to pools. The chlorine comes with a composition that aid in destroying bacteria, algae, and other contaminants. Once the chemical is added to the pool water, it will break into hypochloric acid and hypochlorous acid. These two acids will then aid in destroying and oxidizing bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
- Liquid chlorine is cost-effective
When it comes to pricing, the liquid chlorine is cost-effective. If you are on a budget and need a cheaper sanitizer, you can go for the liquid chlorine. It is quite affordable.
- It keeps the pool clean and fresh
It is a known fact that it is unhealthy to swim in unclean pool water. So the best way to ensure that the pool water is devoid of harmful organisms is the application of chlorine. So, adding liquid chlorine to the water as a sanitizer will help keep it clean and fresh.
- Easy to use
The liquid chlorine comes in a form that will be very easy to use. It is already a liquid, so you can easily add it to your pool water with ease, no need to try to dissolve it.
- Safe for storage
Another good thing about using liquid chlorine is the safety of storage that you derive from handling it. The sanitizer isn’t inflammable or combustible, so it is safe when stored in a secured place.
- Leaves residual free chlorine
The whole essence of using the liquid chlorine is to fight bacteria and contaminant in the water. Using it will feed your pool a measurable residual of free chlorine for a while. So, it will last longer than other chemicals.
- Can be used with other sanitizing systems
There are sanitizers that you can’t use with other chemicals. But this doesn’t apply to liquid chlorine. With liquid chlorine, you can use it alongside other secondary sanitizing systems like AOP, UV, and the ozone. It won’t cause any harmful chemical reaction.
As long as you have a swimming pool, you need to always disinfect it to protect your pool against harmful organisms and contaminants. Liquid chlorine can be used to achieve this aim as is it an active disinfectant. Moreover, it doesn’t affect the pH of your pool when the right dosage is used. So, you can use it without worrying about your pool pH going up or down.
But if you intentionally want to raise the pH of your pool when it is low, you can go for sodium bicarbonate (soda ash). This is an alkaline product that is very effective in raising the pH levels of a pool. But you still have to be careful when using it to avoid raising your pH too high. Always try to operate with the 7.2-7.8 pH range.