Chlorine has been the cost-effective swimming pool sanitation method of choice for over 100 years! There are many types of chlorine, but they all have some very important things in common. Chlorine is safe enough to sanitize your drinking water, and strong enough in the right concentrations and correct dosages to kill harmful germs, contaminants, bacteria and viruses!
There are chlorine alternatives available, but only chlorine oxidizes while it sanitizes – helping to give you the crystal-clear pool of your dreams.
Why does my pool need chlorine?
Chlorine is the only way to purify your pool water from daily contaminants like wind, rain, dust and swimmers that introduce germs and algae to your pool. Your pool is said to have a "chlorine residual" when you properly add enough chlorine to the water to kill these harmful contaminants. This is what keeps your pool clean and safe for swimming. When you have a heavy swimmer load, or an unusual amount of rain or wind, it's time to shock your pool. We suggest adding Suncoast Super Shock. This 4-way pool shock dissolves fast and is perfect for opening a new pool and regular pool maintenance throughout the year. This pool shock is called "4-way pool shock" because it (1.) kills bacteria, (2.) controls algae, (3.) destroys organic contaminants and (4.) creates crystal-clear sparkling water.
How do I test chlorine residual?
Chlorine residual is tested like other pool water components - with a pool water test kit. Look for chlorine test kits that offer readings for Total Available Chlorine (TAC) and Free Available Chlorine (FAC).
The ideal range is 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
Free Available Chlorine is the chlorine in your pool that is still ready to go to work by sanitizing and killing bacteria. Total Available Chlorine is a combination of Free Available Chlorine and chloramines in your pool water. Chloramines are leftover chlorine that has already done its job to kill contaminants and has now become "used" and is no longer effective.
Chloramines cause strong "chlorine" odors, burning eyes when swimming, and irritated skin, and they keep your Free Available Chlorine from working properly.
If you have a high level of chloramines in your pool water, you should use pool shock on a regular basis. The best time to shock the pool is late afternoon or early evening. After using pool shock, run your pool equipment for at least one hour. Just follow the ABCs of Pool Care and you'll have a worry-free time with your pool maintenance.
You must maintain a Free Available Chlorine residual level of 2.0 to 4.0 ppm.
A Free Available Chlorine level less than 2.0 means you'll probably soon be dealing with pool algae and bacteria. A Free Available Chlorine level greater than 4.0 means you're spending more than you should be on chlorine and could even cause pool stains.
Is one type of pool chlorine better than another?
Each type of pool chlorine has a specific purpose and has its own features and benefits. There are two basic kinds of chlorine - stabilized and unstabilized.
Stabilizer helps chlorine last longer in your pool. So why would you use anything else but stabilized chlorine?
Simple; stabilized pool chlorine is best for daily sanitizing, while unstabilized is best for shocking your pool each week (giving the pool a large dose of chlorine to sanitize the water quickly). The most important thing to remember is that chlorine is the best way to sanitize your pool.
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