When I started swimming as a child, I got acquainted with the distinct smell that comes from the swimming pool water. That smell became a marker of whether a pool is clean or not. It’s the smell of sanitizer, chlorine and hygiene. A pool’s hygiene is of the greatest importance. You can frolic in the waters on a hot summer afternoon, but if you come away with a disease or infection because the water was not properly sanitized, that simply puts a spanner in the fun. So as a swimmer and as a somewhat expert in water treatment, when I started my company WaterMan along with a friend, the focus was on helping local pool owners keep their pools clean. In this article, I will be taking you through the importance of chlorine for your pool and how you can add it to the water. It’s easier than you thought!
Why Should You Use Chlorine?
Chlorine is one of the most commonly used pool sanitizers. Not only in smaller private pools but even commercial pools use chlorine frequently to keep their pool crystal clear. It is n0t very expensive, easily available in stores and also awfully easy to administer. In my experience, chlorine is a must for maintaining a pool’s hygiene. It kills viruses, algae and infections and will keep you and anyone else swimming in your pool protected from diseases.
Types of Tablets
There are at least two common varieties of chlorine tablets in the market. There is a one-inch tablet and a three-inch tablet. Depending on expense, availability and the requirement of your pool, you can choose which tablets are appropriate for you. For example, if you have a smaller pool you can use the smaller tablets but you may still have to use more pieces than if you use the three-inch tablets. But if you’re getting a good deal or if a certain kind of tablet is the only variety available in your area, don’t fret. Both are as effective as the other, you only need to administer them in different quantities.
How Much Is Too Much?
Anyone who owns a pool will tell you that it is of utmost importance to maintain your chemical readings. This is the holy grail of pool maintenance. If you manage to maintain the readings and are careful to test the water regularly and do due diligence, you should have no trouble maintaining your pool. Ideally, the balance you want to maintain is the following:
- Chlorine:0 – 3.0 ppm
- pH:4 – 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 – 140 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 200 – 400
- Cyanuric Acid: 25 – 50 ppm
- Total Dissolved Solids: 500 – 5000 ppm
Too much chlorine can irritate your skin, eyes, nose, throat and even your lungs. Too little and you may be opening yourself up to all kinds of waterborne diseases. It’s important to test your pool waters regularly. Use any pool chemical test kit that is available easily at a supermarket or a store that stocks swimming pool supplies.
Ideally, you should round up the capacity of your pool to ascertain how many tablets you may need. Most three-inch tablets are suitable for about 5,000 gallons of water. So if your pool has 14,000 gallons of water, you should use three of these tablets. But if your pool has 16,000 gallons of water, use four tablets. Read the instruction label carefully before administering the tablet.
How to Add Chlorine Tablets to Your Pool
Now, let us come to the main question. How do you administer these tablets to your pool? There are several ways you can add chlorine tablets to your pool. In the following section, I will guide you through each method. You can make your choice according to your convenience and availability.
An automatic chlorinator is one of the best and most effective ways to chlorinate your pool. It uses efficient technology in order to minimize the work on your end. You can simply put the tablets into the chlorinator and set the chlorine level you require. You can also verify the chlorine level with a test kit, so there is no need to feel under-confident about the dosage with this method.
It hands you with greater control over how the chlorine is mixing with the water and also protects your pool liner by providing an even mix.
Another method you can experiment with is to introduce the tablets into the water directly through the filter. You can place the chlorine tablets directly onto your pool skimmer. When you turn on your filter, the water goes over the tablets and helps them dissolve. The water that comes in contact with the tablets, naturally, becomes chlorinated. It then comes into the pool through the return line jets. The water pressure and the force with which the chlorinated water enters the pool helps the chlorine dissolve in the larger pool more evenly.
A drawback of this method is the possibility that high concentrations of chlorine can corrode your equipment. If the chlorine tablets are not done dissolving by the time you need to turn off your filter, the half dissolved tablets will keep sitting in your pool skimmer. The corrosive water can subsequently damage your equipment if you don’t attend to it in time. You can, however, remove the semi-dissolved chlorine tablets when you turn off your filter. But of course, this is something you need to be careful about every time.
Floating Chlorine Dispenser
Floating chlorine dispensers are exactly what they sound like. These are plastic devices that will float around the pool and dispense the chlorine tablets until they dissolve fully. They are economical, convenient to use but have a few major drawbacks.
If you have a pool liner, there’s a chance it may suffer some damage because of the dispenser. Since it does not have a fixed path or mechanism, the dispenser may not allow the chlorine to dissolve evenly. When that happens, too much chlorine concentrates in one area, consequently damaging your pool liner. Other than simply damaging your pool liner, the fact that the chlorine dissolves unevenly can be dangerous for anyone swimming in the water as some pockets may have high concentrations of chlorine while others may have low concentrations of chlorine. Still, if you have a small pool and do not use a pool liner, you could get satisfactory results from a floating dispenser.
Another common method is to simply pour chlorine granules into the pool directly. These are powdered versions of the tablets and can be sprinkled into the water directly. Again, the problem with this method is you cannot be certain if the chlorine is mixing evenly. If it concentrates in certain parts, again, there is a danger of it damaging your pool liner or corroding equipment.
Keeping your pool readings balanced is of the utmost importance. Irrespective of how often you use your pool, if you check the water every now and then and ensure the readings are correct, you will be saving yourself a lot of effort and money before there is irreparable damage. Maintaining your pool readings can actually be incredibly easy if you just stay on track and are informed about how to take care of it. Nothing takes better care of your pool than a healthy dose of chlorine, so a have a safe, healthy and happy swim!