Typically, you will need to add chlorine tabs or granules to your pool on a constant basis. About every two weeks, you will need to shock your pool with a higher dose of chlorine. This raises the pH levels quickly and is especially important in sunny weather when the chlorine can break down.
Add chlorine to your pool every couple of days as part of regularly monitoring your pool water chemistry. You can also add it in the form of pool shock when the chlorine in your pool needs a fast boost. Add chlorine after sunset and make sure no swimmers are in the pool.
Shock? Shock is liquid or granular chlorine. You should add one gallon (or one pound) of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water every week to two weeks. During hot weather or frequent use, you may need to shock more frequently.
It is recommended to wait at least 20 minutes to an hour after adding water balancing chemicals. You should wait 2–4 hours (or one full cycle through the filter) to swim from the moment you use calcium chloride in your pool. It is safe to swim once your chlorine levels are around 5 ppm or after 24 hours.
How much chlorine to add depends on the type you're using. But since tablets are the most common, we can say that the rule of thumb for how much chlorine to add is two 3-inch tablets per 10,000 gallons, or one 3-inch tablet per 5,000 gallons. The goal is to have a chlorine level at 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm).
Granular Chlorine. The procedure for adding granular chlorine is pretty much the same as adding calcium chloride or sodium bicarb to a pool. Measure the dry chemical, pre-dissolve in a bucket, and pour around the perimeter of the pool (never into the skimmer directly). There are a few types of dry, granular chlorine.
By being consistent and having the right equipment, you don't need to invest much time at all to keep you swimming pool clean year round. I often tell clients if they spend 10 minutes a week on regular pool maintenance – that's pretty much all they will need to do on a continuous basis.
In a typical residential pool, the chlorine loss to sunlight even with CYA and low swimmer loads is about 1.5 ppm per day or about 10 ppm of chlorine per week.
Strong chlorine smell in swimming pools
Too little chlorine permits chloramine compounds to form. It is these compounds that have the strong smell and that cause the irritation. If your pool smells strongly, check the chlorine level as you may need to add more chlorine.
You need to wait for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours after using a chlorine-based shock before you can swim. And you'll want to retest your water to make sure your chemical levels are within range. If your free chlorine is at or below 5 ppm and your pH levels are at or below 7.6, it's likely safe to swim.
SKIMMER NOTES: No. Chlorine and shock are not the same thing. Shock has a more intense chemical strength than the traditional chlorine sanitizers, and it also differs in how you should apply it to your swimming pool.
If you want a reliable, low-maintenance way to keep a steady level of chlorine in the pool, slow-dissolving 3" tablets are the way to go. On the other hand, if you're looking for a quick way to increase chlorine levels on demand, liquid chlorine might be a better option.
The best time to add liquid chlorine to the pool is when the chlorine levels in the water are below normal levels. Depending upon the different factors that affect the water chemistry, this can be biweekly, weekly, or just once every couple of weeks.
Your chlorine's effectiveness is finite. So if there are lots of swimmers or debris and organic contaminants in the water, more chlorine is required to properly sanitize the water. At a certain point, your chlorine gets used up faster than you can add it and your levels remain low.
Bacteria growth: The number one consequence of letting your pool water go untreated is that it will harbour and then grow bacteria. Depending on what grows, this can result in water discoloration, bad smells, and negative health consequences.
As the bacteria multiple, your chlorine ramps up to kill it. The result? You lose free chlorine. In the heat of the summer, consider adding twice as much chlorine to your pool so you maintain an adequate level.
Bacteria, algae and microscopic contaminants, such as urine, sweat, sunscreen and beauty products, take a toll on your swimming pool's water chemistry. These substances, when present in your pool water, accelerate chlorine demand and can affect your chlorine's ability to maintain properly sanitized water.
High levels of contaminants (organic and inorganic)
Because if there are any contaminants in your water, your chlorine is going to attack them. And in the process, your chlorine will get used up, which lowers your chlorine levels.
If you test your pool water and can't get a chlorine level reading at all it may be due to a very high chlorine demand. A high chlorine demand is the inability to keep an adequate level of chlorine in the pool water even though the water appears to be balanced and properly maintained.
Although you're adding chlorine to your water, bacteria or algae are overpowering the chemicals causing it not to show up on tests strips or in water kits. Keep in mind, organic materials like algae, leaves, sunscreen, lotions, pee, poop, etc., consume chlorine.
The differential that occurs between the pool water temperature and the air temperature on late summer nights causes water to evaporate at an accelerated rate. In some cases you might see a water level difference of 1-3 inches overnight.
Pool Is Losing 1 Inch of Water Per Day
Losing more than ½” of pool water per day indicates you likely have a leak in your pool's structure or your pool pump system.
At minimum, pools require weekly cleaning and care to ensure they stay in good condition, especially in the warmer weather. Skimming, checking filters, and testing chemicals all take a good amount of time if done correctly.
Chlorine Shocks and Algaecide
On a weekly basis, “shock” your pool with a high dose of chlorine to kill any dormant bacteria or algae. Also, if your pool has a history of algae outbreaks, you may also want to consider a weekly algaecide treatment that specifically targets algae.
There are two ways to prevent this: keeping your pool covered when not in use and adding a chlorine stabilizer to your water. If you keep your pool cover on when you're not swimming, you shield your chlorine from the sun, making it last much longer. This also keeps debris from getting into your pool.