Q:

How do you chlorinate swimming pools?

A:

Quick Answer

To chlorinate swimming pools, choose a chlorinating product and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to test the water to ensure that chlorine levels are sufficient.

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Full Answer

Chlorine is a common ingredient for disinfecting pool water. Homeowners need to add it to pools regularly in order to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from spreading. To add chlorine to a swimming pool, follow the steps below.

  1. Test the water
  2. If possible, test the chlorine levels in the water on a daily basis. Important levels to measure include free available chlorine, combined available chlorine and total chlorine. FAC describes the amount of chlorine that is available to kill microorganisms, CAC describes chlorine that has already been used to kill microorganisms and total chlorine describes the entire content of the chlorine in the water. Ideally, there should be between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm of FAC and less than 0.2 ppm of CAC; knowing these levels can help determine how much chlorine to add to the pool.

  3. Choose a chlorinating product
  4. Chlorinating product options include chlorinating tabs, liquid chlorine and chlorinating granules.

  5. Add the chlorine to the water
  6. Follow the product's manufacturer instructions to add the chlorine to the water. Use the existing chlorine levels as a guideline. If the FAC levels are too low, a shock treatment of high levels of chlorine can help fix the problem. Shock treatments involve adding anywhere from 5.0 to 10.0 ppm of chlorine to the water. Before doing a shock treatment, test the pH levels of the water to ensure that they fall between the 7.2 and 7.8 range.

  7. Test the water again
  8. Before entering the water, do another test to ensure that the FAC levels are high enough. If the levels are too low or the pool smells strongly of chlorine, add more chlorine to the water. Although strong chlorine smells may make it seem like there is too much chlorine in the water, they can actually indicate high levels of ammonia and nitrogen in the water.

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