Installing a swimming pool as a new timer or as someone polishing it up after a long winter comes with new responsibilities which you cannot escape.
As usual, a new swimming pool is exposed to a lot of conditions that might not be favorable for the best functionalities of which it is required. This you have to start the applications some certain chemicals in which chlorine is an important member.
How Much Chlorine Should be added To The Pool First Time
The amount of chlorine to be added to your swimming pool for the first time depends on the condition of the pool, water volume, and chemical proportion present.
While there are already generally fixed amounts of chlorine to be added per gallon in a swimming pool, for start-ups, there are also other varieties of things to be put in place before the addition of chlorine and in the absence of these, the swimming pool will be deficient of proper chemical standard or experience unstable chlorine level afterward.
You should add 4 pounds of chlorine to 10,000 gallons of water for the first time of chlorine supplications but there is more on the line than the figure. A swimming pool needs to be in perfect condition for you to be free from vulnerabilities posed by unhealthy water conditions.
The core aim of this article is targeted to enlightening readers with the required knowledge of the addition of chlorine for the first time maybe after construction or after winter, types of chlorines and their specifications, conditions to meet up with, how to add chlorine to the pool based on their type, and precautions to take.
The journey will be bump-less, let’s take a ride through the world of chlorine addition.
What is Chlorine and how does it work?
The swimming pool has lots of conditions contributing to its standard. Chlorine is a chemical that kills germs, bacteria, and micro-living organisms and bleaches the swimming pool’s water.
It forms a compound with the water after introduction called hypochlorite acid which contributes to its functionalities. Although chlorine is generally toxic to human beings and in the chemical world, if added in portions that the water content can easily neutralize, they will work in hand and it works effectively.
Chlorine added to swimming pools is pool-graded and tested with fewer side effects for swimmers. They contain a different concentration of chlorine compared to normal chlorine in their pure state.
Even with the reduced ability, pool chlorines are still efficient in the disinfection of swimming pools.
Why should you add chlorine to your swimming pool?
Because you need to get rid of germs, bacteria, fungi, microbes, pathogens, infections, and chemical irregularities that might attack your immune system, render it less effective and expose you to a lot of health issues.
Your swimming pool also needs to be sparkling and free of bad odor, chlorine took these as part of its responsibilities it must succor in pools. Very simple.
How To Test For Chlorine Content In A Swimming Pool?
The goal is to have a swimming pool with a chlorine range between 1 – 3 ppm and to achieve this, for each gallon of water present, there is a need to add 0.00013 ounces of chlorine.
You should be aware of your swimming pool’s size but if you are in oblivion, you can ask your constructors or look at the manufacturer’s guide if you installed purchased the above-ground pool.
Leaving that aside, it is however compulsory to test for the level of chlorine content present in your swimming pool before there are other applications of chlorine. With this, you will be able to precisely apply without creating imbalances with the chemical content.
There are different testing techniques you can try yourself or call a pool maintenance store to help you out. Nonetheless, you have to be familiar with and able to carry out successful chemical testing of your pool yourself as you will be required to do them yourself subsequently.
Water Sample Collection:
Before diving into chlorine testing, you are to be taught how to collect water samples for testing. This is where many swimming pool owners go wrong and end up with imbalances despite doing their best regularly.
- Get a clean bottle or cup
- Make your hand dry and washed.
- Filter the swimming pool earlier before the test to avoid errors due to contamination from twigs, debris, or particles present in the water.
- Dip the cup or bottle upside down fast into the pool.
- When the water reaches your elbow while you stretched your hand straight, turn up the cup or bottle quickly.
- Bring the bottle or cup out and continue with your testing.
These mentioned steps might look unnecessary but if you go wrong, your water sample will be filled with contamination or be a sample of the surface exposed to a lot of conditions rather than the sample of the whole pool.
Chlorine Paper Test Strip:
You can measure the amount of chlorine present in your swimming pool in 30 seconds or less after collecting the water sample. All you have to do is to purchase one pack from your local pool store or order from online stores.
Take one out of the pack and insert it into the water sample. There will change at the end of the test strip. Compare it to the chart provided in the manual or guide in the strip’s pack. Put down your recordings and try these two more times to be sure of your measurement.
Chlorine liquid reagents:
Rather than a paper test strip that works like a litmus paper, this works in the same methodology as titration works. After collecting the water sample with a comparator tube packed in the pack rather than with a cup but with the same technique, add drops of reagents as instructed by your product manufacturer.
Put the cover of the tube on it and shake the tube a bit. When the mixture experiences a color change, compare it with the chart provided to get your value. That is your free chlorine level.
To get your total chlorine content, there will be another reagent you will add to this tube again in measured drops and it will change color again. Record the value down and compare.
Automatic electronic chlorine calculator:
This is more expensive than normal test strips and reagent packs. It is a programmed machine that will give you the exact value of your free chlorine and total chlorine.
You can install this with your automatic chlorinator. Commercial swimming pools or pools with swimmers with excessive swimming periods are often advised to use this. It is much easier and faster to get your values without stress.
Remember the normal chlorine level required is 1 -3 ppm, if it falls below that and it is towards zero, there will be a need for a high amount of chlorine to be added and if it is higher than 5 ppm, you have to bring the chlorine level down depending on how high it is.
Also, put in mind that chlorine levels are measured in two units. There is Free chlorine and total chlorine. Ordinary test strips will only calculate the total chlorine level but you can purchase test strips that will be able to test for the two.
If there is a difference between the Free chlorine level and the total chlorine level, that signifies that there are present of chloramines in the swimming pool and the pool needs shocking rather than simple chlorination.
Types Of Chlorine And Their Specifications
Due to differences in demand, environmental conditions, level of expertise in handling, financial capacity, and time availability, there are different forms of chlorines that could be added to your swimming pool.
The chlorine levels recorded will push you into the type of chlorination methodology you should use. Inconsiderate of the manufacturer’s or product’s name, pool chlorine is generally divided into:
- Granular Chlorine
- Liquid chlorine
- Chlorine tablets
- Non-chlorine chlorinator
There are differences in the applications of these and each comes with an area of specialization in which they are most effective.
Granular chlorine is a powdery form of chlorine usually made of calcium hypochlorite. It contains 65% – 70% chlorine while the rest contents are chlorine clarifiers and addictive. Granular chlorine is mostly used for shocking but some products are made for regular simple chlorination.
Liquid chlorine is sodium hypochlorite with a chlorine content of 10 – 12%. It is almost the same as home bleach but the ones recommended are government-approved ones to eliminate any possibilities of imbalances or exposure to toxins. While it can be used for regular chlorination, it is very effective for shocking.
Chlorine tablets are the most popular chlorine forms used worldwide. With the ease of calculating required amounts and application, many swimming pool owners choose it over the rest. They contain chlorine of up to 65% and cyanuric acid of a considerate amount.
Non-chlorine chlorinators are compounds generated from the combination of elements that will yield the same result as normal chlorine chlorinators will. They are developed because some pool liners and walls react with chlorine. They can be used for regular chlorination but they are mostly used for shocking.
With the above information, you are a step towards knowing how much chlorine should be added to the swimming pool for the first time.
Shocking vs Normal chlorination
Shocking is a super-chlorination process that brutally evacuates all microbes, algae, and pathogens and clears the water with a heavy impact.
They are not to be done every day but only when there is a considerate observation of cloudy surface, large colonies of algae, and very low chlorine levels, after an intensive storm or after swimming sessions with large numbers of swimmers. They raise the chlorine level up to 10 ppm but the water will eventually come down to below 5 ppm.
Normal Chlorination is a simple addition of small amounts of chlorine to make sure the pool maintains a good chlorine level. They only initiate chlorine levels to 4 – 5ppm and they are added in small amounts in opposition to the large amount required for shocking.
At this point, you are most likely to shock your pool because you need foundational chlorination that will eliminate any future bad occurrences from the start and will make chlorine level maintenance easy but on the other side, we cannot come to an end without considering your chlorine level.
If there are no signs of symptoms that show your poll needs shocking, even for your first chlorine addition, you can just carry out normal chlorination.
How much chlorine to add if I am to shock my pool?
10000 gallons of water require only 1 pound of pool shock. You can get any of the chlorine types recommended for shocking but pay attention to the chemical involved.
- Calcium hypochlorite is used for large pools.
- Sodium dichors are effective but if other conditions like calcium, cyanuric acid, pH, and others are at a stable level, they should not be used as it contributes to cyanuric acid and can increase the level steady during application until it becomes toxic in the water.
- Non-chlorine pool shock-like Potassium Monopersulfate should be used in dealing with vinyl pools as they are totally unreactive with liners or rails.
Pools constructed but with more troubles like the presence of algae, zero chlorine level, and high microbes’ content, you can increase the pool shock to 2 pounds per 10000 gallons.
If you are using liquid chlorine for shocking, you should add between 54 – 102 ounces to 10000 gallons of water.
How much chlorine should I add if it is normal chlorination?
Normal chlorination is mostly done with chlorine tablets. A 3-inch chlorine tablet with a 65% chlorine content is enough to bring a balance to 5000 gallons of water. If you are using other products or types, check the user’s guide for the recommended amount.
How do I add chlorine to my swimming pool for the first time?
- Through floating dispensers: It is recommended you get this among your swimming pool equipment. It is effective in chemical distribution and you can use it to add chlorine to the pool.
- Through the skimmer: Skimmers are most likely to be installed alongside other swimming pool facilities you have. Remove all the dirt accumulated in it and put it in your chlorine tablets or whatsoever form of chlorine you have. After which you will run your filter system to aid in circulation.
- In solution: Liquid chlorine exists in a liquid form originally but you can add your other chlorine in this form too. Simply crush tablets into powdery forms as in granule chlorine, then mix them with a small amount of clean water before pouring them into the swimming pool.
- Sprinkling in the powdery form: This isn’t advised but it also works. Sprinkle the powdery form of your chlorine all over the surface of your pool. For pools with a large surface area, this can’t be used.
- Automatic chlorinator: This is another mechanism that can be installed alongside the filtration system. Chlorinators are automated chlorine-adding devices that when you out in the required amount of chlorine through its canister, it will circulate automatically. The pumping system must be in place too.
Precautions to take as a first-time chlorinator
- Wear protective gear like gloves, long sleeves, and even a gas mask if written in the guide of the product you purchase.
- Look for expiry dates and situations the product you purchase works best for.
- Carry out tests before the application to know how best you should carry your processes out.
- Make your pool be in the range of 7.2 – 7.6 pH for the utmost satisfactory result.
- Test the pool again after chlorination. If it is below 5 ppm, then it is safe to swim in. If above, don’t!
Consider other water conditions like alkalinity, pH, cyanuric acid, algae level, and others before you strike. Make the aforementioned in recommended state and you will be sure your chlorination process wouldn’t be in vain.
There are also chlorine enhancers and clarifiers sold in the pool store. Make use of them in the advised amount too. No, you’ve got to take actions after you are well learned about how much chlorine is to be added to the pool the first time.