Understanding the facts about chlorine neutralizer is an important aspect of pool ownership. Pool owners are commonly seeing and hearing information about adding chlorine to their pool in order to control bacteria, algae, and other things. However, there’s significantly less information available on the removal of chlorine.
Occasionally, you may find that your pool has too much chlorine in the water. This is when a chlorine neutralizer is needed. There are several options for removing chlorine from your swimming pool. However, some of these options are simply not practical for pool owners. For example, boiling water is an effective way of removing chlorine, but not a great option for a swimming pool.
Before you can determine if you need a chlorine neutralizer, you must first understand how to read the water tests from your swimming pool. Standard test strips max out at ten parts per million for chlorine. This means that when testing considerably high levels of chlorine your strip will likely turn clear or bleach out. If this is the case, you can usually dilute your sample by adding the same amount of distilled water, then multiplying the results by two.
For example, mix one cup of pool water with one cup of distilled water and retest. Then, double the resulting number on your test strip for a more accurate reading. Once you understand what level of chlorine you’re working with, you can begin to remove the excess from your water.
Removing Chlorine from Water with a Chlorine Neutralizer
Chlorine levels in your swimming pool will naturally decline over time and with sun exposure. Additional factors such as aeration, agitation, and heating can increase the rate of chlorine loss. However, if you’re in a situation where you need to drastically drop chlorine levels quickly, you’ll want to use a chlorine neutralizer.
One common method of reducing chlorine is with the use of sodium thiosulfate, also known as chlorine neutralizer. This is the product swimming pool owners tend to turn toward when they need to reduce chlorine levels. It’s fast, affordable, and doesn’t have any negative side effects. Sodium thiosulfate removes free chlorine as well as combined chlorine, also known as chloramines.
To use this reducer you simply add approximately one cup of the dry material for every 5,000 gallons of water. This breaks down to about one ounce per 100 gallons. Doing this will lower your chlorine levels by around 10 ppm. It’s important to read the instructions when adding directly to your swimming pool to ensure you’re using the chlorine neutralizer safely.
If you add too much sodium thiosulfate then you may have a problem increasing chlorine levels when needed. Too large of a dose will continue to lower chlorine levels when you add more chlorine later on. This can cause an issue when it comes to attempting to sterilize your swimming pool. Chlorine neutralizers often take a few days to dissipate from most pools.
Chlorine Neutralizer Alternatives
Another, though less popular option, is to use hydrogen peroxide. However, the hydrogen peroxide you would use in your swimming pool is much, much stronger than the antibiotic sold at the pharmacy. Concentrated hydrogen peroxide is specially formulated for pool use as a shock oxidizer. It kills everything including chlorine by using oxygen and hydrogen. This method, while effective, is significantly more expensive than sodium thiosulfate. Hydrogen peroxide isn’t created solely to reduce chlorine, therefore you may have a hard time finding information on how much you should use to reduce chlorine in your swimming pool.
A third option, ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C can also remove chlorine. Ascorbic acid comes in numerous forms. It’s an excellent stain remover and not generally marketed as a chlorine neutralizer, however, it does lower chlorine levels in pools with a balanced pH. This method is also much more expensive than sodium thiosulfate and it can be difficult to determine the quantity that you would need to dechlorinate your water.
There are a handful of other chemicals and conditions used to remove chlorine from water in other circumstances. For example, industrial or medical water, aquariums, or even foods and beverages have different methods of reducing or removing chlorine. However, these methods are either ineffective or expensive to use for a larger body of water such as a swimming pool.
The best chlorine neutralizer available for swimming pools is still sodium thiosulfate.
Caring for Your Swimming Pool
Any swimming pool owner will tell you how enjoyable a swimming pool can be. However, they’ll also let you know that caring for your pool can be expensive and time consuming. Pool ownership goes hand in hand with regular pool maintenance.
Swimming pools need near constant attention. During times of heavy use, the water should be tested daily, sometimes more than once per day. Swimming pools also need to be cleaned a minimum of once per week, depending on usage. Slacking off on taking care of your swimming pool can have serious consequences. Improper cleaning and water maintenance can cause swimmers to experience discomfort on their skin and in their eyes. They are also more likely to sustain an infection when injured or from the pathogens in the water.
Swimming pool chemistry requires constant attention to ensure the water and the swimming pool itself are in prime condition. Your water needs to be balanced to protect your swimmers and your pocket book. Unfortunately, many swimming pool owners don’t have the time to care for their swimming pool properly. They often find that they spend more time testing their water, balancing the pH, and cleaning the pool than they do enjoying it.
Thankfully, Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance offers weekly pool maintenance and care. We help pool owners just like yourself reclaim their free time. Our expertly trained staff will take care of your swimming pool’s weekly needs, allowing you and your family more time to enjoy the pool together.