Understanding Chlorine

Simply put, chlorine is what sanitizes your pool. This is the biggest help in making your pool water safe and hygienic for swimming! But what exactly does chlorine do? And why are there different kinds?

Brace yourself for some schooling, because there will be a bit of chemistry involved in this explanation! First, chlorine reacts with your pool water to form hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. Combined, these compounds form “free chlorine.” You want your water’s FC level to be between one and four parts per million (ppm) so the chemical can do its job.

When the chlorine you’ve added begins to react with contaminants in the water, such as nitrogen and ammonia, you’ve not got “combined chlorine.” Combined chlorine is chlorine that has already been used. Because the combined chlorine as some contaminants in it, it is not as effective as free chlorine in sanitizing the pool. You want to keep your CC level to less than 0.2 ppm.

Remember, to ensure your pool is sanitized properly, your free chlorine should remain higher than your combined chlorine.

There is also something known as “breakpoint chlorination,” which is when you have enough FC to shatter the molecular bonds of chloramine. You need to add ten times the amount of CC to hit this point. If you’ve heard of “shocking” your pool, this is what you’re aiming for in this process. Not hitting the breakpoint can result in even more chloramines in your pool, and if the chloramine levels continue to rise unchecked, you may eventually have to partially or even fully replace your water to fix the issue.

Blue Ribbon Pools offers free water testing, where we can test the chlorine levels of your pool for you as long as you bring in a water sample. We can then recommend what you should do next. If you need help shocking your pool, understanding the chlorine levels, or would like someone to do the “dirty” work for you, contact Blue Ribbon Pools today to schedule maintenance!

(Thanks to Swim University for additional info provided for this article.)

It’s a Busy Week Here at BRP

We have a busy week coming up! 

On Wednesday, we are a sponsor/presenter of Southern States Management Group’s Seasonal Forum happening from 5:30-8pm at Oceanside Country Club. If you are or know a board member who wants to attend and learn seasonal tips by industry leaders, like Blue Ribbon Pools, please email to attend. 

We also have our annual “Party at the Jack Customer Appreciation Night” happening this Sunday. We are excited to see everyone. 

And, next week we are hosting this Pool Professional Workshop. 

Loving what we do and appreciative for the continued support and business from all!

Healthy Swimming

With winter behind us, your pool is sure to see a lot more use. Keeping your pool safe is more than protecting against drowning and preventing safety hazards. Your pool’s “health” is important to your family’s health, and vice versa. Good hygiene is important for the cleanliness of your pool. Similarly, the cleanliness of the pool is important to your well-being – if the water is contaminated, you may get sick! Here are some tips to keep both your pool and your family’s health in top condition.

1. Don’t swim if you’re sick! While it’s true that the chlorine in your pool is there for disinfecting the water, it is not a cure-all. Try keeping germs out of the pool as much as possible by practicing good hygiene. If there is an accident while swimming, make sure to clean out the water as quickly as possible.

2. Regularly test your pool water. Your pool water MUST be kept clean. People will get sick in dirty water. It is really easy to throw your water off balance, just by the forces of nature (hot weather, rain) or with excessive use. Testing the chemical balance of the water in your pool is one of the most important things you can do to make sure it’s up to par. This is important as the chemical balance keeps your water disinfected and clean, and thus – safe. Test the chlorine and pH levels at least twice a week and daily if you can.

3. Keep the surface of your water clean. Debris can easily fall into your pool. Not only will it make your pool water look ugly and messy, but the chemicals in your pool and your filtration system may also have to try to work overtime to keep the water clean – and they might not be able to compensate. It’s not just dirt, bugs, and leaves that can enter the water – keep in mind that you are probably entering the pool with sunscreen and/or other oils that will seep into the water as well. So use a hand skimmer to clean your pool’s surface, brush the walls and vacuum its floor often. Don’t neglect to keep the skimmer baskets clean as well!

4. Keep your pool filter clean. This should be part of your regular pool maintenance anyway, so don’t neglect it! If you have a sand filter, make sure to backwash and clean filter screens when necessary. If you are using a cartridge-based filter, make sure to check, clean or replace your filters when they’re dirty.

If you are unsure of the proper procedures for caring for your pool or would rather someone else keep up the maintenance – we understand! Give Blue Ribbon Pools a call!