Increasing your saltwater pool-free chlorine is essential to kill harmful bacteria, algae, or other contaminants — which could make swimmers sick if it’s lower than 1.0 ppm. Saltwater pools need a reading of around 1.0 to 3.0 ppm levels of free chlorine to be safe for swimmers. Raising your pool chlorine level is essential if you have a reading below 1.0 ppm or above 3.0 ppm in your saltwater pool.
This article explains how to increase free chlorine in a saltwater pool and what it is.
What to know about free chlorine?
Free chlorine is the amount of chlorine in your pool that hasn’t been used up and is still free to kill contaminants. Without enough free chlorine, your saltwater pool will be infested with bacteria.
What’s the best method to increase free chlorine in a saltwater pool?
A lot of things can cause low chlorine levels in a saltwater pool. However, there are ways in which you can raise free chlorine levels in your saltwater pool.
A saltwater pool can be perfect for swimming by adding shock to kill bacteria. This will raise the level of free chlorine in the water.
Here’s how to do this:
- Wait for the sun to go down.
- Wear your gloves and protective eyewear.
- Turn on your filter.
- Pour in your shock in the saltwater pool. This is a saltwater pool, so that you can use granular shock or shock pods.
- Make sure that no product settles on the bottom of the saltwater pool. If there are any, disperse it throughout the collection.
Also, ensure there’s enough salt in the saltwater pool, as this is important for the salt chlorine generator in converting the salt to chlorine. This can be tricky in most cases, but you can use a test strip to check the salinity level to know whether there’s a need to add any.
To be safe, a saltwater pool must have at least one part per million of chlorine. Digital indicators show how much chlorine the water has. If you see red, you need more.
Why does my saltwater pool have no free chlorine?
Your saltwater pool can get infested by contaminants if you last used it for a long time. So, if algae, fungi, or bacteria have plagued your saltwater, it’ll reduce the pool’s normal chlorine levels.
Your pool might look dusty during the infestation because of the algae and other contaminants, making it unsafe for swimming.
However, there are ways to increase free chlorine in a saltwater pool, which includes adding shock.
What level of free chlorine should I have in a saltwater pool?
As indicated above, your saltwater generator produces chlorine. However, you’ll need to ensure that the free chlorine level has a balanced reading of 1 and 3 parts per million to keep the pool water sanitized and safe.
You can test your saltwater pool with either test strips or a liquid test kit. Depending on the results, you can set your generator to keep chlorine levels between 1 and 3.
What do I do when I can’t get a chlorine reading in a saltwater pool?
Fret not! In most cases, you will only be able to get chlorine readings when testing your saltwater pool if your pool has a high chlorine demand.
By testing both free and total chlorine levels, you can only tell if your saltwater pool needs lots of chlorine. (Free chlorine shows the available chlorine level that hasn’t interacted with any contaminant yet in your collection, while the total chlorine is the amount of chlorine already used in the water.)
When performing this test, the free chlorine reading must match the total chlorine reading to determine that your saltwater pool is not experiencing a high chlorine demand. If there is a different reading from free chlorine and total chlorine, then your saltwater pool has a high chlorine demand.
Why do I have a high chlorine demand in a saltwater pool?
Even if you have a certain level of chlorine in your saltwater pool, it can only sanitize your collection up to a limit until the contaminants take over. That’s why you need to frequently test the free chlorine level on your saltwater pool to know when to raise it.
Having contaminants in your pool water makes it need more chlorine.
This happens if your saltwater pool is left untreated for an extended period when leaves, debris, and other contaminants break down to add nitrogen and other organic pollutants.
Also, heavy rainfall can lead to your saltwater pool having a high chlorine demand when there’s a runoff from your collection. The particles and chemicals from the heavy rain introduce large amounts of contaminants in the pool that the chlorine has to fight, leading to a high chlorine demand.
Why do I still have a low free chlorine after adding chlorine?
In rare cases, you might experience a low free chlorine level in your saltwater after adding chlorine or a chlorine-based shock to your pool. This can be a result of certain things, including:
Your saltwater pool chemicals are out of balance. Remember that with the correct levels of chemicals in your pool, such as pH or cyanuric acid, your free chlorine levels will stay stable. You can fix this issue by shocking your pool.
Your saltwater pool is highly contaminated. If your saltwater pool is highly contaminated, you’ll experience the build-up of bacteria, algae, and other harmful contaminants. This can be fixed by consistent shock treatment.
However, suppose your free chlorine levels are constantly low or get low shortly after shock treatment. In that case, it can result from your cyanuric acid level being down, which can be due to the sun’s UV rays shining on your saltwater pool to burn chlorine faster.
How can I fix the high chlorine demand in a saltwater pool?
Having a high chlorine demand in your saltwater pool can be a troubling issue. With constant shock treatments, you can fix this issue.
Using 3 pounds of calcium hypochlorite pool shock for every 10,000 gallons of pool water is essential. Remember that this may differ according to your pool’s chlorine demand.
Also, make sure that you add enough cyanuric acid (chlorine stabilizer) to the saltwater pool when adding shock. The treatment should be done when the sun goes down because the sun eats up chlorine.
What should I do if I add too much salt to the saltwater pool?
One thing you should know about saltwater pools is that when you add salt, it stays in the water, making it easy for your saltwater generator to produce chlorine.
Adding too much salt will increase the chlorine levels of your saltwater pool, and to lower your stories, it will take too much effort to dilute the water manually. So, test the free chlorine levels in your saltwater pool as you add your salt slowly.
What best shock treatment should I use in a saltwater pool?
Meanwhile, saltwater pools are theoretically self-cleaning and don’t require the water to be sanitized frequently. However, you can still sanitize the water and shock the saltwater pool to make its water even cleaner.
There is a wide range of pool shock treatments, and the method you’ll need for your pool treatment depends on the pool’s type and condition. Some popular pool shock treatments include cal-hypo shock and non-chlorine shock.
The Calcium Hypochlorite Pool Shock treatment is powerful and significant for regular maintenance to eliminate algae, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants in your pool. But for non-chlorine shock treatment, it’s very gentle and doesn’t affect the different chemistry levels in the pool.