People with light hair who spent a lot of time in the pool as kids will tell you—after a whole afternoon of soaking up the chlorine, you can come out looking like the Joker. Green hair isn’t the only side effect of chlorine over-exposure, though. There are plenty of reasons why you need to keep your chlorine levels in your pool balanced.
Swimsuit Wear and Tear
You spend all spring looking for swimwear that looks good and getting in shape to wear it, so if it falls apart after three laps around the pool, you’re going to be annoyed. It may be the chlorine that’s to blame. According to All About Water, chlorine can seriously shorten a swimsuit’s lifespan. It’s easy to forget that chlorine is actually a corrosive and potentially dangerous chemical, and even when watered down, it can do some real damage over time.
Algae is a problem of a poorly sanitized pool. You can’t underdo it on the chlorine and hope for the best. Proper balance is what matters.
Here’s a big one: chlorine-related health hazards. Children, especially, can get irritated eyes, itchy skin and swimmer’s asthma (a breathing condition related to chlorine). Check out Pool Wizard for a reference guide to the biggest offenders.
Attain Proper Balance
It’s vital you maintain a proper pH level in your pool. You want to keep your pH level at around a medium 7, with 7.4 to 7.6 being ideal. We recommend an alkalinity level of around 100 to 150 ppm, and calcium hardness of 175-275 ppm.
To get started, buy one of the many products that enable you to test your chemical levels, from electronic testers and kits to chemical strips and liquid testers.
You generally want to add calcium to your pool just once, at the beginning of the season. Chlorine will need to be replenished every now and then, so test your water regularly, and dissolve shock in water before adding it to the pool.
- Any time you’re going to add more chemicals to your pool, wear safety goggles, rubber gloves and old clothes, in case the chlorine splashes
- If you get your calcium in tablet form, do not try to pre-dissolve them; they get hot when mixed with water and could burn you
- Don’t add shock through your filtration system; it does not mix with chlorine
If you keep your pool clean, you shouldn’t have to drain and refill it more than once every three years. Keep the chemical balance right and clean it regularly, and you can jump in whenever you want.