Are you allergic to chlorine? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Quick – think of a chlorine pool. What comes to mind? Do you think red eyes, itchy skin, green hair? Probably you think of a strong chlorine smell and maybe even a chlorine taste.
What would you say if we told you those symptoms are NOT due to chlorine in the pool? Not directly at least. In fact, it turns out that chlorine at recommended pool levels (1-3ppm for a residential pool) has almost no odor and is not irritating at all.
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THE CHLORAMINE TRUTH
So what gives? Why do we all have these experiences with chlorine pools if they aren’t real? Is it fake news?!
It’s just a little more complicated. In a pool, chlorine should work to sanitize contaminants in the water. It does this by breaking down bacteria, algae, etc. But like any chemical, chlorine can also react with other chemicals in the water.
In the presence of things like ammonia or nitrogen, chlorine can get “locked” up by forming new compounds–this is called a chloramine. (Technically there are different types of chloramines including mono-chloramines, di-chloramines, etc. but we will generalize here for simplicity)
Chloramines are not an effective sanitizer, and guess what else? They have a strong odor, can be very irritating, and if caught indoors can even cause breathing problems. Yep, it turns out that chlorine has been getting a bad rap this whole time.
HOW DO WE DEAL WITH CHLORAMINES?
OK, so you are probably thinking: “Sure this isn’t ‘technically’ a chlorine problem, but that is still the root cause right? If this always happens then I still don’t like chlorine!”
The good news is that pool caretakers have known about chloramines for a long time. They even test for it regularly. A chlorine test usually looks for two things: Free Available Chlorine (FAC) and Total Chlorine (TC). If all the chlorine is working it should be “free.” If there is more TC than FAC, that difference represents chloramines that are “locking up” the available chlorine.
There is a normal procedure to deal with this – we “shock” the pool! Every pool owner is used to throwing in bags of concentrated chlorine. This is to raise the chlorine level, sure, but it also breaks apart the locked up chlorine. This gives you more FAC. The shock does this through strong oxidizing.
But what if we told you that chlorine is not actually a great oxidizer? It can get the job done, but chlorine is much better at hanging out to disinfect and sanitize on the regular. It is much better for this than for strong oxidizing reactions. That’s why you have to add so much chlorine shock to get a strong reaction.
A BETTER “OXIDATION PLAN” TO REMOVE CHLORAMINES!
There is a better way. Modern technology (the kind that has been around for decades actually) has a solution. You’ve probably heard of ozone and maybe AOP. These two Advanced Sanitizer treatments for pool water are extremely powerful oxidizers. AOP is the most powerful – creating strong, fast reactions with Hydroxyl Radicals.
By adding one of these systems to a pool, they can totally take over almost all of the oxidation “load.” This does a few great things for us. First, it destroys chloramines so all of those bad experiences are a thing of the past.
Second, they let chlorine focus on being a good sanitizer–instead of an oxidizer–so the chlorine works better! You probably will need a lot less chlorine added to your water to maintain that 1-3ppm.
As an even better third bonus, ozone and AOP will destroy bacteria and viruses that chlorine may take hours or days to destroy. These things can make you sick, but these powerful Advanced Sanitizers knock them right out.
Also unlike shock, it doesn’t take pounds of these products to get the reaction. Extremely small amounts are effective. And they leave very little leftover residual in the water. In the case of AOP there is zero residual, which can be a great benefit.
WE CALL IT – THE COMPLETE MODERN POOL®
The old school traditional way to take care of a pool is chlorine. And when that stops working – MORE CHLORINE! Technically it works, but chlorine is not the right tool for every job.
That is why we call it the COMPLETE Modern Pool. It’s not either/or. It’s both! By using a great sanitizer (chlorine) and an amazing oxidizer (AOP/Ozone) you get the total solution.
A Complete Modern Pool system will feel great and it will smell great. The pool will be clean and clear, and free of things that can make you sick.
Check out our solutions to create a great pool system:
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