Chlorine Is Clearly The Best Way To Keep Your Pool Sanitary

While there are many types of chlorine, they all have several important things in common. First, chlorine is the most cost effective way to sanitize your pool. In fact, it's been the product of choice for more than 100 years. It's safe enough to sanitize drinking water, and powerful enough in the right concentrations to kill deadly bacteria, germs and viruses. Unlike chlorine alternatives, chlorine oxidizes while it sanitizes – helping to keep your pool crystal clear.

But why do I need chlorine?

Simple, because nothing purifies the water like chlorine. Wind, rain, dust and people introduce bacteria and algae into your pool, along with other contaminants. When enough chlorine is added to offset these unwanted introductions, your pool is said to have a "chlorine residual". This is what sanitizes your pool continuously. When it's time to shock your pool, add Suncoast Super Shock. This 4 way shock not only dissolves rapidly but is the ideal choice for start-up and maintenance throughout the year. This special compound kills bacteria, controls algae, destroys any and all organic contaminants and makes for crystal clear sparkling water.

How do I test chlorine residual?

Ideal: 2.0 to 4.0 ppm

The same way you test for other pool components – with a test kit. The best chlorine test kits give you readings for both Total Available Chlorine and Free Available Chlorine. Free Available Chlorine is the chlorine in your pool that still has sanitizing capabilities. Total Available Chlorine is the combination of both the Free Available Chlorine and the chloramines. Chloramine is the chlorine that has worked to kill algae or bacteria and has now become ineffective. Chloramines in your pool cause strong chlorine odors, burning eyes when swimming, and prevent your Free Available Chlorine from doing its job.

To get rid of chloramines and help keep them from ever becoming a problem, you should shock your pool on a regular basis. The optimal timing would be in the late afternoon or early evening. You should run your pool equipment for at least one hour after shocking. This also helps control algae growth at the same time. Simply put, shocking means that you add a large amount of chlorine, which is determined by your pool's size. To shock/oxidize your water quickly, just follow the ABC's of Pool Care and you won't have to worry.

In short, remember that you must maintain a Free Available Chlorine residual reading of 2 to 4 ppm, to keep your pool sanitized. Readings under 2.0 – you'll probably experience an algae bloom and grow some bacteria as well. Readings over 4.0 – you're spending more than you should be on chlorine and you could even cause pool stains.

Is one type of chlorine better than another?

Each chlorine compound is designed for a specific purpose. Some can be useful for more than one application, while others have a very specific purpose. Each type has its own features and benefits. It helps to understand that the term "chlorine" is often used inappropriately, even within this publication. But it has become a generic term for one of the world's most common sanitizers. Real chlorine is only available in gaseous form. Solid chlorine is derived from this gas, and mixed with various chemicals which make it solid. Of this solid chlorine, there are two basic kinds, stabilized and un-stabilized.

Stabilizer helps chlorine last longer in your pool. So why would you use anything else but stabilized chlorine?

Simple, stabilized chlorine is the best for daily sanitizing, while un-stabilized is best for shocking your pool each week – or giving it a large dose of chlorine to sanitize the water quickly. Even though the chlorine readings will be high for about 24 hours after your recommended weekly shocking, because you use an un-stabilized form of chlorine, it will be okay to dive into the pool within a day.

The most important thing to remember is that chlorine is the best way to sanitize your pool. Stabilized chlorine lasts longer, and is the best for daily chlorination. Un-stabilized chlorine is the best for shocking your pool weekly, because it provides a quick, high chlorine concentration that dissipates within about 24 hours.

Review the types of stabilized and un-stabilized forms of chlorine Poolgear Plus offers.

When adding an algaecide to a pool, you should always add the algaecide during the daylight hours. The algae is like a flower, blooming during the day and closing at night. The algaecide will be much more effective when added during the day.

View the full size version of the Keeping your Pool Sanitary portion of our "Pool Care Tips" manual.