What are Chloramines?
Chloramines also known as combined chlorines are formed when free chlorine combines with organic matter. They carry the distinct “chlorine” smell that you may smell on an indoor pool or when your pool cover is lifted. The organic matter can be anything from decomposing leaves to body oils or even sun tan lotion. Chloramines eat up your available “free chlorine” and raise the chlorine demand required for your pool. Chloramines are also the early cause of algae growth in your swimming pool water.
There are a few ways to kill chloramines in your swimming pool water and also ways to keep them to a minimum. They cannot be avoided, however they can be reduced.
How to Get Rid of Chloramines
The healthiest way to get rid of chloramines is to install an Ultra Violet light sanitation system. The light waves kill off the chloramines and keep your chlorine demand down, effectively making your swimming pool water cleaner and healthier to swim in. For more information on UV systems click here.
The Effects of “Super” Chlorinating Your Pool
Super chlorinating your pool with up to ten times the normal amount of chlorine is one way to kill the chloramines off. By not adding enough chlorine at once, you are effectively “feeding” the chloramines which will make the situation worse.
You could test your water for free chlorine and show 0 free chlorine levels. Now you add some chlorine, instead of reading free chlorine levels of 1-3 pm you read zero again. This is because the nitrogen and ammonia levels in your swimming pool water (result of decomposing organic matter) are converting your free chlorine into combined chlorines, or chloramines. So one alternative as recommended by chemical suppliers is to add a super- dosage of chlorine shock to kill chloramines.
UV Pools does not recommend chlorine shock as it usually bleaches your pool liner and decreases the liner life. Also, it is not healthy to swim in highly chlorinated pools.
Effects of Chlorine on Your Pool Liner
Chlorine is by far the most common pool sanitizer and for good reasons. It is very effective and relatively cheap compared with other sanitizers. Chlorine will bleach your pool liner out over time. Our new liners all have coatings that protect it and help with the fading effects of the sun. The liner patterns most resistant to bleaching are the white vinyl patterns.
To minimize chlorine bleaching of your pool liner follow these simple steps:
- Keep your chlorine levels between 7.2-7.6
- Always add chemicals slowly and make sure they are mixed thoroughly
- Always circulate your pool and do not dump all your chemicals in at the same place
- Make sure you have sufficient cyanuric acid levels (stabilizer levels of 25 ppm to 50 ppm)
As mentioned earlier in this post, you can also cut down on your chlorine use substantially by installing a ultra violet sanitation system that uses UV rays to sanitize instead of chlorine.
Contact UV Pools today for more information or for a free quote from one of our certified professionals.