What To Do When Your Pool Is Gobbling Gallons Of Chlorine And Still Not Improving

When you are trying to get your pool back into ideal swimming condition, it can seem like the chemical levels in the water will never stabilize. This can be especially difficult if your pool has been sitting untended for the winter or even several years. No matter how much chlorine you pour into the murky water, it never seems to translate to adequate levels of free chlorine, and the algae remains. This is a common problem for new pool owners, but it can be corrected with a little adjusting and some aggressive, regimented action. 

Testing Ammonia Levels

The familiar smell of a pool is actually the product of molecules that are created when ammonia mixes with chlorine. Ammonia is found in harmful materials and is one of the chemicals you are trying to remove from your pool. Whenever you catch a whiff of that distinctive smell, it means that free chlorine is being depleted to bind with ammonia, and it will continue to do so until all of the ammonia is gone. Test your pool's ammonia levels to be sure or simply keep adding chlorine until the smell disappears. Childhood memories aside, a healthy pool should have no scent at all. 

Adjusting CYA Levels

The CYA, or cyanuric acid, levels present in your pool can either help or hinder your efforts to shock the system. As free chlorine floats in your pool and neutralizes foreign molecules, some of it is lost to the UV radiation of sunlight. CYA shields chlorine from UV rays, reducing the amount that is wasted. However, too much CYA in the water can also deplete your free chlorine levels. Depending on filtering equipment and sun exposure, optimal levels of CYA typically range between 30 and 80 ppm. You may need to experiment for several weeks before you find the right level for your own pool. CYA can be added as a liquid or a powder or removed from the pool by draining and refilling as needed. 

Shocking the Pool 

Shocking a pool is a sustained, scheduled process of overcoming the algae and chemicals in a pool with waves of massive chlorine applications. One treatment of chlorine is typically not enough to purify a whole pool, and organisms will quickly bounce back and recontaminate the water. By applying excessive quantities of chlorine several times a day for two or three days in a row, you can overwhelm the algae and ammonia and finally achieve stable free chlorine levels. Most pool owners must shock their pools every spring, and the rest of the year is spent maintaining those initial chemical levels. You may be surprised by how much chlorine is needed with each dose, but a quick burst is a better solution than wasting endless gallons fighting a thriving ecosystem. 

For more information, contact Celebrity Pools or a similar company.