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Chemicals and Swimming Do Not Mix

Chemicals are a crucial part of pool ownership! Testing your water and balancing out your levels based on your results is a constant process that is best left to a time when no one will be swimming. If this is not possible and you need to add chemicals when swimmers will be jumping in sooner vs. later, there are some key guidelines to follow.

When you have to add alkalinity treatments, pH balance, stabilizer, clarifier or algaecide, you should stop swimmers from entering the water for at least 20 minutes, but more ideally, a full hour. By waiting the full amount of time, you are allowing the chemicals to properly disperse and dissolve, so that they can do their job in your water. Muriatic acid, a pH balancer, can create a hotspot of acid that can cause skin irritation if you do not wait the recommended time after application.

Liquid chlorine needs about four hours to get integrated into your water and be properly disintegrated to not cause eye and skin irritation. It is best to test your water if you hope to swim that same day as the sun and your water’s original chemical composition can affect the distribution of chlorine. You want your chlorine levels to be at 5 ppm or lower before getting in to swim.

When you use your chlorine to shock your pool, it is a different story. Shocking is adding chemicals, typically chlorine, in order to quickly raise the level and kill algae, bacteria or harmful pathogens. Since this is a more intense process, you need to stay out of the water for 24 hours at a minimum or even up to three full days. Again, the only way to know for sure that it is safe is to stay on top of your water testing. Chlorine levels need to be at 5 ppm or lower. Shocking can be tricky, but may be necessary when you have had lots of swimmers during a party, a stretch of hot, sunny days or lots of rain.

As a reminder, proper chemical levels are so important to the comfort of your water and prevention of an algae or bacteria bloom. When your chlorine ticks above the 5 ppm mark, you and your swimmers will likely be able to “feel” the harshness of the chlorine on your skin. When the level gets too low, your water may become a breeding ground for unwanted visitors. 

Connect with Caribbean for Help with Testing, Chemicals

We are here for you if you need help with pool water testing! Our Caribbean team can go over your results and recommend next steps to tweak what needs to be changed. If you would like more hands-on help, we offer a range of packages that will help with your ongoing pool maintenance. Water testing is part of our offerings, if you would like us to take the lead. Reach out to us through our online contact form.




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