If you’re looking to beat the heat, there’s nothing better than a quick dip in the pool. It’s one of the most common summertime leisure activities, and over 10 million Americans have a residential swimming pool.

While swimming, diving, and pool parties are always a blast, few things put a stop to the fun faster than dirty pool water. Fortunately, chlorine simplifies the process of keeping your pool’s water clean.

To have pristine pool water, you need to know how much chlorine to add to a pool. Read on to learn all about how using the proper amount of chlorine keeps your pool clean.

The Purpose of Chlorine

Chlorine plays a critical role in cleaning a pool. It prevents algae growth, so your water stays crystal clear.

Algae isn’t a good swimming partner. It’s a slimy substance that makes your pool water murky. It’s also slippery if stepped on, so it can contribute to accidental injuries.

However, algae itself isn’t all that dangerous. The real issue with its growth is the bacteria that feed on it.

If you ingest these bacteria, you risk developing an infection. Even being exposed to it can cause skin rashes.

A chlorine solution breaks down the harmful bacteria. Sodium hypochlorite, the active chemical in a pool-cleaning chlorine solution, penetrates their cell walls. This process kills the bacteria.

How Much Chlorine to Add to a Pool

Adding chlorine is an important part of swimming pool maintenance. Most pool experts recommend that your pool has 0.00013 ounces of chlorine per gallon of water. This means your pool water will be 1 to 3 PPM (parts per million) chlorine.

Determine Your Pool’s Volume

To figure out how much chlorine you need to add to your pool, you’ll first have to determine the volume of your pool in gallons. If you don’t already know this, you’ll need to perform some basic math.

The first step is to measure the length, width, and average depth of your pool and multiply those numbers together.

Then, you’ll have to account for the shape of your pool.

If you have a circular pool, you’ll multiply the value by 5.9. For an oval-shaped pool, you’ll multiply the number by 6.7. Finally, if your pool is rectangular, you’ll multiply by 7.5.

Adding Chlorine

Now that you know the volume of your pool in gallons, it’s time to determine how much chlorine to add. To do this, you’ll need a water testing kit.

The water testing kit will tell you how much chlorine is already in your water.  

If your pool water is 1 PPM chlorine and you’d like to add more, you’ll need to take the volume of the pool and multiply it by 0.00013. The number you get is the amount of chlorine in ounces you’ll need to add to raise the water balance by 1 PPM.

To illustrate this, take a look at an average rectangular 15×30 residential pool with a depth of 5.5 feet. It’ll hold 18,562.5 gallons of water. 

18,562.5 multiplied by 0.00013 is around 2.4, so this pool would need roughly 2.4 ounces of chlorine to raise its water balance 1 PPM.

Is Chlorine Safe?

Exposure to high amounts of chlorine can be incredibly toxic, but the amount of chlorine used in pool water is totally safe. 1 to 3 PPM isn’t enough to cause any harmful side effects.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency actually allows tap water to be treated with chlorine. It’s completely safe to drink water that’s 4 PPM chlorine.

Choosing the Right Chlorine

When you shop for chlorine for your pool, you’ll find that it comes in both tablets and granules. Many pool owners find tablets more convenient to work with since it’s easier to regulate the amount you’re using.

Chlorine also comes in stabilized and unstabilized forms. Given that most home swimming pools are outdoors, you’ll want to find the stabilized compound.

Stabilized chlorine features a chemical called cyanuric acid. This protects the chlorine from the sun. Without it, the sun may render your chlorine ineffective.

Adding Chlorine to a Pool

Once you’ve picked your preferred chlorine and determined how much to use, all that’s left to do is add it to the pool. These devices will help you do it.

In-Line Chlorinator

This is the most high-tech and fool-proof way to add chlorine to a pool. An in-line chlorinator attaches to the line that contains your pool’s pump and feeds clean water directly into your pool.

This device allows you to modulate the amount of chlorine present in the pool. You’ll simply set it to your desired level, load it up with tablets or granules, and let it get to work. 

An in-line chlorinator can take the math out of determining how much chlorine to use, but you’ll want to use water test strips to ensure that its settings are accurate.

Pool Skimmer 

Your outdoor pool likely has a pool skimmer attached to it. Its chief purpose is to remove floating debris from your pool water, but you can also use it to chlorinate your pool.

Once you take the top off the skimmer housing, you’ll see a plastic basket inside of it. You can place the appropriate amount of chlorine tablets right in the basket. 

If you decide to use this method, make sure that your pool filter is running until the chlorine tablets dissolve completely.

Floating Dispenser

Floating dispensers are the most common way to chlorinate a pool. You’ll load the dispenser with tablets or granules and drop it into your pool. As it floats around, the chlorine dissolves. 

If a floating dispenser is your chlorinator of choice, be sure it doesn’t get stuck in one area of the pool. You need to keep it circulating to ensure even chlorine distribution.

Chlorine Keeps Your Pool Clean

Adding chlorine to your pool water keeps it clean and safe to swim in. You want your water to be between 1 and 3 PPM chlorine. 

You might have to do a bit of simple math to find out how much chlorine to add to a pool, but actually adding it to your water is made simple by a few chlorinating devices.

Need pool maintenance? Sahara Construction and Custom Pools has you covered. Reach out to learn more.