Types of Chlorine

Your pool and spa’s water have two forms of Chlorine – Free Chlorine and Combined Chlorine. One you add to your water, the other is created when it reacts and combines with what’s floating in your pool’s water.

Free Chlorine (The good Chlorine)
Free Chlorine, the “good” Chlorine, is the Chlorine you add to your water to kill bacteria and viruses, and to oxidize the contaminants in your pool and spa water.  Your Free Chlorine level should be maintained between 1-3 Parts per Million (PPM).  Not all forms of manufactured Chlorine are the same.

Combined Chlorine (The bad Chlorine)
When Free Chlorine combines with pool and spa water contaminants such as bacteria, body oils, suntan lotion, etc., it turns into Combined Chlorine. Combined Chlorine, also known as Chloramines, is not very effective at sanitizing your water, but it’s really good at turning swimmers’ eyes red and giving off a horrible Chlorine odor!

Combined Chlorine is one of the leading causes of swimmer discomfort.  So, if you can keep it at bay, and keep your Free Chlorine at proper levels, between 1 and 3 PPM, you can reduce all the negative side effects of Chlorine.

Another leading cause of red eyes is poorly managed pH. The ideal pH range for swimming pool water is 7.0 – 7.8. The pH of our eyes is typically 7.2 – 7.4. So, when pH is kept at approximately the same level as your eyes, the side-effects of burning red eyes is kept to a minimum. Chlorine’s ability to disinfect is also optimum at this level.

How To Destroy Combined Chlorine
Test your water regularly with a system that tests for Free AND Total Chlorine.  Total Chlorine is simply the sum of the Free Chlorine and Combined Chlorine. So, if you test for Total and Free Chlorine, you can calculate the amount of Combined Chlorine by subtracting the Free Chlorine from the Total Chlorine (i.e. Combined Chlorine = Total Chlorine – Free Chlorine).

When Combined Chlorine is present, a shock treatment using either Chlorine or a non-Chlorine sanitizer will destroy it. This will raise your Free Chlorine level, while diminishing the awful Chlorine odor and likelihood of red eyes.

The Simplest Way to Clear Eyes and Silky Water
Just as there are different forms of Chlorine, there are different methods of chlorinating or sanitizing your pool and spa.  Salt Chlorination is a more natural form of chlorination, and the most effective.  Salt Chlorine Generators turn ordinary salt into Chlorine automatically.  This continuous chlorination will help minimize the formation of Combined Chlorine, and, it’s as easy on your eyes, as it is on your wallet. Chlorine produced from a Hayward salt cell will save you 50% or more over the chlorine you buy today and the salinity of your pool’s water is similar to that of a human tear… which means, it won’t irritate your eyes.

Chemistry Recap
It’s important to keep your water in balance at all times.  Test for all forms of Chlorine, pH, and other important levels.

Also check out our easy-to-use online Chemistry Calculator.  The calculator is based on the requirements and recommended levels of The Center for Disease Control (CDC), The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) and the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF).  It makes managing your pool water fool proof and incredibly easy.  Also, enlist the help of a Pro.  Many dealers offer a free water testing service – to find a pool dealer or servicer in your area, use our Dealer Locator.

Click here for our complete line of Salt Chlorine Generators.