The 3 “Icks” of Pool Chemical Imbalance: How to Have Amazing Pool or Spa Water - Sutro, Inc

The 3 “Icks” of Pool Chemical Imbalance: How to Have Amazing Pool or Spa Water

1.   Not Enough: Gross Things

Without correct chemical levels, pools are great places for bacteria and fungus to grow – organisms can start creating their own little ecosystems that can quickly overtake the pool.  Everybody agrees that algae in a pool is disgusting (and you should get rid of it fast) but worse: exposure to even small amounts of specific pool-common bacteria can make illness a real possibility.  Bacteria levels are kept at bay by the addition of chemical.  One of the most commonly used pool sanitizers among other disinfectants is pool chlorine, either in liquid form (sodium hypochlorite) or solid form (calcium hypochlorite).  When chlorine reacts with the water, it creates hydrochlorous acid.  The acid destroys bacteria, disintegrating the cells’ internal structures to kill them. 

Pro tip: Be clean in the pool, even if it’s your own private pool.  Ammonia in urine and sweat interacts with hydrochlorous acid to form chloramines.  Chloramines are one thing that can cause stinging eyes and irritated skin.  Too little hydrochlorous acid left after chloramine production is also the culprit behind the smell often misattributed as “too much chlorine”.  In actuality, the low levels of the acid create the overpowering stench.  Showering before entering the pool helps to keep things at an even balance.

TAKE AWAY: Make sure your pool has enough sanitizer!

2.  Too Much: Rough Stuff

Someone facing a pool algae or bacteria problem may resort to a chemical shock known as “superchlorination”: intentional overchlorination of a pool that acts like a slow time-lapsed EMP of sorts.  This shock to the pool’s budding ecosystem essentially wipes out algae and bacteria over time.  However, if unknowing swimmers begin revisiting the pool before chemical levels have naturally receded to appropriate levels, they can experience other unwelcome issues.  Exposure to too much chlorine can cause skin redness and rash and respiratory irritation.

Swimming in superchlorinated water can also result in personal appearance issues. Have you ever had your favorite swimsuit faded out or the elastic stretch ruined?  Have you ever experienced green hair after swimming?  Both of these problems can be attributed to superchlorination.

TAKE AWAY: Be smart when superchlorinating – watch levels to avoid swimming in too much chlorine!

3.  Unbalanced: Uncomfortable

Lastly, pool water needs to be within a very specific pH range to be comfortable for human enjoyment.  Water that is too alkaline or too acidic can cause (you guessed it) skin irritation.  Balanced chemical levels are key to a great swimming experience. That’s why a continuous monitor makes a ton of sense and the reason Ravi invented the Sutro Smart Monitor in the first place.

TAKE AWAY: Make sure all pool chemicals are always at the correct levels!

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