What is That Strong Pool Chemical Smell?

When you are around a swimming pool, do you ever notice a chlorine-like smell that is significantly stronger than normal? While you may think you accidently put too much chlorine into your pool, just the opposite is true. What seems like your overly-sanitizing your pool is actually an indication that not enough chlorine is in the pool. The low amount of chlorine in your pool, therefore makes it not safe to swim in and enjoy. What makes that strong smell and what can you do to get rid of it and thus make your pool fit for swimming?

What is That Smell?

Believe it or not, that strong chlorine smell is actually not caused by an overabundance of chlorine. It is caused by a buildup of chemical compounds called chloramines. Chloramines are formed when the pool is improperly treated. Chloramines are made up of two major ingredients: chlorine disinfectants and urine, oils and sweat from the bodies of swimmers. Chlorine is essential in sanitizing pools and protecting swimmers from getting earaches, athlete’s foot, and diarrhea. The pool smell can be reduced if swimmers showered before entering the pool.

The presence of chloramines indicate that your pool’s pH is not balanced.

How You Can Eliminate the Smell

Having swimmers shower before swimming can decrease the potency of the strong smell, but the germs from swimmers’ bodies will still end up in the water. To fully eliminate the unpleasant smell, the use of additional chemicals are needed.

An excessive number of chloramines indicate that the pH level of your pool is not balanced and needs to be corrected. Below are two ways you can fix the imbalanced pH level and get rid of that nasty pool smell.

The first way to get rid of the chlorine smell is to use chlorine to shock the pool. A lot of chlorine will be needed to reach what is called the "break point chlorination." This process involves chemistry. The added chlorine amount should tie the nitrogen, chlorine and ammonia molecules together in order to free up the chlorine molecules. The free chlorine molecules can then begin to break each other up increasing the concentration of chlorine in the pool. A tell-tale sign that not enough chlorine is added to the pool is that the strong smell will get worse. This method will only work if the pH level is within a small limit, usually between 7.2 and 7.4. You’ll need to know the size of your pool, how much water it holds and the type of pool shock you use.

The second way to do away with the smell and remove chloramines from the pool is to shock the pool using a non-chlorine based product. This non-chlorine product will be added to the pool the same way as the chlorine in the first method was added. As in the first method, you’ll also need to do some math calculations to determine how much non-chlorine product to put into the pool.

After you successfully get rid of the chlorine smell and eliminate the chloramine, add some additional disinfecting products to the pool to help keep it maintained and cleaned.

Pool care and maintenance is a yearlong endeavor that you must constantly be on top of. At Sunplay, we have professionally trained staff to answer your pool care questions and make suggestions to help you keep your pool in tip-top shape and ready to enjoy. We also have a variety of pool products and accessories to meet all your pool care needs. Contact us today for any questions you may have about pool care or any of our products. We want you to have a safe, clean pool that you and your family and friends can enjoy during those warm summer months.
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