Can Too Much Chlorine Make A Pool Cloudy? [The Real Science Behind The Scene]

cloudy pool water

Who doesn’t want to jump straight into a crystal clear body of water? Everyone does, right?

But, unfortunately, to have a crystal clear pool, you have to be extremely careful during your routine maintenance. For example, if you add too much chlorine to your pool, it could mess up the clarity of your water. 

Have no worries. Because there’s no reason to think that it is the end of the world for you. If you have a cloudy pool, it can be solved by reducing the chlorine to optimum levels.

That’s why, for your convenience, we have explained everything about chlorine and swimming pools in this discussion. If you go through this post till the very end, you’ll end up having all the necessary knowledge that you need to know on this topic. 

Adding Too Much Chlorine To Your Pool

Yes. Adding too much chlorine to your pool can indeed make your pool look cloudy. It’s because too much chlorine can increase the oxidation work of the chlorine in your pool. And, due to over-oxidation, your pool water can accumulate large quantities of chloramines. But, what is chloramine?

Well, chloramine is a chemical that is created when chlorine oxidizes other organic impurities such as sweat, urine, feces, saliva, etc. Chlorine goes into a chemical reaction with the ammonia that is present in organic beauties. As a result, chlorine creates chloramines after oxidation.

Now, if you apply too much chlorine to the water, it can trigger an excessive chlorination reaction. As a result, the water will get over-oxidized by chlorine. In turn, the creation of an excess amount of chloramines can make the water look cloudy.

Furthermore, adding excessive levels of chlorine can trigger the calcium ions in the water to form calcium carbonates. Because calcium carbonate has a white powdery appearance, it can make the water hazy when it’s mixed in the water. 

In addition to that, if you add too much chlorine to the water, it will react with the UV rays of the sunlight. Because of this, a certain degree of photochemical smog can generate in the vicinity of the water body of your pool. 

For this reason, your pool water can seem cloudy or hazy for the time being.

What Is The Optimum Level Of Chlorine In The Pool Water?

The optimum level of total chlorine in a body of swimming pool water is about 4 ppm. And, the amount of free chlorine in the water body should be 3 ppm. In addition, the amount of combined chlorine should be about 0.2 PPM to 0.5 ppm.

Optimum levels of chemicals in the swimming pool water:

Total chlorine:4 PPM
Alkalinity level:100 to 150 PPM 
Calcium hardness level:around 225 PPM
pH level:around 7.5

If you are a new owner of a pool who doesn’t have any prior knowledge about chlorine types, you might be wondering what the above-mentioned terms mean. Well, the aforementioned terms are various types of chlorine that exist in the pool water.

In order to avoid adding too much chlorine to the pool water, you’ll have to have detailed knowledge of the types of chlorine that can exist in the pool water. 

That’s why, for your convenience, we have broken down all the types of chlorine parameters that are related to maintaining healthy pool water:

1. Free Chlorine:

Free chlorine is those molecules of chlorine that are freely floating in the water and are eligible for oxidizing/eliminating impurities such as saliva, urine, feces, blood, sweat, etc. This is the type of chlorine that can keep your pool water decontaminated.

This chlorine is invisible to human eyes and cannot be smelled by the human nose. However, if any organic contaminants are thrown/mixed in the water, the free chlorine immediately goes into a chemical reaction with the organic contaminants within seconds. 

Not only that, free chlorine molecules themselves turn blue after oxidizing other contaminants. As a result, if your swimming pool is getting increasingly hazy and bluish in color, you can easily understand that it’s time to replace the pool water (because the free chlorines have oxidized a large chunk of impurities). 

2. Combined Chlorine:

Combined chlorine is the free chlorine molecules that have bonded with contaminants in the water and created another compound. 

For example, when urine is spilled into the pool water, free chlorine can go into chemical reactions with the urine molecules and create chloramines. Here, chloramines are created when chlorine molecules have bonded with organic impurities. 

Thus, chloramine molecules are found to contain high amounts of combined chlorines.

The point to be noted about combined chlorines is that combined chlorines should be as low as possible in a swimming pool water body. More specifically, the optimum level of combined chlorine should be less than 0.2 PPM. 

3. Total Chlorine:

Total chlorine is the total numerical addition of free chlorine and combined chlorine in a swimming pool.

Having an excessive amount of total chlorine can mean one of 3 things: your pool might have too much-combined chlorine, your pool might have excessive amounts of free chlorine, or your pool might have just the optimum amounts of free chlorine and combined chlorines.

That’s why the total chlorine amount is an important parameter for those who conduct routine maintenance on their pool water.

What To Do If My Pool Has Too Much Chlorine In It?

If you accidentally add an excessive amount of chlorine to your swimming pool, there’s nothing to be panicked about. You can easily reduce the amount of chlorine in your swimming pool by following the below-mentioned tricks:

1. Letting The Sunlight Eat Off The Chlorine:

sunlight reflection on pool water

When you decide to lower the amount of chlorine in your swimming pool, the first thing to note here is that sunlight is a rigorous destroyer of chlorine molecules. That’s why you can take advantage of the UV rays of sunlight to reduce the chlorine levels in your swimming pool.

To do that, you just need to uncover your swimming pool and let the sunlight hit the water body for about 3 to 4 hours. And, this exposure to sunlight and heat will easily deplete 85% to 90% of chlorine in your swimming pool. Consequently, the haziness due to extreme levels of chlorine will go away very quickly. 

Notes: Don’t forget to monitor the levels of chlorine every half an hour. It’s because over-depleting the chlorines can also make your swimming pool vulnerable to impurities.

2. Simply Stop Adding Chlorine In The Water:

Stop Adding Chlorine In The Water:

Even if your water is hazy or cloudy due to excessive chlorine, you shouldn’t have any problem bathing or swim in it. Therefore, if you think your chlorine level is too high, you should continue to use your pool and simply stop adding chlorine for the next 2 days.

In the meantime, swimming and bathing in the swimming pool will make the existing chlorines oxidize the organic impurities in the water. As a result, the extra amount of chlorine will get consumed very quickly. 

For instance, when you swim or bathe in the swimming pool, your armpits and skin pore release sweat into the water. On top of that, a definite proportion of saliva from the mouth and nose also gets released into the water. Then, these impurities get oxidized by the chlorine in the water. 

Consequently, the amount of existing chlorine in the swimming pool water can get lowered within one or two days.

3. Try Chlorine Neutralizers:

If you don’t want to wait for a long time and want to immediately lower the level of chlorine in your swimming pool, you can directly utilize Chlorine Neutralizers that are sold in bottles. Chlorine Neutralizer chemicals can be commonly found in all online marketplaces and in your local shops as well.

Chlorine neutralizers mainly consist of one of two chemicals: Sodium Thiosulfate or Sodium Sulfite. These can promptly neutralize the chlorine molecules in the swimming pool water body. 

Other than the dedicated chlorine neutralizers, you can also use Hydrogen Peroxide to reduce the level of chlorine as well.

Whatever chemical you use to neutralize the chlorine level in your swimming pool, be careful to add these chemicals gradually to the swimming pool. 

Because, if you apply too much neutralizing chemical in a single dose, there’s a chance that the chemical will not be dispersed in the water very well. As a result, the chlorine neutralization will not be perfect even in all areas of the water body.

4. Replacing Some Water With Fresh Waters:

Another way of reducing the level of chlorine is simply replacing a large portion of water with fresh water. Since freshwater does not have chlorine in it, adding freshwater will reduce the ratio of chlorine content in the swimming pool water. 

That way, you can instantly reduce the level of chlorine in your swimming pool. The perk of this technique is that you don’t need any additional tools or chemicals to carry out this job. Also, it’s completely non-hazardous as well. 

So, it doesn’t require you to be an expert in swimming pool maintenance. A pool sump pump will do the job handier.

  1. Can I safely swim in a cloudy swimming pool?

    Even if your swimming pool is cloudy/hazy because of excessive chlorine in the water, it is perfectly safe to swim in it. However, if your swimming pool water is cloudy because of chloramines, swimming in it might cause mild pain in the eyes and the skin.

  2. What to do if my swimming pool is cloudy because of chloramines?

    If your swimming pool has accumulated an excessive amount of chloramine, the easy way to solve this issue is to “shock” your pool by adding a recommended dose of chlorine.

    However, for this trick, you have to be 100% certain that your pool filtration system is properly working. So, don't forget to check on your pool's filtration system before “shocking” your swimming pool with chlorine.

  3. Can you “shock” the swimming pool too much?

    Although it is very unlikely, you can indeed actually shock your swimming pool water too much.
     
    To be more specific, if you add such an amount of chlorine in your swimming pool water that the total chlorine content is above 4 ppm, you should understand that you have over-“shocked” your swimming pool. 

Final Words:

To wrap it all up, adding high levels of chlorine will not massively harm you or the people who swim in the swimming pool. However, adding too much chlorine to the water is simply a waste of resources.

Therefore, before applying additional chlorine, you should always constantly test the amount of chlorine that is already available in the swimming pool water. In addition, you should always keep the chlorine at an Optimum level (4ppm). 

Best wishes for your swimming pool parties.

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