Where does that Chlorine Smell come from?
Anytime you take a relaxing swim in your backyard pool and notice a distinctive foul odor of heavy chlorination in the water, you have experienced a common pool water problem. Usually, pool owners and swimmers believe the issue is too much chlorine in the water. However, the exact opposite is most likely true. The problem causing this problem happens year-round, even during the winter months.
Why the Chlorine Smell and Where Does It Come From?
Free chlorine, or free available chlorine, is a natural reaction that chlorine produces when it comes in contact with water. It develops hypochlorite ions and hypochlorous acid. When this happens, the chlorine can easily kill off harmful microorganisms while disinfecting the water.
The “over chlorination” problem is actually a chemical reaction called chloramine that needs to be removed from the water to eliminate the awful smell. Chloramine is typically produced when the chlorine comes in contact with ammonia and nitrogen compounds, which will quickly hinder the chlorine’s ability to disinfect the water.
How to Rid Your Water of Chloramines
It is essential to eliminate chloramines from your water to remove the foul smell, especially in the wintertime. Without chloramines, the chlorine you add to your swimming pool can easily disinfect the water. The three-step process for ridding your water of chloramines includes:
- Determining the amount of combined chlorine in the swimming pool water
- Calculating exactly how much shock treatment or chlorine is required to oxidize the combined chlorine
- Adding the determined amount of shock treatment or chlorine to the swimming pool
Defining Super Chlorination
Generally speaking, super chlorination is a term most commonly used to define swimming pool shock treatments. Often times, a swimming pool will be “shocked” with super chlorination although it may contain bromine instead of chlorine. Other non-chlorine shocks use potassium peroxymonosulfate.
Shocking the pool with super chlorination eliminates much of the ammonia that enters the swimming pool through various ways including swimmers’ sweat, saliva, sunscreen, etc., during the summer months, and tree leaves and lawn fertilizers during the winter.
During the winter months, it is essential to keep the pool water clean. Using pool shock or super chlorination will eliminate much of the ammonia and nitrogen compounds contaminating the water. The process of super chlorination works well in the wintertime because it is less likely to evaporate during the colder months.
If you have any questions about maintaining your swimming pool during the cooler winter months, or notice any foul odors around your pool, please contact our pool maintenance manager to have your questions answered.