How Long Before I Can Swim After Shocking And Conditioning My Salt Pool?

by Harvey A Swift
(Claremore, Ok. USA)

We opened our pool and did our initial start up. We shocked the pool and added double the amount of cyanuric acid.


How long before my 10 year old granddaughter can safely swim?




Thanks for the question Harvey

It normally takes a few days for the chlorine to come down to a safe level. That level, at least for me when I had my pool route in Arizona, was about 5 - 6ppm. Anything more than that and you may run the risk of skin and eye irritation.

The speed of the decrease in chlorine is dependent on some factors such as heat and sun. Hot sunny days will lower the chlorine faster than cloudy cool days.

One question is why did you double the amount of CYA? What was it to begin with? Remember the CYA range is between 30 - 50ppm.

And don't retest too soon. You want to wait about 10 hours, or one full turnover, of the water before testing and making another adjustment.

I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Swimming Safety" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of $29 per hour and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert

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Chemical Readings/Safety of Entering

by Rachel
(Oregon)

Forgive me if this is located elsewhere, but I'm wondering what kind of chemistry results would exclude swimming in the pool.

I believe I saw somewhere that swimmers shouldn't enter the pool if the chlorine reading is greater than 4ppm, but what about other chemical results? Is algae growth in the pool harmful?

Additionally, if you're in the process of correcting chemicals, does adding swimmers to the mix greatly complicate your journey to getting to good numbers?




Thanks for the question Rachel

I was the pool operator at the Y in Albany and routinely ran the FC between 3 - 5ppm without any ill effects. In fact, this was the state requirement if my memory serves me correctly. I found that a FC level up to 7ppm is fine to swim in.

There are some factors to consider with your question. First, you don't want to swim immediately after making an adjustment with the exception of using sodium bicarb. When performing weekly maintenance and adding chlorine, acid, etc.. you want to wait about 2 - 3 hours before swimming. This is enough time for the chemical to be mixed and absorbed into the water. The exception is after shocking the pool. You always want to wait until the FC decreases to a safe level as stated above.

When treating an algae issue you want to keep the FC up above 10 - 12ppm until the algae is dead. This is not the best time to swim. Wait until the water clears up and the pool chems are balanced.

Algae growth can be a combination of things such as the chemical levels are incorrect, improper filtration, lack of filtration, etc... There are many factors to consider as to why pools go green. It's always good to have a complete set of chemical numbers. That's the starting point.

Having a slightly higher pH such as 8.0+ is not necessarily harmful in and of itself but it can reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine so it's best to get the pH in the proper range of 7.4 - 7.8. Same with the TA.

Many people think that a higher pH will bleach out swim suits, cause red itchy eyes, and basically ruin the world. If this was the case everyone in Albany would be in the emergency room. The water company runs the pH between 7.8 - 8.2 and the TA is 30ppm. Yet, everyone is fine. Their clothes aren't bleached out and the paint on their cars is not fading.

For your last question, it's best to have the chemicals balanced before swimming. While making corrections swimmers can have an affect on the pool chemistry, especially the chlorine. Fifty swimmers in a 10k gallon pool will have a much greater effect on the chlorine than 2 swimmers in a 50k gallon pool.

One again there are many factors to consider. You're fighting a high pH and finally get it down to 7.4, then you have a massive pool party with lots of splash out. You must then top the pool off with 8.2 pH tap/fill water. Well, in effect, you've just lost all that work and acid getting the pH to the correct level.

So to answer hat question, yes, the swimmers can have an effect on the pool's chemistry. This is why it's so important to understand your pool's environment and behavior. Almost every pool has different circumstances. Your pool is not the same as your neighbor's pool in regard to the environmental factors.

You may have the exact same pool (filtration, size, gallons, shape) as your neighbor but one pool is used constantly, has large amounts of organics that fall into the pool, and large pool parties while the other pool has rock landscaping and is only used twice per week.

Which pool will go through the chems faster? Which pool will have a higher water bill?

I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Swimming Safety" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Have I helped you find a solution to your pool problems? Did this information help you? Please consider making a donation to help keep this site going. Thank you.









Have a great Summer.

Robert

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Hotel Pool Safety Chemicals

by Heather
(North Carolina)

I swim in a public hotel pool and have no idea as to when they put in their chemicals in the AM.

Am concerned about getting an infection as I swim early in
the AM as well.

Any suggestions, please?

Thanks.




Thanks for the question Heather

Being it's a hotel pool, it might be considered a commercial pool and would be routinely tested by the state department of health. My understanding is commercial pool records should be available upon request.

We had to document everything for the YMCA pool and Y members could ask for the records at any time and we had to show them. We also were tested by the dept. of health and had to keep records of any and all corrections we made to both the hot tub and the pool.

I'd suggest you ask for the pool records. If they refuse I'd ask why. This would be a big red flag to me if the hotel isn't forthcoming with the records. If they're doing everything right there's no reason not to release the records. You can also check with your local dept. of health to get the records if the hotel won't give them up.

If you do get the records you can email them to me. I can look them over and see if there are discrepancies.

I don't have the hotel's pool records so I can't say what they're doing or not doing. I also don't know if the pool chemicals are automated or they are added manually. If the chemicals are added manually there should be an hour to two before swimmers are allowed in the pool.

Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out for you.

Robert

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