My Pool Has High Chlorine Scent!

by Yvonne Muffoletto
(Jeanerette, Louisiana)

The water in the pool is cloudy.

I have a high chlorine level, but it still smells like chlorine. I've tried the clarifiers?

Your literature in the past has read, if you smell the chlorine, you need to shock more.

Thanks for the question Yvonne

I would be great to have a complete list of your chemical readings:


CYA (stabilizer)



Calcium Hardness

Also the kind of filtration system to have and exactly what you've done to clear up the pool.

The more details, the better.

A "high chlorine level" doesn't help too much.

There could be many reasons why a pool is cloudy.

Cloudy Pool Water

White Cloudy Pool For Over A Week

I Can't Seem To Get The Cloudiness Out Of My Pool. Both The pH And Chlorine Are High. How Do I Lower Them?

A chlorine smell normally indicates that a pool is lacking chlorine.

When there's organic matter in the pool (sweat, urine, grass, leaves, dead bugs etc..) the chlorine comes along and kills it.

It's the gas that's released that makes the smell.

I would encourage you to test your water for combined chlorine (chloramines/CC).

You can get a good Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 test kit or take a water sample to your local pool store.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

A chlorine smell will tell you that something is wrong. You need to follow that up with a chloramine test to confirm.

I would advise you to watch adding any clarifiers. Many of these don't do what they say they do and might cause the pool to become even more cloudy.

When you have a properly balanced pool and good filtration, there shouldn't be a need for algaecides, clarifiers, flocs, etc...

Swimming Pool Chemistry

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

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Hope this helps and have a fun and safe swimming season.


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No Chlorine Reading

by Roberta

We opened our pool about 1 week ago a 25,000 inground. All the levels were in normal range but the free chlorine was 0.

Put in 3 1# bags super shock still 0 put 6 bags and still 0. The water is clear. What could be wrong?

Here are the readings
iron/copper 0/0.3
TA 48
ph 7.2
calcium hardness 175
free chlorine 0.23
total chlorine 0.23
cyanuric acid 30

Thanks for your help.

Thanks for the readings Roberta

The pH and CYA are fine so don't do anything with them. The TA is a little low. Normal range is between 80 - 100ppm, 120 being the top.

You need to add sodium bicarb which is nothing more than baking soda. You don't need pH or TA Up that your local pool store sells. It's the same thing but they charge 500% more for it. Go to your local grocery store and get Arm and Hammer or a cheaper brand.

To raise the TA 10ppm per 10,000 gallons, you use 1.4lbs. Your pool is 25,000 gallons and you want to raise it 40ppm so you'll need 14lbs. of baking soda. Start with 7lbs. Add it in the deep end with the pump off. Let it sit for 3 - 4 hours, then turn the pump back on, allow to filter for 8 - 10 hours, then retest and make another adjustment if needed.

Make the adjustment in the evening then retest in the morning. Don't test after an hour or two. The water needs to fully circulate through the entire system.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

Next is the shocking of the pool. I'd encourage you to not get anything that says "super" or "more powerful", or anything like that. It's a huge markup for the pool store and chemical companies. Use regular liquid chlorine, sodium hypochlorite. Keep it simple.

Swimming Pool Shock

Chlorine Demand

Sodium Hypochlorite

The trick is to get AND keep the chlorine above 10 - 12ppm for a period of time. You'll need to manually dose the pool with chlorine to keep it at 10 - 12ppm. Make the adjustment at night, then retest in the morning. Be sure to have the pump running 24/7. You can go up to 15ppm, but no higher.

Anything after that and you're wasting money and chemicals. You'll notice the chlorine level will stay more consistent as you go along and test between application.

Be sure to sweep the entire pool very well after each shock.

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


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Mixing/Changing Brand Of Pool Chemicals

by Chris
(Chambersburg, PA)

I have a 18' round X 52" above ground pool that is one year old. I have been using Blue Wave products that I get online via in the pool since we bought it. This year I am having a lot of trouble w/ algae & green cloudy water & I have depleted my supply of Blue Wave chemicals because my pool is once again green & cloudy.

I need to increase the ph, get more shock & algaecide. Because the problem happened again very quickly, I will not be able to get the BW products for several days.

My question is, can I mix another brand of these chemicals w/ the ones that I've already established in the pool? Or just wait it out until I get the Blue Wave chemicals?

The ph is reading below 6.8, the free chlorine in @ .5. I have only added algaecide today & the last shocking was 2 nights ago.

I use the following BW products:HALT 50 ALGAECIDE (Didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) CHLOR BURST SHOCK (Sodium DiChlor-S-Traizinetrione Dihydrate
STABILIZED CHLORINATING tablets (Trichlor S-Traizinetrone. Ph increaser (threw bag away unsure of ingred.)

I will follow the other suggestions you have for the green,cloudy water, I just need to know if I mix/change chemical brands.

Thank you in advance for your help.

Thanks for the question Chris

I'm not aware of anything abnormal about Blue Wave products and mixing them with other brands of chlorine or tabs.

I'd like to have your complete chemical readings:

Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper) and names of any algaecides you may have used along with clarifiers, phosphate removers, and/or flocs. It makes troubleshooting much easier and the process of clearing up your pool will go much faster. There's a reason that your pool went green.

You may want to consider getting normal chlorine. Blue Wave seems a bit more expensive than other brands. Depending on your hardness level, you can use regular liquid chlorine. It's all sodium hypochlorite at 16%. Pool chlorine is the same as liquid bleach, just stronger. Bleach is 6% sodium hypo and many people use it to chlorinate their pools with much success. Chlorine granules have a high pH of 12 and will increase the hardness of the water. If you're fighting a high hardness or pH level, you may want to switch to liquid.

Now for the algaecide. I've always recommended using a PolyQuat 60. This is safe for vinyl liners, contains no metals, and will not foam.

An algaecide will NOT remove already existing algae. It won't kill it. It's used an an insurance policy against future algae blooms. Only chlorine will kill algae. You can use a PolyQuat 60 during the shocking process, but with a well maintained pool, there's no reason to use any algaecide on a weekly basis.

Anything called Super Blast or Burn Out Shock with the flames and fancy package is just that, fancy packaging. You're not paying for more chemicals, just the fancy package. Use regular liquid chlorine 16% sodium hypo or granular chlorine 68% calcium hypo.

You can raise the pH and TA using regular sodium bicarb which is baking soda. Get Arm and Hammer or a generic brand from you grocery store for 1/3 the price. Soda ash works well for increase the pH and so does 20 Mule Team Borax. Much less expensive than the pH or TA Up stuff found in pool stores.

Now for the shocking. You pool could be green because the CYA is either too high or low. It's hard to say without the readings. Without these numbers I'm just guessing at what the problem is. Get back to me with the chemical numbers and I'm sure I can help.

Shocking is a process, not an event. The trick is to get AND keep the chlorine above 10 - 12ppm for a period of time. You'll need to manually dose the pool with chlorine to keep it at 10 - 12ppm. Make the adjustment at night, then retest in the morning. Be sure to have the pump running 24/7 and backwash once per day. You can go up to 15ppm, but no higher. Anything after that and you're wasting money and chemicals.

You'll know this is working because the pool will go from green to a white/grey cloudy and the chlorine will begin to hold better. First you may lose most, then 2/3, then 1/2, and so on. Once you only lose 1 - 2ppm of chlorine 8 - 10 hours after the last application you know the algae is dead. Now it's just a matter of filtering and backwashing once per day. Broadcast the chlorine around the perimeter of the pool and brush well. This will loosen up any algae adhering to the walls and bottom.

If you would like personal assistance, I do phone consultations for a donation of your choice. It makes things go much faster. If you choose to not go that route, we can correspond by email.

Contact Me


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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