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How to Raise or Lower Levels of Pool Chlorine

This tutorial demonstrates how one can raise or lower levels of pool chlorine in their swimming pool. Always test the water before adding any chemicals.
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This tutorial demonstrates how one can raise or lower levels of pool chlorine in their swimming pool. Please remember prior to adjusting the levels of chlorine to always test your water first to see the before and after of your pool maintenance efforts.

HydroTools Deluxe Dual Liquid Test Kit

Two Way Chlorine Test Kit is a deluxe two vial design with color keyed indicator solutions. Liquid test drops that will test your chlorine and pH level in your water.

Raise the Level of Pool Chlorine

Raising pool chlorine can be much easier than trying to lower chlorine levels. Simply adding chlorine in the form of chlorine tablets, granular chlorine, liquid shock or powder shock will increase the total amount of chlorine within the pool. It is always better to start small when adding chlorine to avoid over chlorinating and test your levels to see if the pool will require more chlorine to be added after.

Raise the Level of Pool Chlorine
In this scenario you would need to lower the level of pool chlorine.
Pool Chlorine

Chlorine is the number one used pool chemical. We sell Chlorine in 3″ Chlorine Tablets and Chlorine Granular form.

Lower the Level of Pool Chlorine

It is much more difficult to reduce the amount of total chlorine within an above ground swimming pool than it is to increase it. One of the only ways bring it down is to leave your pool uncovered and in direct sunlight. Sunlight eats away the total chlorine within the pool. That is the same reason that it is important to test your pool water more frequently during hot weather as your pool is more likely to turn green from lack of chlorine. The only other way to reduce chlorine is to drain some of the water and add fresh water. This will dilute your current water and the chlorine levels along with it.

Lower the Level of Pool Chlorine
In this scenario you would need to raise the level of pool chlorine

Test First! Then Adjust.

Always test your water and do not assume that because your eyes or skin are irritated that your chlorine level is high. Irritation can be caused by chemical imbalance. (e.g. low PH or Alkalinity levels.). Testing your water should always the first step in diagnosing if you need to raise or lower levels of pool chlorine in your swimming pool.

"I continue to add more and more chlorine/shock and the total chlorine remains low or at zero!"

If you are attempting to bring your chlorine level higher by shocking your swimming pool and your test results still read zero total chlorine, you may have something called chlorine lock. Try finding test strips that will test your TDS level (Total Dissolved Solids) and see what the test shows. You can also try an Oxy-Shock or Non-Chlorine shock. This sometimes acts as a reset for your pool water and will allow the water to accept the chlorine shock next time you add it.

Solaxx SafeDip Digital Chemistry Tester

Simply collect the water sample from the pool using the onboard cup and press the Start button to take your measurement. It’s smart, simple, and gives you results in seconds.

Oxy Plus Non-Chlorine Shock 1lb. Bag

The most popular non-chlorinated shock, using the power of available oxygen to eliminate contaminants, organic waste, chlorine odor and prevent algae.

Shock the Pool After a Party!

If you have had a lot of people in your pool in one day it is always a good idea to shock your pool overnight. This will give your pool a high chlorine reading and allow the chlorine to oxidize and clean the water. Generally after shocking your pool you should wait to swim at least 8-12 hours until chlorine levels come back to normal (1-3ppm). This is one of the few times that having a high chlorine level is a good thing. Always test your water before swimming again to make sure your chlorine levels are safe.

Shock pool after party
  • May 28, 2014 at 6:02 PM

    Question , Pool is 18 round, 7500 gallons, Just opening the pool, I have added 3/4 gallon of super shock (red and white label) from your store. I have added 20 oz. of shock and swim. My values are : 0 free chlorine via dip stick, Total chlorine 2-4 , ph and alka, ok, But stabilizer is low. Is that why I have low free chlorine? Don’t want to get chlorine lock. Also have a tab or two of your Focus tabs. Should i go ahead and add stabilizer. Haven’t cause I didn’t get a free chlorine reading. thanks

    • May 30, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Hi Pat,

      Yes, I would recommend raising your chlorine stabilizer to the proper level and then bring your total chlorine level up to 5ppm. If you still do not get a Free Chlorine reading you may need to shock your pool with 3lbs of Oxy Shock or partially drain some of the pool water and refill.

  • June 5, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    Hey Josh, I have the saltwater pool 8000 & when tested the chlorine level, the sample was almost clear. Think I need to raise chlorine level. We already added 120 lbs. what do u suggest? Do I need to add more salt? If so, how much? Thank you for your prompt attention.

    • June 5, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Please let us know your pool size so that we can recommend the correct amount of salt.

  • June 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Hello, I have the saltwater pool 8000. Have added 120lbs of salt, but think the chlorine level is too low. When tested, water color was practically unchanged. How do I fix it? Do I need to add more salt? All else seems ok. Thank you for your prompt attention.

    • June 5, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Please let us know your pool size so that we can recommend the correct amount of salt.

  • June 5, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    It’s oval shape 12’x18’x54′.

  • June 6, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    Great, thank you so much for your help.

    • June 7, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      No problem. Happy swimming πŸ™‚

  • July 25, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    I have an oval 12 x 30 size pool. I’ve started to see a little green developing on one side of the pool. The pool is also starting to get a little cloudy. I have a leap frog system and the chemicals i was given at the time of purchase were a canister of ph and alkalinity. I have yet to shock the pool, I was under the impression that the leap frog system was all I needed. I am also confused as to how much of the chemicals to add when they talk about ppm. Please help I’m still a novice at this thing. Thanks

    • July 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Hi Willie,

      Ph and Alkaline levels should be tested and adjusted weekly regardless of the type of system you are using.

      The Frog Leap system will take care of sanitizing the pool water but you do need to adjust the dial on the Frog system to compensate for weather and bather load.

      The dial will adjust the chlorine output. Here is a video on how to adjust the dial:

      The recommended chlorine level with the Pool Frog system is .5ppm – 1.0ppm

    • July 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Hi Willie,

      Once your Alkalinity is at the proper level the ph level will not fluctuate as much and testing once a week should be sufficient. More filter time should make your pool water more clear not cloudier. Either your ph or alkaline levels are too high or your filter needs to be cleaned or backwashed.

    • July 30, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Yes a proper chlorine level and water circulation will prevent algae. Try and adjust your return flow down towards the problem area.

  • June 17, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    We have a 15’x 48″round. We are using a sand filter with salt water system. Test strips gave us a .5 copper reading, very low free chlorine, 7.2 ph, and normal range total alkalinity. Our pump is running 4 hours a day. We have had a lot of rain in the past few weeks. What steps do we need to take to get back to normal levels? After opening the pool and adding water (we had drained about 1/2 way for winter), we have not added any salt. We are not getting low salt warnings on our system. Thanks so much!!

    • June 29, 2015 at 1:07 PM

      Hi Aubrey,

      We would recommend running your filter/salt system more hours per day. During warmer weather 4 hours per day will not produce enough chlorine for your swimming pool. Try running your system continuously until the Free Chlorine level in your pool is sufficient then cut the run time back to 8-12 hours per day (depending on weather and bather load). Continue to test the water regularly and adjust the run time as needed.

  • July 7, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Have an above ground pool, 12x9x5. Can’t get the levels correct for chemicals. Water gets green weekly. We shock and add chlorine. Worked the last couple weeks but this week it raised the chlorine way to high and ph is high but in safe range. What is the best way to get my chemicals set correctly?

    • July 7, 2015 at 6:54 PM

      Hi Shirley,

      High pH can prevent chlorine from doing it’s job so you should bring that level down to 7.2-7.4

      Your pool is approximately 3,000 gallons. We recommend running your filter system 8-12 hours during the summer months.

      To resolve your problem faster you can run your filter system 24 hours/day until clear.

      A professional water test would be helpful to check for other potential problems like Phosphates or low Cyanuric Acid, but here is a easy to follow basic list for balancing your pool water:

      Step 1:
      Test the swimming pool’s water total Alkalinity Levels (adjust if necessary).

      Step 2:
      Test the swimming pool’s water PH Level (adjust if necessary).

      Step 3:
      Add swimming pool shock at a rate of 1 gallon or 1 pound of powder per 5,000 gallons of pool water.

      Step 4:
      Add pool algaecide at a rate of 12 ounces per 5,000 gallons of pool water.

      Step 5:
      After allowing the chlorine level to decrease from shock, (use test kit to make sure chlorine level is in the safe range) add a chlorine stabilizer at a rate of 1 LB per 5,000 gallons of pool water.

      Step 6:
      Add extra concentrated chlorine at a rate of 1 OZ. per 5,000 gallons per day.

      Step 7:
      Test pool water regularly to make sure your pool is safe for swimmers. Adjust the Chlorine, pH, Alkaline, and Chlorine Stabilizer level as needed.

  • July 10, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    I shocked my above ground Intex Pool since it had algae and the water turned a light blue color but it’s cloudy. I tested PH and it shows 8.5. What is the next step I should take?

    • July 13, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      Hi Gianella,

      The pH level of your above ground pool should be lowered to a range of 7.2-7.8 using pH decreaser.

  • September 13, 2015 at 5:55 PM

    I had a leak in my in-line chlorinator and bought and installed a new one. Since that day my chlorine levels have been off the chart too high. I have not shocked the 18round above ground pool in about 3 weeks and it is still too high. I have turned the dial down to about “1” on the Hayward in- line chlorinator but still too high. What can I do?

    • November 24, 2015 at 12:51 PM

      Hi Tim,

      We would recommend turning the automatic chlorinator off and do not cover the pool (solar or winter cover) until the chlorine level dissipates. If possible, adding water to your pool can help lower the chlorine level. If your current water level is too high to add water, a partial water change can be done if necessary. Also, there are chemicals on the market to help neutralize chlorine.

      Chlorine feeders can hold several pounds of chlorine and since your 18′ pool is only 7,500 gallons, we would recommend only filling your feeder partially to avoid this problem in the future.

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