8+ Simple Tips to Raise the Free Chlorine in Your Pool

Maintain a clear pool by following 8 simple tips to raise free chlorine levels, including shock treatments, chlorine tablets, and pool water conditioners.

how to raise the free chlorine in my pool

If you want 8 simple tips on “how to raise the free chlorine in my pool,” you’ve come to the right place. If you don’t know what free chlorine is, let me explain.

Free chlorine is the part of the chlorine in your pool that actively works to keep it clean and free from bacteria and other contaminants.

It is one of two types of chlorine in your pool – the other being total chlorine, which is the chlorine that has already reacted with bacteria and is no longer effective in killing it. 

A sparkling, crystal-clear swimming pool is a pleasure to swim in, a place to relax, and an excellent way to beat the summer heat.

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Unfortunately, if the free chlorine in your pool isn’t within the ideal range, your pool can become a murky, uninviting mess (unless you’re using a saltwater pool)

Fortunately, there are a few simple tips and tricks you can use to raise the free chlorine in your pool, so you can enjoy it all summer long. From pool shock treatments to adding chlorine tablets, here are 8 simple tips to raise the free chlorine in your pool.

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How To Raise the Free Chlorine in My Pool

Having a pool is a great way to beat the heat, but keeping it clean and clear takes work. It is work necessary to keep your pool’s free chlorine levels level. If the chlorine is too low, you may experience signs of bacteria, algae, and other contaminants.

If you came here hoping to find 8 simple tips to raise the free chlorine in your pool, then you have come to the right place.

Shock Your Pool

If there has been a sudden spike in the chlorine in your pool, you may need to perform a shock treatment to bring the chlorine levels back to normal.

A chlorine spike happens when you add too much chlorine to your pool. Chlorine is used in swimming pools to kill algae, bacteria, and any harmful microorganisms in the water. 

When you add too much chlorine to your pool, you risk overdosing the water with chlorine. As a result, the free chlorine levels in your pool drop, and the water starts to turn murky and green.

If the situation isn’t addressed quickly, the chlorine levels can drop too low, allowing the unwanted microorganisms to thrive once again.

Performing a shock treatment when you have a chlorine spike in your pool water can help bring the chlorine levels back to normal.

Adding Chlorine Tablets

CLOROX Pool&Spa XtraBlue 3-Inch Long Lasting Chlorinating Tablets, 5-Pound Chlorine

If the free chlorine has dropped below 200 ppm (parts per million), you can raise it by adding chlorine tablets to your skimmer basket or feeder.

Again, you want to be sure you have enough chlorine in the water to keep it clean and safe, but not so much that it creates excess chlorine fumes.

Keep in mind that chlorine tablets only add chlorine to the water. They don’t reduce the amount of CYA (cyanuric acid) in the water. 

Ideally, you want the chlorine and CYA levels to be balanced. Too little chlorine and algae will start to grow. Too much chlorine, and it will take longer for the water to clear. If you notice algae growing, you can combat it by adding an algae treatment.

Use a Pool Water Conditioner

Pool Mate 1-2604B Swimming Pool Stabilizer and Conditioner, 4-Pounds

If you want to avoid having to perform frequent shock treatments and other pool shock treatments, you need to keep the pool chemicals balanced.

This is especially important during the summer when algae thrive in the warm water. To maintain a healthy balance of chemicals in your pool water, you need a pool water conditioner. 

A balanced pool water conditioner will help keep the chlorine levels while also maintaining the calcium hardness and alkalinity levels in your pool water. When your pool water is balanced, there will be few, if any, green water issues.

Use a Chlorine Booster

If your free chlorine levels are low, you may need to add a chlorine booster to your pool. Chlorine boosters are specially formulated chemicals that will help to raise your free chlorine levels quickly and effectively.

These products increase free chlorine immediately. When using a chlorine booster, follow the instructions on the product label, as it will help you get the desired results.

Use Algaecide

Clorox Pool&Spa 43128CLX 42128CLX Pool Algaecide

Adding algaecide to your water can help reduce the amount of CYA, which can help increase the free chlorine in the water.

Check the label to see if it is safe to use in conjunction with your chlorine shock. Ideally, you want the chlorine and CYA levels to be balanced. 

Balance the Calcium

Before you can worry about raising the free chlorine, you need a healthy balance of other minerals in your pool water. Calcium hardness and alkalinity are two of the most important minerals when it comes to maintaining a clear pool and a healthy swimming environment. 

Calcium hardness is an important mineral that helps reduce corrosion and scale build-up in your pool water.

Alkalium, on the other hand, helps keep the pH level of the pool water within the right range. 

If you have an imbalance of Calcium Hardness and Alkalinity in your pool water, it can lead to a cloudy pool, reduced corrosion protection, and an increase in the pH level of the pool water.

To prevent this, you need to buy and use a balanced pool water conditioner that reduces the calcium hardness and alkalinity levels, while increasing the level of free chlorine available. 

Too much calcium in the water can reduce the effectiveness of chlorine, so it’s important to keep it in check. The ideal calcium level for a pool is between 200 and 400 parts per million (ppm).

If the calcium levels are too low, it can cause the chlorine to become inactive, reducing the amount of free chlorine in the pool.

To raise the free chlorine levels, you need to add a calcium chloride product to the pool until the calcium levels reach the desired ppm range.

Use a Chlorine Dispenser

Pool Chlorine Floater 3 Inch Tablets - Floating Chlorine Dispenser for Pool Chlorination - Float Dispenser, Bleach Chemical Pucks & Tabs Holder, Pool Chlorinating

If you have issues balancing the chlorine or keeping it at the proper level, you can try utilizing a chlorine dispenser. They make it easier to keep the chlorine at the right level so that you don’t over or under-chlorinate the water. 

You set the amount of chlorine you want in the water, and the dispenser will add the appropriate amount. Chlorine dispensers are handy if you have a large pool.

They can help reduce the amount of time it takes to keep the water clear, and they can also reduce the number of chemicals you use. Chlorine dispensers can be picked up from your local store.

Run the Filter

INTEX 28637EG C1000 Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 1000 GPH Pump Flow Rate

One of the most effective ways to remove contaminants from your pool is to run the filter. The filter helps remove dirt and debris, and can also help to keep chlorine levels in check.

Running the filter regularly can help to lower the number of bacteria, algae, and other contaminants in the pool, which will help to raise the free chlorine levels. Check the filter regularly and clean or replace it as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is the answer to a frequently asked question related to the topic “how to raise the free chlorine in my pool.”

What should I do if total chlorine is higher than free chlorine?

If the total chlorine in your pool is higher than the free chlorine, it means that the chlorine has been combined with other compounds, making it less effective.

In this case, you shock your pool to break up these compounds and release the free chlorine. The process is known as “super chlorination.” It involves adding chlorine to the water in large doses. 

To do this, you’ll need to calculate the correct amount of chlorine to add based on your pool’s size and water volume.

Once you’ve added the chlorine, you should wait until the levels return to normal before allowing anyone to swim in the pool (or consider chlorine alternatives).

More FAQs

How can I raise my free chlorine quickly?

To quickly raise your free chlorine levels, you can use dichlor granules. Dichlor granules are a popular choice for above-ground pools, indoor pools, spas, hot tubs, and Jacuzzies. Unlike trichlor, dichlor acts fast, making it ideal for situations where you need a rapid increase in chlorine levels, such as before a pool party.

How do I fix low free chlorine in my pool?

The low free chlorine in your pool can be fixed by adding chlorine to the pool water. You can use chlorine tablets, granular chlorine, or chlorinated shock to raise the free chlorine level.

How much shock do I need to raise free chlorine?

How much shock is required to raise free chlorine levels? The amount of pool shock needed depends on the specific issue you are addressing and the current state of the water. If the water appears clear and you only want to increase the chlorine level slightly, add 1 bag per 20,000 gallons. However, if the water appears hazy or cloudy, use a full bag per 10,000 gallons.

What is more important free chlorine or total chlorine?

The importance lies in having a higher level of free chlorine compared to total chlorine when testing pool or spa water, as it is crucial for effectively sanitizing the water. Consider free chlorine as the necessary defense mechanism to keep contaminants at bay.

How do you unlock free chlorine?

To unlock free chlorine, the most efficient and widely recommended method is to shock your pool and reach breakpoint chlorination. By triple shocking your pool with UNSTABILISED CHLORINE, you can effectively break the chlorine lock. It is crucial to avoid using stabilised chlorine as it will only exacerbate the issue due to the additional cyanuric acid.

How long does it take for water to be free of chlorine?

The water will be free of chlorine after letting it sit for 1-5 days, aerating it with an air stone for 12-24 hours, or boiling it for 15-20 minutes, assuming it contains chlorine and not chloramine.

Is it safe to swim in a pool with 10 ppm chlorine?

It is not safe to swim in a pool with 10 ppm chlorine. The maximum safe chlorine level is 3 parts per million (ppm). Anything above 5ppm is considered a hazard and should be addressed immediately. If you find numbers as high as 7-10ppm, the pool should not be used until chlorine levels return to safer levels.

What is the difference between free chlorine and chlorine?

The difference between free chlorine and chlorine lies in their ability to sanitize contaminants. Free chlorine refers to the amount of chlorine that is capable of sanitizing contaminants, whereas combined chlorine refers to chlorine that has directly combined with the contaminants.

Why is my pool not holding chlorine and cloudy?

The reason your pool is not holding chlorine and appears cloudy could be due to poor filtration, chemical imbalances, or environmental factors such as nearby construction, trees, or wildlife. It is important to address any filter and pump issues, as running the system for only a few hours each day may not effectively clean the entire pool.

How do you balance free chlorine levels?

To balance free chlorine levels, you can either drain your pool and refill it with fresh water or add unstabilized chlorine. If you choose the second option, it is advisable to add a small amount of chlorine and then test the water.

Why is my free chlorine so low?

Your free chlorine is low because there is insufficient regular addition of chlorine to the water. When chlorine tablets are added to the skimmer but the pump shuts off, the chlorine does not get into the water.

What should the free chlorine level be in a pool?

The free chlorine level in a pool should be at least 1 ppm, according to the CDC. Additionally, a pH range of 7.2–7.8 is recommended. For hot tubs/spas, the free chlorine concentration should be at least 3 ppm. When used correctly, free chlorine can effectively eliminate most germs within a matter of minutes.

Can I add shock and chlorine at the same time?

The following question has been transformed into a statement: “Can I add shock and chlorine at the same time?”Rephrased answer: Adding shock and chlorine simultaneously is not recommended. This is because combining chlorine and algaecide renders both ineffective. It is best to first shock the pool and allow the chlorine levels to drop below 5 PPM before introducing algaecide for optimal results.

What happens if chlorine levels are too low?

If chlorine levels are too low, swimmers are put at unnecessary risk because chlorine is responsible for eliminating algae, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in the pool. To maintain ideal and acceptable bromine ranges, all of the quantities mentioned above should be doubled.

How much chlorine does it take to raise 1 ppm?

The amount of chlorine required to increase the concentration by 1 ppm depends on the type of chlorine used. For CalHypo, it takes 2 oz per 10,000 gallons of water to achieve a 1 ppm change. On the other hand, if chlorine gas is used, 1.3 oz per 10,000 gallons of water is needed to achieve the same 1 ppm change.

How often should you shock your pool?

You should shock your pool regularly to maintain clean and contaminant-free water. It is recommended to shock your pool approximately once a week, and additionally after periods of heavy use. Cloudy, foamy, green, or odorous water are indicators that your pool needs to be shocked.

Is 5 ppm chlorine safe to swim?

The statement is: “Is 5 ppm chlorine safe to swim?”Rephrased answer: The recommended range for free chlorine in a swimming pool is 2 to 4 ppm, with 1 to 5 ppm considered acceptable and 9 ppm being on the higher side. While 9 ppm would likely be safe for swimming, it may cause more irritation. Ideally, the chlorine level should be lowered to 5 ppm before allowing swimmers to swim.

Will shock raise free chlorine?

The statement transformed from the question is: Shocking will raise free chlorine. Rephrased answer: The act of shocking involves adding pool chemicals, either chlorine or non-chlorine, to the water with the intention of increasing the level of “free chlorine.” The objective is to elevate this level to a point where it effectively eliminates contaminants like algae, chloramines, and bacteria.

Why won t my free chlorine level go up?

The reason your free chlorine level won’t increase is because there is a low salt level in your pool. In order for your chlorinator to function effectively, there needs to be an adequate amount of salt present. Without sufficient salt, the chlorinator is unable to generate chlorine. To resolve this issue, you will need to add salt to your pool.

How many bags of shock does it take to raise free chlorine?

The statement: “It takes a certain amount of bags of shock to raise free chlorine levels in the water.”Rephrased answer: “To boost the chlorine level slightly, add 1 bag of shock per 20,000 gallons if the water appears clear. If the water is hazy or cloudy, use a full bag of shock per 10,000 gallons. Alternatively, if there is algae present, the amount of shock needed ranges from 2 to 6 pounds per 10,000 gallons, depending on the severity of the algae bloom.”

What is the best shock to raise free chlorine levels?

The best shock to raise free chlorine levels is likely calcium hypochlorite due to its high potency compared to other options. Sodium di-chlor, on the other hand, has the advantage of staying in the water for a longer period and contains a stabilizer that increases the levels of cyanuric acid in the pool, thereby reducing chlorine loss.

What should free chlorine be after shocking?

The free chlorine level should be raised to 5-10 ppm after shocking your pool in order to break up combined chlorine molecules and effectively eliminate any contaminants present in the water.

Does shock increase free chlorine or total chlorine?

The increase in free chlorine or total chlorine is influenced by shock treatment. Shocking your pool or spa releases the combined chlorine and eliminates contaminants, resulting in an elevation of free chlorine levels. Total chlorine encompasses both free and combined chlorine.

How much does 1 pound of shock raise chlorine levels?

The amount of chlorine levels that can be raised by 1 pound of shock treatment is 7 parts per million for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.

Can you add too much chlorine shock to a pool?

Yes, it is possible to add too much chlorine shock to a pool. When the chlorine level in the water becomes excessively high, it can pose a risk to swimmers. Shocking a pool involves increasing the chlorine level to 10 times its usual amount, which is intended to eliminate any bacteria or algae present in the pool.

Should I add shock or chlorine first?

The first step is to add shock if your water looks cloudy and you haven’t shocked in a while, as low chlorine levels can often cause green or hazy water. It is recommended to shock the pool in the evening when the sun is not shining on the water.

Does liquid chlorine work better than shock?

Liquid chlorine does not work better than shock, but rather, both liquid chlorine and granular shock contain the same active chemical that sanitizes your pool. The difference lies in their strength and application methods. Liquid chlorine, which is less expensive, is in an unstabilized liquid form. On the other hand, granular shock is stabilized and comes in a solid form that dissolves in your pool.

Can I add chlorine and shock at the same time?

The following question has been restated as a declarative sentence: “Adding chlorine and shock at the same time should not be done together.” Rephrased answer: Combining chlorine and shock simultaneously is not recommended. This is because their mixture renders both substances ineffective. It is advisable to first shock the pool and allow the chlorine levels to decrease below 5 PPM before proceeding.

Will baking soda raise free chlorine in pool?

Baking soda does not raise free chlorine in a pool, but it assists in the neutralization process of chlorine. Adding baking soda to a swimming pool increases the water’s pH and alkalinity, as it is a high alkaline chemical.

What happens when you mix chlorine and baking soda?

When chlorine and baking soda are mixed together, it is safe for most cleaning tasks. The combination of these two substances produces a potent cleaning solution that can effectively eliminate germs and bacteria. Additionally, this mixture is environmentally friendly as it does not emit any harmful gases or cause surface damage.

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