How To Lower The Chlorine Content In Your Pool

Chlorine is essential for the health and balance of water in a pool, and maintaining the right level of chlorine is critical. Too much or too little chlorine can cause serious issues that no pool owner wants to face. So, if you’ve got too much chlorine in the pool, what should you do?

Chlorine levels in the pool should be between 1 and 1.5 mg per liter of water. Higher levels can cause issues for both swimmers and the pool equipment. To kill off chlorine, you can add more water, use a chlorine neutralizer, or simply wait and let the sun’s ultraviolet rays do the job.

Let’s take a closer look at what chlorine does for your pool, what causes high chlorine content, what you can do to lower it, and how often you’ll need to add more.

What Does Chlorine Do for Your Pool?

Checking the water quality of a pool with the help of a test strip with PH value, chlorine and algaecide

Chlorine kills germs in your pool. Without chlorine, bacteria will build up and eventually make the water unsanitary. Furthermore, the water can even become dangerous to humans, especially those with existing respiratory conditions that might be poorly affected by the water.

Even someone perfectly healthy people can develop skin rashes and worse from a pool with no chlorine, however.

And it’s not just about the swimmers. If there’s no chlorine in the pool and the bacteria levels are left to build up, then it can damage various equipment in the pool and result in some costly repairs.

What Causes High Chlorine Content in a Pool?

The most common reason for high chlorine content in a pool is user error. The pool owner may have simply added too much chlorine by accident or misread the initial level, resulting in a chlorine level that’s too high. This is also common after shocking the pool.

Shocking the pool means adding more chlorine than is usually necessary to get rid of excess bacteria, and it’s recommended to do this on a regular basis. However, you then need to wait for the chlorine levels to come back down before anyone steps in the pool. Otherwise, it can be dangerous to swim in the pool — especially for children and people with sensitive skin, allergies, or respiratory conditions.

How Often Do You Need to Add Chlorine to a Pool?

You should add chlorine (which you can buy on Amazon) to your pool roughly every 3–7 days. This measure of time is determined by the size of the pool, the season, how much use it gets, and other factors. 

The ideal amount of chlorine in the pool is between 1 and 1.5 mg per liter of water, so it’s best to continuously check the levels and, when the chlorine level dips too low, it’s time to add more.

You’ll soon get a feel for your pool and how often you need to add chlorine to maintain this.

How to Lower the Chlorine in Your Pool

There are a few different ways to lower the chlorine level in your pool. Before following any of these steps, you should, of course, stop adding any more chlorine to the pool as this will just make it take longer to break down.

Wait It Out

The sun will naturally kill chlorine, so if you do add too much, you can leave the pool uncovered and keep testing the levels until the chlorine is at an appropriate level again. This is usually what people do after shocking the pool anyway, so it shouldn’t take too long for the chlorine to return to an accept level for swimming.

The ultraviolet rays of the sun are what helps to break down the chlorine so the more sun is on the water, the quicker this will happen.

Add Chlorine Neutralizer

Chlorine neutralizers or dechlorinators (on Amazon), such as sodium thiosulfate, can help to quickly reduce the chlorine level in your pool. Follow the instructions on the product for the correct amount to add based on the size of your pool.

Dilute the Water

One way to lower the chlorine level is to dilute the water in your pool by adding fresh water. This can be done by draining a portion of the pool water and refilling it with fresh water.

What Happens if Your Pool Has Too Much Chlorine?

Pool chlorine tablets

If your pool has too much chlorine, it can create a number of issues for both people and the pool itself. Here are some of the potential consequences of having too much chlorine in your pool.

Irritation and Respiratory Issues

High levels of chlorine can cause skin and eye irritation, resulting in redness, itching, and burning sensations. Chlorine gas can also be released when the chlorine level is too high. The gas can cause coughing, wheezing, and other respiratory problems.

This is enough to affect any healthy individual, but for those who may be more sensitive to this sort of thing, such as young children, the elderly, and people with conditions like asthma, it can be especially dangerous.

Unpleasant Taste and Odor

Even if the pool hasn’t reached the point of being dangerous for people, the high chlorine levels are still likely to cause an unpleasant taste and odor. This is likely to be one of your first signs the chlorine content of the pool is too high.


Chlorine can cause discoloration and damage to swimsuits and hair, particularly in high concentrations. You may notice hair or clothing becoming lighter and developing white patches if the chlorine levels are too high.

Pool Equipment Corrosion

Excess chlorine can cause corrosion of pool equipment, such as ladders, railings, and the pool pump. These can be expensive to repair, and it’s even more costly if you have to replace them entirely, which is just another reason to deal with high chlorine levels as soon as is possible.

Reduced Effectiveness

Ironically, excessive levels of chlorine can actually reduce its effectiveness at killing bacteria and other harmful organisms in the pool water. Not only will you have high chlorine levels, but you may have other dangerous bacteria that begin to cause damage to the inside components of your pool.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, experienced pool owners know the dangers of high chlorine — and it’s critical for new pool owners to learn fast too. Not only can high chlorine levels corrode pool equipment over time but it can also be uncomfortable and even dangerous for swimmers in the pool.

Fortunately, it’s an easy fix — just add a neutralizer or more fresh water, or simply take a break from swimming and let the sun’s ultraviolet rays do the work for you.

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