How to reduce Chlorine usage in your swimming pool and hot tub

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How can you reduce your Chlorine and Bromine usage?

If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, killing off the nasty bacteria and viruses that make their way into your pool is essential. For most people this involves the use of Chlorine or Bromine.

Almost everyone wants to reduce their Chlorine and Bromine usage. Not only to cut down on the number of chemicals they are exposing themselves to. But also to reduce maintenance and chemical costs. 

If your Chlorine and Bromine bills are higher than expected. Try these seven tips. Not only will they help you to save money. But they will help make your swimming pool and hot tub water clearer. 

Shower before using a swimming pool or hot tub

chlorineThere is a reason public pools always have signs telling you to shower before entering the pool or hot tub. But it’s really easy, especially when it’s your own pool, to skip this step.

Showering before getting in your pool or hot tub reduces the body fats and microbes that are deposited into the water through swimming. This keeps the water cleaner. Which, in turn reduces the amount of Chlorine and Bromine that needs to be used in the pool. 

Check that the pool and hot tub pH is balanced

Fancy swimming in aiding or alkaline water? No. We didn’t think so. 

Most people think the most important aspect of pool and hot tub water is the sanitiser. But equally, if not more important, is the water pH. The pH of a pool or hot tub should sit between 7.2 & 7.8 (just above neutral).

In chemical terms, and out of balance pH will alter the effectiveness of Chlorine. A low pH (under 7.2) will cause Chlorine to break down too quickly, which means you will use a lot more than you need. A high pH (over 7.8) will cause the Chlorine to work too slowly to be effective. 

Bromine is slightly more stable in fluctuating pH. So this is not such  concern if you are using Bromine. 

Ensuring the pH level is correct will mean that Chlorine is used efficiently. And it will help avoid the irritated skin and itchy eyes that can come with an acidic or alkaline pool or hot tub. 

Check the pool and hot tub water temperature

In Scotland, heating your pool is a necessity. 

The average water temperature of an indoor pool, is around 28-30 degrees Celsius. Most people know that the higher the water temperature, the higher the energy bills. But did you also know that higher pool water temperature, leads to higher Chlorine consumption.

Why?

Bacteria love warm water. They thrive in it. It’s why bacteria growth is such a pertinent issue for hot tubs which sit around 37-40 degrees Celsius. The more bacteria there is, the more Chlorine and Bromine is needed to keep the bacteria under control. 

You want the pool to be comfortable to swim in. But if you’re debating whether to turn it up a few degrees, you might want to think about how it can affect your Chlorine and Bromine usage. 

Invest in a quality pool and hot tub cover

This is especially true in outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs.

But, even indoor pools can benefit from a good quality pool cover. A cover helps you save on energy. Plus, it helps cut down on Chlorine and Bromine bills by stopping dirt and debris from getting into the pool.

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Shock dose your pool or hot tub

hot tub shockFor those not in the know, shocking your pool  has nothing to do with jumping out on your pool and giving it a fright!

In (fairly) simple terms. Once Chlorine attaches to contaminants in your pool and hot tub, it has fulfilled its life purpose and becomes ‘dead Chlorine’. We need to get this out of the water, to make it cleaner and clearer.

We do this by shock dosing the pool. Which involves adding a Chlorine based shock treatment. Adding Chlorine may seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to reduce Chlorine usage. But it will oxidise off the ‘dead’ Chlorine. Plus, it will kill any lurking bacteria that has been missed in the weekly sanitisation.

We recommend that domestic pools and hot tubs use a shock treatment once a month.

Top tip: Shock the pool after dark if your pool gets natural light. UV light can cause Chlorine to break down quicker so doing it after sunset means more of the Chlorine will be available to clean the pool.

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Take care of your pool and hot tub filters

Coast Spas filterAn effective filter forms the basis for easy water care. If you’re hot tub or pool filter is not doing it’s job and collecting dirt and debris. You are going to need a lot more Chlorine and Bromine to kill off the contaminants in the pool. 

Make sure your filter is in optimal condition to reduce the usage of Chlorine and Bromine in your pool. 

You can do this by:

1. Clean/backwash your hot tub/pool filter regularly.

2. Remove any waste or debris trapped in the skimmer and skimmer basket. This allows water to flow freely and optimises the filter function.

3. If you have a sand filter, renew the sam every 5 years (domestic) or 2 years for hydrotherapy pool. Commercial properties will need the sand replaced more regularly. 

Alternative to Chlorine and Bromine

The above are all ways that you can reduce your Chlorine and Bromine usage. But there are also few ways that you drastically reduce, or completely eliminate the need for Chlorine or Bromine. Ohhhh. Tell me more.

1. Install a pool or hot tub Ozone system

Ozonators use O3 (ozone gas) to sanitise pool and hot tub water. They are installed within the pipework of a hot tub, or in the plant room of a pool. 

An ozone system does not eliminate the need for Chlorine or Bromine. But It is designed for use as a ‘secondary filtration system’. They should be used alongside a primary sanitiser. This will increase the cleanliness of the pool, while reducing the level of Bromine and Chlorine usage.

2. Install a salt chlorination system

saltSalt Chlorination systems do have a high initial outlay. So short term it will cost money. However, over the long-term. Not only will you save money. But the Chlorine that is produced is a softer and kinder alternative to the neat Chlorine that is commonly used in swimming pools. 

How does a salt water chlorination system work?

You won’t need to buy any Chlorine as the the salt chlorination system uses dissolved salt (special salt, not table salt). The Chlorine generator passes a current through the salt (NaCL) and breaks it into Hypochlorous acid (HClO) and Sodium Hypochlorite (NaCLO). Both which are already commonly used to sanitise pools. 

Salt water Chlorine systems are not Chlorine-free. It’s just that you don’t need to directly add Chlorine to the pool.

If you are looking for a salt chlorination system we would recommend the Gaffey Technical Hyprolyser®

3. Install an Electrolysed Water Solution System

On the surface these seem similar to salt chlorination systems. They use salt, water and electrolysis to create swimming water that is clean enough to drink. But despite this it electrolysed water systems are still highly effective bacteria killing machines. 

How do Electrolysed water systems work?

Electrolysed water systems use a very low cell current, to produce a very low level Chlorine content. This has a long residual ‘kill time’. But reverts back to ordinary water over a period of time. So is non-harmful to the environment and humans. So much so that it is a popular method of sanitisation for drinking water. 

If you are thinking about an Electrolysed Water System we recommend ESOL from Bridge Biotechnology

In summary

If your using more Chlorine or Bromine than you had planned then these tips will hopefully help you to cut down. Saving you money on chemical costs. And allowing you to expose you and your family to less chemicals. Win win.

If you fancy dramatically reducing, or eliminating the need for Chlorine and Bromine all together, then there all some alternative options. That although will initially be an investment. Will reward you with cleaner, safer water with lower chemical costs in the long-run.

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Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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