Chlorine is a common chemical that many hot tub owners use to kill germs and bacteria and prevent swimmers from becoming sick. Free chlorine can kill most germs within a few minutes if used properly. To determine your pool’s chlorine levels, dip a test strip in the pool for a few seconds and then match the resulting color of the strip to a chart linked to “parts per million” chlorine levels.
Some chlorine test kits measure “free chlorine,” while others measure both “free chlorine” and “total chlorine.” There is a difference between “free” and “total” chlorine. The free chlorine level is a measure of how much chlorine is available in pool water to destroy germs. Chlorine that reacts with swimmer perspiration, urine, body oils and cosmetics produces “combined chlorine,” which is mostly unavailable to destroy germs. The total chlorine level is the sum of the free chlorine and combined chlorine levels in the hot tub. For a healthy spa or hot tub, the free chlorine level should be between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm).
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommends pH 7.2–7.8 for pools and hot tubs. Keeping the pH level in this range helps prevent recreational water illnesses and infections, such as diarrhea, gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections. A healthy pH level also promotes the lifespan of the pipes, and overall comfort. Anything below pH 7.0 can cause eye and skin irritation.
As a hot tub owners in New Jersey, it’s important to routinely test and adjust both the free chlorine concentration and pH. The best way to kill germs is by properly maintaining the free chlorine concentration and pH. This will help prevent the spread of germs that cause recreational water illnesses.
If you have questions about your New Jersey swimming pool or how to measure chlorine levels, contact Sun Pools today!