My Sanitizer Reading is High!


Ugh!  You go for a water test at your local pool professional and you are told that your chlorine is too high for a test!  What can you do to bring the levels back down to an acceptable range?  Why did it happen in the first place?

When your chlorine or bromine is above 8 ppm the other readings on your water test can show false results, so as far as balancing your pool – wait until the readings of the sanitizer have dropped.

Note:  If you have recently shocked (oxidized) the pool, you may be receiving a false high reading as well.  Wait 24 hours and retest to see if the readings have changed.

What can you do?

There is no easy answer for removing the high levels of sanitizer from the pool quickly.  Remove all sources of the sanitizer, turn salt generators off at the breaker, keep the blanket off the pool to allow the sun to help burn it away.  You can try turning the heat up in your heat pump, or you can do a partial drain and refill.  Other than this – it takes time to have the levels drop.

If the sanitizer level is above 8ppm it is not advisable to swim in the pool either.  Swimming in a pool that has a high sanitizer reading can cause irritations to the skin, lungs, and eyes.

How did this happen?

There are a lot of factors that can raise the sanitizer level of the pool water – from shocking too frequently, over shocking the pool, the water temperature, the usage of the pool / number of bathers in the pool, having a generator or a chlorinator turned up too high. 

Your best bet is to discuss the situation with your local pool professional, they likely know your pool set up and can help you find out what has happened to turn the reading high in the first place to assist you in keeping it from happening again.

High sanitizer readings can be more frequent in the Spring and the Autumn when customers are not using the pool as often, with the weather being cool, the kids in school, the pool doesn’t see as much use as during the summer months. 

As a pool professional we advise you to shock the pool weekly and to always make sure your chlorine or bromine pucks or sticks are consistently in their proper canisters.  Sometimes this becomes so routine that you may forget to check the sanitizer level before you shock / oxidize the pool during this time, and you just want to ensure that the pool remains clear of any algae. 

Spring and Autumn are the times where you want to ensure you are watching the levels more frequently as a spike during the cooler months will take longer to come down to an acceptable range.  Check your sanitizer level before shocking the pool or see your pool professional for advice.

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