Are you doing this? For the sake of your eyes and nose this swim season, I hope not..
There is a mistake that most pool owners make, sometimes multiple times a week that can only be fixed by partially draining your pool. Water chemistry can be somewhat counter-intuitive for someone without any experience/self taught. Please consider getting a free estimate if you'd like Dyer Exterior Specialists to have your pool running optimally (also avoid standing in 90 degree summer heat on your day off). They look harmless. The three-inch wide white hockey pucks known as Chlorine tabs are a favorite of most pool owners. They look like giant aspirin, and pool owners everywhere use them like medicine for their pool water.
But hidden inside the tablets you faithfully drop into your skimmer basket is an acidic surprise that will leave you blurry eyed and irritated. The only way to fix this insidious issue is to partially drain your pool and refill with fresh water. Refilling your pool wastes time consuming and this behavior is completely avoidable.
This is the scenario: people add tablets to their pool, swim normally, and a couple days later their water is looking a little cloudy. They look in the skimmer, and they notice the tablet has dissolved. Tablets disolve at different rates and their disolution does not reduce their effectiveness. But, people assume unless the tablet is present in the skimmer, the pool is not being dosed with chlorine. So they chuck in a tab (or two) when they add chlorine to clear up the water. This scenario repeats itself week after week. Now the pool is stinging your eyes. The pool water can somewhat (counter intuatively) look crystal clear, but every time extra tabs are added to the water, extra cyanic acid builds. This acid does not dissipate when exposed to sun like chlorine does. The water evaporating from your pool leaves behind the acid as well, with each additional chlorine tablet raising the concentration of acid. By July in some case, the pool is clear, but not much fun to swim in.
The eye and nose irritation are from a chemical in tablets called cyanic acid. The acid irritates your mucus membranes (eyes and nose). This acid is also known as “stabilizer”. Used correctly, cyanic acid helps maintain a helpful level of chlorine in your water. We’ve all been in a pool that leaves our eyes burning and nose itching. Most people think it’s an overzealous use of chlorine that does this. Aside from swimming within 12 hours of adding chlorine in a large amount your pool, chlorine will not be detectable in this way.
The solution to this issue is rather than adding tablets, use a non-stabilized chlorine or “shock”. Add shock after a string of sunny days, or when used heavily by swimmers. Shocking your pool will keep your water sanitary without making it uncomfortable to swim in.
Here is my simple advice: add the manufacturer’s recommended amount of chlorine tablets to your skimmer ONCE A WEEK.
Not when they have melted. Not when your water looks cloudy. Not anymore often, then once a week.
Call us (315-741-0603) or request a quote through our contact tab if you'd like to never again deal with red eyes and noses when swimming.