When Good Chlorine Turns BAD!

There’s GOOD chlorine and yes, there is BAD chlorine! Good chlorine actively works to kill bacteria and helps keep your pool clear and sanitized. Bad chlorine, otherwise known as,chloramines are an organic compound containing a chlorine atom bonded to nitrogen…say whaaat?? Basically, the chlorine that should be actively sanitizing your pool started hanging out with some unsavory fellows and they are doing nothing good! Chloramines are quite often the culprit behind cloudy water or a pool that stays green even after regular shock treatments.

Here’s how we know if you have Combined Chlorine aka Chloramines:

Example 1:

Free Chlorine Level:             2

Total Chlorine Level:       –   4

Combined Chlorine Level  =  2

Example 2:

Free Chlorine Level:             4

Total Chlorine Level:       –   4

Combined Chlorine Level  =  0

*** AHHHH moment: if you are using a test kit at home that turns shades of yellow when you test your chlorine, you are testing for Total Chlorine.  You will want to also get a package of test strips or a kit that turns PINK (Free Chlorine).  I get calls like this a few times every summer, “My test is bright yellow for chlorine, but my pool is green”! You can have plenty of Total Chlorine in your pool but still have nothing free to kill bacteria! TEST PINK!

To rid your pool of combined chlorine or Chloramines you must shock. The exact amount required depends on your pools volume, the level of combined chlorine present in your pool and the level of, if any, of phosphates (more on phosphates later).  Just bring us in a sample of your pool water 🙂

If you have questions about BAD chlorine please give us a call, send us an email, or Facebook message we are always happy to assist! Fort Wayne: 260-482-7665 or Angola: 260-668-7200. Susie@olympiapoolsandspas.com

Thanks for reading,


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