How to get out of Chlorine Demand

So you’ve found yourself in a situation called “chlorine demand.”  What is it?  How does it happen?  And how do you fix it?  And how do you prevent it from happening?

Well first let me explain what it is.  Chlorine demand is the required amount of chlorine to sufficiently oxidize all organic contaminants in a body of water.  When it hits that “break point” the water is considered sanitary and you may safely swim in the pool.

Next let’s talk about how it happens.  Chlorine Demand is possible when we forget to shock, run low on tablets and when our salt chlorine generators quit working.  It can also occur when heavy use of the pool over a period of time happens, and we forget to increase the amount of chlorine in the pool to sufficiently oxidize and/or maintain proper sanitization levels.

Now let’s talk about the important part.  How we fix it.  Some experts suggest that you keep adding chlorine until you get a positive chlorine reading.  While this method works, it can be extremely costly and time consuming.  We’ve seen people add many pounds of the strongest shock available and still have a demand.  What we suggest is to look at the situation for what it is.  An organic contamination problem.  The three essential steps to keeping your pool in check are balancing, sanitizing and oxidizing.  So the first thing we want you to do is to make sure your pH and alkalinity are properly balanced.  This will ensure any chlorine added to the water works at peak efficiency.  We also want to make sure you have the recommended amount of stabilizer or conditioner.  We don’t want the sun eating up all of your chlorine as soon as you put it in, so this simple step can save you a lot of headache, time and money.  Once balancing is complete you can move on to attacking the organic problem head on.

  • Add 2lbs of Non-Chlorine Oxidizer per 10,000 gallons and wait 30 minutes.
  • Add 16oz of Poolife Enzyme per 10,000 gallons and wait 1 hour.
  • Add 2lbs of Poolife Turbo Shock per 10,000 gallons and wait 8 hours.
  • Once complete use test strips to check the chlorine level in the water.  If it shows chlorine, you should be good to go.  If not repeat steps one through three.

Let’s talk about prevention. Make sure you are bringing your water to us regularly for ClearCare testing.  Every few weeks should be enough. Keep some shock on hand, and shock after heavy use or multiple days of heavy rain.  Use test strips at home every week to make sure you are keeping up with the chlorine levels.  It also helps to control your pH level, which makes your chlorine work at peak efficiency.  Maintaining your pool with Defend+ Algaecide will help keep algae from growing.  Using Endure water conditioner will help prevent your pool from growing contaminants through the summer and over the winter.   When closing the pool make sure to use a closing kit with a long lasting algaecide to help keep contaminants from growing over the winter.

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