What’s Chloramine?


Did you know sometimes that foul, overbearing “chlorine” smell in a pool is not caused by too much chlorine but too little?  Today we’re talking about everybody’s favorite ammonia derivative, chloramine!  Well, actually, nobody cares for it.  Read on to find out why.

It Burns!

A lot of people are convinced that when their throat is burning, their eyes are burning, and there nostrils are on fire from “chlorine” smell, that what they are experiencing is chlorine overload and that whoever is in charge of the pool is lazy or just did not wait long enough after pouring in lots of shock treatment.  They are only partially correct - the issue stemmed from chlorine but not in the way they are expecting.

Where specifically is it really coming from if it’s not too much chlorine?

Break Down

What is causing the burning and stench is chloramine.

How does chloramine come to exist?  It can start when people do not put in enough choline.  That’s right, chloramine can be a negative outcome of actually trying to clean your pool.  Talk about ironic!

So the chlorine has gone into the pool and it’s breaking down and cleaning up but now here’s where the issue is.  Chloramines are created out of organics in the pool (such as body sweat and urine) reacting with the free (AKA available) chlorine.  Looking at the big picture, there is some responsibility for everyone involved.  But it’s not just the people and the cleaning material making this awful chloramine pool water.  It can also be the air.

The Air Indoors

Even with the showers and cleanliness guideline in place, you may still bump into this issue of produced chloramine.  This water and health guide says it best:  “If you have an energy efficient air handling system that re-circulates the air, often the chloramines are re-circulated and trapped in the building because they cannot escape.”

That spells trouble for indoor pools.  Additionally, a frequently crowded indoor pool is at threat of being contaminated with chloramine due to the high volume of people that use the pool, each of them giving off bacteria.

Clean People

What’s a great way to prevent having chloramine show up to begin with?  By having people take a soap shower before hopping in the pool.  This will clean up much of the bacteria they normally bring into the pool.

There’s still plenty more to cover when it comes to the fascinating subject of chloramines.  We might tackle this subject again with more information down the road.

Get a Pro Cleaner

Do you need a pool professional to come out and take care of your pool?  If so, get in touch with us at Pristine Pools.  We’re passionate about making sure your pool is kept attractive and healthy!  We know that when you’re swimming with your family that the last thing you should have to be worrying about is pool maintenance and care.  That’s where we come in.

You can reach us by phone at 512.773.0668.  Also, be sure to connect with us on our Facebook page.  Until next time, pool-lovers!