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Thread: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

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    Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Does anyone have any figures for safe FC levels for swimming? Sources??
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Are we talkin' about minimum numbers or maximum numbers here?
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Depends on your CYA level. See the Chlorine / CYA chart in Pool School. Anything from the minimum to shock level is alright for swimming, assuming the water is clear and no problems elsewhere.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    I've read the chart and used the calculator. I ask because I read somewhere that the recommended max safe swim levels of free chlorine was 4 - this was taken from a website regarding commercial pools. Does anyone else have an established safe max FC level with documentation?
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Might want to see what they say as max levels for CYA in commercial pools, maybe that will help.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Can you provide a link to the website that has this information? I would like to see this for myself. No offense but I have read so much ******** from every huckster on the planet that thinks they are the authority on pool care. I have never read anywhere that an FC level of 4 is a limit on the maximum FC level for a safe pool. Personally, I believe a pool anywhere under 8 is a pool I would swim in. Anything higher and my only worry is bleaching out my swim trunks.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Many commercial pools do not use cya. In terms of active chlorine (HOCL) levels, a pool with 4 ppm FC and 0 ppm cya has a disinfecting (or active) chlorine level of ~ 1ppm HOCL. To get that same active chlorine level (1 ppm HOCL), you would need ~ 40 ppm FC at 50 ppm cya (the recommend cya level from troublefreepool). There is much more on disinfecting chlorine verses FC levels at varying cya levels in chem geek's excellent post here: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...stry-t628.html
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    That document is really focused on warning about FC levels being to low not high. With that said, they did say this:
    With that said, if a facility wishes to exceed the current levels found at N.J.A.C. 8:26-7.8, ‘a maximum of 4.0 ppm for free chlorine in swimming pools’, the NJDHSS will require that all public pool water quality to be within the acceptable standards for all other parameters:
    1. pH (7.2 – 7.8),
    2. combined chlorine (<.2),
    3. total alkalinity (60 to 180),
    4. stabilizer (cyanuric acid - 10 to 100 ppm and only in outdoor pools) and;
    5. pool water clarity (the deepest portion of the pool floor shall be clearly visible from the swimming pool's edge).
    So they definitely leave the door open to allowing higher FC levels, and even hint, by including cya levels, that it might be appropriate to be higher.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Agreed, I just wonder if there is a high side limit. I have always erred on the side of too low and it makes it too difficult to chase the chems with my work schedule. I don't want to be exposed to too much chlorine either...
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    The EPA limit is 4 ppm, but that is based on drinking water standards. Nevertheless, it carries over to FIFRA rules for chlorine product labeling so you will never see a pool chlorine product say to dose higher than 4 ppm for normal levels when a pool is in use (you can see 5 ppm for spas). However, commercial/public pools are not regulated by the EPA, but by state and county (and sometimes city) regulations. See this post for a variety of regulations showing maximum chlorine levels from 3 to 10. However, none of the regulations reflect any understanding of the chlorine/CYA relationship, though the regs that allow up to 10 are intended for outdoor pools that presumably have CYA in them.

    The fact is that pools with CYA have so much lower active chlorine levels that comparing them to pools without CYA with respect to "safety" in terms of oxidation rates of swimsuits skin and hair is ludicrous. The only relevance to the FC level when there is CYA is if you were to drink voluminous quantities of water. Remember that the EPA 4 ppm limit assumes drinking 2 quarts (liters) of water every day for a lifetime for a lifetime cancer risk from regulated chlorinated disinfection by-products of less than 1 in 1 million.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Thanks chem, this is why I have been having some issues here and there. My target was to stay at 4-10 max, but realistically with my work schedule, it was more like raise it up to 10 and then it would come down to 0-2 before I was able to service again...
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    My target was to stay at 4-10 max,
    With what CYA level? That makes ALL the difference.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    My CYA level's typically range between 25-40. I tend to keep them low so that shocking is easier, late season, say late july-august I sometimes get mustard algae or the beginnings of such. It's only may and I notice some yellowing at the bottom of the pool!
    Pool temp 81, sunny high of 90, dry, cya 35, FC2, pH 7.6, alk 70, hardness 260.

    The current issues I am having aside from the yellowing in areas of the bottom of the pool is clarity - this is the first time in years that I am seeing a dullness/slight opacity looking through the water. I have been thinking about using some DE. Is there something better? The cartridge filter has just been cleaned, but is 2 years old.
    Sorry for the late response!
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Your FC level is below the recommended minimum, and that certainly has something to do with your problem. A dull water appearance is often the first visible sign that FC has fallen too low. Keeping CYA low actually increases the odds of getting algae, and requires more total chlorine besides.

    If you maintained appropriate FC levels you would not be having algae problems.
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    But adding more CYA will make it harder to shock, what CYA concentration do you recommend for my pool? Yesterday I took up my chlorine levels by adding 2.5g of liquid chlorine, by pool calculator's estimates that should be a FC of about 23.5
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    If your CYA is 35 then your FC target range is 3-7 and a slam level of 14. You should shoot for keeping the FC at 7 and never let it drop below 3.
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    We often advise pool owners that it's fine to swim all the way up to shock level. You could err on the side of caution regarding the margin of error on the CYA test and assume your CYA is really only 25. This would put your shock level at FC 10.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    Good point gents, thanks. I often do let the chlorine run out, that has been my problem... There are some times where I wont be back home for 2-3 day stretches. I try not to use pucks because they mess up the cya balance too much.
    12-15k gallons capacity, 18'x34'
    2 main drains 4 returns 1 vacuum line
    pentair intelliflo 4x160 pump 200 sq ft media filter full width (~7' wide) swimout at deep end
    pebble sheen white diamonds

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Safe Free Chlorine Levels for swimming?

    So where ya been? It is like this thread got in a time warp and continued where it left off 14 months ago
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