What are chloramines and should I keep them out of my pool?
Most people think when the swimming pool smells like bleach that it's a good sign that the pool is clean. Unfortunately, it actually means that the chlorine has combined with ammonia and nitrogen because of contaminants.
The result is chloramines, or combined chlorine, and can be dangerous. Chloramines smell bad and irritate eyes and skin. They also keep the chlorine from cleaning properly.
What should I do if I suspect there are chloramines in the pool?
Fortunately, it is easy to test for levels with a kit. You can tell there is a problem when you smell the bleach smell, but a test will tell you actual levels so you can make sure your pool is safe.
Ironically, the best treatment to get rid of chloramine is to treat your pool with more chlorine. You can add liquid or granular chlorine, ozone, or a non-chlorine shock.
What if the chloramines keep coming back?
If you have an ongoing problem with chloramines, try to figure out what is causing it. There are always going to be some contaminants, because people swimming, animals, surrounding trees and other factors all contaminate the pool. But if you're having problems with constant chloramine build-up, you can try to eliminate the effects of some of those, such as by trimming nearby trees which drop leaves into the pool.
If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to ask a professional. It's always better to be safe than sorry.