Have You Fallen for These Common Swimming Pool Myths?
When it comes to pools there is a lot of common wisdom that isn’t grounded in facts. Today, we are going to bust some of the most prevalent myths about swimming pools.
Myth #1: Peeing in a pool turns the water blue.
According to a survey, 52% of adults believe that pee turns chlorinated water blue. It is not true. No pool chemicals will react to urine by dying the water blue. Most likely, this myth was started by a parent who wanted to discourage their children from peeing in the pool. Even though urine will not turn blue, it is still a good idea to get out of the water when you need to pee. The yellow color of your urine can still give you away. It is also a bad idea because it reduces the number of bacteria fighting chlorine. When contaminates like urine are neutralized by chlorine, the chlorine that reacts to it become chloramines and no longer has the power to fight other contaminates.
Myth #2: If you can smell the chlorine, there is too much in the pool.
Speaking of chloramines, the smell that we associate with chlorine is actually the smell of chloramines. Whenever chlorine reacts with contaminates like urine, bacteria, body oils and sweat, it turns into chloramines which escape into the air. This produces the smell we associate with chlorinated pools. Instead of being a sign that there is too much chlorine, it is a sign that too much chlorine is escaping from working overtime. The reason indoor pools tend to smell more is because the air around an indoor pool can become saturated with chloramines if there isn’t enough air circulation in the room.
Myth #3: Getting into a pool right after eating will give you a cramp.
Verdict: Mostly False
Practically every parent has told their kid not to jump into the pool right after eating so that they don’t get a cramp. There is a small grain of truth in this adage, but it is mostly false. Anytime that you are overexerting yourself in a pool you can get a muscle cramp. Since more blood flows to your stomach during digestion than to your other muscles, your muscles can tire out more easily right after you eat. This is why energetic children and motivated adults may be more likely to get a cramp if they rush into the water while their body is still digesting their food. You can avoid this by eating a lighter meal before getting into the pool or making sure to take it easy when you get back into the water for the first 30 minutes after a meal.
Myth #4: Chlorine irritates your eyes.
Despite all the work chlorine does to keep our pools safe, it gets a bad rep! This a very common myth about chlorine that is not true. If your eyes burn underwater, it is not because of the chlorine in the water. It is because the water’s pH level is unbalanced. Pool water should have a neutral pH level, between 7.2 and 7.6. Water with a pH level under 7 is considered acidic. Swimming in acidic water is what makes your eyes burn. This is why it is important to check your pool water’s pH levels every week and make sure it is balanced.
Myth #5: Chlorine turns blonde hair green.
This is another unfair myth about chlorine. It is true that blonde and light brown hair can get a green tint after swimming in a pool, but chlorine isn’t to blame. Copper based algaecides are the culprit! Just as copper statues turn green when they oxidize, the copper in algaecides can oxidize in the water. When you swim in water with these oxidized metals, they can attach to the protein in your hair causing it to look green. The best way to prevent this from happening is to avoid using copper based algaecides in your pool or, if you do use them, to put conditioner in your hair before swimming so the copper particles can’t bind to your hair. If your hair has picked up a green tint, you can get a specialty shampoo to remove the color.
Myth #6: Clear water equals a clean pool.
We’ve all heard the warning that looks can be deceiving. This is very true of pools. Just because your pool water looks clear doesn’t mean it is safe to swim in. Even a clear pool can house unhealthy micro-organisms, dangerously low levels of chlorine or an acidic pH level. Testing the chemical levels of your pool water is the only accurate measure of how clean and safe your pool water is. It is best to do it at least once a week especially in the summer when it’s frequently used.
Now that you know fact from fiction, we hope you will put your new pool knowledge to good use. Check out our other blog posts for more fun facts about swimming pools! If you need help caring for your swimming pool, give us a call!