Why do my eyes burn/sting?

There are three possible causes – your test kit or pool professional can help you to see which is the most probable.

  • This could well be a pH problem – the water could be too acidic or too alkaline. The pH of the human eye is around 7.4-7.5 – anything higher or lower will irritate.
    • Correct the pH. To lower the pH, add dry acid at a rate of 1 pound per 10,000 gallons per day until correct reading is obtained.
    • To raise pH, dose at the same rate with soda ash.
  • High combined chlorine. Chloramines are known to be an irritant. Note carefully the results you get on your DPD no3 test. Also, if you get an unpleasant chlorine smell, its odds on that the problem is due to high chloramines.
    • Break the chloramines down by superchlorinating the pool.
    • Aim to allow no more than one third of the total chlorine to be in the form of combined chlorine.
  • Some detergents used for cleaning pool sides and removing scum lines are incompatible with chlorine. The resulting reactions in the water can lead to eye and skin irritation. Similar reactions can occur if soaps or shampoos get into the water.
    • Superchlorinate to clear out the detergents.
    • Change to cleaners that are chlorine compatible or abandon their use. Ask your pool professional for advise ot these chemicals.
    • Have phosphate levels checked for your pool, as this could cause other problems with water balance.

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