“Don’t swim for a minimum of an hour after eating!”
“Swimming pool chlorine will turn blonde hair green!”
“Don’t pee in the swimming pool! Your urine will turn blue!”
We’ve all heard the reports, but are they true? Let’s look at a few of the shared swimming pool legends and separate reality from fiction!
# 1: You need to wait an hour after you eat to swim, or you will get cramps.
Myth: Some Truth
How many times did your mother tell you this one? However, it was SOOOO hard to wait to cannonball into that cool pool on those hot summer days? The truth is, when your stomach is digesting food, more blood goes to your stomach to help in digestion, leaving less blood in your other muscles. If you strain those muscles while swimming, you might get a cramp, but not likely. To avoid making this “momism” a reality, be sure to eat a lighter meal and ease back into swimming after eating.
# 2: There’s too much chlorine in the swimming pool because I can smell it!
Actually, the opposite is true. Time for a brief swimming pool water chemistry lesson: chlorine in your swimming pool connects to germs and creates chloramines. When you shock the swimming pool, these chloramines become oxygenated and escape up into the air surrounding the pool. This is the time that you can smell the chlorine when it’s airborne, not in the pool water. You smell it in the air and that suggests it’s not in the water doing its job, and more chlorine has to be added.
# 3: Chlorine will turn my blonde hair green!
Poor, poor chlorine. Once again, chlorine is not the offender– it’s copper! Some algaecides are copper-based, and the oxidized metals in the water can attach to the protein in the hair shaft. No worries, it can quickly be removed by a shampoo that strips the color or by conditioning the hair BEFORE swimming
# 4: Chlorine will burn your eyes if you open them underwater.
Here we go with chlorine getting a lousy rep again! It’s not chlorine that burns your eyes, it’s water with an unbalanced pH level. If you pay attention to your pool water chemistry and maintain a pH in between 7.2 and 7.6, you don’t have to fret about burning red eyes after swimming.
# 5: If you pee in the swimming pool, it will turn blue!
Among the most popular and frequently joked about legends is the blue dye urine detector myth. So, is it a scare technique or not? Obviously, it is! Moms and dads have typically utilized it to keep their children from peeing in the swimming pool, and it’s a fact that even 52% of adults think is true! In truth, it does not exist. Though a chemical might be developed to react to urine, it would be tough to prevent it from responding to other substances in swimming pool water also.
# 6: There’s no chlorine in a saltwater pool.
A saltwater pool is not a chlorine-free swimming pool. To sterilize a salt water pool, salt water is forced throughout a special metal cell that is charged with an electrical current. This process is called electrolysis and produces chlorine. Another common misconception is that you do not need to use swimming pool shock treatment with a saltwater swimming pool. Shocking your saltwater swimming pool is still required for sanitization and to prevent algae.
# 7: A clear pool is clean and healthy.
Do not rely on the swimming pool’s look– trust the chemistry! It is necessary to test the water each week and take note of water chemistry makeup for pools to make sure that there aren’t unhealthy levels of micro-organisms.
So the next time you hear one of these swimming pool myths, you now are equipped with the facts! And as much as we are disappointed that # 5 isn’t really real, perhaps all of us can keep that legend going anyhow. If you have concerns about how to take care of your pool, we are here to help!