Think Twice Before Using TikTok's Copper Pipe Hack To Get Rid Of Pool Algae

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Algae in the pool can bloom due to a whole host of reasons, from poor sanitation to poor water circulation to fluctuating chlorine levels. Whatever the reason, most people try to eliminate it since it makes your pool look cloudy and your water unclean. One such hack circulating TikTok is to add a copper pipe piece into a plastic bottle with holes and drop that into your pool skimmer. Since copper is an effective way to kill algae, the idea is that the piece of metal in the pool skimmer will effectively limit algae growth in your pool. And since many pool algicides contain copper as an active ingredient, it seems like a natural leap to make. However, there are some major downsides to trying this hack, including discoloring the bottom of your pool. These stains are unsightly and stubborn and will require you to use sulfamic acid to descale them.

It also has the potential to stain more than just your pool liner. It can turn hair and nails green. Most people assume that high levels of chlorine cause the green tinge, but it's actually an excess of copper in your pool. It can also lower or completely deplete the chlorine levels in your pool, forcing you to pump more chlorine into the water, wasting product. Because of this, it's best to skip this hack.

How to remove algae from your pool

So, if you shouldn't use bits of copper to remove algae, what should you implement instead? It turns out that chlorine is the most efficient and fuss-free way. Simply shock the algae with chlorine tablets or liquid, removing the green tinge from your water and leaving behind an inviting, crystal-clear pool. But how much chlorine do you need to shock a pool? You will need to add 10 to 20 ppm of chlorine to do so. To put it into context, a safe amount to swim in is 1 to 5 ppm, which means you can't use the pool until the chlorine levels go back down.

After shocking your pool to remove algae, you can do several things to lower your chlorine levels. The easiest (and most cost-effective) is to use UV rays. Uncover your pool and allow the sun to burn away the chlorine — when the UV rays pass through the chlorine, they will dissipate from the pool and into the air. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to several days, so if you're in a rush, you can also use a chlorine-neutralizing product such as BioGuard Chem Out. This won't alter the water's pH levels or mineral content, so it will only change the chlorine content.