Sunscreen in the pool????

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Joined: Thu 28 May, 2009 15:11
My Pool: I have an ingorund pool with connected hot tub. It has a pebble tech lining and is fully landscaped on three sides.
Location: Las Vegas, NV

Sunscreen in the pool????

Postby lvwitch » Thu 28 May, 2009 15:45

I sure hope that I am doing this right. If not someone let me know please. I have no idea about my pool as far as filter types, etc. I have a pool guy that does all the maintenance, etc. My pool does have a spa that is connected to the pool. Last year he told me that he had to drain the pool in order to get the levels right. He drained it twice - once in May and then again in July. We had no problems after the second drain and refill all summer. This year already the pool is looking cloudy, a lot of algea starting and some days it has it fishy smell to it. Even the spa is starting to smell musty.The pool guy tells me that all of this is being caused from my kids using the pool while wearing sunscreen and that it will cost me $50 or more a week for chemicals to prevent this. I think he is not adding enough chemicals to keep the pool clean, clear and algea free and that he is trying to get more money. He says that the kids can't put sunscreen on if they are going in the pool. I am sorry - my daughter has Lupus and has to wear sunscreen. One of my grandkids is a red head and all of the others are very fair skinned. Without sunscreen they will fry and be like a tomatoe. I run the filter pump and vacuum at least 8 hours a day and if the kids swim without it on, I will run it through the night to make sure it is being cleaned and the water circulated. Can someone please help me with an opinion? Is it true that the sunscreen is causing the chlorine to not work?

chem geek
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Location: San Rafael, California

Sunscreen in the pool????

Postby chem geek » Thu 28 May, 2009 18:21

My wife uses sunscreen that is sometimes not spread thinly and she uses the pool every day. The net result is that there is sometimes a thin film on the water, but it usually dissipates when the cover is opened and in any event it goes away on its own from chlorine getting rid of it if the pool isn't used for a day or two.

It sounds to me like the chlorine level in the pool isn't high enough relative to the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. Algae will not grow in a properly maintained pool with sufficient "active" chlorine. In the worst case, you could add enzymes to the pool to help break down sunscreen more quickly, but chlorine alone is probably all that is needed. If you really want to solve this problem, you need to take charge of your own pool by first getting a good test kit, either the Taylor K-2006 (not the K-2005) or the TF100 from Then, read the Pool School to learn how to maintain your own pool.

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