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3 Best Method to Chlorinate Water Pipes?

Having clean, fresh water is essential for health. The water in your pipes can carry bacteria and other pathogens. Chlorine can kill bacteria and parasites that cause diarrhea, cholera, colitis, typhoid fever, and salmonella.

How to chlorinate water pipes? Mix chlorine with the water and run it throughout the distribution system. Flush until the chlorine odor is gone. To avoid toxicity, avoid overmixing the chemicals.

However, is chlorine safe for water? How much chlorine do you need to disinfect the pipe? Read on to find the answer.

How to Chlorinate Water Pipes?

How to Chlorinate Water Pipes

Chlorination is adding chlorine to the water to kill bacteria and other organisms. There are different types of chlorination processes, such as simple chlorination, slug method chlorination, batch disinfection, and shock chlorination.

Here are some of the most popular methods of chlorination:

Method 1: Shock Chlorination

Step 1: Create a hole in the well to pour the chlorinated solution.

Step 2: Estimate the amounts of chlorine you need.

Step 3: Use liquid laundry bleach. The concentration of sodium hypochlorite should be 5-6%.

Step 4: Use 1-2 cups of solution per 9 L of water. Pour the chlorine bleach solution into the well.

Step 5: Mix the well water and chlorine. Run water from a hose near the well.

Step 6: Open each fixture (outdoor faucet, sink, shower, etc.) and run the water till you smell chlorine. Add more bleach if you don’t smell chlorine.

Step 7: Keep the chlorine in the pipe for 6-12 hours. Remove the chlorinated water from the well and the pipes. Run a hose until you can’t smell chlorine. Now flush water lines with chlorine out of plumbing.

Step 8: Around four days, take a water sample. Do not drink water before receiving the test result. This is how you flush water lines with chlorine.

Method 2: Simple Chlorination

This procedure is recommended for a 4-6 inches water well system.

Step 1: Remove any sediment or turbidity before chlorination.

Step 2: Bypass the old cartridges and clean the house with one spoon of bleach with water.

Step 3: Remove other WTU (Water treatment units) such as reverse osmosis and water softeners. Now leave the WTU in bypass mode until chlorine is flushed out. 

Step 4: Inspect the water well record to ensure no chemical contamination.

Step 5: Turn off power before resetting the well cap.

Step 6: Prepare the chlorine solution. You need 1 cup for 4-inch diameter and 2 cups for 6-inch diameter per 25 feet depth. For example, a 6-inch diameter and 100 feet depth well needs 8 cups of solution.

Step 7: Mix the solution with 22 L of fresh water in a plastic container. Add another 2 cups of bleach solution to ensure the chlorine is evenly distributed.

Step 8: Apply the chlorinated water solution to the water source. Turn the pipe on and disseminate the chlorine through the plumbing and service line. Put a hose to an outdoor tap and run the water until you smell chlorine and detect clear water.

Step 9: Re-circulate chlorinated water using a garden hose. Wash the casing for 30 minutes. This re-circulation of chlorinated water ensures consistent chlorine dispersion between the pump intake and the well’s top.

Step 10: Cover the well and turn off the water after recirculation. Let chlorine stay in the water for 4 to 12 hours.

Step 11: Now, flush the chlorine until its smell disappears. Continue rinsing for another 1-2 hours. Use a hose attached to an outdoor tap to pump into the yard, ditch, etc.

Step 12: Reactive the treatment units when all chlorine is gone.

Step 13: Collect the water sample and check for residual chlorine using a test kit or chloridometer. If the test kit is unavailable, continue chlorination and flushing for another 2-3 hours.

Method 3: Continuous Feed Method Of Chlorination

Step 1: Connect the chlorine generator to a water supply

Step 2: Add the chlorine solution to a container of water

Step 3: Run chlorine through the plumbing system into the treatment area

Step 4: Add trace elements as needed.

Step 5: Switch out water containers every 24 hours or whenever they’re depleted of chlorine.

Step6: Monitor the chlorine level. Disconnect chlorinator when chlorine level drops below optimal levels.

Step 7: Maintain a 2-in-1 stream of water for a steady feed.

This process uses a chlorine generator that produces hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which destroys bacteria and other pathogens in water.

Do You Have to Chlorinate New Pipework?

It is necessary to disinfect and deodorize new pipes with an EPA-approved chlorine bleach solution. This will kill bacteria and other microorganisms that can grow inside lines.

However, every 3-5 years, you need to chlorinate your pipes, even if the lines have not been replaced. Even if the water in your area has been treated with chlorine, you should chlorinate your pipes.

Is Chlorination Safe for Water Sanitization?

There is no doubt that chlorine is safe for water sanitization. If you drink chlorinated water, you will not have any health problems. Chlorine contains chloride anion (Cl), an essential mineral for metabolism.

However, direct contact causes irritation and burns. Inhalation of chlorine gas may cause respiratory distress, pulmonary edema, and heart failure.

Is Chlorine Safe for Pipes?

Chlorinating water lines are a must for any pipe system that supplies water. But it can be dangerous for pipes since it can create corrosion on metal pipes.

Chlorine contains chlorine and ammonia, which are corrosive to copper. In addition, chlorine can react with organic substances in the water. They react with copper to produce a greenish-brown color that discolors copper, brass, galvanized iron, and steel.

When chlorine comes into contact with plastic and rubber, it reacts with them to form a corrosive substance. They can degrade rubber and plastic in less than an hour.

How Much Chlorine to Disinfect Water Pipes?

Typically, chlorine levels are maintained at between 50 to 100 ppm. However, over chlorination can occur if the dosage is not monitored correctly or if there are issues with the distribution or treatment system.

Here is a chart from experts on the amount of chlorine needed to disinfect water pipes:

Diameter of well  (inches )<50 feet150 feet or greater
21 cup1 cup
41 cup4 cups
62 cups8 cups
84 cups3 quarts
108 cups1 gallon

How Many Hours Does Chlorine Take to Work In Pipe?

The average time for the chlorine to take effect in a pipe is 6 to 12 hours. The difference in time depends on the pipe size, water pressure, and temperature. The water quality affects the speed at which chlorine will work in a pipe.

In general, chlorine takes about 12 hours to start working in pipes in areas with high salt content, such as oceans or seas. It takes  8 to 72 hours to take effect when the concentration of salt is low.


Having a safe and healthy life is possible with proper sanitization of the water line. Different types of pipe disinfection procedures can be applied, such as chlorination.

Nowadays, many people find it comfortable to drink chlorinated water. This chemical prevents waterborne diseases because it kills harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Chlorination is safe for humans and their health.

The process of chlorination is easy and effective. All you need to do is follow the instructions mentioned above in detail.