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Thread: Rash from pool use.

  1. #1
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    Default Rash from pool use.

    Hello all,

    New to the forum about 10 years into my pool. After installation never had a single problem until last summer. All the sudden Iím breaking out with a rash when in the pool for more than 5 min or so. Endured it last summer and until now this summer but growing more and more annoyed with it. I am the only one breaking out doesnít affect my wife or grandkids.

    Came here to research and find some interesting new info from PoolDoc about the bath test and residual chemicals in water. Planning to drain and refill to start over soon if all goes well with the chlorine bath test. Will be doing that when the latest rash completely clears up.

    One point I found curious was a suggestion that the chlorine level should be around 10% the CYA level if the level was high. Did I understand that correctly? I understand lowering CYA level is only achieved by drain and replace.

    My ozonator had quit working but was replaced about a month ago and seems to be working properly.

    I seem to have the problem regardless of Ch level. Near zero or 5 doesnít matter. Ph anywhere between 7-8 doesnít seem to make any difference.

    Have tried all the suggestions from several local pool companies, all to no benefit. Am worried about the residual chemical brew that may be in the water after using various algaecides, different chlorines (stabilized and non), non-chlorine shock, cheap shock from home centers, phosphorus remover, etc

    Summary of equipment and latest test results:

    Fiberglass 12x24 appt 5000 gal
    Cartridge filter
    Prozone Ozone injector
    Nature 2 Express mineral sanitizer
    Inline Chlorine Dispenser Usually use Trichlor tablets

    Test Results as of 7/28/18
    Free Chlorine 4.6
    Combined Ch .4
    Ph 7.6
    Alk 80
    CYA ~150

    Iíll continue to research the threads on irritation and see if I discover something. In the meantime any suggestions as to the problem are welcome!

    Bill

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    Here's what I'd recommend:

    1. If you are not ALREADY testing with a Taylor based DPD-FAS kit, with fresh (this season) DPD powder and FAS solution, get one from Amazon and use it to test BOTH your pool water AND your tap water.

    2. Go ahead and do a bleach bath test, using 1/8 cup of fresh Walmart 10% pool bleach in 25 gallons (FULL fiberglass shower/tub) (~20 ppm) or 1/4 cup in an old full size cast iron tub . . . filled with COOL water. BUT, before you do this, you MUST test your tap water for combined chlorine with an ACCURATE test kit. Some municipalities are treating with monochloramine, which can cause a variety of problems, ranging from lead leaching into the tap water to rashes . . . just like yours! If you detect combined chlorine in your TAP water, you need to do a tap water SOAK before the bleach test, with the bath water adjusted to the same temp as your pool. This Habor Cooking Thermometer 6" Probe works well, and is both accurate and cheap.

    3. Assuming that your rash is NOT triggered by a mild bleach bath, you need to eliminate possible sources. Based on your treatment history, you have a witch's brew in your pool. And, since the pool is small, the BEST solution is a drain and refill -- and NOT just because of the CYA. But BE CAREFUL!! Fiberglass pools can float OUT of the ground, if the ground is at all wet.

    Before draining, you MUST dig a post hole along side the pool, as close as you can get. Dig as deep as you plan to drain (ideally, all the way -- partial drains are VERY inefficient). Let the hole sit covered overnight. If it's dry in the AM, you can drain, but NO FARTHER then the SAME depth as the bottom of the hole. Also, do not drain if significant rain is forecast. If you can not drain this way, it's possible to do a drain in place, using a tarp that is LARGER than your pool. I'll explain that later, if needed.

    4. While the pool is draining and refilling, remove the 'guts' of the Nature2 AND turn OFF the ozonator as well as plugging plug the air intake. (Or, even better, completely remove BOTH units. The ozonator is worse then useless, and the Nature2 is -- at best -- and overpriced trichlor feeder.)

    5. Also, buy some sodium dichlor 1# bags [ Sams Club, Amazon #1, #2, #3 ], 3 gallons of Walmart 10% pool bleach, a bottle of dry acid (or muriatic acid, if you can handle it OK) and 2 boxes of 20 Mule Team Borax . . . and NOTHING ELSE. Nada. Not even a little. If you've got other pool chemical stuff squirreled away, GET RID OF IT, so it is not accidentally added to the pool.

    Chlorinate with the dichlor, till your stabilizer is ~40 ppm, then switch to bleach. Use the borax to RAISE your pH if it reaches 7.0 or below. Use the dry acid to LOWER the pH if it reaches 8.0 or above. Do NOT use ANY other chemicals.


    . . . let me know how it goes, please.

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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    Upgraded membership and moved thread to the water problem section. You may need to log out and back in to see everything.

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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    Thank you very much for the detailed reply! I will do the bath test as soon as Iím fully cleared up from this last episode. Probably about a week. You are right, itís amazing to me that the water is clear given all the crap that has been poured into it over the years. I read the article about the tarp between layers of water when draining and understand it. That is likely the path if draining is undertaken.

    I will let you know how it works out. Thanks again for the time you took to reply.

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    Thumbs up Re: Rash from pool use.


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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    Just wanted to update you. Iím almost cleared up enough to take the bath test. Having trouble finding the 10% Pool chlorine locally. I remember reading that regular bleach can be used in the pool as long as no addatives are in it. Hope to work out N equivalent dose for the bath. Good news is I have a construction clean out that will let me know if Here is any water under the pool.

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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    PoolDoc, just wanted to follow up with you and give you an update. I’m almost cleared up enough to do the bath test. Can’t locate liquid 10% bleach locally so will have to use the regular 6 or so percent and figure out the proper dilution knowing it shouldn’t have any additives. On a good note, I have a “construction line” under the pool which was installed for the purpose of removing any water under the pool should I need to drain it. This was a pleasant discovery.

    Bill

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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    According to Walmart, the 10% pool bleach is available on aisle Y.3 in the store on 6140a Univ Drive, AL 35806

    But, you can use PLAIN 6% bleach at about 2x the 10% stuff . . .

    Best wishes!

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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    Yeah, I saw that when I was looking. Went there and they didnít have any! We have a few more Walmartís will come them out. Should I test the level and shoot for a particular PPM level with my Taylor kit?

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    Default Re: Rash from pool use.

    I'm really surprised. Walmart's inventory control systems are supposedly state-of-the-art.

    Regardless: absent any water problems chlorine levels should be about 5% of your CYA level. CYA levels should be at least 30 ppm, to maintain chlorination throughout the day. CYA levels are DETERMINATIVE of chlorine chemistry, which is why it's so important to have decently accurate CYA readings (= NOT strips)

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