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Thread: bleach vs. chlorine

  1. #1
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    Question bleach vs. chlorine

    Last yr (our first year w/ 27'AG pool) when I was following advice here and using generic clorox ultra, the local family run pool store owner gave me the scenario of liquid shock vs ultra clorox. I don't remember the specifics, but the shock was at least equal in price after you make the percentages equal, but needing much less of it thus less hassle, carrying heavy bottles from store, and less landfill. Am I missing something of why this is not the preferred method? Is there ever a benefit to using granules? I tried a few times because they're not supposed to be used up as quickly, but there was always white stuff all over the bottom of the pool and I hate to bleach the liner.
    Thanks.

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    Default Cheap Bleach

    Hi, I have a 23K gallon IG Gunite pool that is still covered to keep the leaves out till those Oaks finally drop their last load. I run my pump in the off season on low speed (3/4 HP) about 4 hours / day.

    I use Wallmart Bleach that costs me $2.30 / jug. These are the larger size, and are 174 oz, or 5.14 Liter, or 1.36 gallons. That works out to $1.69 / gallon.

    With my cover on during the off season, I need about 2 jugs / month, and in the summer months I need about 6 jugs per month. I buy a dozen at a time since that is a nice fit for the grocery cart.

    The annual usage is about 50 jugs or about $115. With bleach I never need to shock so long as I keep the TC at 3-5 ppm, and I add Mauratic acid at the rate of 1 gallon per month to keep the PH around 7.5. That is all I do here, water stays crystal clear, and no algae. CYA ~ 50.

    When I stopped supporting "Self Chem" I was spending about $100.00 / month during the summer, and my water was often gray, foamy, and algae never died. Sigh!

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by abadubs
    the local family run pool store owner gave me the scenario of liquid shock vs ultra clorox. I don't remember the specifics, but the shock was at least equal in price after you make the percentages equal, but needing much less of it thus less hassle, carrying heavy bottles from store, and less landfill.
    The 10 or 12% in the liquid shock from the pool store is less stable and will lose its potency faster than the 6% bleach from the grocery store.

    Sometimes I do buy liquid pool shock from the grocery if I'm going to use it right away or store it less than a week or so. However, the pool store up the street stores big pallets of liquid pool shock outside in the heat. There isn't any way I'm buying that stuff.

    Just be aware that you may be paying more but not really getting that extra percentage. Ask him how fresh his stock is, it may be worth it to buy liquid shock from him. Then again, if you don't notice that you have to use less, it probably has lost some of its strength.

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    mcnixon is offline Registered+ Thread Analyst mcnixon 0
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickie513
    The 10 or 12% in the liquid shock from the pool store is less stable and will lose its potency faster than the 6% bleach from the grocery store.
    This is a good point.
    I stopped using the large 5 gallon shock the pools stores were selling because a) they were too hard to handle (vs bleach), and b) the stores hours (& location) weren't convient for me.

    Anyone have an opinion about the 10-12% pool cholorine sold by the case (4x1 gallon jugs)?
    In Minneapolis I get this a Mill's Fleet farm, usually $9.49-$11 per case. I feel I get decent results from this (even if I get 3 cases to use over a 4-6 week period), and its less jugs to deal with than store bleach.

  5. #5
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    OK:
    Here we go on the new board. Sodium Hypochlorite solution is generally all the same, varying only in concentration. Doesn't matter if it's called "Super Shock", "Regular Unscented Bleach", etc.

    1 gallon of whatever it's called will add its concentration to 10,000 gallons of water.

    So 1 gallon of regular unscented bleach, 5.25% concentration, adds 5.25ppm of Free Chlorine to 10,000 gallons. 1 gallon of 10% solution adds 10ppm, etc. So you can figure that if 1 gallon of 10.5% shock solution costs 3x as much as a gallon of regular bleach it's a bad deal. If it costs 1.5x as much, it's a good deal.

    I've gotten shock as high as 26% in 5 gallon carboys. This is really good when you open your pool and need to get you FC up and keep it up to fight off the winter's and spring's contamination and algae.

    BUT-----The higher concentrations break down--the higher it is, the faster it breaks down. Heat and light make it worse. Keeping it cool or cold and dark really helps.

    Bleach is chlorine, liquid chlorine, liquid shock (if it's sodium hypochlorite) is all the same thing. But watch out for pool store clerks. They'll try to tell you laundry bleach will ruin your pool. It's not true. Just stick to unscented, non-gelling bleach --either "regular" or "Ultra" and you'll be fine.

    We try to get people here to recognize that labels don't mean nuttin'. It's all about ingredients.

    Go to a pool store and "Alkalinity Increaser" can cost $3/lb. A 4lb bottle will cost $10-$12 dollars. This infuriates me because the ONLY ingredient is Sodium Bicarbonate--Baking soda. I've bought baking soda, you know, Arm&Hammer, at CostCo for $3.50 for a 12lb bag--at the pool store that 12lbs costs you $30 to $36!! And it's the same darn stuff!

    If you've fallen into this trap, I say you've been "Pool Stored!"
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter; Hayward 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; hrs; PS 233; PF:6.3

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    PopcornGirl is offline ** No working email address ** Thread Analyst PopcornGirl 0
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    Ok, now I'm intrigued... I'm wondering if I should switch to bleach instead of chlorine granules?
    If I do, can someone give me the run-down (or point me to an article/instruction manual) of how to switch?
    What all is involved in becoming a "bleach pool?"
    Right now, I use 1-2 pounds of granular shock once per week (3 hours after adding acid as needed to correct my pH).
    During the week, I have a floater with 3-4 chlorine 3" tablets.
    My water is clear and I don't really have an algae problem (just stains -- see the thread on metal stains...).
    I must say, the bleach method sounds pretty simple (and cheaper!) and we can recycle empty bleach bottles here in Baton Rouge so that wouldn't be a problem...
    but I would want to RESEARCH THIS thoroughly and find out EXACTLY what I need to do before attempting to switch. I don't want any surprises!
    Thanks in advance,

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    Quote Originally Posted by PopcornGirl
    Ok, now I'm intrigued... I'm wondering if I should switch to bleach instead of chlorine granules?
    If I do, can someone give me the run-down (or point me to an article/instruction manual) of how to switch?
    What all is involved in becoming a "bleach pool?"
    Right now, I use 1-2 pounds of granular shock once per week (3 hours after adding acid as needed to correct my pH).
    During the week, I have a floater with 3-4 chlorine 3" tablets.
    My water is clear and I don't really have an algae problem (just stains -- see the thread on metal stains...).
    I must say, the bleach method sounds pretty simple (and cheaper!) and we can recycle empty bleach bottles here in Baton Rouge so that wouldn't be a problem...
    but I would want to RESEARCH THIS thoroughly and find out EXACTLY what I need to do before attempting to switch. I don't want any surprises!
    Thanks in advance,
    You are gonna LOVE the answer--NUTHIN'!
    That's right! Nothing. Just stop using the crystals and the floaters and just test your water and add bleach when you need chlorine. Remember: You aren't switching from chlorine to bleach, you are merely switching to another form of chlorination.

    But what you should do (and has nothing to do with bleach or tablets) is do a full sample test of your water and post it:
    FC (Free Chlorine)
    CC (Combined Chloramines)
    TC (Total Chlorine=FC + CC)
    pH
    TA (Total Alkalinity)
    CYA (Cyanuric acid, also called Stabilizer or Conditioner)
    and
    Ca (Calcium or Calcium Hardness).
    Volume of your pool
    Is it vinyl, fiberglass, or concrete/tile/gunite? (this matters).

    You can also have your pool store check for metals, particularly copper.

    I suspect your tablets are HTH brand "Dual Acting" which put unnecessary copper in your water (and give green staining and green blonde hair). It's terrible stuff (in my opinion) and I will never use it. I only use tri-chlor tabs under very particular conditions and only for a short time, but mostly just use bleach. Plus I will NEVER use tablets or anything containing copper.

    You can start using bleach tonight, even with floaters (but don't pour it on or near them). If you put the powdered chlorine (Di-Chlor) in the skimmer, do NOT pour the bleach in there. If you don't put anything in the skimmer, you can pour the bleach there.

    You are making it far more complicated than it is. Just add bleach when you need chlorine, instead of powders or tablets. That's really all there is to it. No preparation is needed.

    The pool stores and pool chemical industry is determined to convince you that it's complicated and that you need lots of expensive chemicals. You don't. But if you know that, they make a lot less money.

    Go to PoolSolutions.com and read the tips there. And believe them.
    Carl

    16'x40' rectangle 19K gal AG vinyl pool; ; Hayward T210 sand filter; Hayward 2 Speed Superpump 1hp pump; hrs; PS 233; PF:6.3

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