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Thread: High Chlorine

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    morzh's Avatar
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    High Chlorine

    I have an inground pool which we have just acquired with the new house.
    The chlorine I measured yesterday (the pool has been opened some 3 weeks ago and I used the old kit, now I bought a new one and the reading should be correct) is a bit above 5ppm. Close to it but a shade darrker. That is about 6ppm I think.
    I have an automatic inline chlorinator, a Pentair model 320.
    There were some stabilized (found the bucket) 3" tabs inside since the ladt year, I added more (as I read somwhere on this forum you just put as many as you can there and set the dial, and then experiment with the level).
    Now when I read 6ppm yesterday morning I set the dial to 1.5ppm (was at 3-3/4). This morning - no change. I just shut it off to see if tomorrow it'll drop.

    Oh, and TC=FC, so it is not the bound chlorine.

    So. what gives? Why is it high? Is the stabilizer at fault?
    And, speaking of the latter, how do I avoid overstabilizing if I use those 3" tabs that I think are all stabilized?

    I had an above GND before, ran it as copper-ion so have no tons of experience with chlorine and stabilizer.

    Best,
    Mike.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Hello Mike. Well, we can answer your questions:
    - To say your chlorine is high, without knowing your CYA reading, is premature. They go hand-in-hand. Your FC may actually be low
    - To know your CYA and "exact" FC/CC levels, you must have the proper test kit (not store bought, and not pool store tests). Please see the TF-100 link below. That should be your #1 priority; then post some of your own results for us (FC, CC, CYA, PH, TA, and CH)
    - Chlorine tablets, pucks, and in-line chlorinators are a pool's worst enemy. Remove or empty it right away.

    Highly suggest making the proper test kit your #1 priority, then post some results for us. In the meantime, review the Pool School page on this site and/or the vital links you see below. These will all get your started. In the meantime, just use regular liquid bleach as your primary sanitizer each evening.

    We can help you Mike. Easy really, But you must have the right test kit first. Have a great day.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Chlorine level is set based on CYA level and the Chlorine CYA Chart

    Get a good test kit from this, Pool School - Test Kits Compared. I use the TF100 from TFTestkits.net

    Have a look at this
    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    and this
    Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool
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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Well....OK, Thanks guys.

    Now considering that 1) removing the inline chlorinator is not gonna happen soon (Inherited plus built in by original pool mfr), 2) cyanuric acid is already in, 3) manually adding chlorine is, well, inconvinient

    When I buy the kit and (likely) find out my stabilizer is high, can I lower it short of repacing the water? (would like to avoid that). I have just bought a big bucket of 3" tabs, is there a reasonable way of using it?

    And the last question.....if the whole industry is wrong selling everyone what it has been selling, why? I mean, it has to work somehow, but there is probably ways...like using nonstabilized shock? if there is no way of removing excess cyanuric, and it will accumulate, and absolute majority of peope uses stabilized tablets, how has it been working so far?

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Well, it may be inconvenient to use chlorine, but the opposite is worse - constant battles with algae and buying magic potions from the pool store. I may even hazzard tha the majority of folks do not use stabilized products due to the number of pools that now have salt water chlorine generators.

    The only way to reduce CYA is to exchange water.

    Save pucks for vacation use once you get the CYA under control.

    Stabilized products will work in some pools. Those pools are in areas that get a fair amount of rain and are cold enough that they drain off a fair amount of water when they winterize. These two things in conjunction tend to hold the CYA down. You only need to read the number of "oh my, - my pool is green" posts here to come to the conclusion that what we teach works. To quote Dave, Site Owner of TFP:
    Throughout TFP, you will read that we suggest certain levels that good science and practical experience has taught us fall within safe ranges.

    Further reading of posts here will draw you to the inescapable conclusion that these guidelines work.......in thousands and thousands of pools worldwide.

    You may or may not choose to use these methods and guidelines or you may use some and not others. Our goal is to teach you what has been proven time and time again and then let you use that information to your benefit.
    So, in the end it's your pool to treat eh way you want.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: High Chlorine

    Adding chlorine doesn't have to be inconvenient. Some people don't mind going outside for a few minutes and adding some bleach/chlorine every day or two. Some people use Stenner pumps or liquidators to automatically add bleach/chlorine and other folks have saltwater chlorine generators. I manually dose my hot tub every day or two and use SWG in my pool and supplement with bleach.

    The pool store will also tell you to drain your pool when it gets "chlorine lock", which is really just high CYA. They also sell you hundreds of dollars of chemicals every month. Most TFPers spend a few hundred dollars a year to maintain a better pool with much better water.

    The quality of my pool water is so much better than every other pool I have ever swam in, we almost never swim in other people's pools anymore because the water is so bad. People are always amazed by the water quality in our pool, we get comments every time someone comes over.

    This is my 4th swim season with my TFP pool and I have never shocked it, never added clarifiers, phosfree, flocculant, none of any of that ever. My pool has been crystal clear since it was built in 2012. I did get lazy after vacation a few weeks ago and let my chlorine drop too low and got a few algae spots, I raised my chlorine level to just under shock level, cleared up the algae in under a week and swam with the kids every day. Speaking of swimming, I have swam every single day that I ever wanted to swim since I built my pool. My pool has never been out of commission for shocking, cloudiness, algae, not once ever. Even with week long pool parties. And I have never drained a drop out of my pool in all these years.

    There is no better way to maintain a pool. That is why I spend my personal time on this forum trying to help people have what TFP gave me.
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by morzh View Post
    if the whole industry is wrong selling everyone what it has been selling, why? I mean, it has to work somehow, but there is probably ways...like using nonstabilized shock? if there is no way of removing excess cyanuric, and it will accumulate, and absolute majority of peope uses stabilized tablets, how has it been working so far?
    The short answer is that it doesn't work, for a lot of people, probably around 20% of pools in any given season (that's over 1-1/2 million pools with problems each year). However, some pools are naturally low in critical algae nutrients (phosphates and nitrates) so that even when the CYA gets high and the FC isn't raised proportionately they don't get algae. Also, some pools are in areas with shorter swim seasons, summer rain overflow, winter rain dilution (closing), sand filters with backwashing, and other water dilution that keeps the CYA level in check season to season.

    However, it is a chemical fact that for every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it will also increase Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm. So when some pools run into problems and their pool owners go to the pool store, the store has lots of "solutions" such as algaecides, phosphate removers, clarifiers, flocculants, "shock" products, enzymes, etc. Even a single category such as algaecides has several choices including products you add every week (linear and Polyquat) or those you mostly add once (copper ions), but they have downsides in addition to their extra cost where copper, for example, can stain plaster surfaces and turn blond hair greenish while linear quats can foam and have a higher chlorine demand. The phosphate removers don't have that kind of side effect but they can be costly (especially for the initial dose) if phosphate levels are high.

    So there is more than one way to manage a pool. The way to do so using the minimal amount of these extra products is to primarily use chlorinating liquid or bleach for chlorine because it doesn't add calcium (which Cal-Hypo does) nor CYA (which Trichlor and Dichlor do). However, you are correct that it is less convenient in some ways in that it is more weight to carry (12.5% chlorinating liquid is 7 times heavier than Trichlor and 8.25% bleach is nearly 11 times heavier than Trichlor -- but they aren't more expensive overall) and you need to add it every day or two unless you have a pool cover in which case if it is relatively opaque you could add chlorine twice a week. For more convenience, some people get automatic dosing systems such as peristaltic pumps or The Liquidator or they get a saltwater chlorine generator.

    You can operate your pool with Trichlor pucks if you either keep the CYA level in check with water dilution or you use supplemental products (at extra cost) to prevent algae (unless your pool is already low in algae nutrients) or you proportionally raise the FC level as the CYA level gets higher or some combination of these techniques, but this forum is mostly about avoiding the use of Trichlor and its CYA buildup so using it for vacation or when you need the CYA to be higher (slowly -- if needed more quickly, then one uses pure CYA instead).

    Some pool services are acutely aware of these issues and deal with them in a variety of different ways. In my area, a company that services around 2000 pools targets 4.5 ppm FC and drain water when the CYA gets over 100 ppm, but some pools still get algae (because 4.5 ppm FC is not enough to prevent algae when the CYA is higher) in which case they first try shocking and if the algae still comes back then they use a phosphate remover. Other pool services use algaecides regularly or use copper (and do their best to prevent staining by keeping pH lower). Some other pool services use chlorinating liquid or chlorine gas or a combination and raise the FC high and have a higher CYA so that the FC lasts through the week (i.e. the FC swings a lot). It's harder for them than pool owners because they aren't there every day to take care of the pool.

    With so many pools going bad each year, this is why so many people get fed up with the pool stores and scour the Internet for solutions and run into this site. There are more than 400,000 people per month visiting Trouble Free Pool during the peak summer season and over 88,000 have become members with about half posting (in other words, most people are "lurkers"). What is taught here is to get a good test kit so that you can get proper test results and then to manage your pool the way you want armed with knowledge of what each chemical does in your pool. If you choose to stick with Trichlor, that's your choice, but at least you won't be surprised when the CYA climbs and what that means. It's your pool and you can and should manage it the way that works best for you. Knowledge is power and this site is about telling you the truth. What you do with it is up to you.
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Chemgeek,

    Thanks for answering.
    My pool is about (as I said) 6ppm. Will measure tonight again, I closed the inline chlorinator altogether. I will probably do what I used to do with my above-ground when I was running it as chlorine, add bleach chlorine (it is not 8.25% though, the one sold in stores, unscented, is 6%). I have 30,000 gallons, so I think i need a gallon a day (or every two days?) as it gives me 2ppm.

    Do I add it when it is dark and let the pump run awhile to distribute it? What is the best way to add bleach?

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    8.25% should be available at your local WalMart, but if you are like me I'm not happy going there. I just found our local Dollar General had the 8.25% a few cents less expensive and had great date codes (15/155).

    To add most chemicals, with the pump running slowly add over a return so that the chemical gets evenly distributed quickly. This is best in a deeper part of the pool and if you fear it may have pooled at the bottom just give the area a little sweep with your broom to mix it up.

    How much you need each day will be based on a combination of your CYA level, water temperature, amount of sun the pool gets each day and bather/swimmer load of the pool. You will never have an "exact" amout that is added each day as the chlorine demand of the pool changes. After a shor while you will get a feel for the "average" usage and can adjust from that point with regular testing. I use a Stenner Pump to add bleach based on my average anytime the pump is running. I test a few times a week and adjust from there.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: High Chlorine

    Well,

    I went to the pool store I usually go to and asked them to test the water. I was correct in both FC estimate (I said 6ppm, it is 6.46 ppm) and the worries about high CYA, it is 91 ppm.
    So I took the tablets out of the inline chlorinator, they promiss rains so I will have to drain some likely within the week, we'll see. Meantime I bought some Cal Hypo (my calcium is at the lower limit anyways so I could use it for awhile) and then the 8.25% gallon of plain Great value chlorine in Wallmart was $2/95 so I bought a cartfull, 8 bottles, will last me 2 weeks or so.

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    Re: High Chlorine

    Please keep in mind that the CYA test from the pool store could be in correct. I took the same sample to three different pool stores and got three different answers soooo, the best way to really know your pool is to test it with a good test kit. It's easy and you'll be glad you took control.

    While it may appear that the "pool store system" works for a lot of people, you really have no way of knowing if there pools have properly balanced water which is safe for the swimmers.

    You can do this. It's worth it. I've had my easiest pool season yet since converting to TFP.


    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Mike:

    Where exactly are you in NJ? Target, Wal-Mart, and Ocean Odd Lot is your best bet for fresh bleach. It is worthwhile investing in the TF-100 test kit with the XL Option. Once you start testing on your own, you will never go back to the pool store. This year, I took water to 3 stores for a simple test (to prove to my friend to order the kit and he did). All 3 stores had different results and some were way off. Each one had different recommendations of what to add, etc. I had to increase my CYA and purchased the liquid (yes, I know that it is more expensive), but was strapped for time. The salesman told me that the chlorine will eat up the CYA, and I ran out of there quickly. This was the last time I was at any pool stores.

    At this point, even my children and the Mrs. are afraid to swim in other people's pools after being in our pool. They do not know the first thing about FC, TC, CC, CYA, etc., but they understand the difference between clear water and water that smells foul. You will feel better about your own testing because it is more accurate. Last year, one of my friends, who decided not to listen to me and took the advice of the pool stores and his wife spent over 10 weeks to clear his pool up. The summer went by and they used the pool for 2 weeks after hiring someone to take care of their pool.

    Liquid chlorine may be a bit inconvenient, but you will find ways to save time. Personally, it takes no longer than 3 minutes each morning. The pump turns on and I fill the one gallon measuring cup with the correct amount of chlorine based on my size and daily loss, etc. It takes a little more effort in the beginning to understand your pool, but eventually everything becomes easier.

    A big thanks to Chem-Geek, and everyone else on the TFP forum, who really are dedicated to helping people. If my calculations are correct, I will walk away with spending around $300 for the whole season to take care of the pool. My friends usually spend about $800 to $1,000 and are fighting algae each season. Of course, this is only for the chemicals.

    Keep us posted once you receive the test kit and please post your results and add your signature.
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Pogueld

    This is true, but I judged their test by proxy since all other figures I tested came up very close to their reading, plus I did expect high CYA and they confirmed it. Yes I will buy the test at some point.


    Catanzaro

    We are neighbours, I am in Jackson, so depending where in Howell you are we could be anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes from each other (I am off of New Prospect Rd, Romeo Plaza is close).

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    Re: High Chlorine

    What kind of test kit are you using to get your results?


    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by Pogueld View Post
    What kind of test kit are you using to get your results?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I believe Mike is using the pool store results. While the pool store results may be close to your own testing (as I am familiar with them), they will send you out with items that are not necessary. Buckets of non-chlorine shock, Phos Free, Chlorine Shock, and other maintenance products that are absolutely not necessary.

    One pool store even has a sign that states once you CYA becomes high (over 90 pppm), you would have to drain and fill your pool (WOW). A pool of 20,000 gallons now has to be reduced and filled with fresh water. What a waste of time and $$$ and on top of this now you have to make adjustments to TA, CH, PH, etc.

    In the last 6 months, I have had 6 friends order the TF-100 Test Kit and have helped them start testing their own water. Not one has come back stating that this was not the best investment they ever made. Just the stress of having to go to the pool store. One friend refused to go to the pool store and basically never cleared up his pool because he knew they would sell him chemicals (How Ironic).
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Pogueld

    For FC-TC , PH etcI used Lesli kit, fresh, just bought a week ago, day before I came here. Which is good, as this made me question my CYA, otherwise I would stay in happy oblivion to the developing problem until one day it would...fully develop

    The test for CYA however was performed in a different store. Their results (they use computerized tester) were pretty much the same as mine using Leslie kit, so this is why I think their CYA test was credible.

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    Re: High Chlorine

    Does your Leslie's test, use drops or strips? Which Leslie's kit# is it? It's just helpful to know how you're testing so we can all be on the same page.


    Lisa P.
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
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    morzh's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Drops. I do not like strips, used to have strips for Calcium, impossible to use, highly inaccurate. It is 5-drop methode.

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    Re: High Chlorine

    Seems like you have a good kit. I don't know as much as others about different kits. I do know if you need to SLAM, you will need to have a FAS-DPD Chlorine test because you will need to test a high FC. That test uses a powder. Do you have that test for chlorine?


    Lisa P.
    26,000 IG, pebble tec, flagstone, pentair Triton II TR100 sand filter & VS+SVRS 3hp multi-speed pump, Intellichlor IC-40 SWG, Pentair Booster Cleaner, spillover spa, waterfall, Taylor K-2006 testkit
    [It is better to know how to learn, than to know. - Dr. Seuss[/I]

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: High Chlorine

    Is this what you have from Leslies?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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