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Thread: Blast it with chlorine

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    Blast it with chlorine

    Moderator comment - Moved from here: Salt water pool to chlorine tablets

    Blast it with chlorine and get in the pool. Having your numbers off in the short term is less significant than going summer without a pool that you're spending money on. The pool is for your enjoyment, right now you're working for your pool.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Salt water pool to chlorine tablets

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_H View Post
    Blast it with chlorine and get in the pool.
    That is NOT how we do things here. Proper testing and dosing what is needed.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    I have to admit I had a bit of the blast it with chlorine mentality myself when I first got the pool that came with the house, until I realized I was fighting a losing battle with bad water. Water with too high CYA, CH, pH, etc. just makes it hard work and expensive to maintain. For a newbie like myself, I had wild swings in chlorine, and battled algae non-stop. My skin was itching, too.

    I've changed out most of my water, followed the advice of those on the forum here, and it is sooooo much easier. And the water is unbelievably clear now, and it actually takes less time to maintain the pool vs. the brute force method. Once I get a fix on my daily chlorine and acid demand, I will be cruising.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    Michael1, you're in California, I'm in Florida, we maintain a pool 365 days/year, it's more work to "just blast it" and worth taking a few weeks to fix.

    The poster that this got split off from is in Oregon looking for help on August 23rd.

    Waiting 4 days for a test kit + a 6-10 day SLAM process might be "correct" from an ideal water situation, but he's closing his pool in two weeks. The TFP advice to the poster was "you're done for the summer, you didn't test properly, this is your penance." I disagree 100% with that.

    For him, I believe that correct advice is: 1. Order a test Kit. 2. Pour a ton of cleach/chlorine in, keep it going with more every few hours, get your pool to turn blue. 3. Run to a pool store, get your water tested, if FC is safe, use the pool. 4. After Labor Day, before winterizing your pool, do a SLAM and get the pool safe for the winter. 5. When you open up the pool in the spring, go out a few weeks early and SLAM it back to condition.

    But with 2 weeks left of the pool season for him, a 2 week delay meant "your summer is over" which I don't think is correct advice.

    However, for LA/Miami, that's absolutely the right advice because your pool isn't being winterized and you have MONTHS left. In mid August, I have more swimming time LEFT in the "season" than some have all year.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    Alex, you seem to be missing the point that randomly dumping a bunch of chlorine in the pool could either
    1. Be a waste of money if the CYA is too high and thus the FC still not be high enough

    2. Or worse actually damage the pool or equipment.

    The methods we teach are guaranteed to work usually for the lowest monetary cost and will not damage anything.

    Are you willing to pay for someone's new liner if you advise them to just dump in chemicals and their liner fades?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    Jason stole some of my thunder and posted as I was typing my short-story , but it is very important to reconsider adding random amounts of bleach for the concerns of the pool and personal safety. While it may seem acceptable by some to treat cloudy/green water aggressively, many pool owners (some very new to the process) don't understand that if their FC and CYA are not balanced at appropriate levels for each other based on the chlorine/CYA chart, they can damage their liner, clothing, skin, hair, or more. Not to mention simply wasting money. So knowing exactly how much bleach to add becomes critically important, yet sometimes gets overlooked in the midst of "treating the green". Most times the advice for new members with a suspected algae problem and NO (proper) test kit is to simply get it ordered, and add anywhere from 1/2 - one gallon of bleach each day just to try and keep the situation from getting too much worse until the kit arrives. And while that won't resolve the green/cloudy water, it's relatively safe. Of course TFP has no control over a pool owner who decides to simply "bomb" their pool with random amounts for bleach or any other product for that matter, but as a respected forum for what ... over 10 years now .... I suspect there is an obligation by the site to the pool owner(s) to give them the most accurate advice possible - even if that means they lose-out on a few weeks of swimming. In the end, the pool owner will do what they wish, and that's okay too. But if we're going to volunteer our time to give advice on this site, it needs to follow the philosophy of the site, and not our personal treatment methods.

    I would also submit that just about everyone here who has volunteered and contributed to the thousands of posts each year does so in a respectable manner with only the poster's well-being in mind. While some posters may not agree with every specific tactic or recommendation for each scenario, the exchange of information is typically genuine and respectful. After all, we were all new to pools at one time. Everyone wants to see the poster succeed and enjoy their pool.
    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
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    The methods we teach are guaranteed to work usually for the lowest monetary cost and will not damage anything.

    Are you willing to pay for someone's new liner if you advise them to just dump in chemicals and their liner fades?
    Are you willing to reimburse them for losing 15% - 20% of their potential swim season?

    There are risks and tradeoffs, and the refusal to consider the tradeoffs with seasonal pools makes this an echo chamber.

    You are assuming that the worst thing possible is wasting bleach, fading a liner, or damaging the equipment. That risk needs to be weighed against the risk of not getting to use your pool.

    The echo chamber affect here treats the risk of monetary damage as a problem -- which is correct, but ignores the risk of lost pool time -- which is also a loss/harm.

    The homeowner needs to make the decision of, am I gambling some risk of damage for the upside of getting my pool usable sooner. The people I know that spend $100/mo on a service + $500/year on equipment/extra chemicals would probably NOT agree to go without the pool for 1/6 - 1/4 of the summer because of risk to the pool.

    You have identified two risks. You have NOT identified the risk of loss of usage of the pool.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    Well, I am not going to continue to debate methodology.

    I will just state that sometimes it is the pain of some lost swim days (without $ damage to the pool) that make people realize that they might should pay a little more attention to their pools. And by learning a proven method of pool care, they ultimately save themselves money and have fewer lost pool days in the future by maintaining it properly and not relying on a magic pill.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    Actually I do want to ask some questions.

    What would you propose? It is easy to try to poke holes in what we teach, but what do you offer as a solution?

    In the absence of test results,
    How much chlorine should a person add?
    And then how do you know when it is safe to use the pool?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    You don't want to ask questions. You want to berate and belittle, and then pull out your Moderator Card at the end if you're not happy with the conversation. You want people to "suffer" for their pool not being in perfect shape so "they'll learn."

    That's not being helpful.

    I'm not poling holes. I'm saying that lost swim time is a loss and should be treated just as seriously as a monetary loss.

    Chlorine kills algae. Testing the water lets you regulate. Relying on pool stores for testing is inefficient at best, requires multiple trips over there. But the estimates aren't rocket science. You can get a CYA test at the pool store. Guess what, had I listened to your reaction on my forum post, I'd have left here, not come back, and just decided that this site was filled with self righteous jerks. However, heavily shocking the pool and "maintaining it" with periodic additions throughout the day and the pool started turning blue, that was enough to convince me that this would work.

    But the say so of someone on a forum that is pushing expensive test kits sold by the forum's owner? That wouldn't convince me.
    Pool, 11000 Gallon Gunite Pool, shallow ( < 5' deep ) including spa. Hayward 1750 Cartridge Filter. Pump is a single speed 2 HP Hayward Northstar. Polaris Caretaker 5 Zone Floor System. Pool ~ 8 years old. TF-100 Test Kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    I am not berating anyone. I an still waiting to hear your better method that is safe for all pools.

    I am sorry, but your blind luck with one pool does not a proven method make. If your pool was vinyl, you might be on the forum asking why your liner is now white.

    You are welcome to use as much of the knowledge we share as you like. But we will not allow you to start providing advice to new members that could put their pool or selves at risk.

    No one says you have to buy from tftestkits. The fact is that is the best deal. Order on Amazon if you like, just factor in the refills you need too.

    And I have no idea where you think I am going to play a "moderator card" or whatever that means. You have a right to your opinion and beliefs and a long as you remain civil there is no issue.

    We are, let me be clear, I am not here to convince anyone of anything. We all volunteer our time to help people looking for a better way. Let's not forget, you, and every other member, came looking for us.

    Here's to wishing you a clear and TFP
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    There's more than one way to manage a pool. While some pool products don't work or don't work well, there are others that do but they either have side effects or are costly. What is proposed at TFP does have "costs" and your point is that it may take longer in some cases using chlorine and filtration to clear a pool and that "time" has a "cost". That is true, but in order to offer something else one has to have something as reliable. That's where there are problems and I'll address each kind of alternative to demonstrate that there really isn't a magic potion.

    Copper algaecide. Copper will kill algae. It also persists in the water. It's not very expensive if one buys some pure copper sulfate pentahydrate products. The main problem with copper are the side effects that occur when either the copper concentration or the pH gets too high because copper oxide-hydroxides are formed that can stain pool surfaces and can turn blond hair greenish (see this paper for a technical explanation). Plaster pool surfaces are most susceptible because such surfaces are generally alkaline (higher in pH). Copper stains are harder to remove than iron stains and they tend to penetrate more deeply into the plaster. It is possible to manage a pool with copper by carefully testing the copper level and preventing the pH from getting too high, but the risks of failure are high (costly). If it weren't for the side effects (including those regarding persisting in the environment), we'd likely recommend it so that we could use a lower FC/CYA level so have lower chlorine costs, but unfortunately it does have side effects.

    Linear quat and Polyquat algaecide. Linear quats can foam, but both of these only somewhat inhibit algae growth (mostly green and black algae) so are not great to use when there is an algae bloom. Chlorine kills more quickly. As a preventative, Polyquat 60 is reasonable as insurance and has the least side effects, mostly some increase in chlorine demand and of course it is extra cost, but it is also a modest clarifier.

    Phosphate remover. Again, this isn't great to use when there is already a bloom since dead algae can release their phosphate so this is better to use as a preventative, again as insurance since chlorine alone can prevent algae growth. The removal of phosphates slows down the growth of all algae types, including yellow/mustard algae. Phosphate removal can be expensive if phosphate levels are high and it can be impractical if one is using HEDP-based metal sequestrants or has high phosphate fill water with a lot of evaporation and refill. In situations where phosphates aren't getting introduced at a high rate, the maintenance cost can be low if one gets economical concentrated products (e.g. Orenda PR10,000).

    Clarifiers and Flocculants. These do not kill algae, but are used to clear a pool more quickly. The main reason we don't recommend them is that they can be tricky to dose properly. Overdosing can result in an even worse persistent cloudy problem while underdosing doesn't remove the cloudiness. Some filters, such as DE, do not do well with clarifiers. Some pools, such as many with cartridge filters, cannot vacuum to waste so can't use flocculants. There are so many of these special cases and exceptions that it makes it hard to use these products reliably. It is not that they don't work when used properly in the right situations (also some brands/products are better than others), but we suggest them only when regular filtration does not work fast enough, usually because the particles are too small (e.g. clay). Sand filters tend to be the ones that clear a pool more slowly than other filters which is why we often recommend adding DE (or cellulose fiber filter aid equivalent) to a sand filter to speed up clearing and that procedure is harder to get wrong.

    Enzymes. These don't kill algae and are really more for getting rid of oils and bather waste in higher bather-load pools. In outdoor residential pools that are properly maintained, enzymes aren't needed. For surface oils, one can use a scum ball in the skimmer.

    Sodium Bromide. This can be used to kill algae (including yellow/mustard algae) when the CYA level is high. It's a workaround because it creates bromine that does not bind to CYA. The problem is that using this product turns the pool into a bromine pool, sometimes for months depending on how much product is used. There is no easy way to remove the bromide/bromine other than water dilution.

    Ammonium products. Products like Coral Seas Green to Clean and Yellow Out have (among other things like the salt of EDTA) ammonium sulfate and along with chlorine this creates monochloramine that can kill algae and works around high CYA levels because monochloramine does not bind to it. A more pure ammonium sulfate product would not be a bad workaround to high CYA because one can readily remove the monochloramine by oxidizing it with additional chlorine. The problem is that one is still left with a high CYA level. However, if one is then willing to maintain a proportionally higher FC level, then one can "get by". So out of these various "fixes", this one is reasonable IF one does not want to lower the CYA level right away for whatever reason. One just has to realize the core problem of high CYA has not gone away so algae still needs to be prevented by some means (higher FC, use of a phosphate remover, use of weekly Polyquat 60 algaecide, etc.).

    So if one wants to kill algae in a pool quickly and one currently has a high CYA level, then the ammonium sulfate products would probably be the fastest way (since you don't do a partial drain/refill to lower CYA) that still lets you get rid of that product and then you can just maintain a higher FC level (maybe very high), but the chlorine loss rate should be low due to the high CYA level. For faster filtration, use DE in the sand filter. If there is a lot of debris, turn the pump off and vacuum-to-waste the debris. It is tempting to use a flocculant, but one is taking a chance of screwing up if one does. When it works, it's like a miracle, but when it doesn't, it can be a bit of a mess.

    As for the OCLT, if the losses are high yet the pool is clear then one could have a lingering problem that can come back in spite of trying to maintain chlorine levels (which is harder to do because the chlorine demand is higher).

    It's interesting to note that the Leslie's Algae-Free Guarantee uses the Coral Seas products that include ammonium sulfate and use Cal-Hypo as the chlorine source, both to kill algae. They use a combination clarifier and enzyme to try and clear the pool faster. And they use a phosphate remover and enzyme combination along with Trichlor tabs for maintenance. They sort of stumbled upon some things that work and some that don't or cause other problems. Their killing should use chlorinating liquid instead of Cal-Hypo so as not to build up CH especially in pools already high in CH (though in practice a single algae clearing may not use so much chlorine to increase CH that much). They don't need the enzyme products and the clarifier can be dicey. Probably the worst is the continued use of Trichlor tabs for maintenance since that doesn't resolve the primary issue of rising CYA and most certainly they say nothing about maintaining a proportionately higher FC level as the CYA level rises.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Blast it with chlorine

    I thought this was wrapped up, but since it isn't:

    Your "Don't care how, I want it now" thinking is the reason fad diets are so popular. Your ideas are very much like a fad diet too. Quick short term results from an unsustainable system that is unhealthy and may cause long term damage. The odds of relapse are pretty high but you don't care because it is all about fast results. Plenty of people will tell you how they got great results doing it, even if you can tell that those results haven't always lasted. Oh well, that is all in the future, we are worried about the here and now.

    TFPC is making a permanent lifestyle change. Changing diet and exercise routines for good. It is slow at first, you work hard and don't see immediate results. It is very painful at times, especially when you work and work and it doesn't seem like things are changing very fast. Some of your friends telling you that you should just do this and that because they know someone who did it that way and saw good results. Finally you start to see some change and with perseverance eventually things turn completely around. And in the end you realize that you weren't being punished by taking the longer road, you were rewarded by never having to do it again. You keep things looking good because you changed how you managed it forever. Many of your friends who told you to do it another way are still dealing with their problems. They congratulate you on your success but typically aren't interested in hearing your advice since they are too busy moving on to the next fast-results-fad. Oh well, every swimsuit season you get to show off the results of having done things the right way and keeping it that way.

    So no, I will not tell someone to do it the wrong way. I don't care what their time constraints are, I teach the right way or I don't teach at all. What they do with their pool is their business, I won't take responsibility for their impatience.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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