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Thread: Bleach adds solids?

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    Question Bleach adds solids?

    Hi! Thanks for being here. Just bought a pool with a house, and I've been lurking for a couple of days now, and will certainly buy the test kit, as I keep getting different results from my local pool shops. I was told that I should not use bleach as my solids are already too high, and that I should use the powdered chlorine at his shop. I would like to go to your method, but also don't want to totally screw this up. I know that my CYA is high, as the previous owner used pucks exclusively, and I have been doing the same for the last month at his recommendation. I'd like to get away from the pucks, as we are water-restricted, and I can't do anything about the high CYA at this point, but also don't want more solids in the pool. What is the measurement that shows that I have high solids?

    My test results from them today:
    FC 9.35
    TC 9.35
    pH 8
    Hardness 619
    Alk 65
    CYA 154
    Copper .3
    Iron .2

    Chlorine is high because another shop told me I had no chlorine and to shock it, even though my test kit at home showed a nice pink 5.. He told me to add a quart of acid for the pH and 10lbs of Alk increaser to bring the Alk up. Assuming these measurements are accurate, and I believe they are, any issues with me pulling the pucks and moving to bleach?

    Thanks!

    Craig
    21K bent-rectangle plaster, 330 gal spa with spillway, Pentair CCP320 cartridge filter, Pentair WF-3 (011512) 3/4HP single-speed pump, Hayward H Series heater, "Herbie" the Polaris P93 bot, TF-100 test kit
    Currently under drought restriction

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Welcome to TFP!

    Solids and phosphates are "scare" tactics pool stores use to keep pool owners confused. They mean little and can be ignored.

    The bigger problem I see is that your chlorine is too LOW for the CYA in your pool. What scars me more is that pool stores have horrible testing results and the CYA is usually reported low.

    You need your own test kit that will test all the parameters we track. I recommend the TF-100 from TFTestkits.net

    You metals also make me uncomfortable.

    For now, don't add the all up (it's just overpriced baking soda) as TA is the last thing to worry about at all. You need acid,to get,the pH in line and keep the chlorine between 12 & 15 until we get a better handle on your pool.

    Now, to your original question. Bleach adds a little salt to the water. It's nothing that will hurt anything and the amount is so low it is imperceivable. Use bleach or in your area you can probably get 10 or 12.5% chlorinating liquid. If your CYA is anywhere near 154 you want no solid chlorine of any type, powder or tabs. They add more CYA.

    You need to start reading in Pool School, start with Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    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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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Funny that they tried to scare you with "OH NO HIGH SOLIDS!!!!!!" then didn't even provide you with a solids (Total Dissolved Solids or TDS) concentration. FYI, bleach does add solids in the form of salt, but a very small amount. The general TDS number includes many things dissolved in your pool such as salt, CYA and nearly anything else that is dissolved in your pool water. It's a meaningless number by itself unless you know what is making up that number. It's a relic from times before there were reliable test methods for CYA.

    Get a test kit, test your CYA at home and likely prepare yourself for a partial drain of the pool due to use of shock and tablets, both of which with build up CYA in your pool. Not a scare tactic, just the facts.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Quote Originally Posted by apencraig View Post
    . . . my solids are already too high, and that I should use the powdered chlorine at his shop.
    and yet he sells you a solid.

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Thanks much.. I will add acid tonight and go buy some Walmart bleach and quit with the floaters. I have read Pool School and will keep revisiting it as I go!
    21K bent-rectangle plaster, 330 gal spa with spillway, Pentair CCP320 cartridge filter, Pentair WF-3 (011512) 3/4HP single-speed pump, Hayward H Series heater, "Herbie" the Polaris P93 bot, TF-100 test kit
    Currently under drought restriction

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    you can maintain a pool with a cya of 150; once you get your FC to the right level you are adding about the same every day as anyone else (for your size pool). But if you have an algae outbreak it takes a massive amount of liquid chlorine to eradicate it. If you have no concerns about algae in your pool, you could get by, but at some point yes it is advisable to do a partial refill. Or get a reverse osmosis truck to come by.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Yeah, unfortunately I live in Northern California, where we are apparently about out of water, so a drain and refill is at least temporarily out of the question. So, my question would be, given that I am at such a high CYA level, would it not hurt (besides my wallet) to keep adding the phosphate-free to reduce the likelihood of an algae outbreak? Seems that if I take away the food, it decreases the chances? Or does that cause other problems? I don't want the kids glowing or growing third eyeballs from having to maintain super-high chlorine levels... Like I said, new at this, so a bit scared.
    21K bent-rectangle plaster, 330 gal spa with spillway, Pentair CCP320 cartridge filter, Pentair WF-3 (011512) 3/4HP single-speed pump, Hayward H Series heater, "Herbie" the Polaris P93 bot, TF-100 test kit
    Currently under drought restriction

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Is the water clear now? If so, you might be able to get by with using some algaecide and/or phosphate removers but you should still try to maintain FC levels near recommended levels for your CYA level. That means about 12 FC for a minimum. This level of FC will be no harsher on your skin, eyes or pool surface than 3 ppm FC at a CYA of 40. The CYA is holding most of that chlorine in reserve and your effective free hypochlorite in either of these situations is less than 1 ppm. The downside will be that because FC is lost as a percentage each day, not a fixed concentration, you'll go through a lot more bleach than you would at normal maintenance levels for a manually chlorinated pool (40-50 ppm CYA). The other downside is that you'll always have to test with the FAS-DPD test for FC and CC because the color match test only goes to 5 ppm. The pH test is also unreliable at FC levels greater than 10.

    Reverse osmosis treatment is another option for removing CYA from the pool but that is rather expensive.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Quote Originally Posted by apencraig View Post
    Yeah, unfortunately I live in Northern California, where we are apparently about out of water, so a drain and refill is at least temporarily out of the question. So, my question would be, given that I am at such a high CYA level, would it not hurt (besides my wallet) to keep adding the phosphate-free to reduce the likelihood of an algae outbreak? Seems that if I take away the food, it decreases the chances? Or does that cause other problems? I don't want the kids glowing or growing third eyeballs from having to maintain super-high chlorine levels... Like I said, new at this, so a bit scared.
    If you were willing to hurt your wallet for an additive I would go with a quat based algecide before I would buy a phosphate reducer/remover.

    Is your pool,clear/clean?

    If so, than Chris is on the money. I took over my pool with CYA in the mid 200's (dilution testing increases the error rate, so you are never sure) and slowly worked it down to my current 60. To be honest, I got it down to 40 and had to add some back.

    Don't be scared by "high" chlorine levels. The CYA in your water moderates the effects of the chlorine which is exactly why with high CYA you need higher FC levels. When my CYA was at its highest I kept the FC around 20 and it was a beautiful pool. Don't let the pool stores use their scare tactics on you. We have helped thousands of pool owners who may have been in a worse situation than you.

    Right now your goal is to keep it clear. That means chlorine. I was serious, many times we talk about bleach but in pool states CA, FL, & AZ chlorinating liquid is usually available and is usually less expensive than bleach. To keep,it,clear is the high FC. But you need your own test kit to verify the CYA and be able to test chlorine above 5.
    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: Bleach adds solids?

    You could let your FC stay lower, not enough to kill algae but still enough to kill bacteria. You'd want a combination of phosphate remover and algaecide, likely. It's much more to manage correctly, and more $$. But it's an option. I'm not sure there is a resource on this TFP site for properly maintaining a pool with phos free and algaecide, as this site is pretty much here to do the opposite, but some with experience in your circumstances may chime in.

    Or, ya know, just do what the pool store tells you, because that's about their strategy as well.
    10,500 gal IG, Topaz Pebble, auto-level
    Hayward DE filter, 2HP Ecostar VSP, ProLogic PS-4, GVA actuators
    Cal Pools Wave Force Plus (wall return jets plus 2 floor pop-ups), Venturi Skimmer
    Water sheer, 2 wok pots, bubbler stem on the baja step
    ColorLogic Mutlicolor LED lamp. Taylor 2006+speed stir

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    I have a friend that has a home-tested CYA of 160 and has been in the range of 160-200 for 2 years now. She went through a successful SLAM at CYA 200. She is now VERY conscientious about daily testing (and cleans her light niches about once a month), for fear of another SLAM, and her water chemistry is balanced and her water is sanitary and clear. It can be done, but you need to be prepared to babysit the pool.

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Thanks all, very much.. The pool is clean and clear. Did my own pH test when I got home, and it was smack on 7.5, and chlorine is, well, above 5.. I am not doing anything until I get my test kit. I don't trust these results at all. Compared them to the test from another place from a couple of days ago, and they are just so far apart that I don't know who to believe, and I have not done anything to the pool. Willing to bet that I could split a sample tomorrow between the two places down the street tomorrow and have two vastly different results. I will post my test results when I get them, and just keep doing the do until then. If I haven't blown the pool up yet, then it will probably make it a couple more days. I will definitely switch to liquid chlorine, though, and get rid of the pucks.

    Appreciate the help!
    21K bent-rectangle plaster, 330 gal spa with spillway, Pentair CCP320 cartridge filter, Pentair WF-3 (011512) 3/4HP single-speed pump, Hayward H Series heater, "Herbie" the Polaris P93 bot, TF-100 test kit
    Currently under drought restriction

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Not sure if you have checked out the recommended test kits or not but if you haven't ordered one yet, the TF-100 is hands down the best value around and has everything you need. Get it at tftestkits.net, link in my signature as well. SpeedStir is a fun and very useful add on that I find makes testing easier and more consistent.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    The downside will be that because FC is lost as a percentage each day, not a fixed concentration, you'll go through a lot more bleach than you would at normal maintenance levels for a manually chlorinated pool (40-50 ppm CYA). The other downside is that you'll always have to test with the FAS-DPD test for FC and CC because the color match test only goes to 5 ppm. The pH test is also unreliable at FC levels greater than 10.
    Actually, my experience has been that FC loss is less in absolute ppm/day at higher CYA levels -- last summer when I was at 80ppm CYA I had to add less per day than at the current 40ppm. I believe that's why a higher CYA is typically recommended for a SWCG -- it lets you set it to generate less chlorine per day, and since it's continually generating there's less risk of going below target and/or having to SLAM.

    OP is in my neck of the woods, and with the amount of direct sunlight and heat we get (at least in the middle of the summer), I'm targeting a CYA level closer to 60 next year, maybe even a bit higher. Your current level is high (though I'd get a good test kit and confirm yourself) but if it's clear and you bring FC up over 12ppm, it shouldn't take much each day to keep it there. Try taking it to 15ppm at first and see how much it drops each day. The key is to stay above 12ppm at all times. Once the temps cool off and we (hopefully) start getting rain, you can drain water out (do a few inches before the storm for best results) and see where you are in the early spring, when it may be more conscience-appeasing to drain/refill more. As JVtrain points out, 12ppm FC at 150ppm CYA will still feel/affect things much less than a 2ppm public pool with no CYA. Good luck!
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    Not sure if you have checked out the recommended test kits or not but if you haven't ordered one yet, the TF-100 is hands down the best value around and has everything you need. Get it at tftestkits.net, link in my signature as well. SpeedStir is a fun and very useful add on that I find makes testing easier and more consistent.
    Thanks! I just donated to the site, so I will use my discount tomorrow and pick it up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
    Actually, my experience has been that FC loss is less in absolute ppm/day at higher CYA levels -- last summer when I was at 80ppm CYA I had to add less per day than at the current 40ppm. I believe that's why a higher CYA is typically recommended for a SWCG -- it lets you set it to generate less chlorine per day, and since it's continually generating there's less risk of going below target and/or having to SLAM.

    OP is in my neck of the woods, and with the amount of direct sunlight and heat we get (at least in the middle of the summer), I'm targeting a CYA level closer to 60 next year, maybe even a bit higher. Your current level is high (though I'd get a good test kit and confirm yourself) but if it's clear and you bring FC up over 12ppm, it shouldn't take much each day to keep it there. Try taking it to 15ppm at first and see how much it drops each day. The key is to stay above 12ppm at all times. Once the temps cool off and we (hopefully) start getting rain, you can drain water out (do a few inches before the storm for best results) and see where you are in the early spring, when it may be more conscience-appeasing to drain/refill more. As JVtrain points out, 12ppm FC at 150ppm CYA will still feel/affect things much less than a 2ppm public pool with no CYA. Good luck!
    Awesome, thank you! Doing a rain dance..
    21K bent-rectangle plaster, 330 gal spa with spillway, Pentair CCP320 cartridge filter, Pentair WF-3 (011512) 3/4HP single-speed pump, Hayward H Series heater, "Herbie" the Polaris P93 bot, TF-100 test kit
    Currently under drought restriction

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    The active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) level with 12 ppm FC and 150 ppm CYA is the same as with 2.5 ppm FC and 30 ppm CYA or with 0.07 ppm FC with no CYA. So don't be afraid of the higher FC level. With 12 ppm FC and 150 ppm CYA, 99.4% of the FC is bound to CYA and for practical purposes not active and just active as a reserve of chlorine as the active chlorine gets used/consumed.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Got my kit, tested yesterday, but didn't really trust my results.. Confirmed them for the most part today. Pulled the pucks and went to 10% liquid from Leslie's, so I could use my $5 reward.. $2.99 for two gallons was pretty good! Also picked up three gallons of 8.25 from Walmart last night, so got a little stash going.

    So, here we go:
    FC- 17
    PH- 7.5
    TA- 140
    CH- 700
    TC- 17
    CYA- 200+ (Even after dilution test, still can't get up to the 100 line)

    Just ordered the magnetic stirrer.. Think it will make me a little more accurate. Water looks clean and clear and sparkly. Well, kind of gray today with all of the smoke in the air.

    Guy at Leslie's told me about their CYA remover enzyme, that people have lowered their CYA up to 100 points. I'm going to assume that would be a waste of $60...
    21K bent-rectangle plaster, 330 gal spa with spillway, Pentair CCP320 cartridge filter, Pentair WF-3 (011512) 3/4HP single-speed pump, Hayward H Series heater, "Herbie" the Polaris P93 bot, TF-100 test kit
    Currently under drought restriction

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    You are correct that it would be a waste of time and money. There have been several that have tried it and were about it. They should show up if you do a search on the TFP home page.

    You can look into Reverse osmosis. It works BUT it does cost. With your water being clear..........it is up to you where you go from here.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Quote Originally Posted by apencraig View Post
    Got my kit, tested yesterday, but didn't really trust my results.. Confirmed them for the most part today. Pulled the pucks and went to 10% liquid from Leslie's, so I could use my $5 reward.. $2.99 for two gallons was pretty good! Also picked up three gallons of 8.25 from Walmart last night, so got a little stash going.

    So, here we go:
    FC- 17
    PH- 7.5
    TA- 140
    CH- 700
    TC- 17
    CYA- 200+ (Even after dilution test, still can't get up to the 100 line)

    Just ordered the magnetic stirrer.. Think it will make me a little more accurate. Water looks clean and clear and sparkly. Well, kind of gray today with all of the smoke in the air.

    Guy at Leslie's told me about their CYA remover enzyme, that people have lowered their CYA up to 100 points. I'm going to assume that would be a waste of $60...
    You have clear water. Some people show up with a pool out of a sci-Fi movie.
    These guys are great here. They will get you squared a way.

    Im new myself and don't know much but I have awesome looking water.

    Welxome.
    IG: 15000 Gal. Plaster. DE. 1992. Spa. Pump----(Will check brand and update). Heater. TF-100 Kit w Speedstir

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    Re: Bleach adds solids?

    Quote Originally Posted by apencraig View Post
    Thanks all, very much.. The pool is clean and clear. Did my own pH test when I got home, and it was smack on 7.5, and chlorine is, well, above 5.. I am not doing anything until I get my test kit. I don't trust these results at all. Compared them to the test from another place from a couple of days ago, and they are just so far apart that I don't know who to believe, and I have not done anything to the pool. Willing to bet that I could split a sample tomorrow between the two places down the street tomorrow and have two vastly different results. I will post my test results when I get them, and just keep doing the do until then. If I haven't blown the pool up yet, then it will probably make it a couple more days. I will definitely switch to liquid chlorine, though, and get rid of the pucks.

    Appreciate the help!
    Welcome!
    It's nice to see someone who "gets it" right from the start!
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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