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Thread: Question on bleach and pH

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Los Angeles, CA

    Question on bleach and pH

    As far as bleach, I'm wondering why that is the preferred sanitation method around here. I've been using it since I found this site and everything is fine, but it seems more expensive to me. I go through at least 6 gallons a month at about $3.30 per gallon. I'm sure I'll be using more during the summer months. Are pucks recommended too?

    And is there a reason why my pH always seems to creep up to 8.0? Every week I'm adding acid to get it down. Is this normal? How do I get it to stabilize?

    Readings this morning:

    FC - 5
    pH - 8
    TA - 80
    CH - 325
    CYA - 60
    22,000 gallon in ground pool with pebble finish. Pentair DE filter with Pentair VS pump. Built in the 70s but completely redone (including new pebble finish, equipment, and plumbing) in August 2015. K-2006.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)

    Re: Question on bleach and pH

    Bleach is preferred because the only byproduct is salt. The only thing purer is Chlorine gas, which brings a whole 'nother set of problems. Powdered forms of chlorine leave behind either Calcium or Cyanuric Acid. And Salt, as well. Pool School - How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    Your CYA is already at 60. You don't want it to go much higher. Higher CYA means higher FC levels are needed to keep it algae free and sanitary. If you try raising FC with pucks, you've just raised the CYA, which means you need still higher FC levels. And then you get stuck in an endless spiral that ends with a green cloudy pool, the pool store telling you you need to drain because of "Chlorine Lock" and us telling you to drain because of CYA buildup.

    In season, I use about a quart of 12.5% per day. I pay $3.70/gallon in the returnable HASA jugs. A buck a day isn't bad if you ask me. In the winter, I use hardly any.

    Rising pH is a fact of life. Test your fill water. Odds are it's higher pH than your pool, and higher TA. So every time you add water, you're driving up pH and TA and you need to add acid. Since I got my TA driven down to 60, it's been easy to maintain the pH, but it's still pretty much a weekly thing.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Fletcher, OK

    Re: Question on bleach and pH

    Hey there, great questions and that is why I love this site

    Bleach, all forms of chlorine cost almost the same in the end... with that said, in your area you may have a better option, a pool store near you may have 12% liquid chlorine, it is exactly the same as bleach but you will use less of the 12% than the 8% bleach here is the HASA locater.. you want to buy the 2.5 gallon carboys and maybe only 2 at a time, the 12% will go down faster than the 8% as it don't want to buy the whole summer worth

    Yes, you could use pucks but it will cost you in the end when you have to drain half your pool water once or twice a year and you know how much that can cost in CA, even if you could...

    Your PH rise, you can lower your TA a little more to 70 and if your PH is still rising fast take your TA to 60... here is the fastest and easiest way to do it..
    Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity

    I hope this helps
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

  4. Back To Top    #4
    jtaves85mcss's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Cincinnati, OH

    Re: Question on bleach and pH

    +1 on the directions and link from cowboycasey. Once you find the sweet spot with a little lower TA you will find that Ph rise becomes minimal an you may only have to add MA once every three or four weeks to keep your Ph around 7.5. I finally got mine to almost auto pilot last year, adding 12 oz full strength MA once a month.
    Pool: IG 22k- 16x32 clipped corners- vinyl liner, w/ a great board. Built in 3/99, new to me 2/2011.
    Equip: Hayward 3600 DE filter, Hayward CL-200 Chlorinator (empty since 7/5/2013).
    K-2006 Test kit with Speedstir
    Located in Cincinnati, OH. TFP lurker since 9/2011, BBB interested since 5/2012 and converted 7/2013.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Troy IL

    Re: Question on bleach and pH

    So I've read that the Ph of bleach is around 12, depending on the manufacturer. But that it has to be so that the chlorine is stable. Doesn't adding this bleach itself raise your Ph?

    I've yet to start my pool with the TFP method, but I've been warned that is the downside to using bleach/liquid chlorine. That may or may not be true. Perhaps the dilution in the water is enough to even it out?

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Question on bleach and pH

    When you add bleach to raise the FC, the pH does go up a little. But, when the FC is consumed, that process actually lowers the pH. So the net effect is that bleach is basically pH neutral in 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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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Tempe, AZ

    Re: Question on bleach and pH

    My pH has been much more stable after lowering the TA from the 80-90 range down to about 70. It'll go up to 7.6-7.7 from 7.5 in a week or so. Then I add 8 or 16 oz of MA. With the higher TA it was going up much more quickly.

    I will fight rising pH and TA (or is it TA and pH?) more when it gets really hot and evaporation requires a lot more of my high TA fill water. But at least now I know where my pool is more comfortable and I can stay ahead of it.
    John - 16,000 gallon | in ground | pebble | Triton II sand filter | TF100 | speedstir | Hayward Phoenix 2x

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