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Thread: Chlorine help?

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    nksprts's Avatar
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    Chlorine help?

    So we put up a intex 17 round 52 inch deep pool a week and a half ago. I had 2 chlorine tablets which was recommended for that size in one of those floating cabanas, also used arm and hammer clear balance in the pump. I just tested with just a cheap tester where you dip it in and match colors to see where you are. Everything is virtually exactly perfect but my chlorine is reading a zero? I added two more and tested again next day, everything perfect chlorine at zero. Now this pool will be coming down for the season in a few weeks, but also notice the ground is becoming a little slimy feeling. What do I do? Add more chlorine? Use shock? New to pools and never had to maintain them. Please help.

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    HI there

    If you spend any time here on TFP, you'll quickly learn that we don't trust those test strips at all. And, the amount of chlorine you need in your pool is entirely dependent upon what your CYA is. Here is a bit of reading.

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
    Pool School - Test Kits Compared

    With a seasonal pool you might be just fine with the smaller TF50 test kit. Without accurate results, it is hard to give advice on how to approach your situation. Have you added any CYA (stabilizer/conditioner) to your water besides what those pucks are adding?
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    No I haven't added anything just the chlorine tabs and the arm and hammer. Totally lost with all this, thought with a small pool could just add a chlorine floater and that would be it, very naive I was lol.

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Please read up on the ABC's. You'll get it. you probably can add some chlorine via bleach to help clear it a up, but you are flying blind without knowing your CYA. there is a link at the top of the page for pool math. If you can put in the volume of your pool, there is a spot at the bottom where you can play with the results of adding different chemicals. You might try to calculate how much CYA the number of pucks you've used would have added. I don't know what "clear balance" is but you need to check the label. CYA is often sold as conditioner or stabilizer. You'd be looking for Cyuranic acid as an ingredient for CYA.

    Besides reading up on the basics, this is your handy FC/CYA chart. Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    The active form of chlorine - the thing that does all the work - is very very reactive. When it reacts with something (kills bacteria or gets hit with a photon of light from the sun) active chlorine expends it's energy and converts to salt - normal table salt like you eat.

    You need to add additional chlorine from some source daily in order to keep the proper amount in the pool.

    CYA is added to pools because it binds to "chlorine" and protects it from the sun - slowly releasing it over time.


    Sounds like your pool has a low CYA level (though you need to check) - so your Chlorine gets wiped out by the sun fairly quickly. Now you've got Algae growing in the pool - which is also going to use up your chlorine when you add it.

    The way to solve these issues is through education in pool school and following the directions there. And the good people here who are always happy to help!
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Thank you all for the tips so far. Will start reading up, can I literally just dump some bleach in the pool to get the level to register in the mean time?

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Quote Originally Posted by nksprts View Post
    Thank you all for the tips so far. Will start reading up, can I literally just dump some bleach in the pool to get the level to register in the mean time?
    Post #4 by AimeeH.
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Just wasn't sure if bleach like for washing clothes was the same thing as like liquid chlorine?

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Yes, regular household bleach. Most use great value plain unscented no frills household bleach from walmart. This is the exact same thing as liquid pool shock just a little weaker concentration. 24 oz should be enough to get 4 ppm free chlorine in a 4000 gallon pool. Pour it directly into the water in a small stream right in front of the return jet with the pump running, keep the pump running for at least a half hour to get it mixed in. Chlorine is a consumable and must be added every day, test then add what is required to get back to 4ppm.

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Bleach - Yes that is the same a liquid chlorine just a lower strength.

    It's important to get plain bleach - not scented or "splashless". Those bleach products are just for the laundry.

    Plain bleach is Sodium Hypochlorite - just like all other forms of liquid chlorine
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    OK so you think dump a 24 Oz bottle I'm the water then test it? And say this bleach gets me to a good level will the tablets be enough from there or it depends on the cya?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you for all the responses btw

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Quote Originally Posted by nksprts View Post
    OK so you think dump a 24 Oz bottle I'm the water then test it? And say this bleach gets me to a good level will the tablets be enough from there or it depends on the cya?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thank you for all the responses btw
    It totally depends on your CYA and if there is anything growing in your pool. I know it's a seasonal pool to you but you will find those short seasons so much more enjoyable if you take the time to read up on the chemistry through the articles linked previously and getting a good test kit. We see thousands of people ready to give up on their pools out of chemistry confusion and bad testing......and thousands more embrace the knowledge and have peace of mind all summer without pool store misguidence or confusion.
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    My cya is registering but a little low. I can pick up some of this just like a normal chemical? Though I know thi si on one of those cheap testers that is no good I heard.

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    NK, I have a smaller pool than yours - I think I read that you have a 17' round, 52" high. I don't take mine down at all (I live in Florida).

    I used regular bleach until I installed my salt water generator. Worked just fine. I think that 4,000 gallons of water has to be a bit off though, because my smaller pool holds about 5,300 gallons?

    And I absolutely would not rely on anything other than a good CYA test to figure out your CYA. That number is critical and if you have too much, it's a pain to deal with (personal experience talking here!) So before you add more, you might want to get a good test kit, one of the ones recommended here.
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Yes according to a volume calculator mine would hold around 7000 gallons. I just put in about half a bottle of bleach just to get some in there (about 30 oz). The test is now registering the chlorine but on the low end. I will wait and I guess I will have to just break down and buy a nice tester it seems.

    But how do you get your CYA to rise?

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    You have to add it. It comes in either liquid or granules. The liquid is easier to use but is more expensive. It will be sold as either Cyanuric acid or Stabilizer. Any pool store and sometimes Wal Mart or large hardware stores will carry it in their seasonal pool area, but some of those are beginning to close out now.
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    thanks Jeff

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    If you get the granules, put it in a sock and hang it in front of a return to help it dissolve. You can squeeze it periodically to speed it up, but it'll take a few days for it to register fully on a test. So add it incrementally.



    If you have a salt water generator, target 70-80 ppm for your CYA level, otherwise shoot for 30-40. If you overshoot, the only way to drop it is to partially drain and refill with fresh water.
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    Re: Chlorine help?

    I will probably just go for the liquid as I am trying to make this as easy as possble for me lol.

    Just dump it in in front of the water return from the pump?

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    Re: Chlorine help?

    Quote Originally Posted by nksprts View Post
    I will probably just go for the liquid as I am trying to make this as easy as possble for me lol.

    Just dump it in in front of the water return from the pump?
    Please be very careful adding CYA without accurate testing. Please take a look at post #4 with the link to the chlorine/CYA chart and understand that what a test strip calls "good" or "low" means nothing in reality let alone being inaccurate to begin with. As stated above, managing water with too much CYA becomes a PITA. Unlike chlorine CYA is not consumed by anything in your water. Getting it too high could ultimately require draining.
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