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Thread: pucks vs. liquid bleach

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    pucks vs. liquid bleach

    I have a brand new pool with an inline chlorinator made for 3" trichlor tablets. I've just learned in pool school that I should use liquid bleach instead. So, how do I switch from tablets to bleach? (I'm sure it's an obvious answer, but it's not obvious to me.) Thanks.
    Houston, TX
    16,500 gallon, 31x14 with raised spa, Pentair Quad DE filter, IG, pebblesheen, 2 hp sta-rite max e pro
    rainbow chlorinator, pcc2000 cleaning and circulation system with 1 hp sta-rite pump

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Well, some forum members use a combination of pucks and bleach. It kind of depends on your levels are now.

    Can you post a full set of test results (and share how you are testing the water)?

    Most of us test our water each evening after sunset, and add the appropriate amount of bleach. Some of us are able to add it every other day. You need to be able to test, and then you'll learn to use the pool calculator to determine how much to add.

    Edit: Which article in Pool School did you read? Check it out again and I bet you find the answers to your questions there, if not, post back.

    Sometimes we had to read the various articles and thread topics several times before the information sinks in. It can be alot to absorb when we are pool noobies. We were all noobs once.

    What kind of pool is it, new to you or newly constructed? You can put your pool specs in your sig. Go to User Control Panel, then Profile, then Edit Signature.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    I used to use pucks and just switched over to bleach with no issues. So based off my experience I had no problems when switching. Right now since the water is below 60 degrees, I have been using pucks to get rid of them since I will not be using them. I am trying to bring up my CYA, but with the cold water temps it is a very slow process. It is a good way for me to get rid of the rest of my tablets.

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    I know I need to post test results and pool specs (which I will, soon).
    If we use bleach, instead of tablets, do we just leave the inline chlorinator empty?
    Houston, TX
    16,500 gallon, 31x14 with raised spa, Pentair Quad DE filter, IG, pebblesheen, 2 hp sta-rite max e pro
    rainbow chlorinator, pcc2000 cleaning and circulation system with 1 hp sta-rite pump

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by valkeith
    I know I need to post test results and pool specs (which I will, soon).
    If we use bleach, instead of tablets, do we just leave the inline chlorinator empty?
    Yes. No harm in leaving it empty.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Thanks for the replies. And many thanks, paulr, for the link to water testing instructions. Exactly what I needed.
    Houston, TX
    16,500 gallon, 31x14 with raised spa, Pentair Quad DE filter, IG, pebblesheen, 2 hp sta-rite max e pro
    rainbow chlorinator, pcc2000 cleaning and circulation system with 1 hp sta-rite pump

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Switching from pucks to bleach is simple: just turn off the inline chlorinator so the water doesn't run through it anymore, and start using bleach. You can leave the pucks in the chlorinator (if any are in there now), or you can give it a couple of days to dry out and then try to remove them using kitchen tongs. That process can be very smelly which is why I don't bother. I just leave them in because I do use pucks throughout the season as needed.

    I use a combination of liquid chlorine and trichlor. Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions in this regard.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Thanks. That's what I needed to know.
    Do you use bleach and trichlor together at the same time, or do you switch between them?
    Houston, TX
    16,500 gallon, 31x14 with raised spa, Pentair Quad DE filter, IG, pebblesheen, 2 hp sta-rite max e pro
    rainbow chlorinator, pcc2000 cleaning and circulation system with 1 hp sta-rite pump

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    It depends

    Because I know that trichlor will raise the stabilizer (cyanuric acid = CYA) I keep a very close eye on that value. My pool freezes solid in winter and when it thaws the CYA is near zero. So, in April I fill the pool back up, put some pucks in the chlorinator, set it to 1/2 power and run the pump about 4 hours every 24 hours. At that point in my pool season all I'm doing is scooping what leaves have dropped in over winter (I don't cover my pool), vacuum silt and crud, brush the bottom, play with the pool, you know?

    When the water temp gets to about 50º F I start running the various tests. Most years the pH and TA are good, FC and CYA are low, CC is 0. At this point I'll add enough granular CYA to get the level to 20 ppm. I'll use the pucks until I get a reading of 30 ppm CYA. Once the stabilizer is where I want it—and this happens right about Memorial Day—I turn down the chlorinator to 1/4 or even 1/8 power and go with liquid chlorine as my primary sanitizer.

    My pool performs best with a CYA of 50 ppm. I don't want to mix in granular CYA to reach that level early in the season because I need the trichlor convenience when I'm away on vacation trips during the summer. So I run it at 30 ppm and add more bleach. I usually end the season in October with a CYA = 60.

    The short answer is yes, I use both together at the same time. Sometimes. And switch between them. Sometimes.

    Having fun yet?
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    I have to say that I really don't understand the whole "trouble free" issue. Last year was my first year with an IG pool but had several yrs with above ground and floater with tabs. I don't really see where the "trouble" is with tabs/pucks.

    I understand the whole CYA issue, but never really have an issue with that either. With the frequent rains, evaporation/replenishment, running of water down the slide etc., i just don't have an issue.

    I check my inline chlorinator maybe once per week during high useage, dump in some shock and forget it. What could be more trouble free? It's been my experience that sufficiently filtered water is very easy to keep clear and clean.

    I don't like the idea of having a bunch of chlorox bottles laying around etc. That seems more like trouble but maybe that is just because i have never done it. I guess my philosophy is that if it "ain't broke."
    10,000 gallon
    Viking Freeform Fiberglass Inground Pool. FNS Plus DE Filter Pentair Challenger .75hp pump

    NC KANSAS44

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    I would guess that more than one member here might respond that "trouble free" doesn't necessarily mean giving up pucks -- though they cause trouble for many people who don't monitor their use -- but knowing what the pool water contains, by testing and intelligent application of treatment based on the test results. Everything else is just the small print.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Well said Greg
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    I guess my assumption here could have been wrong, but I have had several encounters here where I was "encouraged" to do away with said tabs. Not that it really matters but I think my assumption was somewhat based in experiences here.
    10,000 gallon
    Viking Freeform Fiberglass Inground Pool. FNS Plus DE Filter Pentair Challenger .75hp pump

    NC KANSAS44

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    As long as you know what is going into your pool, and you can effectively manage what you use, then stick with what works for you. In your case, since you have external factors that seem to manage your CYA levels for you, you evidently won't have any issues with CYA/Chlorine ratio.
    I know people who won't use anything but trichlor and dichlor, and simply replace water every 18-24 months to manage CYA. The "trouble free" trick is for you to be in control of it.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by Thinkly
    I guess my assumption here could have been wrong, but I have had several encounters here where I was "encouraged" to do away with said tabs. Not that it really matters but I think my assumption was somewhat based in experiences here.

    Understandably so because we do have a lot of post talking about how to deal with out of control CYA levels; in most cases the CYA went wild as a result of using trichlor/dichlor pucks or granules exclusively. As was mentioned early on in this thread, this WILL get a pool in trouble and then prompts the questions of how to reduce CYA.

    I have a lot of splash-out and replace at least 1/3 of my pool's volume in a season. Once I learned about the relationship of chlorine and stabilizer and especially, once I started testing the water with a good kit, I became much more confident in managing my pool. I learned how my pool reacts and responds to a variety of environmental influences: pollen and leaves, agricultural dust/lime/fertilizer, heavy rains, sulfur in the fill water, daily use by three large dogs, and that knowledge has allowed me to use a combination of liquid chlorine and trichlor pucks responsibly.

    I buy 12% (or so) liquid chlorine in 3 gallon carboys from the pool store and go through about 10 gallons in our five months season. That comes to approximately $50 in chlorine plus maybe 20 pucks during that same time. Don't know what they cost, I haven't bought any in some time. I've never added borax but do put in baking soda now and then as well as a little muriatic acid. Overall, my guess is I spend less than $80 per year on pool chemicals using a combination of BBB and pucks. You just can't do it that low if you're using strictly pucks and/or granular tri- or dichlor.

    My filter runs 6 hours during the night and for one hour after the dogs have been in the pool. I backwash at the beginning of the season, once or twice during, and at the end when we close. Other than one year when I had to leave the pool unattended and unfiltered for a month I have never had an algae problem, cloudy water or anything else negative.

    BBB is "trouble free" because it's inexpensive, the materials are commonly available at grocery stores, it allows the homeowner to take control of her/his pool instead of being at the mercy of a pool service or pool store, and it's easy to understand and practice. BBB reduces the mystique of pool maintenance to kitchen chemistry. Anybody can do it.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    I've never added borax but do put in baking soda now and then as well as a little muriatic acid. Overall, my guess is I spend less than $80 per year on pool chemicals using a combination of BBB and pucks.
    Many good points... I'm glad the expense issue was brought up. There are cost comparisons on the site (somewhere...); I think that if, at the time I built my pool, someone had told me my chemical expenses would be over $200 a year I would have thought that excessive. But if one averages in the cost of operating and depreciating a SWCG, $200 a year is just a percentage of the total. Nevertheless, I've managed to get by with a little help from liquid chlorine (in winter) and tri-chlor (occasionally used to pulverize any measurable CC during summer) while pushing my SWG to 30% most weeks.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: pucks vs. liquid bleach

    My $17 per month chemical costs during a 7-month swim season (roughly $120) plus as yet unknown makeup costs for CH and borates after winter rain dilution pale in comparison to the $700 annual cost of running the pump, mostly for enough flow for the solar system to heat the pool. It also pales in comparison to the gas heating costs to extend the season though that is clearly an optional expense pushing the limits. Every situation is different depending on pool size, flow rates, electricity cost, use of a pool cover, etc.
    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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