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Thread: Bleach. The question is why use that?

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    Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Split off of this topic JasonLion

    The question is why use that? Listen it's best to use your tri-chlor tabs and shock only when needed. or go to bromine and you don't have to shock at all. Bleach is the bottom of the chlorine barrel and hard on everything and never last's very long either.

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    Re: My local Thin Bleach is <5% Sodium Hydroxide is that OK?

    Poolman7,

    Please read pool school. You can read through the articles if you click on the "pool school" tab in the upper right of the page.
    You will find fairly quickly that we dont advocate the use of tabs or any other chlorine product that contains stabilizer as an everyday sanitizer. Good old fashioned liquid bleach or chlorine generator is about all we advise people to use on TFP for a number of reasons. If you read through pool school, you will find a wealth of information.
    I'm curious as to why you think bleach is "the bottom of the barrel" and hard on everything?
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    Re: My local Thin Bleach is <5% Sodium Hydroxide is that OK?

    Don't listen to Poolman7. If he'd spent a little time reading and learning here he'd know better than that. I don't know how he can say that bleach is the bottom of the chlorine barrel. And isn't being hard on bacteria and algae what we want from our sanitizer? Just saying.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    poolman7, welcome to TFP!

    As bk406 suggested, a little reading over at Pool School could be a big help. I suggest starting with How to Chlorinate Your Pool for a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of various chlorine sources. Material on bromine is a little more difficult to find, as we never recommend it for swimming pool use, though it is often an excellent choice for spas.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Poolman7,

    I hope your route is in San Diego County, I would love to follow you around and reduce your customers high CYA (probably over 200ppm). I can make a fortune!!!! Just sayin...

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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    This has got to be a joke. What do they call that when someone gets planted in the audience to ask the politician a question he wants to aanswer? Or to be miraculously healed by the likes of Benny Hinn?

    Shill! That's the word.

    But if it's a real comment, it almost doesn't justify an answer. But the short answer is: because liquid bleach - sodium hypochlorite - is the most direct way of chlorinating the water with the least amount ofg unwanted additives.

    I've been battling super-high CYA for over a year, thanks to a pool service who thought those pucks in a floater were the way to go. And some of us suffer from hard water, we don't need to add any more Calcium, thank you. I imagine you belong to the school of thought that says you need to drain and refill every two years anyway, so it can be allowed to build and build. That doesn't happen when you're living under water restrictions as I am. And actually, if you never overload the water, there's no need to drain!

    And why shock? Despite the high CYA (220-240ish) I managed to not have any algae or even cloudy water all year, using nothing but liquid chlorine.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Yeah he is right.... and NaCl is the bottom of the electrolyte barrel. Must be better to use copper ions and silver ions to stain my pool and avoid oxidation of organics. After all, oxidation of organics is hard on stuff and doesn't last very long......

    I prefer a "natural" pool without chemicals, but full of organic nutrients which help foster a bacterial garden. These supper bacteria consume CO2 and someday will save the ozone layer. Meanwhile my kids will have more fun diving for diving rings in water too murky to see in. If they swallow some of the murky water/bacterial growth, then that is just natures way of giving them nutritious vitamins and other nutrients......blah blah blah

    ...Sorry, had to vent...
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Tri-chlor...hmm

    What ingredients are in that? Ever see a vinyl liner after a sneaky kid threw one of those bad boys on the pool bottom without you looking?

    I use a swg to generate chlorine now, however when I need a boost of chlorine, I would advise using liquid shock if the term "bleach" scares you

    I would appreciate you putting some substance behind your opinion and explaining why tri-chlor or other chlroine sources are superior to bleach?
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    As silly as the OP may sound, I find it difficult to believe a company would spend thousands of hours, & millions of dollars on advertisement & research to come up with a product that doesn't fulfill its mission.

    Surely they have an effective method for using their product.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    The method is to use it till you start having problems and then drain water and start over.

    The chemical companies aren't evil. They're just using the only usable process for making easily handled and used product. It just happens to have a few problems that the pool industry refuses to address properly.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    As with many products, there are trade-offs. With Trichlor pucks/tabs, you get the convenience of a slow-dissolving tablet which partially automates dosing so that you only need to replenish tablets in a feeder around once a week. If there were no side effects, then it would be a perfect source of chlorine, but unfortunately the tablets also increase Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels. For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases CYA by 6 ppm. While the chlorine is a consumable and must be constantly replenished, the CYA builds up and makes the chlorine less and less effective over time unless the FC target level is raised proportionately. If there are sufficient nutrients in the pool, the result is often algae growth which depending on the algae initially may just be seen as an unusually high chlorine demand followed by dull then cloudy water until a full green bloom is visible.

    Trichlor tabs/pucks are also very acidic, especially when accounting for the acidity of chlorine usage/consumption. This can cause problems with floating feeders that park themselves in one place in a pool (I had some stainless steel mounts rust because of this). This acidity requires regular pH and TA adjustment.

    With chlorinating liquid or bleach, you don't get the build-up of CYA nor of Calcium Hardness (CH) with Cal-Hypo, but you need to add the chlorine every day or two unless you have low chlorine usage with a mostly opaque pool cover (or a pool not exposed to sunlight) or you have an automatic feed system such as The Liquidator or a peristaltic pump. A saltwater chlorine generator (SWG) system is another alternative and generates chlorine on-site but requires higher salt levels (usually 3000 ppm).
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    As with many products, there are trade-offs. With Trichlor pucks/tabs, you get the convenience of a slow-dissolving tablet which partially automates dosing so that you only need to replenish tablets in a feeder around once a week. If there were no side effects, then it would be a perfect source of chlorine, but unfortunately the tablets also increase Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels. For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases CYA by 6 ppm. While the chlorine is a consumable and must be constantly replenished, the CYA builds up and makes the chlorine less and less effective over time unless the FC target level is raised proportionately.

    Trichlor tabs/pucks are also very acidic, especially when accounting for the acidity of chlorine usage/consumption. This can cause problems with floating feeders that park themselves in one place in a pool (I had some stainless steel mounts rust because of this). This acidity requires regular pH and TA adjustment.
    Thanks chem geek.... I understand this, I've learned as much from reading this board for a little while. It makes sense to me. I haven't had the pleasure of using the BBB method, as my pool isn't finished yet. But it makes sense, & I've read enough success stories to believe the validity.

    My question, or my disbelief, is that the pool companies, from the manufacturers, to the distributors, to the builders don't understand this, or have done very little about it. If I were the maker of TriChlor, or DiChlor I would have something, either create another product that addresses the issue (I know that may be difficult) or publish a method/teach my customers how to properly use my product.

    There is another thread here, where a guy in Arizona bought a pool that was evidently treated with pucks for a long time, he has a high CYA level, but his pool is clear. So there must be a way.... maybe not as efficient or cost efficient as BBB..... but there's got to be a way.

    I'm not trying to knock the BBB method or anything, just trying to understand Trichlor manufacturers. Like Bama Rambler said, I can't believe they are "evil"
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkyss
    There is another thread here, where a guy in Arizona bought a pool that was evidently treated with pucks for a long time, he has a high CYA level, but his pool is clear. So there must be a way.... maybe not as efficient or cost efficient as BBB..... but there's got to be a way.
    One thing you'll find is that people who have had pools for years find this site and are amazed at how clear the water is when they follow our philosophy. They thought it was clear before, but it just gets amazingly clear when you keep things under control. I have had people just stop and stare into my pool and comment about the water "glittering". I don't think most folks even notice the haze in most pools until they see the alternative. Hotel pools look like they are full of milk to me.

    The other thing is that many people open their pool the week before Memorial Day, shock the heck out of it 3 or 4 times, swim for a couple of months with regular shocking, then close a green pool in August. That does several things that allow you to get by with stabilized chlorine. One is that the shorter season reduces chlorine use and therefore CYA addition. Another is that the out of control pool during the offseason often results in little to no CYA at opening. A third is that the regular shocking hides the ineffectiveness of the normal chlorine levels at the high CYA levels. Much of the US and Canada get enough rain over the offseason to result in significant dilution too. Lastly, people are just adapted to pools burning their eyes, fading their swimwear and smelling like a pool.

    BBB can be a confusing name. It implies that those particular chemicals are the answer. I've argued before that we shouldn't use it because it isn't really accurate and leads people to the wrong conclusion. For want of a better short, catchy name, it remains.

    Rather than BBB, my take on our pool philosophy is "BBB is really just knowing what is happening in your water and knowing how to fix it."

    Or as Jason posted once:

    "Use inexpensive chemicals whenever possible (often from the grocery store)
    Test your water to know what is going on
    Don't add things that aren't required or which you don't understand
    Empower the pool owner and stop depending on the pool store/pool service
    Be consistent, pay attention to the pool and measure chemicals (don't just ignore it for a week and then nuke it)
    Use simple/reliable/proven techniques, avoid fads and miracle cures"

    Neither of those ideas says not to use trichlor or dichlor. I use trichlor regularly in the spring when my CYA is low. Just know what effect using them will have on your water. The only way to do that is to be educated about the chemistry and to have accurate test results.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkyss
    There is another thread here, where a guy in Arizona bought a pool that was evidently treated with pucks for a long time, he has a high CYA level, but his pool is clear. So there must be a way.... maybe not as efficient or cost efficient as BBB..... but there's got to be a way.

    I'm not trying to knock the BBB method or anything, just trying to understand Trichlor manufacturers. Like Bama Rambler said, I can't believe they are "evil"
    If you read more here, you'll see that the reason they make pucks and little packages of "shock" is because most pool owners want an automatic pool. They want trouble-free, which they equate to maintenance-free. It doesn't work that way. When it goes haywire and the pool store has sold them every type of snake oil they sell, and finally recommends a drain and refill so they can buy a "start-up kit" then they start googling and end up here.

    I bought my pool (a house came with it) a little over a year ago. The water was clear, never had any algae bloom. The pool service I inherited used pucks in a floater and test strips. When I took full control, I discovered I had CYA somewhere above 220, and Calcium way over 500. Because of lots of sunlight, high temperatures, and hard water, I've gotten CH as high as 1100. And yet, the water stayed clear. There is such a thing as dumb luck. I don't have a lot of leaves blowing in, nor much dust, nor a lot of people using it, especially children.

    I've spent the last few months trying to reduce the CH and CYA by partial drains and rainwater refills. Before that, I was watering the lawn from the pool and refilling with the hose. CH is still way high, but better. Like I said, it was clear before. You ought to see it now. You want clarity? When the pump's off and there's no breeze so that the surface is still, it's hard to tell if the pool is full of water or empty. I'm not kidding.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkyss
    My question, or my disbelief, is that the pool companies, from the manufacturers, to the distributors, to the builders don't understand this, or have done very little about it. If I were the maker of TriChlor, or DiChlor I would have something, either create another product that addresses the issue (I know that may be difficult) or publish a method/teach my customers how to properly use my product.
    That is the point that Bama and the others are trying to make. The only way to make a commercial chlorine product in tablet or granular form is to combine it with cyanuric acid. That is what is meant by the phrase "stabilized sanitizer" or "stabilized chlorine". The end product is a combination of chlorine and cyanuric acid. From the BBB point of view it would be as if every time you added liquid bleach you also threw in a big handful of granulated stabilizer.

    As Bama alluded to, there is nothing inherently "evil" about offering a product such as trichlor pucks. But what I do consider evil are the barefaced lies that the chemical companies propagate concerning other chlorine sources such as bleach. It is blatant deception specifically designed to sell product. Just walk into any pool store, mention bleach, and see what reaction you get from the proprietors.

    BTW, the manufacturers of stabilized chlorine are aware of overstabilization. See this link from HTH. The problem is they don't have a practical solution to the problem because they need to sell their products! In the link referenced above, the solution given is to use cal-hypo instead of trichlor or dichlor. That will relieve the overstabilization, but will result in ever rising CH levels. What do you do when CYA gets out of control? Drain and rebalance. What do you do when CH gets out of control? Drain and rebalance. See the conundrum they are faced with?

    Now compare that with the BBB method. Add chlorine and stabilizer separately, and only to desired levels. It is about control. Make any sense?
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Or as Jason posted once:

    "Use inexpensive chemicals whenever possible (often from the grocery store)
    Test your water to know what is going on
    Don't add things that aren't required or which you don't understand
    Empower the pool owner and stop depending on the pool store/pool service
    Be consistent, pay attention to the pool and measure chemicals (don't just ignore it for a week and then nuke it)
    Use simple/reliable/proven techniques, avoid fads and miracle cures"
    This is great info ^^^. I would add on more thing...

    There is "NO" set it and forget it. To many variables, even with today's automation. You still need to test your water and adjust as needed!

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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderkyss
    There is another thread here, where a guy in Arizona bought a pool that was evidently treated with pucks for a long time, he has a high CYA level, but his pool is clear. So there must be a way.... maybe not as efficient or cost efficient as BBB..... but there's got to be a way.
    There are absolutely ways to prevent algae growth in pools in spite of high CYA levels, but these methods also either have side effects or can be expensive. For some pools, there is sufficient water dilution because the season is short, a filter is used with significant backwashing, and/or there are summer/winter rains with significant overflow. Some pools are naturally poor in algal nutrients (phosphates and nitrates) at least for a while. So one can certainly get lucky without even adding extra chemicals, but it's not a sure thing.

    In addition to the shocking of the pool that helps make up for the "too low active chlorine" level during the week, some people use algaecides or phosphate removers in their pools. If one uses PolyQuat 60 weekly, for example, then one can probably get away with FC/CYA ratios 2-3 times lower (that's just a guess) than in the Chlorine / CYA Chart. I know that in my own pool years ago when I was using Trichlor pucks/tabs, I was using PolyQuat 60 every other week and started having problems when my CYA went to around 150 ppm with an FC of 3 ppm -- had I not been using the algaecide, I probably would have seen problems somewhere in the 60-80 ppm CYA range (and had I used the algaecide weekly, I probably could have gone to 200-250 ppm CYA). One can use a copper algaecide which is very effective at preventing algae when used at sufficiently high concentrations, but that also increases the risk of metal staining unless the pH is kept artificially low (which can be hard to do). One can use a phosphate remover which can sometimes work well, but if there are lots of organic phosphates then it's not a complete cure. One can use 50 ppm Borates which will take the edge off of algae growth, but isn't likely as strong an algaecide as the other methods just mentioned (though many have reported decent results).

    So it's not like there's only one approach, but as Jason wrote what is promoted here at TFP is the simplest in terms of adding the least number of chemicals to your pool as possible and what is added should have the least amount of side effects. Also note that though the algaecide or phosphate remover approaches can possibly handle algae prevention, this won't prevent the water from getting dull from the ever slower oxidation of bather waste that occurs due to the lower active chlorine level as the CYA continues to rise. To prevent the water from getting dull/cloudy, one can either raise the FC as the CYA rises or regularly shock the pool to a higher FC or use clarifier/coagulant products to try and consolidate some chemicals and particles into the filter. All of these "products" are, of course, extra expense.
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    Re: Bleach. The question is why use that?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    There are absolutely ways to prevent algae growth in pools in spite of high CYA levels, but these methods also either have side effects or can be expensive.
    Thanks geek.
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