Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Why not to use Trichlor?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Why not to use Trichlor?

    Purchased a new home w/ a pool in Nov and it's been my first pool experience.

    We've been using the pool person that the previous owner had used but in the mean time I've learning to take care of the pool on my own and have become fairly good at it.

    Located in SoCal. The pool is about 23K in ground/outdoor pebbletech (4' Shallow End, 8' Deep End). Pool has a chlorine puck feeder and have been using about 1 x 3" puck per week. DE Filter and Floor Cleaner. Pool has a waterfall from the hot tub to the pool. Been able to keep pool at 1.5-3ppm chlorine. Been using Phos Free with Pool Perfect. Experimented with shock, muratic acid, PH UP and Alk Up. I now will only use Baking Soda and Boax for those needs.

    I use an AquaChek Truetest for daily testing and a Taylor K-2006 for weekly and have been going to the pool store monthly to backup the my readings and have been near spot on the last two trips.

    Water looks perfect. I tried using Chlorine yesterday for the first time and my PH jumped up over 8 so used some muriatic acid to get it back down. I'm now second guessing the bleach route.

    Recent test yesterday produced:

    FC- 3.6
    PH-7.6
    TA-101
    CYA 60

    My initial thoughts from this is it worth the trouble? Please tell me why I'm wrong?

    The pool has been perfect with just the pucks and phosfree. I know my chlorine usage will go up in summer. Adding bleach seems like a hassle since I need to lug and store it and manually dose the pool daily. It also seems to needs muriatic acid to keep PH in check.

    Since my pool has a DE filter that goes to the sewer, I figure when I backwash the filter I can just drain the pool down 1/4 or so to compensate for the increased CYA buildup. A 50lb bucket of Trichlor sells for about $100 and best guess is that it will easily last for a more than a year. 50lbs of Trichlor will raise the CYA 166. My water costs about $4 per 748 gallons. So even changing 1/4 of the pool 3 times a year will be only $90-100 in total water cost. That's only $200 a year for water and Trichlor, and super ease of use. Just add the pucks to the feeder and add the hose to the pool when back washing.

    If I were to go the bleach route and if my calculations are correct I'd need to buy roughly 90 gallons of 6% bleach to get the same amount of chlorine that the 50lbs of Trichlor offers. 90 gallons of bleach at Costco is roughly $190-210. Then there is the muratic acid which needs to be factored in. I still need to back wash the filter so no less work there.

    Even if the cost were the same or even less with bleach, I'm doing a lot more manual work with bleach and more trips to the store and more storage needed.

    Am I wrong in my thinking here?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,331

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Since you've already convinced yourself that that's how you want it to be, there's no use trying to convince you any different. Besides, if it's working for you and you understand the issues, then it's perfectly fine to continue using it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    your cya is already 60 - that's plenty- bleach is cheaper at this point- watch your calcite index, too.
    14'x28' vinyl liner inground 3.5-6' deep wedge hopper 15000 gal (used to say 13000- I calculated wrong), 1 hp pump with sand filter, 2 returns, 1 fountain, traditional chlorinated, pool house.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    In the Industry
    ThePoolNinja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    61

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Either way is fine as long as you keep a steady Free Chlorine level. Right now your numbers are spot on.

    Use the Tablet feeder, just keep an eye on your Alk and PH, and of course your CYA will rise, and you'll be fine. As for me when i'm out in the field, most of my residential chlorine pools don't have in line tablet feeders installed, so liquid chlorinating is the only way to go for me as floaters aren't effective as a main source of clorination as they dissolve too slowly, and the fastest way to get chlorine into the pool is to pour liquid. On my commercial pools with built-in feeders, i always utilize tablets as the main source of clorination.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Welcome to TFP!

    It isn't bleach raising the PH. Trichlor lowers PH fairly significantly. If your PH has been stable, you have something else raising the PH. When you switch to bleach the PH lowering from the trichlor goes away and the PH goes up because of whatever else it is. Given a little effort that could all be figured out and the PH could be stable with bleach.

    Carrying bleach isn't for everyone. You might be able to cut the amount of carrying in half if you can fine a pool store that sells 12.5%, but that is still a fair bit of carrying. That is the big disadvantage of bleach/liquid chlorine. It bothers some people, and doesn't bother others.

    By your own calculations, bleach is around $200, while trichlor plus water replacement is around $300, so bleach is less expensive. The price difference isn't very large. If you want to listen to the rest of what we have to say you could stop paying for phosfree and probably most of the rest of what you are buying from the pool store and save even more.

    Trichlor works as long as you keep an eye on the PH and CYA levels. If that works for you, go for it. The core of the BBB method isn't bleach, it is knowing what is going on with your pool, and you clearly have a pretty good idea of what you are doing.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Sebring, Florida
    Posts
    30,077

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Ditto what bama said. EDIT: ditto what bama AND Jason said

    BBB is not about managing your pool only one way. It is about understanding how to manage your pool. You have figured a way to keep excessive CYA buildup out of your pool and it's working for you. If it ain't broke.....

    I didn't read the part of your post about cost and, in the big scheme of things, it isn't that important but there is probably no cheaper way to manage your pool than bleach.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    When you figure your costs, you have to figure in the pH Up you need to use. Even if you get the less expensive equivalent which is Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda, the Trichlor route costs more than most chlorinating liquid or bleach. An older cost comparison is in this post. If you use bleach or chlorinating liquid, then you'd have your TA be low enough that you would need hardly any acid at all.

    As others have said, as long as you know what you are doing and the consequences, it's fine to use Trichlor and manage the FC/CYA ratio by either increasing FC or diluting the water to keep CYA in check. If you use supplemental products to control algae growth, don't forget to factor those into the cost as well.
    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"

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Thanks for all the input everyone! I really want to like bleach or liquid chlorine as I don't relish the idea of draining 25% of my pool 3 times a year. Not very good for the environment IMHO.

    If I can keep PH in check without using Muriatic acid each time I'd be more inclined to give it more of a shot.

    I'm curious about the PH rising when using bleach in my pool? The pool has a waterfall from the hot tub area to the pool that runs whenever the pump is on, about 6 hours a day and will go up to 7-9 hrs in high summer.

    Really have not had to do much with PH or TA, the pool seems to want to stay in the low 7's and 100's on it's own. Only once have I added PH and Alk Up when I cleaned some rust stains off the floor of the pool using a Jandy stain master tool and used a gallon of MA in the process. Maybe the pool person had been doing it without me knowing it? Could the waterfall make much of a difference to not need it? PH was not included in my costs since it has never has been an issue.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Yes, the waterfall will aerate the water causing more carbon dioxide to outgas which would otherwise raise the pH if you weren't using any acid. Your Trichlor is the acid source. For every 10 ppm FC added by Trichlor, it not only increases CYA by 6 ppm, but also lowers the TA (after chlorine consumption/usage) by 7 ppm. So even with a low daily chlorine usage of 1.5 ppm FC per day (assuming the pool is exposed to sunlight), that would result in an increase in CYA of over 25 ppm and decrease in TA of over 30 ppm EVERY MONTH.

    It is possible to have the pH be stable, say at 7.2 with a TA of 140 ppm, by having enough carbon dioxide outgas from the aeration. However, the TA should still be dropping thereby requiring you to add baking soda (Alkalinity Up). If you aren't seeing the TA drop that much, then you might have evaporation and refill which adds TA from the fill water or you may be replacing some water that is very high in TA, but this seems a bit surprising.

    If you were to switch to using chlorinating liquid or bleach, the TA would probably have to be quite low to get pH stability and you'd likely settle in to a higher pH such as 7.7. So it might not be as straightforward for you if your fill water is high in TA and you've got a lot of evaporation and refill. You might need to add acid on a regular basis.
    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"

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,052

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonBOC
    Adding bleach seems like a hassle since I need to lug and store it and manually dose the pool daily.
    There are three types of solutions for this. I have a Liquidator and haven't hauled a bottle to the pool since I got it. And, I've had it now for 2 or 3 weeks and haven't touched a bleach bottle since I filled it. At my estimation, I'll be refilling it once a month, which is more convenient to me than keeping a tablet feeder filled.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Glendale, CA
    Posts
    513

    Re: Why not to use Trichlor?

    In So Cal it's pretty easy to find a pool store that sells 12.5% by the case - the cost is typically around 12.50 a case and I use 1 case per month. They refill/recycle the bottles - so it pretty much takes care of the reasons I didn't like bleach when I first started maintaining the pool myself.

    I have a liquidator as well and like it. RobbieH - you may find it better to fill your LQ with a few gallons and then top off 1 gallon per week rather than letting the LQ run dry as it were. The output of the LQ is a lot different when there is 6 gallons in there as opposed to 1.

    But as others have said - as long as pucks are working for you and you're comfortable with what you are doing - maybe there is no reason to rush to change.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •