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Thread: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

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    PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    I've been using bleach to chlorinate our new plaster pool for the last couple of months after reading Pool School on this site. The pool looks great and it seems to be working fine.

    My pool builder came out today to fix a broken cover and saw my stash of empty clorox bottles in the pool house. He told me that using bleach was the worst thing I could do for my plaster. He said that it contains metals that will stain the surface and I should be using Cal-hypo granules instead like he told me originally. He said that if I strain some bleach through a white cloth I'll see the metal stains that it leaves on the cloth. I do have a few brown stains on the plaster. Is there any truth to this? Could it be caused by using bleach and should I switch to Cal-hypo? I also asked him about Cal-hypo increasing the water's calcium levels and he said that that wasn't a problem.

    He also said that using bleach will cause the water to release gasses that will ruin my auto-cover. He said the bleach gasses would turn it brittle and make it crack. He said Cal-hypo won't do this. Any possible truth to this?
    15'X48" cheapo Intex metal frame pool. 4400 gallons.
    Cartridge filter
    The only thing I could find about the pump is it says 1000 gallon filter pump.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    Nope, nope, and nope. Bleach will not cause any issues with stains, covers, etc. Chlorine is chlorine!

    Can you post pictures of the brown areas of the plaster? How new is it?
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    It's amazing the things that so called professionals pass on as gospel. Bleach is safer than any other type of chorine you can use.

    I don't know where you're located but there are tons of folks in high hardness areas that would fight him for even suggesting that Cal-Hypo isn't a problem.

    Chlorine from bleach doesn't outgass anything that every other source of chlorine doesn't outgass.

    As far as metals go, once the chems enter the bleach process it's all either all titanium or plastic lined piping and equipment.
    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
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    Ditto to what these guys said. Ask him if he will guarantee your pool surface against calcium scalling if you switch to calhypo? Also, ask him to provide you proof that bleach contains metals.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    near the swamp

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    I bet he doesn't sell liquid chlorine. IME, the ones who don't sell it, are the ones who won't recommend it.

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Mount Airy, Maryland

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    clorox is chlorine - read the label. I've used chlorine for 1 year on my plaster pool. No evidence of any brown stains... Ask him what he thinks of an SWG. My guess is he will not recommend that either.
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Boston, MA

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    He hasn't the faintest idea what he's talking about. Cal-hypo does everything bleach does (since it's bleach plus calcium), and it doesn't do any of the stuff claimed.
    20k gallon IGP
    Plaster over gunite
    3/4 hp Hayward pump
    Purex Triton DE filter
    TF100 test kit w/ speedstir

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: PB says using bleach is bad for plaster and cover?

    Metals in even small quantities in chlorinating liquid or bleach would lead to fairly rapid degradation of the chlorine (see this link, for example). The ingredients in Clorox Bleach and other grocery/hardware store products are described in this post.
    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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