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Thread: Hybrid approach

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    Hybrid approach

    New to forum and relatively new pool owner but have learned a lot reading this forum over the past year. Wanted to give my take on a Hybrid approach to keeping my pool clean, clear and safe without adding too much maintenance. At this point I’m not willing to convert to SWG pool to reduce maintenance, chemicals are only a small part of that. Keeping **** out of your pool and keeping the filters, skimmers and cleaners maintained at needed rates is how you stay away from problems. You do what you need to do when it’s needed, not check a calendar schedule. Keeping it balanced and clean is the name of the game.
    Balancing a pool and keeping it balanced can be tricky to understand, I’ve just gone through it but decided now was the time to understand so over checked and learned not to over chemical in the process. Here is some of my practices that have worked well so far..
    Sanitizer – A chorinator is very convenient but tricolor will raise CYI quickly in hot Texas summers. So plan on doing some partial drains to keep the levels from getting too high. Only use Triclor when you’re looking for convenience and turn off the chlorinator when not needed. For example if you shocked or in winter when a little bleach weekly is all you need. When using bleach make sure to keep acid on hand because it does significantly raise the PH. I usually add a little acid each time I add bleach to keep away from swings.
    Anyone else taking this mixed approach, I really don’t think doing a few partial drains a year is that bad and I can use my convenient Trichor chlorinator.
    I’ve really not had any problems with TA or CH yet but keeping eye on them. My first winter is going real well with very low chemical maintenance, just weekly bleach and acid. Like I said no calendar weekly is an average sometimes a little more. Maintenances in winter is all about leaves for me. Unfortunately several different types dropping over long time. That has almost ended so next couple months should be my lowest maintenance time of year.
    When the weather starts warming up in a couple of months I’m planning on switching back to Trichor when more regular CL additions are needed.
    I did my partial drains for CYA in the fall and kept it balanced each time so only making small adjustments each time. Small is good. I got behind on the CYA increase initially so will not let it get too high before my next partial drain. I just let the pool pump drain it overnight. I usually don’t drain more than 20 percent at a time. Close off the skimmers, turn off autofill hook up the hose, really very easy and safe if you don’t try to do too much at once.
    Coming to my first spring in a couple of months, does anyone see any problems in how I’m managing my pool?

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Hybrid approach

    Welcome to the forum.

    "If it ain't broke,....." Your approach to maintaining your pool is working well for you. It may not be applicable to everyone's pool but you are getting good results.

    The effect on pH when you add bleach is temporary. Overall, it will not raise your pH any significant amount. That said, you are apparently counteracting the pool's natural tendency to rise due to outgassing with the addition of acid so, again, I wouldn't change it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    Thanks, I'm still trying to understand why I'm needing to lower PH so frequently. Sometimes it does seem to level a little but trend is most notible now. I thought 9 months into new plaster that would really start to be less of a maintenace issue raising PH. I've got my TA at 110 currently and thought that would give me the best chance at a stable PH. I was expecting that running my pump/water feature less hours in the winter would really help this problem. It has not.This is why I thought the switch to bleach is causing this. I know windy cold fronts will also do this. any suggestions?

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    You should consider lowering your TA. But first please post a set of full test results.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    The pH rises when using the bleach, not just when you add it but staying relatively high, because the TA is higher than it should be when using a hypochlorite source of chlorine. However, because you use a hybrid approach and use Trichlor pucks during the warmer months, you are in a bit of a bind since the Trichlor is quite acidic so you need the higher TA to help balance that out, providing additional pH buffering and helping to keep the pH from falling too quickly. The problem is that when you switch to using mostly bleach, the high TA will have the pH rise over time (technically, it rises over time even if you add no chlorine at all to the pool -- the rise is from carbon dioxide outgassing because TA is a measurement of the over-carbonation of the water).

    So with your hybrid approach, at least if you plan the Trichlor, you'll just have to live with adding some acid during periods of using bleach. During longer periods of using bleach, such as during the winter, the acid addition should slowly lower the TA over time and you should find the pH not rising quite as fast. You could follow the Pool School article on how to Lower Total Alkalinity or you could just add acid to to keep the pH in range. It's a pay-me-now vs. pay-me-later sort of situation. You can't save on the amount of acid, but can choose when you want to add it (i.e. up-front during the lowering TA process or over time if you don't lower the TA). If you cover your pool with a solid cover, then that can significantly cut down the outgassing and keep the pH more stable.
    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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    Re: Hybrid approach

    Thanks, I think what I'm seeing is switch away from tabs has created an increased need to add MA using bleach, in first year plaster situation. I'm still trying to understand lower TA, which is 110 today because I'm expecting the MA to lower it in coming weeks. What do you think I will find this sumer in year old plaster and tabs and PH? I do have spa dumping into pool which inceases the out gas issue. I don't ever plan to cover this pool and keep it open year-round. Many in central texas do this.

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    The plaster curing rate drops off significantly so the second year should be better, though you may still notice a net increase beyond that from outgassing. Nevertheless, these things are additive so having a higher TA just makes things worse. Given your spillover from your spa, a significantly lower TA will likely help. With a plaster pool, you would have a higher CH and/or pH target to make up for the lower TA so that your saturation index is still reasonable. As for when to lower the TA, basically if you are adding acid over the winter and you don't notice your TA dropping, then that means the pH rise is mostly from plaster curing and/or from the excess lye in bleach.

    Clorox Regular bleach has the lowest amount of excess lye. Off-brand bleaches often have higher amounts so can make the pH rise over time. Chlorinating liquid varies but even the best has more excess lye than Clorox Regular bleach. If you know the brand of your bleach and can find an MSDS for it, then it may list the pH of the bleach and we can figure out if it's got a lot of excess lye in it. Clorox Regular has a pH of 11.9 while off-brand bleaches often have 12.5 or higher. Good 12.5% chlorinating liquid has a pH of 12.5 while some with more lye have 13.0.

    25-1/2 fluid ounces of full-strength Muriatic Acid (31.45% Hydrochloric Acid) in 10,000 gallons lowers the TA by 10 ppm. So if you are adding acid and not seeing the TA drop by the expected amount, then you know you've got things other than carbon dioxide outgassing causing the pH rise.
    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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    Re: Hybrid approach

    You also want to test your fill water. If it is high TA, you will be adding acid to counteract that with every top off from the autofill or every partial drain and refill.

    I am concerned about your water usage, just because I am aware of how bad the drought has been over most of Texas. For that reason alone I would suggest that you trend toward using bleach and acid more and the trichlor tabs less since they lead to the drain and refill.

    Now, if you are able to use that water on the grass, maybe it is not so bad, but it would be very sad to see it run down the street. All our aquifers are under such stress right now, it is best to minimize water consumption when you can.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    The 110 TA was temporary because it drops with repeated acid treatments to keep PH in line because of 6 month old plaster. Currently I'm at 4 FC approx 0 CC, 7.6 PH, TA 90, TC 275 and 25-35 CYA. If something trends in one direction I bump to end of range to add more time before next adjustment. I hear you on water conservation and my plan is to water 1/2 acre with this summers partial drains. I'm hoping I won't need to drain as much limiting the feeder to high demand periods. I wish they could manufacture a product with less CYA for these feeders. I'm just not willing to give it up on those 105 degree days and 88 degree water.

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    When you are calculating the cost of drain and refill, be sure to add in all the replacement chemicals. I have had to add back calcium to my pool and I was surprised at how expensive it was. Now I don't let it get so low that I cannot manage it with cal-hypo as my chlorine source for a few weeks.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    I do somewhat of a hybrid approach myself, but not as much as you do; I do use mostly liquid chlorine. But I have a sand filter now, so lose some CYA through backwashing, I never add stabilizer, just use tri-chlor if I want more CYA. And if work or something else makes it so I have to spend several days without being able to pay attention to my pool in the summer, I just stick tri-chlor in the floater and do a longer backwash later if the CYA is higher than I want. But, yeah, hybrid approach does mean keeping an eye on the CYA!
    I didn't know that about the differences in pH with chlorox / off brand / liquid chlorine. I use Kem-tek liquid chlorine. Our tap water is 8.0 pH, we have a lot of 110 degree days in the summer, so a high amount of evaporation necessitating adding quite a bit of water, and we have dust storms that blow the alkiline desert dust into the pool. So, yeah, with me the pH of my water is an issue! Sounds like chlorox might be better for me.
    Above ground soft side Omega pool
    20 feet diameter, 4 feet deep
    Hayward sand filter
    Hayward 1 HP Matrix pump
    Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    i plan on trying a hybrid approach this summer. this is my first full summer with my pool. my approach will be to allow myself only 1 trichlor puck per week from may-september. i realize this will not be enough so i also plan to supplement with either bleach or cal-hypo once or twice per week. i'm hoping that by limiting myself to one puck per week 5 months out of the year that my cya will not rise too much over the 45-50 that it currently is. october-april i will use bleach only.

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    Quote Originally Posted by brg88tx
    i plan on trying a hybrid approach this summer. this is my first full summer with my pool. my approach will be to allow myself only 1 trichlor puck per week from may-september. i realize this will not be enough so i also plan to supplement with either bleach or cal-hypo once or twice per week. i'm hoping that by limiting myself to one puck per week 5 months out of the year that my cya will not rise too much over the 45-50 that it currently is. october-april i will use bleach only.
    I know this thread is getting stale, but I couldn't help myself. For a 10000 gallon pool 60 oz (5mon*4wks*3oz) of trichlor will raise cya by 25...and be a huge temptation to use more than 1 a week. I wouldn't use the pucks. Also, remember cal-hypo raises the calcium level.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Hybrid approach

    Depending on their splash out though that could be fine. It all comes down to proper measurements and understanding each chemical and what it will do to the water. That why hybrid approaches are actually harder because you have more variables being changed at one time.
    15,600 Gallon, 16' x 32' In-Ground Vinyl Pool
    Pentair VS 3050 pump, Quad DE 60 filter and SunTouch controller
    8 gallon Liquidator, Aquatherm EcoSun Solar Panels, 2 wheel ThePoolCleaner

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