Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Content of 1 gallon of bleach

  1. Back To Top    #1

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Content of 1 gallon of bleach

    I have been reading alot on here and have a couple of questions that have probably been asked and I just haven't seen the answers.

    We have been around pools since 1968, so you can imagine what we have learned by trial and error. If bleach is 6% chlorine what does the other 94% consist of. How is this better than a chlorine tab that is say 98% chlorine. I recommend salt systems to customers since it seems to work better for them. Still have a few that just can't see that salt systems are nicer to regulate and control when you go on vacation.

    I am sure I will get hammered on this but maybe this will help someone else.

    Thanks Scott
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Arizona & California

    Re: Content of 1 gallon of bleach

    A gallon of bleach weighs about 9.5 to 10 lbs. So 6% strength means you are adding about .6 lbs of chlorine (actually NaOCl) and the rest is mostly water and a little extra sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and some salt. Bleach is alkaline, and a trichlor tab is acidic and is about 90%. So adding two tabs or about 1 lb of trichlor adds about .9 lbs of chlorine residual. If bleach contains 10% chlorine, then you would be adding about the same chlorine (actually slightly more) as one pound of Trichlor.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Content of 1 gallon of bleach

    It's better than a tab because it doesn't add CYA each dose. Therefore nothing builds up in the pool except a little salt, which doesn't hurt a thing.
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Central NJ

    Re: Content of 1 gallon of bleach

    The 6% is sodium hypochlorite, not 6% chlorine. The rest is almost all salt water.

    The difference is in how it gets in the pool. Trichlor tabs dissolve slowly and add cyanuric acid(CYA). Dichlor powder dissolves faster and adds even more CYA per ounce.

    Cal Hypo adds calcium.

    None of the above is 99% chlorine. 99% chlorine would be gas. 99% Trichlor tabs is not the same as 99% chlorine.

    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Content of 1 gallon of bleach

    See this post for more detailed contents of bleach and chlorinating liquid. As was noted above, the rest is mostly salt water.

    First of all, Trichlor tabs are not 98% chlorine, but rather 98% purity for Trichlor itself. There is, however, a "% Available Chlorine" number and for Trichlor that is typically 90%-92%. The "% Available Chlorine" does not mean a weight percent of chlorine atoms themselves. This is because 100% is defined as that for chlorine gas that has 2 atoms only one of which becomes chlorine in water (i.e. hypochlorous acid) the other becoming chloride (hydrochloric acid). If one had a chlorine compound that was composed solely of chlorine atoms all of which produced hypochlorous acid in water, then that compound would have 200% Available Chlorine so you can see how the definition of available chlorine can be misleading.

    So Trichlor is actually closer to half its weight (45%-46%) in chlorine atoms with the other half being a Cyanuric Acid (CYA) base, though they are bound together in a single chemical (see the Trichlor chemical structure). You can see from this post that just because the chlorine is more concentrated in Trichlor, it doesn't mean it is less expensive. Bleach and chlorinating liquid are very cheap by weight or volume because they are mostly water. So while getting Trichlor is a denser source of chlorine, it is not cheaper for the amount of chlorine you get after accounting for other pH and TA balancing chemicals you also need to add. Also, it has the side effect as indicated below in these rules that are independent of concentration of product or of pool size:

    For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm.
    For every 10 ppm FC added by Dichlor, it also increases CYA by 9 ppm.
    For every 10 ppm FC added by Cal-Hypo, it also increases Calcium Hardness (CH) by at least 7 ppm.

    Typical chlorine consumption in a residential outdoor pool exposed to full sunlight is often around 2 ppm FC per day or more. At 2 ppm FC from Trichlor, one would be increasing CYA by over 35 ppm per month if there were no water dilution so you can see that the CYA will build up quickly making the chlorine less effective and potentially leading to algae growth unless the FC level is raised proportionately with the rising CYA level. It is this phenomenon that explains why some pools using Trichlor start out fine at the early to middle part of the season, but run into problems in August or September after the CYA has continued to build up. In other situations, it explains why there are no problems for the first year or two but then there are issues. It also explains why larger pools or those with cartridge filters are more likely to have problems due to less water dilution than smaller pools with sand filters that require regular backwashing that result in greater water dilution. The specifics of each pool depend on dilution rates and what happens over the winter as well as whether algaecides, phosphate removers, or other products are being used and also whether there is regular shocking that tries to make up for what is essentially too low an FC/CYA ratio due to the CYA level that has become too high.
    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"

Posting Permissions

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