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Thread: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

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    Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Ok, I know everyone says if your pool is balanced, you don't smell like chlorine, your skin doesn't itch and your suits don't bleach out.

    Here are my results after a "swim party" yesterday...
    Fc 7
    Cc 0
    Tc 7
    TA 110
    Ch 270
    Ph 7.4 ish
    Borates between 30 and 50
    Cya 60

    I know the chlorine had been sitting around 11 which given my cya is not too bad. Is that what caused our suits to bleach out? The water boatmen were dying on impact to the water, but due to the heat I added water (which is why my fc is lower), now I have boatmen enjoying my pool again. I thought maybe letting the fc down a little would be ok.

    Is keeping the fc up the reason our suits bleached out? Is there bodily harm to keeping the fc high? I rather buy new swimsuits than share my pool with bugs. The kids won't swim if the boatmen are alive.

    Thanks!
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    I don't think it's your FC. I've been keeping mine at 7 or above and we smell nothing. What kind of chlorine are you using? And pros, please chime in. I'm so new to this it's silly!
    14k gallon oval agp, sand filter, 1hp pump, BBB method, K-2006 Test Kit
    Roanoke, VA

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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    personally i think your FC is off the charts, i keep mine anywhere between 1 to 2.5, if insects died on contact with my water i wouldnt be going anywhere near it
    30,000 gal concrete
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    That high a FC is probably why your suits have faded but there's no harm to your person. I would let the FC come back into the normal range and consider adding borates for the bugs. Several people have said it helps keep them away.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Bama Rambler, does that mean that her FC isn't really 7?
    14k gallon oval agp, sand filter, 1hp pump, BBB method, K-2006 Test Kit
    Roanoke, VA

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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    I think he means that keeping it at 11 was too much for swimsuits to handle.

    We do have borates in the pool. How much is too much? I thought 50 was the max we should go.
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
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    Pool rover jr. - our best friend!
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Yeah I meant keeping it at 11. If you have 50 ppm borates, then maybe keeping your FC at the top of the recommended range will help but not be too hard on the swimsuits.
    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

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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    My CYA is at 50. I dose my pool to 9, and regularly swim at 7. Never had an issue with suits bleaching.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Is it all of your suits or just the kids?
    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: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Everybody's suits are bleaching out. We rinse them after swimming too. My husband was complaining of smelling like chlorine and the itchy skin, but my cc has been 0 and I've been keeping a constant level of chlorine (I add about 4 cups of 12% chlorine after swimming). We keep the cover on all day.

    Our hair feels like hay too. I just can't seem to get the hay feeling rinsed out even with special shampoo. Maybe it's time to get a swg.
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
    Dynamo 1hp 2 speed pump, 199k Rheem milivolt heater
    Pool rover jr. - our best friend!
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Even with CC measuring 0, I would try leaving the cover off during the day and allowing the sun to get at and remove whatever CC is there and see if that helps.
    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: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    My FC runs 9 to 9.5 on any given day. CYA at 50. Borates at 50.
    We have no smell or bleaching of suits.
    My 9 year old merfish swims just about every day.
    I could drop the FC but that would mean running the SWCG less and I only run it 3 hours a day now.
    So I'm happy with it like it is.
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
    TFTestKit-100--The Pool Calculator--Pool School

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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by MNPoolDreamer
    We keep the cover on all day.
    I too thought this was suspicious. Try leaving it off for a week of swimming, etc. At least you can rule it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by MNPoolDreamer
    Maybe it's time to get a swg.
    You can always just add the salt. I salted my pool and would highly recommend it.

    Either way the chlorine in a salt water pool is the same thing. The difference in the "feel" of the water is the actual salt content.
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    My wife's suits only wear out (mostly elasticity gets shot and fabric gets thinner) after a winter season of use in an indoor commercial pool at 1-2 ppm FC with no CYA, but those are chlorine-resistant swimsuits. In our own pool with 3-6 ppm FC and 40 ppm CYA, the suits last for many years. Is it possible that your CYA level isn't as high as you think? Did you test the CYA with a Taylor K-2006 or TFTestkits TF-100 test kit? What kind of daily FC drop are you seeing in percentage terms? If it's high, your CYA may be lower than you think.

    On the other hand, according to the City of Minneapolis Water Quality Report, they use chlorine (not monochloramine) at 2.8 to 3.4 ppm FC and of course that has no CYA. That's pretty high. I would think that it is more likely to have problems from the tap water than from the swimming pool. Rinsing off the suits with the tap water probably isn't helping. Of course, that doesn't explain the other symptoms you have been having, assuming they are only occurring during/after swimming. Just for the heck of it, try testing your tap water to measure it's FC level (and CC too, though that should be near zero).

    By the way, when one adds bleach to a washing machine, it's almost 100 ppm FC with no CYA. The suits from swimming shouldn't have any noticeable fading after a single use. Something strange is going on.
    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
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffjr464
    personally i think your FC is off the charts, i keep mine anywhere between 1 to 2.5, if insects died on contact with my water i wouldnt be going anywhere near it
    No, this is incorrect information.
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by aasbury
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffjr464
    personally i think your FC is off the charts, i keep mine anywhere between 1 to 2.5, if insects died on contact with my water i wouldnt be going anywhere near it
    No, this is incorrect information.
    Good point aasbury.

    The chlorine/cya chart gives 5 ppm FC as a minimum and 7 ppm as the target. At 1-2.5, you would be susceptible to an algae outbreak.
    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: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Our tap water does have a fc level of 3-4 but the only place that water is used is outside on the lawn and filling the pool. Our house water goes through multiple filtration units and it's softened. The filters take out the chlorine and iron.

    So I'm confused. Why does everything I read say keep your fc between 1-3, but bbb keeps it higher depending on cya? I was looking at a swg manual and it says cya between 60-80 but fc 1-3.

    Yes my cya is 60. Tested multiple times, in the sun, in the house. Same result.

    We lose about 1-2 ppm fc each day (cover on, temp 96) if we don't use it. I haven't left the cover off during the day because of the dust and bugs. I'll try this weekend and see what I get.

    My water is clear and sparkly blue though. I just don't like th chlorine issue I'm having.
    24' Round Diamond Star, 54" wall height, 200sq ft sta-rite cartridge filter
    Dynamo 1hp 2 speed pump, 199k Rheem milivolt heater
    Pool rover jr. - our best friend!
    Tf-100 plus borate strips and Taylor k1000.

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Quote Originally Posted by MNPoolDreamer
    So I'm confused. Why does everything I read say keep your fc between 1-3, but bbb keeps it higher depending on cya? I was looking at a swg manual and it says cya between 60-80 but fc 1-3.
    Because the relationship between CYA and FC is not widely understood. If you overstabilize the chlorine (ie, high CYA and low FC), it can't do its job killing germs, algae, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by MNPoolDreamer
    We lose about 1-2 ppm fc each day (cover on, temp 96) if we don't use it.... I just don't like th chlorine issue I'm having.
    1-2ppm is well within the range of normal. Depending on the climate, some pool owners see daytime drops of as high as 3-4.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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  19. Back To Top    #19
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    Also, swgs can keep water algae free at a slightly lower FC level then a manually chlorinated pool, that is why we have different FC minimums listed for swgs in the poolcalculator and Chlorine/cya chart.
    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.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

    If you're only losing 1-2 ppm FC with your 60 ppm CYA, then you could start with 7 ppm FC and end up with 5 ppm FC and be in good shape keeping algae away and having a lower chlorine level than the 11 ppm FC you mentioned in your first post. Even so, something doesn't add up since even those getting into their pools at shock levels don't have swimsuits degrade as fast as you describe, though clearly the chlorine smells more at shock levels (which would be 24 ppm FC in your case).

    If you were to use 1 or 2 ppm FC with 80 ppm CYA with an SWG, you'd be much more likely to get algae in the pool and we get reports of that every season. Our recommendation of 3 ppm FC with 60 ppm CYA or 4 ppm FC with 80 ppm CYA isn't very high but is enough to prevent algae growth in an SWG pool.

    Are you measuring the FC using a 10 ml water sample and counting each FAS-DPD drop as 0.5 ppm so taking the total number of drops and dividing by 2 to get FC?

    If you want to use a lower FC level than recommended, it's your pool and you can certainly do that and you might get lucky if your pool is poor in algae nutrients. Or you could use an algaecide such as Polyquat 60 weekly and have a lower FC level (at the same CYA level), but that's extra cost of around $2-3 per week. Just keep in mind that if you go too low in FC and algae starts to grow, it may show up at first as a higher-than-normal chlorine demand while the water may still look mostly clear.
    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
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