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Thread: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

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    First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Hi guys,

    This is my first time owning a pool. I went to Leslies Pool Supplies and bought some "dichlor" Chlorine granules. It is stabilized chlorine. On the bucket itself, it tells me to maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3 ppm, by adding 3 ounces of the chlorine per 10,000 gallons every other day.

    However, this is stabilized chlorine, and my CYA level is 60. I went to poolcalculator.com and it recommends a free chlorine level of 5-9 ppm based on my CYA level. My question is why would the bucket of chlorine tell me to stay at 1-3 ppm if they made it and know it's stabilized chlorine and the CYA level will rise? Should I listen to the instructions on the bucket or the poolcalculator.com website?

    Thanks very much for your help
    4,500 Gallon above ground
    Cartridge Filter
    Vinyl

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Hi Penn,

    A lot of people even in the industry don't understand how CYA really works. The traditional method is just to keep your FC at 1-3 ppm and ignore the CYA. In my experience you will get much better results following the poolcalculator.

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    Hi Penn,

    A lot of people even in the industry don't understand how CYA really works. The traditional method is just to keep your FC at 1-3 ppm and ignore the CYA. In my experience you will get much better results following the poolcalculator.
    Thanks for the response Christian. I am just afraid of burning myself using so much chlorine and I don't want an unpleasant experience. My water has been crystal clear and doesn't smell like chlorine following the instructions on the bucket and maintaining 1-3 ppm, but this poolcalculator.com has got me thinking I should listen to it to prevent future problems. Like I said I just don't want to put too much chlorine in the pool
    4,500 Gallon above ground
    Cartridge Filter
    Vinyl

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    "Too much chlorine" would be something in the neighborhood of 20 ppm. Which might fade your swimsuit but probably wouldn't do much to you unless you have sensitive skin.

    What you don't want is too much CYA. And you will have that if you use that whole bucket of dichlor.

    I suggest you do a bit of reading in Pool School. Or peruse the threads here. You'll find a pretty good correlation between threads with "cloudy water" or "Won't clear" or "Green pool" and high CYA levels.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Yeah it may be clear now but it won't stay that way if your CYA gets out of control. And remember that the CYA buffers the chlorine from the water so what may seem like a high level is actually perfectly normal.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Welcome to tfp, pennjersey83

    Good news is your cya is not too high yet, though our recommended range is 30-50 ppm (assuming you do not have a saltwater chlorine generator (swg)), you can manage at 60 ppm. Definitely do not use anymore dichlor. Take a look at this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool

    How does your water look?
    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: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    First off stop using stabilised chlorine, you are already above recommended levels, keep it for use when your CYA levels needs topped up due to backwashing, and switch to either Sodium Hypo (bleach) or Calcium Hypo, depending on your needs, read about the pros and cons of both in pool school, generally though for residential pools it's Sodium you should plump for.

    Higher chlorine levels 3-20ppm are not any concern in residential pools.

    Regards
    Stuart
    Stuart Murray
    Scotland UK
    UK NPPOC

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    "Too much chlorine" would be something in the neighborhood of 20 ppm. Which might fade your swimsuit but probably wouldn't do much to you unless you have sensitive skin.

    What you don't want is too much CYA. And you will have that if you use that whole bucket of dichlor.

    I suggest you do a bit of reading in Pool School. Or peruse the threads here. You'll find a pretty good correlation between threads with "cloudy water" or "Won't clear" or "Green pool" and high CYA levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christian
    Yeah it may be clear now but it won't stay that way if your CYA gets out of control. And remember that the CYA buffers the chlorine from the water so what may seem like a high level is actually perfectly normal.
    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, pennjersey83

    Good news is your cya is not too high yet, though our recommended range is 30-50 ppm (assuming you do not have a saltwater chlorine generator (swg)), you can manage at 60 ppm. Definitely do not use anymore dichlor. Take a look at this pool school article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool

    How does your water look?
    Sounds good I'll read pool school and buy non-stabilized chlorine. My water looks great and I want to keep it that way. All my readings are good except the CYA at 60. Thanks guys I appreciate your help
    4,500 Gallon above ground
    Cartridge Filter
    Vinyl

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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Just finished reading pool school. Also loving the pool calculator! Man I wish I knew about this stuff weeks ago.
    4,500 Gallon above ground
    Cartridge Filter
    Vinyl

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: First Time Pool Owner Confused About Free Chlorine level

    Quote Originally Posted by pennjersey83
    Also loving the pool calculator!
    Make it your best friend

    Quote Originally Posted by pennjersey83
    All my readings are good except the CYA at 60.
    Even that is not bad, quite managable by just maintaining a slightly higher minimum FC, now if it was at 90 ppm, that would be another story.
    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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