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Thread: Stabilizer in Clorox?

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    Stabilizer in Clorox?

    I know better than to talk to the pool store, but I love to see what they have to say about pool levels.

    I told them my CYA was at 80 and I was debating whether I should lower it before I close or wait til the spring since I will be lowering the water level anyway for the winter.

    I told them that I use bleach and not tablets because I don't want my levels to go any higher. Pool store says "Well you know, bleach has stabilizers that will cause your level to go up too." Really I say, hmm, I thought it wasn't stabilized? It certainly doesn't have CYA in it or does it?

    So they go on to tell me that 80 isn't that bad and having a TA of 100 is really too low.

    Does Clorox really have stabilizers in it? and if it does, do they affect the CYA level?

    I know my cya is high. I had some issues and couldn't get to the store. I had to use the tabs I had leftover from last year. YIKES it climbs quickly.
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    Re: Stabilizer in Clorox?

    Quote Originally Posted by MNPoolDreamer
    Does Clorox really have stabilizers in it? and if it does, do they affect the CYA level?
    They are completely wrong about this and are either intentionally deceiving (lying) or are woefully ignorant. Clorox has absolutely NO Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in it nor does it increase CYA at all when you use it. You should show them this link describing the contents of Clorox (concentrated) Regular Bleach. It's mostly water, then sodium hypochlorite (i.e. chlorine), and sodium chloride salt, and then a small amount of sodium hydroxide and a very small amount of sodium polyacrylate. They also list sodium carbonate and sodium chlorate (breakdown by-product as bleach degrades), but the amounts are very small.

    This post has links to other common household products that can be used instead of pool store products and show that the ingredients are what you want and aren't different or bad in any way.

    They think that a TA of 100 is really low because they normally sell Trichlor pucks/tabs and those are very acidic so one needs a higher TA, usually 120 if not more, to help prevent the pH from dropping too quickly. The use of bleach is closer to pH neutral so you want the TA lower to minimize the pH rise that comes from carbon dioxide outgassing which happens more at higher TA.

    As for CYA, it climbs fairly quickly because of the following facts about chlorine chemicals that are independent of concentration 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.

    So even with a 2 ppm FC per day chlorine usage, Trichlor would increase CYA by 36 ppm per month if there were no water dilution.
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    Re: Stabilizer in Clorox?

    Quote Originally Posted by :P "chem geek"
    Quote Originally Posted by MNPoolDreamer
    Does Clorox really have stabilizers in it? and if it does, do they affect the CYA level?
    They are completely wrong about this and are either intentionally deceiving (lying) or are woefully ignorant. Clorox has absolutely NO Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in it nor does it increase CYA at all when you use it. You should show them this link describing the contents of Clorox (concentrated) Regular Bleach. It's mostly water, then sodium hypochlorite (i.e. chlorine), and sodium chloride salt, and then a small amount of sodium hydroxide and a very small amount of sodium polyacrylate. They also list sodium carbonate and sodium chlorate (breakdown by-product as bleach degrades), but the amounts are very small.

    This post has links to other common household products that can be used instead of pool store products and show that the ingredients are what you want and aren't different or bad in any way.

    They think that a TA of 100 is really low because they normally sell Trichlor pucks/tabs and those are very acidic so one needs a higher TA, usually 120 if not more, to help prevent the pH from dropping too quickly. The use of bleach is closer to pH neutral so you want the TA lower to minimize the pH rise that comes from carbon dioxide outgassing which happens more at higher TA.

    As for CYA, it climbs fairly quickly because of the following facts about chlorine chemicals that are independent of concentration 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.

    So even with a 2 ppm FC per day chlorine usage, Trichlor would increase CYA by 36 ppm per month if there were no water dilution.


    That puts the CYA into perspective. My neighbor got a new pool, I am curious to see what happens next year when she dumps pounds of shock in it all summer. Not sure if she's the type to listen when I tell her about BBB.
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Stabilizer in Clorox?

    Is this CYA problem more of an issue now due to Cartridge Filters vs. the popularity of Sand in the past?

    I realize even sand has problems but many sand filter users are over backwashing (weekly) and this can help moderate the rise in CYA to a degree.
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    Christian's Avatar
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    Re: Stabilizer in Clorox?

    CYA is an issue regardless of your filter type though yes it will rise faster with a cartridge due to the lack of backwashing. A lot of people are just unaware of the effect CYA has on a pool which is why I think it's largely overlooked in pool stores and such.

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    Re: Stabilizer in Clorox?

    Quote Originally Posted by UnderWaterVanya
    I realize even sand has problems but many sand filter users are over backwashing (weekly) and this can help moderate the rise in CYA to a degree.
    I think this is exactly correct. When you maintain a clean pool properly, you don't have to backwash. I think I backwashed mine once a month at most this summer.

    In an improperly maintained pool you create the vicious cycle that helps mitigate the CYA rise :
    Dump in "shock" -> raise the cya -> render the chlorine ineffective-> algae grows -> dump in more "shock"...rinse and repeat. Some of the algae dies, which clogs the filter requiring the backwash. Really glad I'm not doing that anymore.

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