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Thread: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

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    Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    We finished shocking our pool. It looks like the mustard algae is dead. We have a lot of white at the bottom of the pool. We left all of our pool toys/equipment even bathing suits in the water. We wondered if some algae can still be in the filter. We did back wash the filter, but now want to know if we can pour bleach directly into the skimmer to kill anything that might be hanging on?

    We have 17,000 galloon AG pool with a sand filter.

    Do I need to brush the pool again, even though we can see that the algae turned white? Do I need to vacuum this to waste?

    Thanks, appreciate the help!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    The filter is sanitized by the pool water and since there is no sunlight inside, there is no need to worry about algae inside it. If you have killed the algae in the pool, you took care of the filter.

    I add liquid chlorine to my skimmer if I need to, but I add it in a stream about the size of a pencil to keep from putting much low pH solution through my equipment.
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    First forgive me if I am misreading your question/answers and making bad assumptions.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2clowns
    We finished shocking our pool. It looks like the mustard algae is dead. We have a lot of white at the bottom of the pool.
    Did you follow these processes? Shock Process; Mustard Algae Process?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2clowns
    We left all of our pool toys/equipment even bathing suits in the water. We wondered if some algae can still be in the filter. We did back wash the filter, but now want to know if we can pour bleach directly into the skimmer to kill anything that might be hanging on?
    If you followed the shock process - you would run the pump 24x7 and the higly chlorinated water would flow through the filter and all other plumbing cleaning them as well as the pool. There is typically no reason to spot treat the filter. Looking at what you wrote it doesn't sound like you have actually finished shocking. While your OCLT, and CC's might be in line (hard to tell without test results), the last criteria, "and your water is clear" means no signs of visible algae including any dead alage's white residue. So by this measurement you should be resuming shocking at normal shock levels. Then after passing all three criteria you would move on to the MA treatment phase where you raised shock to the value indicated for 24 hours - all all toys, bathing suits, etc would spend at least one hour in the water at these levels.

    Brush every day until the white is gone - then weekly.
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Thank you! I went back and brushed the bottom and sides again. All I saw was dead algae. Glad to hear we don't have to be concerned about any algae hiding out in the filter. We don't want to go through this again! The water doesn't look too bad, but it could be a little clearer. We ordered a Taylor K-2006 test kit but it hasn't arrived yet.
    Thanks again.

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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2clowns
    Thank you! I went back and brushed the bottom and sides again. All I saw was dead algae. Glad to hear we don't have to be concerned about any algae hiding out in the filter. We don't want to go through this again! The water doesn't look too bad, but it could be a little clearer. We ordered a Taylor K-2006 test kit but it hasn't arrived yet.
    Thanks again.
    Keep the filter on 24x7 until the cloudy goes away. You can vac to waste (slowly) anything that settles out but otherwise keep brushing and filtering.
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    yes
    24,000 gallon ig fiberglass pool
    1 hp hayward pump
    hayward sand filter (250 lb)
    madisonville, ky

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by diverman57
    yes
    If that's an answer to the topic of the thread then please explain it. Common wisdom around here is that this is a way to cause damage (over time) to the equipment due to the high concentration vs. pouring in front of a return and dilluting it before it recirculates into the equipment.

    So technically - you can... but you probably shouldn't.
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Acid in the skimmer is an absolute no-no. Bleach isn't so clear since the pH is high and the active chlorine level isn't as high as a result, though it is a lot higher than normal. The peak active chlorine level is when diluting the 6% bleach at around a ratio of 1:30 which gives an equivalent FC of around 18 if the pool pH were normal, but the pH is actually around 9.8 at that ratio (assuming a starting TA of 80 ppm and CYA of 30 ppm) [EDIT] which is why the active chlorine level is so much lower than the actual FC that is over 2000 ppm. [END-EDIT]
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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Acid in the skimmer is an absolute no-no. Bleach isn't so clear since the pH is high and the active chlorine level isn't as high as a result, though it is a lot higher than normal. The peak active chlorine level is when diluting the bleach at around a ratio of 1:30 which gives an equivalent FC of around 18 if the pool pH were normal, but the pH is actually around 9.8 at that ratio (assuming a starting TA of 80 ppm and CYA of 30 ppm).
    As always thanks for the education.

    -sent with Tapatalk 2
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    We've been checking the pool ever since we started battling mustard algae. We killed a lot of it. The water is very clear. However, there are still a few spots of mustard algae that we found today. Not a lot, but about maybe 10% of what we originally had. I brushed it, and we are going to begin shocking.
    Question - Can't I just vaccum to waste the spots of mustard algae that we can see? I already brushed it, but if it settles again, can't we just waste it? We will also shock.
    Since we are starting to get into the colder weather, should we be that concerned about it? We are still in the 80's right now, but at night it dips down into the 60's, and eventually it will get down into the 30's and 40's at night.

    FC 8.2
    TC 8.2
    Combined Chlorine 0.0
    pH 7.6
    Hardness 270
    Alkalinity 104
    CYA 20

    As always thank you!

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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    The cold weather will make the shock process easier!

    Are you following the sock process, or just adding a product that says Shock on it?
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    We use Refresh Dry Chlorinating Granular. We're putting in two pounds a night, for three days in a row for a 17,000 gal pool. I'm beginning to doubt our CYA level. We just got our Taylor 2006 Test Kit. The only thing I know how to test is the CYA. When I did it, it was about 80. Which is more in line with what the pool store told us about a week ago. The figures I have above are from the pool store today. I haven't figured out how to test for the rest of the chemicals yet. It looks complicated.
    But, if we see any more algae on the bottom of the pool, I know we need to shock, but can I vaccum it to waste to get it out of the pool?

    Thanks again!

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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    I am more worried right now about your chemistry. With a CYA of 80, you have got to stop using dry chlorinating powder right now. And, I am concerned that you are not bringing up your FC high enough to truly get rid of the algae. Shocking is a process. Please read Pool School and learn what it takes to rid your pool of algae, and specifically mustard algae.

    With CYA that high, you NEED to vacuum to waste. Partial drains by vac to waste will help get that CYA down; but you have a long way to go.
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    We did get rid of about 90% of the mustard algae. There's just a small amount left. We are very new at this. It's our first summer with our pool. I've read the pool school. I know I have to get the FC up to a certain level. So if I don't use the chlorinating powder, what do I use? How did the CYA get so high?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    The Refresh is cal-hypo, so that is adding calcium. Have you ever used tablets or other chlorine powder that was dichlor? That could be your source of CYA.

    You have to switch to liquid chlorine (bleach) which does not add the things you do not want in the pool ... that is explained in the "How to chlorinate your pool" article in Pool School.
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Really? So the Refresh is raising our CYA? We do use tablets, but to shock we use the Refresh. We read about the bleach, but have so much Refresh we wanted to use that up. I'll have to go back and read it to see how much bleach we need to shock a 17,000 gal pool. Thanks for your help.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    No. The Refresh is adding calcium (CH). The tablets are your source of CYA.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Using the pool calculator, I need 14 96oz bottles of bleach to bring the pool up to mustard algae shock level. We just put in two lbs of the chlorinating powder earlier this evening. Do I need to wait, or can I add the bleach tomorrow? The mustard algae is mild.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    Review the mustard algae article in Pool School. You need to pass the normal shock process before raising to the higher FC level.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
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    Re: Can I pour bleach directly into the skimmer?

    If you do not completely get rid of the yellow/mustard algae, including getting behind light niches, under removable ladders, then it will come back (unless you maintain an FC that is at least 15% of the CYA level, but that can become impractical). However, killing off yellow/mustard algae with a high CYA level is very hard to do since the shock level for yellow/mustard algae is an FC that is 60% of the CYA level and that's a lot of chlorine. You should probably be diluting your water to lower the CYA level since you need to do that anyway and then you can shock with lower FC so use less chlorine in getting rid of the algae. Otherwise, if you insist on the higher CYA level, then you may be better off using a product that works around the high CYA such as sodium bromide, but that's not the normally recommended approach because at the end of the day your high CYA level make your pool harder to recover from problems (i.e. you need to be particularly diligent maintaining the appropriate FC for that CYA level).
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