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Thread: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    Hey everyone,
    Happy Winter!! Freezing and yucky here, but it's warming up. Hitting the mid 50's as of late and the 4"+ thick ice shelf in my pool melted for the 1st time in over a month. YAAAYY!!
    Summer soon.

    In the meantime, I had a question for chemgeek or any of the other uber chemistry geeks that float in and out of here. In fact, it's really for everyone too, as there's plenty to chime in on here. Tub water volume, who's heard of this, done it maybe? Yadda yadda. So chime away happy pool campers.

    My Dr. wants me to take bleach baths 1x/mo.
    I thought, hey, that's cool! It has been established here that chlorine is quite good for eczema. So I'm game. I was already looking forward to spending more time in the pool come summer, just for this alone even. Kind of an excuse to get out in it and spend more money on it.
    But here's the rub, she wants me to use 1/2cup in my bathwater & soak for 15min, then rinse.
    Well, I don't have a big, fancy house, it's little, but it's mine.
    So no whirlpool tub or anything, plus, I'm assuming this formula is for the average tub size that has been around for ages. Which doesn't really hold all that much, near as I can tell from my research, and not actually metering a fill of my own tub, the standard everyday tub is about 45gal or so, from memory that is. I looked this up months ago for other reasons.

    Obviously most of us aren't even going to fill it half full when we soak, maybe about a 1/3 full. So that's 4oz of 6% bleach to 15 gal of tap water. Which already has "some" monochloramines in it.
    Poolcalc says that's 129ppm of CL. With no stabilizer... THAT'S A BOATLOAD OF CHLORINE!!!!

    Is that safe for 15min?
    I mean I know I'm not going to die, or melt my skin off, or probably have toxic after effects on my body, or get a headache, respiratory damage or pass out from vapor inhalation or anything like that.
    But, *Italian voice* That's-ada loooda bleach!!!!

    In case your wondering, I don't really mind saying as it's all in the name of science anyway.
    It's to kill what's apparently the Staphylococcus bacteria on my skin, causing problems with my sub-dermal acne. GRR
    From what I have read, it has to be pretty darn strong in order for it to kill it off.
    Thoughts on this? Anyone done this?
    It's not so much that I'm NOT going to do it, Dr's orders ya know. But it still freaks me out a bit, throws up some red flags if ya know what I mean.

    One website claims that's less chlorine than you'd come in contact with in a swimming pool. Apparently they can't do math. LOL
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    10 ppm (and higher) will damage hair fairly quickly. Other than that, you can go up fairly high without any immediate problems. The next largest issue is chlorine byproducts, produced when chlorine reacts with organic debris on your skin, that outgas and can cause respiratory irritation. I kind of suspect that their levels will be very low when FC is that high, but I don't really know.

    There is more *total* chlorine in the pool even if the ppm is lower.
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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    What does it do to hair Jason?
    I ask cause I get this junk on my scalp too, so I was planning on closing my eyes and DUNKIN' in.

    Yeah, you're telling me. WOW! Holly cow-a-saurus Batman!! The amount of invisible visible dirt that your skin collects is PHENOMENAL!!
    You think you're skin looks clean, feels clean, but wipe your face down with an even barely mild exfoliating salicylic acne pad. WOW! It's not black, but DUUUDE! It's quite dirty. Even just a few hours after a freshly washed and cleaned face. You can't even see it on your skin, well, with your eyes of course.

    And to think, as kids we didn't want to take baths. Silly us! LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    There is more *total* chlorine in the pool even if the ppm is lower.
    Sorry, I'm dense!!
    I don't get it. Please do explain.

    I know you're joking, just not sure which way. I think you mean by the sheer number in bottles of bleach or amount of powder dissolved in total overall volume of the product to achieve said PPM level. Is that correct?

    If so, HAHA!! Cute!!
    Sneaky sneaky!
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    Quote Originally Posted by y_not

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    JasonLion wrote:
    There is more *total* chlorine in the pool even if the ppm is lower.
    Sorry, I'm dense!!
    I don't get it. Please do explain.

    I know you're joking, just not sure which way. I think you mean by the sheer number in bottles of bleach or amount of powder dissolved in total overall volume of the product to achieve said PPM level. Is that correct?
    I think he means something like this...1/2 cup of bleach would only raise you pool FC to ~0.6 ppm.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    Yes, linen has it. Your pool has at least a half gallon of bleach in it, way more than the 1/2 cup in your tub. That doesn't mean anything interesting though, just funny.

    Depending on the total chlorine exposure, hair first gets brittle and easily tangled then it breaks off. The majority of reports are from people on swim teams that swim an hour a day or more. When FC is up around 10 ppm (bad pool maintenance) they start losing hair. It does grow back, it just keeps breaking off as long as the chlorine exposure continues. I don't know exactly how that will scale with higher levels for much shorter periods of time, but I'd be cautious about dunking your head.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    OK, that's what I figured you meant Jason.
    Yeah, too funny. LOL
    Twisting words can be fun.

    I found the actual pediatric medical journal publication from the study done on this.
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/c ... /e808.long
    I was basically right, in regards to the avg. bathtub's volume. However, I see in the study that they used a 1/2 cup of 6% bleach in a FULL 40 gal of water. Kind of impractical, unless you have a spillway drain under it.
    This totaled to a concentration of .0005% they note.

    Pool calc says that's 48ppm and if using 8.25% bleach, which I am. It'd require 2.9oz/85ml.
    That's a lot less insane to me, still high, but not as NUCLEAR. HAHA

    It was also noted that patient's parents adjusted according to how full they filled the tub.

    Which brings me to this, which I have been wondering for a while.
    How accurate, volumetrically that is, is an empty 1gal plastic poly jug of milk for measuring a gallon?
    Or are they not too accurate?
    I know that blow out preventer disc, or whatever they call it, that's on the side, needs to be indented, lest the volume be off.
    Do you fill it to the ring that's molded into the plastic, just short of the cap? IE. is that the fill line?

    I honestly have no idea what my tub holds, the sticker is long gone. Nor do I fill it barely half. Guess I could "assume", but I hate doing that. This is a small volume of water /w a pretty elevated HoCL concentration, so I kinda want to get it at least as close as I can with what tools I have at my disposal. Sorry, no beakers.

    I value my hair, but I also really, really want to at least make a dent in this beyond what I have. So I think I'll dunk my head in. I'm sure I'll notice soon enough if my hair starts getting brittle. IE. before it starts all falling out. Then I'll stop.
    Might just dunk my face in it, minus my whole head including hair.

    Oh yeah, those badly managed pools. *SHUDDERS*
    Don't get me started.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    y_not's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    Well, I finally got around to doing it. Cleaned the tub super good 1st, that's why I got delayed on getting around to it.
    I did the math 53ml to an aprox. 1/2 full bath tub at 25gal = 48ppm.

    I could hardly tell there was bleach in it.
    But boy oh boy, once I got in, smelled like a public pool. WHEEEWWIIIIEEEEEEE!!!!

    Kind of a nice smell in a way, not quite as much of a chloramine smell, more like a mild chloramine smell plus a very STRONG bleach smell. Like sniffing the bottle after just opening it, having had it in the hot car in the sun kind of smell. That is until the gas hits your eyes. YIKES!!
    It's not painful, just obnoxious to say the least. It went away, came back a few times for like 5 seconds or so and then it was gone. Overall, not too bad and my skin didn't itch, break out in a rash, or anything otherwise awful or annoying. I was quite surprised, I expected it to be irritating, quite the opposite really.

    Hands got quite dried out, not too much worse than a soak in just plain tap water for 15min though. Had to use some lotion on them, but it was nothing serious or alarming in any way, just dry, annoying skin on my hands. The palms more than anything, how funny, because the top of the hands are where the eczema is. HAHA

    Oh, and my bathroom continued to smell funky by morning, having sat overnight with the door open. The smell went away entirely within about 12 hrs.

    Overall I'd say it was a success on the above notes. See what the doc has to say.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach in your bathwater, a PPM safety question.

    I've been in stronger solutions than that in the past. I knew I'd been in contact with poison oak, so I made a bleach bath without measuring the bleach, just dumped in a bunch. Scrub myself thoroughly, then stand up and turn on the shower and wash normally. My skin felt a little strange when I dried off, probably from the alkalinity, but it didn't do any permanent damage and the dry skin feeling only lasted for a few minutes.
    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.
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