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Thread: Confused: better to use liquid chlorine or chlorine tabs

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    Confused: better to use liquid chlorine or chlorine tabs

    Don't have test kit yet. Chlorine was normal and ph was normal, but I used up chlorine and need to get more.

    tabs seem less messy, but not sure which is better to use, thinking liquid but wife thinks tabs are better and I don't have a good response as to why liquid is better
    36K gal, gunite w/ plaster,[18W x 38L x 8 deep end] 300SF cartridge, 80-100 GPM filter, Sta-rite S7M120 and Polaris 9300 electric robot. Rooftop 6 panel Solar heater, Sacramento Valley, Climate Zone 8

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Confused: better to use liquid chlorine or chlorine tabs

    Hit the button at the upper right of the page for Pool School. That will teach you the difference.

    Basically liquid chlorine only adds FC and a little salt. All solid forms of chlorine add either CYA or CH with the FC. The FC is consumed and the CYA or CH builds up both of which are bad if they get too high.

    The tablets are usually trichlor which add the CYA (stabilizer). The build up can be managed if you have a short season and drain a lot of water each year. But, liquid is easier as you do but have to worry about the side effects.

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    Re: Confused: better to use liquid chlorine or chlorine tabs

    They both have their place, but the answer is usually liquid. Tabs, pucks, and granules all contain stabilizer. While you do need some stabilizer in the water, too much is a bad thing. Using "dry" forms of chlorine always adds stabilizer to your water. IIRC it's .9 parts stabilizer for every 1 part chlorine. The chlorine is consumed/used and the level drops, but the stabilizer level does not. As more pucks/tabs/bags are used, more stabilizer is added. The higher the level of stabilizer, the more chlorine your water needs to stay clean. Eventually the stabilizer level gets so high that it's impractical/impossible to maintain, and you will then end up with an algae bloom, even though you have a high chlorine reading. THIS is what I didn't know, and the pool store wouldn't or couldn't tell me. Once I found this site, it started to make sense. Once I started practicing what I read, it all fell into place.

    I'm sure you've read this before, but read pool school, get a GOOD test kit, and you'll be on your way. If Mrs. Swim still needs to be convinced, show her my "swamp to sparkle" thread. It turned green because I wasn't able to keep up with it at the end of last year, I didn't close properly or cover the pool. Even with all that, I was able to turn the pool around fairly quickly a few weeks ago using mostly liquid bleach with just a little stabilizer toward the end.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide on!

    Edit: Think of it this way- the free chlorine is what's available in the water to fight the nasty stuff. This level has to be higher than the stabilizer level. If it isn't, you'll still show chlorine on a test, but it won't be able to do it's job. THIS is why it's important to know what your CYA level is. (CYA=cyanuric acid= stabilizer)
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    Re: Confused: better to use liquid chlorine or chlorine tabs

    thanks, that's what I thought.

    I have the 2006c kit on the way, it should be here this week, and then I'll have real numbers
    36K gal, gunite w/ plaster,[18W x 38L x 8 deep end] 300SF cartridge, 80-100 GPM filter, Sta-rite S7M120 and Polaris 9300 electric robot. Rooftop 6 panel Solar heater, Sacramento Valley, Climate Zone 8

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    Re: Confused: better to use liquid chlorine or chlorine tabs

    As a rule of thumb Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorite) is best for domestic use as it is cheap, effective, has less handling issues than many other forms and readily available from a variety of suppliers including your local supermarket. It increases FC and salt only with (dependant on quality) a slight increase in pH.
    Tablets (Trichloroisocyanuric acid) are only of use for slow chlorine release but increase CYA level - which is good if you need to top up your cya level slowly
    Di-chlor granules (Dichloroisocyanuric acid) contain CYA are rapid dissolve and increase FC and CYA a lot, again useful if you need these.
    Unstabilised granules (Calcium Hypochlorite) is useful in soft water areas where the Calcium Hardness (CH) levels are low, therefore maintaining CH and FC and does not contain Cyanuric Acid
    Stuart Murray
    Scotland UK
    UK NPPOC

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