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Thread: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

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    Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    1 have a 27,000 gal vinyl inground pool no heater. I opened my pool 2 weeks ago the water was not bad. I used clorox outdoor bleach to clean the top rim of the pool & 2 days later white foam appeared on the surface. I keep skimming it off the top but it keeps comming back. I've been to the pool store almost every day for the past 2 weeks & All my chems are perfect except the free chlorine, total is at a 5 & free chlorine is 0. the water is blue but very cloudy, they seem to believe the chl lock is from the clorox outdoor bleach, Does anyone know how to break the chl lock & get rid of the foam
    13.5k gal, AG vinyl, sand filter, est. 2012.

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    I had a SWCG that was out of repair, now fixed. once it was fixed and a few weeks later after
    adding a bottle of bleach daily until it finally balanced out. now FC of 8, TC is now .5.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Welcome to TFP.

    I don't mean to be harsh, but...
    First there's no such thing as chlorine lock.
    Telling us the chems are perfect diesn't really tell us anything. We need to see test result numbers, and I hate to say it, but we're not going to believe the pool store numbers. However since that's what you have, post them and we'll go from there.

    Some of the foaming may have been from the bleach, but it would be gone by now. Understand that we recommend using bleach to chlorinate the pool, but specialty bleaches like Outdoor bleach contains additives, so just use regular unscented bleach.

    How much Outdoor bleach got in the pool?
    What else have you used in the pool? (algaecide, etc.)
    How are you chlorinating your pool?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    The problem is the "outdoor bleach"

    There's been some posts about it. It contains soaps or detergents, hence the foaming and so on. I'm not sure if anyone has found a solution yet. It might be more plain, unscented bleach to oxidize it all, or you may need some enzymes. Read up on it here. And keep us informed. If you find something that works, I'm sure we'll be passing it along.
    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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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    1. Order a proper drop based test kit ASAP (models are discussed in pool school)
    2. Read, and re-read pool school (link upper right corner)
    3. Go to PoolCalculator.com to get your recommended levels
    4. Test your water and post the results here, then you'll get advice specifically suited to your needs

    Don't waste time, energy and money relying on the pool store. A bit of dedicated effort and you can manage your water all by yourself, just need to invest in pool school and by the end of 1 summer you'll be a pro, seriously!
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Leckybob, Welcome to TFP!!

    Chlorine lock is essentially a pool store term invented to describe a situation where you need assistance and the store wants to sell you as much product as possible.

    Really, it simply means your chemicals are off balance, and you don't have enough chlorine in the pool to kill the organics (algae). Usually there is too much Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer) in the water, preventing the chlorine from doing it's job, or the pH is off the mark.

    Please. Just read POOL SCHOOL; press the button at above right. There's a ton of information, and it will take a few readings to absorb it all.

    But for the moment, a quote from Pool School:
    Maintaining an appropriate Free Chlorine level is the most important part of keeping your water in balance. It is important that you do not allow FC to get too low, or you run the risk of getting algae. If FC gets down to zero, or you have algae, the pool is not safe to swim in.

    I believe outdoor bleach has foaming additives. As a rule, foam usually disappears when the chemicals are balanced, and the pool is safe.

    I hope someone on this forum who's had foam issues can address that issue directly.
    There are many here who can guide you through the entire process to make your pool safe and clear.

    You will need to have an excellent test-kit, as many pool stores are notorious for providing incorrect data, thereby convincing you to buy more products.

    Your pool may soon be perfect! Take heart and take charge.
    Alan
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Quote Originally Posted by alanpaul
    Chlorine lock is essentially a pool store term invented to describe a situation where you need assistance and the store wants to sell you as much product as possible.


    It actually does make sense to call an over stabilized pool "chlorine locked." But seeing as the "lock" is created by too much CYA, you must drain some water. Adding extra chlorine would be like going over (or around) the lock vs a partial drain which would remove the "lock."
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    hello all, i'm following up on my original post. I have a 27,000 gal inground w/ vinyl liner & no heater W/ a sand filter.I opened my pool 2 weeks ago & used clorox outdoor bleach to clean the coping & concrete around the pool & about a half gallon got into the pool & created a white foam on the water that took a week & a half to finally dissipate. won't make that mistake again but now I can't get the FCL & TCL to balance out, I have been shocking the heck out of the water every day or two for the last week & a half. yesterday I put 2 & a half gal. of liquid chl, 30 min later free chl was 7.0 but 2 hrs later it was 0 & total chl was 5.0 . I just tested the water & here are my numbers, any help greatly appreciated, also water is blue but cloudy

    free chl 0
    tot chl 1
    ph 7.2
    alk 80
    cya 40
    hardness 180

    yesterday I put 5 gal of liquid chl a little at a time each time bringing free chl above 10 & only stayed at that level an hour, woke this morning fcl 0
    on way to buy another 5 gal, anyone have any suggestions thanks
    13.5k gal, AG vinyl, sand filter, est. 2012.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Quote Originally Posted by leckybob
    hello all, i'm following up on my original post. I have a 27,000 gal inground w/ vinyl liner & no heater W/ a sand filter.I opened my pool 2 weeks ago & used clorox outdoor bleach to clean the coping & concrete around the pool & about a half gallon got into the pool & created a white foam on the water that took a week & a half to finally dissipate. won't make that mistake again but now I can't get the FCL & TCL to balance out, I have been shocking the heck out of the water every day or two for the last week & a half. yesterday I put 2 & a half gal. of liquid chl, 30 min later free chl was 7.0 but 2 hrs later it was 0 & total chl was 5.0 . I just tested the water & here are my numbers, any help greatly appreciated, also water is blue but cloudy

    free chl 0
    tot chl 1
    ph 7.2
    alk 80
    cya 40
    hardness 180
    You're letting the FC drop too low. Take it up to 16 FC, recheck it in a couple hours and take it back up to 16. Repeat it again and again and again. That is the shock process. Once or twice a day is not enough. Letting it run down to nothing just lets the algae recover between doses of bleach. Reread pool-school/shocking_your_pool

    [centerbv2b1pv][/centerbv2b1pv]
    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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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    You are tossing in chlorine but you are not shocking the pool. read "How to Shock Your Pool" up in Pool School and follow that article TO THE LETTER and your pool will clear.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    LeckyBob,
    No one here is kidding or jerking you around.

    Bottom line: If you choose not to follow the Pool School Shock Process directions, you will spend lots of money on lots of assorted chemicals and bleach, but you will not get a sparkling clean and safe pool anytime soon.

    If you do follow the directions, your pool will be safe, clean, sparkling, and easy and inexpensive to maintain.

    Really, there's nothing more to say to get you going in the right direction.

    We are here to support you in that goal. Hope to see you here soon!

    Alan, et al.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    adding more bleach
    13.5k gal, AG vinyl, sand filter, est. 2012.

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    it took about 96 gallons or pounds of it (shock) because the previous owner of my pool had used
    dichlor that had CYA up to 310 ppm.
    but once my salt water chlorinator was working it maintained a .5 ppm I kept adding bleach until I reached a
    level well over 10ppm FC and it held there. constantly brushing every other day until I got there. some
    days I was putting what I could buy.
    I am slowly in the process of lowering my CYA as it rains a lot here and dump overflow.
    eventually with a much lower CYA it will only take just about three or 4 gallons to shock my pool.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Quote Originally Posted by eaamon
    it took about 96 gallons or pounds of it (shock) because the previous owner of my pool had used
    dichlor that had CYA up to 310 ppm.
    but once my salt water chlorinator was working it maintained a .5 ppm I kept adding bleach until I reached a
    level well over 10ppm FC and it held there. constantly brushing every other day until I got there. some
    days I was putting what I could buy.
    I am slowly in the process of lowering my CYA as it rains a lot here and dump overflow.
    eventually with a much lower CYA it will only take just about three or 4 gallons to shock my pool.
    I would suggest you start your own thread. You have a pretty good story to tell, but your random posts in somebody else's thread do not make any contextual sense.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    don't need thread, just wanted to let someone else know he/she is not alone with their problem.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Question about the OP who was putting bleach in every day or two and not following the shock process as described. When the FC goes back to 0 is all of that bleach wasted and are you basically started from scratch again? or are you making progress and getting closer to shocking the pool?
    20,000 gal, In-Ground (built in 2007)
    Vinyl lining / 1HP Hayward SuperPump / Hayward Pro-Grid DE Filter / Hayward Gas Heater / Liquid Chlorine,Bleach (4 Gallon Liquidator)
    Dohney Discovery Robot
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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Quote Originally Posted by jgofnj
    Question about the OP who was putting bleach in every day or two and not following the shock process as described. When the FC goes back to 0 is all of that bleach wasted and are you basically started from scratch again? or are you making progress and getting closer to shocking the pool?

    I wouldn't say it's "wasted" nor are you starting from scratch. I think a good anology would be your taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back. The chlorine added, did do its job, untill it was gone(2 steps forward) When it's at zero or below the minimum, your letting your alge grow back (1 step back). In the end, it is causing you to use more bleach (your letting algage grow back while at zero) and its gonna take you longer to complete (longer till you get to use the pool. As long as the time at zero is not days you will be making progress, just slower and more bleach used in the end.
    12500 gallons, 24 foot round above ground
    Hayward Sand filter, Pentair OptiFlo 1HP 2-Speed pump

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    jgofnj,
    You're not starting over, but almost. You'd be making a little progress.

    You put in chlorine, it gets used up by killing as much algae as it can.
    You need to put in more.
    BUT, if you don't put it in soon enough, the remaining, surviving algae grows and spreads again.
    And you have to start over. Like scott.MI wrote, 2 steps forward, one step back.

    So, the task is to kill ALL the algae, and not let it grow back at all.
    This is accomplished by maintaining the Shock level of chlorine until the pool is clean, clear of contaminants, and all the chemicals balanced.

    Please read The Shock Process in Pool School (button at top right of each page) for all the details.
    Alan in Wellington, FL - near West Palm Beach
    15,200 gal IG, painted plaster, 1988; 200 SqFt cartridge filter, 2013; 1.5 HP 1-speed pump (uprated), 2005; heat pump, 2005;
    soon to repair (dead) SWG AquaRite T-15 cell, 2005, and replace (dead) suction-side cleaner, 2005.
    Almost everything died this winter 2012-'13, and I know we shouldn't complain... but, Arrgh!

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    Re: Does anyone know how to break the chl lock

    Quote Originally Posted by jgofnj
    Question about the OP who was putting bleach in every day or two and not following the shock process as described. When the FC goes back to 0 is all of that bleach wasted and are you basically started from scratch again? or are you making progress and getting closer to shocking the pool?
    I was doing that for a bit until I found enough bleach to give a large shock.
    fresh bleach in pool and brushing sides one day and bottom the next, third day vaccume.
    I had so much CYA (310) I believe much of it went into killing off algae and mixing with the CYA.
    but I had a SWG that was non-op, I repaired it and by the 4th week once SWG worked the bleach had a better
    and longer lasting effect.
    with a CYA level too high from tablet use, it is recommended to drain pool. I pay a sewer fee for just as much water
    is used. but being in a area that gets a lot of rain at times I just drain off over flow slowly and will do that.
    just North of me Nashville say they go 32" rain since 1st of year. I maybe got 10"...so I will vaccume and bypass
    my filter out to the street so to speak, maybe 1" every time I get enough rain.

    as for the 310 CYA number if you put that into the pool calculator it requires a enormous amount of shock/bleach.
    I choose to get there the gradual way.....I thought it too much for my liner to handle without discoloration.
    note: after adding about 30 pounds shock had almost a zero FC next day. 3 3"tablets were in my skimmer too.
    there was no green in pool, it was FC at or near zero every morning or less than 0.5. (dirty or dark cloudy at deep end)
    then afternoon when almost full sun added a 8.25% bottle bleach.
    at then end of the week I might put in 4 or 5 bottles at once, again follow by brushing full pool.
    I figured algae will never get a foot hold that way.

    one more thing three weeks later the pool never looked green at all, no FC measured above 1.0 except the day after
    the 5 bottles were put in...but short lived. I let the pool run 24/7 for a few days. backflushed a few times after
    vacumming bottom to waste. it took a bit like help from SWG to finally see my 8' bottom clearly.
    hope that helps. I did get my CYA down to about 140 now.
    just wait-in on more rain......patience.....

    FC10, CC 0.5, TA 120, PH 7.5, CYA 140 stable as a rock with my SWG running at 65%.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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