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Thread: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

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    Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    I've been using a combination of the 1 lb powdered shock bags, and 3" tabs in the skimmer so far this year in our above ground pool. No problems so far. We had been using the Clear Value bleach from Walmart last year....that also worked well.

    Now that we're out of the CV bleach, and nearly out of tabs, I was just wondering what the general consensus of you pool experts was. I can get a 50lb bucket of Nava brand 3" tabs from Amazon for $110 shipped, or I can get some generic bleach from Wally World or wherever, for whatever the going rate is. The 3" tabs are certainly more convenient for me, as 50 lbs of 3" tabs will last me a long time, and it saves me the trouble of slogging up to W mart for bleach. However if liquid bleach is that much better, or ends up being that much cheaper I'd go that route.

    thanks for any input!

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    Most likely your cya levels are already high due to the use of tabs and the powdered shock (what was it?), so bleach/liquid chlorine would be best. See:http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    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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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    Those tabs won't be that convenient when something goes wrong. Like an algae outbreak.

    Stick with the bleach. It's the cheaper way to go also.


    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    I've been using HTH trichlor tabs, and Clear View calcium hypo shock. I did check out that link (thanks), and it sure does look like liquid bleach is the way to go. Too bad it's so much more of a PITA (to buy, not to use...it's not cheap on Amazon) than the powdered stuff. I guess I'll have the wife stop at WM and pick up some generic extra strength liquid bleach. Thanks for the replies.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    Most the time once you figure in all of the costs of trichlor, bleach/liquid chlorine comes out cheaper. See:http://www.troublefreepool.com/cost-...ces-t1859.html:
    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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    reindeerboy's Avatar
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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    I use both. If you understand how each works, then you can balance out your PH/TA/CYA properly each spring/summer. I use Trichlor with some bleach until the CYA is at my desired level. Then I switch completely to bleach. I just bought 4 gallons or a case of 12.75% strength at fleet farm for $9.95. Really cheap so I picked up 8 cases. Keep reading on this site and you too will understand how the chem's work with the different kinds of chlorine. I sometimes use Dichlor too. I have a vinyl pool so I really don't care about the calcium as I am always low.

    Just remember to use your test kit and having the knowledge is the key to understanding your pool. You don't have to be a chemist, but just a general understanding goes a long way.

    Happy Swims
    Chad R.

    POOL SIZE: 16 x 32' Vinyl lined pool. 22,000 gallons. 8' deep. 2009 Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump. Hayward S310S 30" 500 lb Sand filter. 1 skimmer and 2 returns. Solar Blanket.

    Pics of my pool: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn312/reindeerboy/

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    Whether or not tablets are a good idea in your pool depends entirely on your test results. If CYA has built up to scary levels, tabs are not a good idea. Likewise if pH is low and TA is low, tablets will just make that worse, too.

    How big a pool are we talking about? It's not that big a deal to step out back and slop a quart of bleach in once a day.
    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: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    It's an 18' round, so around 7500 gallons or so IIRC. No, adding the bleach isn't a big deal, it's the trip to walmart and buying it a few times per summer that's the PITA part, at least relative to simply ordering a 2 -3 year supply of tabs from Amazon for $110. I'm in upstate NY, so our swim season is pretty short, maybe early June - late August if we're lucky. I've never checked my CYA level, but so far I've had great luck with just keeping the Cl level up, and running the filter 6 hours/day. This is our 2nd season with this pool.

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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    If you are dumping your water every winter after a short season, you can pretty much do what you want and not get algae if you just maintain Cl. I only switched to BBB after I got a new pool that (IG plaster) that stayed full over the winter. My problems started towards the end of the second season. (My old pool wintered empty and we started fresh every spring. We did cal-hypo for 25 years, then switched to tabs only for the next 30. For most of that time, we didn't even have a test kit.)

    I would still recommend keeping a close eye on your total water chemistry and learning what water balance is all about. Just because it "works" with tabs for one season, is no good reason to have excessive free chlorine levels at the start or end up with your pH way too low at the end. Resources are easily available now that we didn't have back in the swimming pool stone age, like reasonably priced test kits and friendly knowledgeable people on the net to help out.

    On the other hand, if you keep water in your pool over the winter, you NEED to do those things, or trouble will eventually find you.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    but so far I've had great luck with just keeping the Cl level up, and running the filter 6 hours/day.
    If you have been satisfied with you current method of pool care, I don't see any reason to change it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Time to buy Cl - tabs or bleach?

    It really depends how much water you drain every season and how many times you use their shock products... that will determine how much cya you have in your pool at the start of each season. Cya doesn't get used up over the winter like chlorine will. The only way it gets removed is to remove the water.

    It would be a great idea to get yourself a good test kit... Everyone here loves the TF100, you can find info on where to get it in Pool School. If you know where you start with your cya in the spring, you know how long you can maintain a clear pool using pucks. If your cya gets too high, the level of chlorine you add with pucks or shock won't do anything to sanitize your pool.. then you get algae.

    Most here use mostly plain bleach because you know exactly what you are adding to your pool, and helps you avoid the problems of cya that is too high. If you are nervous about using "bleach", you can use liquid chlorine from the pool store.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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