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Thread: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

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    Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Hi! I am brand new to this forum and to pool ownership. Bought a house 3 months ago that has a 32,000 gallon in ground plaster pool.

    I started the opening up process almost two weeks ago. I took a test sample to my pool store 3 days ago and these were the results ...

    FC 0.4
    TC 4.9
    CC 4.6
    Ph 8.2
    Hardness 209
    Alkalinity 57
    CYA 32

    I already knew the ph and alkalinity needed to be adjusted based on my test strips. I've since tested the alkalinity to be 120 (after adding about 15 lbs if A+... The pool store recommended I added 40!) and the ph is still a little high at 7.8.

    I was curious why I wasn't getting a chlorine reading after the initial pool opening shock and they said I had a chlorine lock! So they recommended a non chlorinated shock treatment. I dumped 7lbs of the non chlorinated shock in last night (about 14 hours ago) and the fikter has been running 24 hrs for 3 days. They said to retest in 3 days. And follow up with a regular shock treatment.

    I was just wondering if I should be seeing the TC reading drop on my test strips? I tested today and its still the same. What should I be looking for in my readings to make sure the lock treatment is working? How long should it take to break? Will it only break once I follow up with the regular shock?

    We're having people over in 6 days and hoping to have the pool swimmable

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    There is no such thing as "chlorine lock", and no reason to spend extra money on non-chlorine shock, which won't do anything that less expensive regular chlorine can't do.

    It sounds like you probably have ammonia in the water, probably from the CYA level going down over the winter. CYA sometimes breaks down into ammonia over the winter.

    In any case, your need to SLAM the pool. There are instructions in the How To section of Pool School. See the link in my signature or near the top right of every page at this site.

    By the by, you will make better progress if you have your own top quality test kit. Pool store testing is notoriously unreliable and having your own consistent and reliable results makes all the difference in getting problems cleared up and avoiding problems in the first place.
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Welcome to TFP!
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    As Jason said, you need to invest in one of the Recommended Test Kits and then follow the SLAM Process.

    Don't listen to the non-sense that the pool store is telling you. You can learn all you need to know by reading Pool School and asking questions ... and in the process save yourself a lot of time, money and hassle.

    With ammonia, the FC will be consumed in a matter of minutes. Thus you should be testing every 30 minutes or so when you start to SLAM. Search the forum and you will find a LOT of recent threads with people dealing with ammonia in their pools.
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    You can get an ammonia test kit at a pool store or on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/API-LR8600-Amm...monia+test+kit
    Not very expensive and will tell you for sure if you have ammonia.
    Last edited by jmbradwell; 05-20-2014 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Added correct link.
    12000 Gallon IG Plaster built 2/15/2014. Jandy 340 sg ft 127 gpm filter, Jandy 1 HP stealth pump. Circupool RJ-45 SWG (overkill). TF-100 with Speed Stir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Your link is not to an ammonia test kit.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    The link works for me, leads to an Ammonia test kit at Amazon.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    I was afraid you'd say it wouldn't help. They actually gave me two options. 1 was using 31lbs of granular chlorine to super chlorinate it. Then it was this non chlorinated shock which they said would be cheaper. Isn't the SLAM method basically super chlorinating it? They said the NC shock treatment would burn up the used chlorine that's preventing me from getting any FC. I'm still learning what everything means and does so its all very confusing to me!!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    NO. The SLAM is a process designed to not damage anything. The pool stores like to drop nuke-level amounts of chlorine ... it might work, it also might cause damage, but what do they care?

    Keep reading and get a test kit ordered
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    No matter what the product is (calhypo or dichlor), 31 lbs at once is way, way too much.

    Yes, the SLAM process is basically a superchlorination. The difference is that the SLAM is a longer process, but it's a much more precise, controlled process, and when the SLAM is complete, you know that there is nothing living in your pool.
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    You should just forget everything they told you. Nothing you have quoted them as saying so far has anything to do with reality.

    Non-chlorine shock will not do anything to chlorine. Fortunately, nothing needs to be done to the chlorine. Non-chlorine shock also costs more than chlorine for the same effect. Both chlorine and non-chlorine shock will fight ammonia, which is what your issue is. You can even use them at the same time, so no damage done (other than to your wallet).

    Granular chlorine is the worst possible thing to use. Granular chlorine is almost always dichlor, which contains large amounts of CYA, and will rapidly drive your CYA level up way too high.
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Also I might try to run out and get an ammonia test (at the pet store?) what would be a good/bad reading for that? Ammonia in the pool and "chlorine lock" aren't the sane thing right? If there is ammonia the SLAM method should take care of it?

    - - - Updated - - -

    So I should get liquid chlorine for the SLAM?

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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleigh87 View Post
    If there is ammonia the SLAM method should take care of it?
    Yes.

    Unless you want to confirm it's ammonia, there's no need to test for it. The SLAM is the prescription for those symptoms, no matter what ills the pool.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    And why would you use liquid chlorine vs granular shock for SLAMing. Sorry for all the questions!

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleigh87 View Post
    And why would you use liquid chlorine vs granular shock for SLAMing. Sorry for all the questions!
    Granular shock contains either CYA or calcium. If you need those and have the time to safely add that much dry chlorine, they will work. Thing is, most people don't need to add CYA or calcium. They just need chlorine.
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Because it has no side effects like the CYA Jason mentioned.

    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these (specifically the last one):
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    There is never any reason to use granular chlorine, it will invariably drive the CYA level up way too high. Cal-hypo, which is almost always powdered, not granular, is occasionally useful, but it drives up CH levels, so we don't normally recommend it.
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    Ok so basically In large amounts the liquid chlorine will "burn" off the ammonia. I just need it dumbed down. What should I do after that to get the FC to a right number?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Does it makes a difference, the pool water is very clear...

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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    #1 Get a recommended test kit ordered. The TF-100 in my signature is what I use and alot of folks here will recommend. If you want to take control of your pool and stop listening to pool store nonsense and giving them your money that's the first step.

    When you're waiting for it to arrive, you can likely safely add 1 gallon of liquid bleach each day. Just make sure your pump is running when you add and add it so the bleach goes in front of a return jet where water goes into the pool.

    Read tons of PoolSchool. If you want to take control of your own pool, you need the knowledge to do it. It's alot at first, but just read a little (or a lot) each day and it will start to sink in.

    Keep asking questions, everyone is here to help if you want to run your own pool with confidence and for alot less $$$.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
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    Re: Chlorine Lock - Method/How long?

    How many days should the SLAMing process take? I'm basically adding chlorine as frequently as possible until CC is 0.5 or lower and it passes the FC loss test. How fast do these numbers drop? Someone mentioned testing every 30 minutes?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And can you find these recommended tests in store? I don't want to wait!

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