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Thread: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

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    "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Hey all,

    Went to the pool store today (don't worry, I just went for skimmer socks) and decided to ask the girl if they sold liquid chlorine in bulk. She, of course, told me that I shouldn't be putting liquid chlorine in my pool because "it is 90% sodium" and will raise the TDS, which will require me to drain my pool... therefore I should be using pucks.

    Don't worry, I know TDS is irrelevant and of no concern, and I'm not going to use pucks, but I like to argue so I started to tell her that I disagreed with her. I then realized that her "training" allowed her to spit out some technical terminology that made her sound credible (so people will buy their chemicals), so I just decided to pay for my skimmer socks and leave.

    However, now I'm curious on the true makeup of liquid chlorine. The stuff I buy is 10% Sodium Hypochlorite and 90% "Other Ingredients". I highly doubt the other ingredients are mainly made up of salt, but if so, what harm is that to the pool, over time? Basically, I want to tell the pool girl that liquid chlorine doesn't harm the pool and won't raise the "TDS" or salt level so high that I will be forced to drain every year. Anyone have the technical reasons why, other than "TDS is irrelevant..."?

    Thanks!
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    The other ingredients are mostly water, a fair bit of salt, and a tiny amount of lye.

    Trichlor tablets also add a fair amount of salt (once the chlorine gets used up). Bleach adds about twice as much salt as trichlor. The salt is harmless, generally topping out around 1000 ppm after a few years, a bit higher if you never winterize.
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    I normally don't winterize... But her argument that I would have to drain yearly is completely false, correct? So the way I look at it (using pucks), CYA would increase to super high levels well before the salt would become an issue? Also, she claimed CYA can go to 140 before the pool needs drained (ha!). I wasn't going to argue the amount of "pucks" needed to keep algae away with a 140 CYA. What I did find interesting (and possibly true) is that she claimed 4-7" of evaporation a week in Vegas during the summer. So, if true, CYA would likely lower with liquid chlorine, but also her claim of higher TDS would also lower with the constant addition of more water.

    Bottom-line: sounds like she defeated her own argument!
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by rmoors510 View Post
    Hey all,

    Went to the pool store today (don't worry, I just went for skimmer socks) and decided to ask the girl if they sold liquid chlorine in bulk. She, of course, told me that I shouldn't be putting liquid chlorine in my pool because "it is 90% sodium" and will raise the TDS, which will require me to drain my pool... therefore I should be using pucks.

    Don't worry, I know TDS is irrelevant and of no concern, and I'm not going to use pucks, but I like to argue so I started to tell her that I disagreed with her. I then realized that her "training" allowed her to spit out some technical terminology that made her sound credible (so people will buy their chemicals), so I just decided to pay for my skimmer socks and leave.

    However, now I'm curious on the true makeup of liquid chlorine. The stuff I buy is 10% Sodium Hypochlorite and 90% "Other Ingredients". I highly doubt the other ingredients are mainly made up of salt, but if so, what harm is that to the pool, over time? Basically, I want to tell the pool girl that liquid chlorine doesn't harm the pool and won't raise the "TDS" or salt level so high that I will be forced to drain every year. Anyone have the technical reasons why, other than "TDS is irrelevant..."?

    Thanks!
    She knows what she has been trained, and most don't want to investigate/learn more.

    Trying to educate her will be useless, she believes the professional chemical salesmen.

    Reminds me of an old quote from Robert Heinlein: Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

    Don't waste your time educating them. If they truly want to learn they will usually start with google and end up here.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Your TDS or CH or CYA will not go down due to evaporation. The CYA and CH and salt does not evaporate. As the water evaporated, the concentration goes up, when you add water the concentration goes back to where it started (for CYA at least). The fill water also adds more CH so the CH will continue to climb which will also raise the TDS.
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Unfortunately, generally speaking, the pool store people do not know the correct relationship between CYA and FC. So there is no way you will ever convince them. Officially, the pool Industry nor the government recognizes the correct FC-CYA.

    Its a political issue with a lot of chemical making companies hiring lobbyists that keep it from becoming "recgnized" by the official pool industry, even though the correct relationship has been known since the mid 70's. In the DEEP END forum, you will find several posts by Chem Geek about it. Happy Reading!

    Can you imagine the money lost by the pool chemical makers and pool stores on high dollar stuff if everyone who had a pool found out they can maintain their pool for 20 dollars instead of a hundred or more dollars a month?

    FWIW, at the bottom of the pool calculator, is a section called "The EFFECTS OF ADDING"... there are some drop down boxes and you can play around with it to see what adding different things to the water will do to it. Very handy tool.
    Divin Dave,
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Chances are that you will need to replace the water in your pool every year or two, but not because of salt. In that area of the country there tends to be fairly high CH levels in the fill water. Evaporation concentrates the calcium, and then topping off the pool makes the CH go up further. CH is invariably far more of an issue than salt, even when using bleach.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Yup, based on the rate I have been seeing the CH climb down here, I think I will need to replace the water every 2-3 years as the CH starts to climb. You are likely is the same situation.
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    For every 10 ppm FC added by chlorinating liquid or bleach it adds 17 ppm salt while for Trichlor it adds 8 ppm salt AND 6 ppm CYA. The thing is that you can get to 1000 ppm, 1500 ppm, or higher salt levels without a problem, but if you get to 100 ppm CYA or more especially if you don't proportionately raise the FC level then you run into trouble. So any way you cut it, the Trichlor is going to be worse due to the buildup of CYA that in proportion is much more of a problem. If you get a certain percentage dilution, your steady-state is much better without the Trichlor.

    For example, at 50% water dilution each year and 6 months with 2 ppm FC, you get a steady-state peak (after several years) of 1220 ppm salt and 430 ppm CYA. Obviously the higher CYA level is far worse than the salt level.
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Your TDS or CH or CYA will not go down due to evaporation. The CYA and CH and salt does not evaporate. As the water evaporated, the concentration goes up, when you add water the concentration goes back to where it started (for CYA at least). The fill water also adds more CH so the CH will continue to climb which will also raise the TDS.
    So how does draining 1/4 of your pool and refilling lower these numbers? Simply because draining actually removes the water and what's in it ,while evaporation just removes water while leaving the "gunk"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Yup, based on the rate I have been seeing the CH climb down here, I think I will need to replace the water every 2-3 years as the CH starts to climb. You are likely is the same situation.
    I'll take every two-three years over every year. As I said in one of my earlier posts, water is surprisingly cheap in Vegas. Maybe because Lake Mead is right here (although most of that water goes to Cali).
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by Divin Dave View Post
    Unfortunately, generally speaking, the pool store people do not know the correct relationship between CYA and FC. So there is no way you will ever convince them. Officially, the pool Industry nor the government recognizes the correct FC-CYA.
    That makes sense. When I brought up that CYA raises with Trichlor, she didn't seem to care (or know) about chlorine consumption at the high CYA level.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by rmoors510 View Post
    So how does draining 1/4 of your pool and refilling lower these numbers? Simply because draining actually removes the water and what's in it ,while evaporation just removes water while leaving the "gunk"?
    Correct.
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    Re: "Other Ingredients" in Liquid Chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by rmoors510 View Post
    So how does draining 1/4 of your pool and refilling lower these numbers? Simply because draining actually removes the water and what's in it ,while evaporation just removes water while leaving the "gunk"?

    - - - Updated - - -



    I'll take every two-three years over every year. As I said in one of my earlier posts, water is surprisingly cheap in Vegas. Maybe because Lake Mead is right here (although most of that water goes to Cali).
    Lake Mead is slowly dissapearing... google images of Lake Mead from the mid 90's til now and it's pretty crazy.
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