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Thread: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

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    Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    I was visiting Patio Pools and Spas in Tucson, AZ because we are considering remodeling and were looking at their Pebbletec pool. While I was there I checked out the muriatic acid and saw they had the 31% stuff for $9.99 for 2 gallons so I grabbed a couple boxes. Then when an employee came over he asked if I needed any help and so I asked if they sold any liquid chlorine and what was the price and percentage. It was 10% and was something over $11...I think it may have been $11.99 for 2 gallons. So I said no thanks that's a little higher than I like to pay for my chlorine. So he started trying to sell me on it saying it was better than anything I could get anywhere else because they have a local distributor so it maintains it's strength longer. So I said sorry but that's $6 a gallon and I'd rather just buy Walmart bleach that's 8.25% for $3 a gallon. So then he changed direction and said the best thing to use for the lowest cost is the cal-hypo shock bags. He picked up a bag and said it would raise the FC 10ppm for a 16K gallon pool. I looked at the bag and said "My calcium is already on the high side so I don't want to use that because it will continue to raise my calcium hardness". He said it only raises the calcium by a tiny amount and much less than the increase in TDS the bleach I'm using is going to add to the pool. I said I don't think that's true so he kinda got mad and said fine and got quiet to ring me up for the acid purchase.

    I kinda wish I knew a little more details to argue my points better. I know enough to maintain my pool but I really haven't researched all the alternatives to know why one thing is better than another. Out of curiosity I went to PoolMath as we were driving home and modeled up an increase of 4ppm FC for my pool using cal-hypo and bleach. I wasn't sure what the cal-hypo percentage was so I modeled it with 53% first and then tried again with 73%. I think they ended up roughly the same for how much extras get added to the pool. I'm typing this from memory but I believe to raise my FC 4ppm the cal-hypo was going to add 2.8ppm of calcium and 4ppm of salt whereas the bleach was going to raise salt by 6.4ppm. I was actually surprised how much bleach increases the salt. So the cal-hypo was increasing TDS by 6.8 while bleach was increasing it by 6.4 unless there are other things inside those products that increase TDS. So it looks like I was right that the bleach was adding less TDS but since the bleach is adding all salt it should be better than increasing the calcium from what I've read.

    Besides just sharing the story I'd be interested in hearing how best to respond to these types of conversations and whether any of my conclusions are wrong. I'm also wondering about the steady increase of salt when using bleach. Isn't it eventually going to make water too salty if not using a SWG?
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    In Arizona, hard water capital of the US, they want you to use cal-hypo?

    TDS is almost completely irrelevant. The salt added by bleach is pretty well irrelevant too. Salt feels good in the water and it doesn't damage your pool the way calcium does.
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    ThinkPad's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    Do you have an Ace Hardware nearby that sells liquid chlorine? Mine sells containers of 2.5 gallons for $4 each. I'm not sure about the FAC (free available chlorine), but it works well for me.

    If you go back to Pool Math, calcium hypo does also add a substantial amount of salt, but just not as much. Either way, there will be extra salt. It's just with the shock there will be extra calcium. I would personally go the bleach way (but I have a non-salt pool).

    When dealing with the pool store employees, I would not tell them that I will purchase a product from a different store. I would just ask them if they had a different product that met my needs, and if not, I would tell them that I will consider their product next time.

    I would seriously look into other stores for liquid chlorine. Pinch-A-Penny usually also has liquid chlorine.
    Last edited by ThinkPad; 07-14-2014 at 10:53 AM. Reason: fixed grammar mistakes
    Bobby (my pool)
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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    You handed it well. He might have a sales quota to meet.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown View Post
    You handed it well. He might have a sales quota to meet.
    Agreed, handled well. He probably didn't like the idea of WalMart getting a sale and not him. Even if it did "only raises the calcium by a tiny amount" as he said, he was not looking out for your best interest when you told him you were already high.
    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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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    Yeah I was mainly looking for other options. So far I haven't found anything better than the Walmart bleach. I didn't say anything to him but even Leslies was cheaper...they have 2 gallon boxes of 10% liquid chlorine for $10 but I'm not sure how often then turn over their supply. I haven't found anything in town above 10%. I think ACE hardware was comparable to Leslies for the 10% chlorine but it looked like it could have been on the shelf for awhile. Walmart actually sells 10% liquid chlorine and I had my wife buy some. It wasn't a bad price but I forget exact numbers.

    I mainly wanted to be able to respond to someone telling me bleach is bad and have some numbers to back it up. I've been expecting someone to tell me liquid chlorine is better than bleach but that hasn't happened yet.

    So from the numbers I've calculated it looks like for cal-hypo that for every 1ppm of FC you get 1ppm of salt and 0.7ppm of Calcium and with bleach you get 1.6ppm of salt for every 1ppm of FC.
    Thanks,
    Gil

    In-ground: 20,600 gallons; Sand Filter 1HP pump; Kreepy Krauler; Solar Breeze Solar Powered Robotic Skimmer; TFT-100 test kit

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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    I'm on a bit of my philosophical high-horse today but Gilrock is another example of the thousands of us that are learning to manage our pools rather than have someone else do it (and usually wrong) for us.

    TFPC will never be about Cal Hypo vs tri-chlor- vs something else but it will be about our informed decisions to know the difference and what to do about those differences.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    Though it is true that you get more salt from bleach than CH from Cal-Hypo in ppm units, you need to keep in mind that getting to 1000 ppm CH is not the same thing as getting to 1000 ppm TDS with salt. The former is much more of a problem than the latter. That's what the pool store guy is completely missing. The same is true for the argument with CYA except that's even worse since even 100 ppm is a problem in that case.

    Let's assume 2 ppm FC per day and figure out what happens after 6 months and then doing 30% water dilution (say from accumulative backwashing, rain overflow including over the winter, intentional drain/refill, etc.). With chlorinating liquid or bleach, it adds around 600 ppm salt so the steady state would be ending up at 2000 ppm salt at the end of each season and cutting iby 30% to start at 1400 ppm the next season. With Cal-Hypo, it adds around 250 ppm CH so the steady state would be ending up at 833 ppm CH at the end of each season and cutting by 30% to start at 583 ppm the next season. With Trichlor, it adds around 220 ppm CYA so the steady state would be ending up at 733 ppm CYA at the end of each season and cutting by 30% to start at 513 ppm the next season.

    So it should be obvious that the buildup of CYA is completely unacceptable while the buildup of CH is challenging at best and the buildup of salt is not an issue.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store recommends cal-hypo instead of liquid chlorine

    E-Konomy Pool sells 12.5% chlorine in bulk (Hasa Distributor) ... best deal that I found in town, but on the East side and thus the savings were offset by the added fuel cost to get it.

    If you happened to already travel over there regularly, that could be an option.
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