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Thread: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

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    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Fairview / TX

    Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    I have been lurking on this website for the last 4 months (while I have been interviewing / meeting with 7 different pool builders). I have learned SO much through this site! It has given me some confidence when meeting with pool builders. I have one question and wasn't sure if it was worthy (or just stupid) to ask on the forum. I have read many of the threads dealing with proper pool chemistry. Several of them mention adding bleach. When I have mentioned this to potential builders, they look at me like I'm crazy! I'm in North Texas and the pool builders say this must be something that is done "up north". Can you give me any insight? We are looking to choose our builder in the next week and I want to be sure we are prepared as it relates to maintaining our dream.

    Thank you,


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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    There are no dumb questions and someone will surely learn from the responses you will get.

    Briefly, pool builders seem to be complete idiots when it comes to actually MAINTAINING a pool. I suppose you could use this question to weed out potential builders who apparently have no clue about chemistry. The chlorine in bleach is the same chlorine in any other form for pool use. In fact, many/most pool stores sell "liquid chlorine" which IS bleach ... just stronger. The problem with the solid forms of chlorine are the extra ingredients which build up in the pool water and eventually require replacing the water. In Texas, you have hard water, so would not want to be adding calcium, and often have water restrictions so would not want to be building up the CYA too high either. Bleach or SWG are the best options in Texas ... and most other places as well. If you consider SWG, then I would highly recommend avoiding the use of soft natural stone around the pool.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    At this stage I would be more concerned with the design of the water circulation in the pool. A bad design will leave some water unmoved and still water must be eliminated. A bed design is difficult to correct later on and the water sanitation will not be good whatever disinfectant you use. This is what you and the pool builder must understand.
    South of France inground rectangular 17k pool - ruber membrane. Sliding dome, black thermal blanket covering 75% of the pool surface. Aqualux 3/4Hp pump, glass media sand filter, Zodillac robot, 110W UV-c lamp, Hayward brominator, Caliente 12kW heat pump.

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Longview, Texas

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Jblizzle is right. Builders are builders. Most of them really dont know how to maintain a pool. For that matter, neither do the people who sell pool products at the pool store. Its the very rare ones that actually understand pool chemistry. They just promote what the smooth talking salesmen of the pool products tells them.

    The activie ingredient in pool sanitation is Sodium Hypochlorite, a.k.a. chlorine.

    Bleach is normally 6 or 8.25% Sodium Hypochlorite, water and a very small percentage of "other".
    The pool store chlorine tabs and powdered shock contain Sodium Hypochlorite and a lot of other chemicals too that you may not necessarily want or need in the water.

    Saltwater generators produce Sodium Hypochlorite.

    When it all comes down to it, all of these products are a source of the same ingredient needed to sanitize the pool.

    The packaging of almost anything can be branded and marketed, but when it comes down to it, Chlorine is Chlorine, no matter where it comes from or in what form.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge. Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Hi, Jeremy, Welcome to the forum.

    Focus on the mechanics of your build (7 builders.....WOW!....How do you keep that straight) and let the pool water maintenance be your purview.

    Most of the time, it is a waste of energy to convince a pool builder to understand what we teach and why.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    NE Texas

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Agreed with the others. My PB tried to tag on a giant bucket of pucks and "shock" to my build without even asking, and you should've seen the look on his face when I said, "No thanks. I'm chlorinating with bleach only." HUHH?!
    Done! Pool build thread here
    38 x 18 free form, IG gunite with all gunite waterfall/slide/grotto
    18" raised spa, waterfall into pool
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Franklin, NC

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Yup, let your builder worry about the construction and you can handle the maintenance. As you get down to the last two, post what they are recommending. We will want your to skip things like tab feeder chlorinators that they think will "help" maintain the pool.
    TFP Moderator

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Tallahassee, FL

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Hi and welcome.

    What has been said above me is all very true. The thing you should be asking your PB is to give you names and numbers of his past 5 pool so you can go see them and check out his AND his sub's work!

    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central Texas

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Even if you use a SWG, you'll likely use bleach in the winter when the water gets below the functioning threshold of the salt cell. That's asuming that you would never really 'close' it. However, Texas is a big state and the winter temps and other things like water quality varies throughout. Use of something like flagstone can be anything else it is a matter of maintenance. You've started on a good path by learning TFP...but concentrate on your design and cost within budget etc...

    When we built, we interviewed 4 builders and were happy with the choice. 2.5 years later we still correspond and talk pool chemistry. He's learned we've learned it's been a great partnership.
    Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Magnolia Texas

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    We live in the Houston area and have been using bleach along with our SWG for the past three years. Since then our pool has been crystal clear. Bottom line is it works. It also makes it easier to maintain your pool and costs less than all the chemicals the pool supply stores try and sell you.
    28,000 gallon salt water pool
    DE Filter
    Inground plaster construction
    1-1/4 hp pump with 1hp booster pump

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Midland TX

    Re: Builders think I am crazy for asking about bleach ... help!

    Welcome Jeremy,

    We completed our pool last spring. Throughout the entire process from selecting a builder, to completion, I was amazed how little many of the builders knew about pool chemistry. Also keep in mind when talking to pool store employees, that you're often talking to someone who doesn't have or never has had a pool.

    As Dave said, focus on the build for now and don't worry yourself with that part for now. If you decide to try what we teach, we'll be here to help you learn. It works for thousands of pool owners and it will work for you. Keep us updated on your build too...we love seeing a new project.
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
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