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Thread: Chlorine irritation possible?

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    Chlorine irritation possible?

    Hello, after smooth sailings for at least a year by by using the TFP method, which for me means liquid chlorine from the pool store and occasional muriatic acid, I finally have another question.

    The thing is that my daughter (2.5 years old) and I have been playing in the pool almost daily for about a month. The last few days, she seems to be having a rash on her body and very red eyes after swimming. The only thing that has changed is that I added three 8oz pucks last weekend, because I still have them to use on vacations and when the stabilizer is getting low, which was the reason this time, it was down to about 30, which is not enough for Florida summer.

    Anyway, adding three pucks on Saturday, the Cl was 4.5. End of today it's 7, not exactly a level where I'd expect irritation, right? But two things make me wonder. 1) My wive said that I reeked of chlorine today, and I never normally do. 2) I measured just .5 of CC today, which had been literally 0 for months. I don't smell Chlorine in the water, nor does my wife. One more observation: when the pump kicks on in the morning, there is an insanely strong chlorine smell coming from the jets, but I just thought that's normal because that's all the water that's been marinating w/ the pucks all night.

    Sorry for long text. Is there anything here that could explain the smell and my daughter's rash and irritation? Here are the complete numbers:
    Cl 7
    CC .5
    TA 80
    PH 7.5
    CA 260
    CYA 30 (BEFORE adding the tabs, probably a little higher now)

    Thank you.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Shock level for 30 CYA is 12, so 7 is well below and safe. But, it is well above your target of 4.

    Where are the pucks? Floater, chlorinator, skimmer basket?

    I would pull the pucks and let the FC drift back to the 2 - 4 range for you CYA.
    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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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    I would have suspected CCs or pH, but based on your test results, maybe she is sensitive to chlorine levels and 7 is an issue for her.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Thanks. They are in a chlorinator of questionable adjustability, meaning they probably just get added at the rate they dissolve. You're right, I can pull them out, but I was trying to understand why I smelled like it and why the irritation might be happening at those levels. As an aside, I was planning on raising the CYA to at least 50.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    I have no way to prove this, but I have at times thought the use of a few tablets to raise the CYA a bit caused irritation and.more smell as well.
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Jason, that's interesting. What do you mean exactly? Using them only occasionally would do this as opposed to people who use them all the time?
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    That is not what I mean. I just mean that I think I could tell a difference with my water when I used some last year. Maybe we are spoiled with good water and those that only use pucks are used to this?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    It's too bad if I can't use them pucks once in a while - they are the most convenient way to handle my many business trips (often no one will swim while I'm gone, but that is changing with my daughter growing up!), plus it's the most convenient way to add CYA. Curiously enough, I had even been thinking that it would be smart to leave 1 or 2 in there at all times to have a basic CL supply and to keep the PH in check (getting rather tired of adding the muriatic all the time, talk about dangerous fumes) and because I DO seem to consume CYA (despite the fact that I keep reading it doesn't go away... mine does disappear somehow). Uhmmmmmm... thinking.... again...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just digested your statement again, Jason. How could irritation happen when the numbers are all in range just from using the pucks??? The basic ingredients are the same, after all....
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    I don't know. Maybe some additive?
    Then again, I could be remembering things incorrectly and made the whole thing up.

    Don't use then for awhile and then try them, see if you notice a difference. I used all my tablets up so will just add CYA separately.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Well it's been super rare that I used them while home, first time in a year. Irritation and smell... so it seems a slam dunk. But would really like to understand it.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by versstef1 View Post
    It's too bad if I can't use them pucks once in a while - they are the most convenient way to handle my many business trips (often no one will swim while I'm gone, but that is changing with my daughter growing up!), plus it's the most convenient way to add CYA. Curiously enough, I had even been thinking that it would be smart to leave 1 or 2 in there at all times to have a basic CL supply and to keep the PH in check (getting rather tired of adding the muriatic all the time, talk about dangerous fumes) and because I DO seem to consume CYA (despite the fact that I keep reading it doesn't go away... mine does disappear somehow). Uhmmmmmm... thinking.... again...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just digested your statement again, Jason. How could irritation happen when the numbers are all in range just from using the pucks??? The basic ingredients are the same, after all....
    My CYA also disappears. I have seen statements here that 5ppm can get consumed per month. And then rain overflow will dump some more. I buy kemtech stabilizer from Lowes as my CYA source. Have to add plenty every spring.
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    My guess is that the irritation is from the CC level, and the tablet usage is just coincidental. The symptoms you describe exactly match irritation from CC. CC is 0.5. Irritation from CC can actually start as low as a CC of 0.3. We call a CC of 0.5 alright because the test doesn't really have the resolution to distinguish below/above 0.3 and in nearly all cases it is actually below 0.3.

    The treatment to deal with CC is to raise the FC level a bit above normal, which seems to have already happened, even if you didn't intend it. So I expect the CC to clear fairly soon.

    pooldv, it is very rare to lose as much as 5 ppm of CYA per month.
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Ok, thanks Lion. I of course considered that slight CC. In this specific scenario, is there any guess as to what could have caused the CC? It doesn't look like I would have come close to not having enough FC at any given time over the last 5 days or so. And I haven't seen any CC in months and months otherwise. So this is a bit confusing. Now, there is some peepee going into the pool from my girl, but I would have thought the FC is well high enough to handle those pea-sized pees. Thanks again for your time.
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    Defgufman's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    My son gets minor rashes if the CC goes over .5 as well. Maybe it went up because of spring pollen....just guessing and in no way know.
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    I have some trichlor floating right now as well to raise my CYA. I smell the same chlorine odor. Who knows if the pucks are pure. Could be additives causing irritation.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    How much sunscreen were you both wearing?

    Also, she knows not to pee in the pool, right?

    Could be that you had high levels of local CC, but the sun and FC did their jobs and the CC didnt register by the time you tested for it.
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    Zero sunscreen, and she thinks its ok to pee in the pool. She's 2 and a half. We told her its ok. How much damage can a baby pee do?
    screened-in 10,500 gal IG gunite pool, DiamondBrite, 1.5 HP Hayward Super II Pump, Hayward Star-Clear Plus C1200 Cartridge Filter, Hayward Pool Vac Ultra, 6 solar panel heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    That would be where the CC is coming from then. Pee uses up a bunch of chlorine, and tends to drive up the CC level at least temporarily.
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    Re: Chlorine irritation possible?

    It sounds like a combination of factors. If Trichlor pucks don't get regular circulation of water then in their local area they can build up high chlorine and low pH which is a combination that can produce volatile and irritating nitrogen trichloride. That along with the urine can increase the CC level. Finally, the higher FC level can also be an issue when there is CC present since the oxidation of that CC will produce more of that volatile and irritating nitrogen chloride (less is produced at lower FC, but it takes longer to oxidize the bather waste).

    It's a bit of a catch-22, especially for urine, which is that you need higher chlorine levels to get rid of it more quickly, but such higher levels also create more disinfection by-products. So swimming with a lower (or normal as recommended here) FC/CYA level and then elevating the FC level when one isn't in the pool and can air out the pool is a technique that can be used. This is in essence what some commercial/public pools try to do by "shocking" pools overnight with aeration and increased airflow.
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