1 lb. bags of shock in lieu of liquid chlorine...?

Victor Newman

Bronze Supporter
Sep 6, 2014
70
Grants Pass, OR
Our pool supply store advises gallons of liquid chlorine might be hard to come by...occasionally. I have 8 gallons on hand, now.....as well as a big tub of 3 inch tabs. I was wondering about stockpiling 24 or more 1 lb. bags of 68% shock...just in case liquid chlorine gets scarce or worse. My guess is that 1 lb of shock = 1/4 gallon chlorine.

Do I need to stockpile bags of shock ? TIA
 

derekm

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
122
Eastern Canada
I keep an unopened bucket of calcium hypochlorite in my shed as insurance against any shortages, but I pick up a few jugs of plain house brand unscented household bleach every time I go to the grocery store, & "liquid pool chlorine" whenever I go to the hardware store or Walmart. Since I am going to these places regularly anyway, it avoids unnecessary trips to the higher-margin pool store. Where I live, pool stores don't even carry liquid chlorine. Based on standard strengths here I have to add 2X as much bleach as "pool" liquid chlorine, but it's easy to remember which is being added, and I don't keep large amounts on site.
 
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LoneWolfArcher

Bronze Supporter
May 29, 2019
535
Michigan
I keep an unopened bucket of calcium hypochlorite in my shed as insurance against any shortages, but I pick up a few jugs of plain house brand unscented household bleach every time I go to the grocery store, & "liquid pool chlorine" whenever I go to the hardware store or Walmart. Since I am going to these places regularly anyway, it avoids unnecessary trips to the higher-margin pool store. Where I live, pool stores don't even carry liquid chlorine. Based on standard strengths here I have to add 2X as much bleach as "pool" liquid chlorine, but it's easy to remember which is being added, and I don't keep large amounts on site.

Interesting approach. I find that the non-pool bleach products, if you take strength into account, are more expensive than the 12.5% I get at the pool store. Plus, the pool store chlorine is fresher. I have bought common bleach (for laundry and other uses) from stores before and it has been bad. As in NO strength. So freshness is an important thing to look for no matter whether it is pool strength or laundry strength.

In previous years I was buying 12.5% at $4/gallon. Most 6% laundry strength bleach I can find is $2.50-3.50 per gallon, so that is $5-7 per gallon since it is half strength. OH, and that is even if it is a gallon. A lot of the laundry bleach containers are down to 96oz, not a gallon.

This year I stocked up on 10% bleach due to the forecasted shortage. You can routinely find this at Ollies, Menards, Meijer, and Walmart. I was at an independent grocer yesterday and they had 10%, all be it at $4.50/gallon. I think the price will continue to rise as the summer goes on and more and more people switch to LC due to the shortage on tablets.
 

derekm

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
122
Eastern Canada
No Ollies, Menard, Meijer where I live (Canada)!
Our pool stores don't sell liquid chlorine, just cal-hypo, so my choices for liquid are mostly limited to store brand bleach, around 5.5 to 6 percent for $2.50 or so (less if on sale), and pool chlorine at Canadian Tire and Walmart, for around $5 for 10.5 to 12 %, so the price is about equal. .However, I am guaranteed to need groceries a couple of times a week, and there are two grocery stores 5 minutes away selling "bleach", while the big box stores selling "pool chlorine" are at the other end of town. Also, the grocery store house-brand bleach has high turnover here (nobody pays double for Chlorox!), so I'm not worried about the freshness. A couple of hardware stores also stock liquid pool chlorine, but I avoid it due to higher price and lower turnover.

Haven't seen any chlorine shortages or price hikes in Canada yet, but, just in case, I do have emergency pails of cal-hypo and pucks, which I use at the start of the season (my CYA is always low after winter) and during vacations. I'm also not sure that a "pool chlorine" shortage will affect "laundry bleach" here, as most people here don't use it in their pools.
 

Jeff J.

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2019
227
Staten Island NY
No Ollies, Menard, Meijer where I live (Canada)!
Our pool stores don't sell liquid chlorine, just cal-hypo, so my choices for liquid are mostly limited to store brand bleach, around 5.5 to 6 percent for $2.50 or so (less if on sale), and pool chlorine at Canadian Tire and Walmart, for around $5 for 10.5 to 12 %, so the price is about equal. .However, I am guaranteed to need groceries a couple of times a week, and there are two grocery stores 5 minutes away selling "bleach", while the big box stores selling "pool chlorine" are at the other end of town. Also, the grocery store house-brand bleach has high turnover here (nobody pays double for Chlorox!), so I'm not worried about the freshness. A couple of hardware stores also stock liquid pool chlorine, but I avoid it due to higher price and lower turnover.

Haven't seen any chlorine shortages or price hikes in Canada yet, but, just in case, I do have emergency pails of cal-hypo and pucks, which I use at the start of the season (my CYA is always low after winter) and during vacations. I'm also not sure that a "pool chlorine" shortage will affect "laundry bleach" here, as most people here don't use it in their pools.
Be careful with store bleach. A lot of them have additives now. If it says no splash, Cloromax, a fragrance, or anything else suspicious, you shouldn't use it. If your pool bubbles in the rain, you'll know you got some polymers in there.
 

AK-

Gold Supporter
May 11, 2021
367
Randolph, NJ
Pool Size
7000
Surface
Vinyl
I was wondering about stockpiling 24 or more 1 lb. bags of 68% shock
"Shock" bags are just another way to rip you off.. it is just 68% Cal-Hypo at a higher price. Sure it does have the convenience of being bagged in 1lb. A bucket of Cal-Hypo is likely way cheaper for the same product.
 

derekm

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
122
Eastern Canada
Be careful with store bleach. A lot of them have additives now. If it says no splash, Cloromax, a fragrance, or anything else suspicious, you shouldn't use it. If your pool bubbles in the rain, you'll know you got some polymers in there.
I can't speak for the rest of the world, but in Canada, store brand bleach (e.g. Sobeys Compliments, Loblaws No Name, Walmart Great Value) comes in only two varieties -- regular (buy), and sometimes lemon-scented (don't buy), and they are easy to tell apart. The expensive brand, Clorox (at least double the store brand bleach price!), has a number of variants and pool owners should avoid it to eliminate any additive confusion, plus the extra expense.
 

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MarkThomasAZ

Silver Supporter
Sep 8, 2020
37
Scottsdale, AZ
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Our pool supply store advises gallons of liquid chlorine might be hard to come by...occasionally. I have 8 gallons on hand, now.....as well as a big tub of 3 inch tabs. I was wondering about stockpiling 24 or more 1 lb. bags of 68% shock...just in case liquid chlorine gets scarce or worse. My guess is that 1 lb of shock = 1/4 gallon chlorine.

Do I need to stockpile bags of shock ? TIA
Be careful...I just found 11 bags of "shock" in my garage (very hot area) where I store chemicals. The bags had melted together and stuck together in the box. I had to cut them open and pour them in to an air tight container with an air tight lid. It still works but the bags were melted. Store the bags in a cool dry place if you do.
MarkThomasAZ
 

Selenap

Well-known member
May 28, 2021
235
Waynesville, NC
Pool Size
25200
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
If you don’t have calcium issues sure, go ahead. A quarter cup may be all you need at a time anyway.