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Thread: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

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    reebok's Avatar
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    liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    I am currently using liquid chlorine daily to keep my chlorine levels correct per the chlorine/cya chart. my wife recently (this season) started complaining of skin issues (i.e. itchy, irritated). using an swg, I can keep my chlorine lower (5ppm per the recommendations), but I wonder if 3ppm would even make a difference? my current target fc is 8ppm. I am also in the process of lowering TA, so my ph is pretty low, but she did start complaining before I lowered it. I'm aware of the wash off as soon as you get out of the water solution. thanks.

    FC: 8
    CC: 0
    pH: 6.8-7.2
    TA: 170 (down from 200)
    CYA: 70
    CH: 600
    Salt: 1800
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    I'm not sure why you are running it at 8 (recommended 3-5 with SWG and your CYA)....but even at 8 it shouldn't be an issue. I would suspect she is reacting to the fluctuating PH levels, if anything.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    I'm using liquid chlorine. I'm considering getting an swg. She complained before I started the ph reduction.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Oh, I see. I'm sorry...that makes sense now, I was wondering why your salt levels were so low. Hmmm, before the PH adjustments... that is curious.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    I suspect that your pH was always too high because of the high TA. I also suspect taht the high pH you probably had most of the time was contributing to the skin discomfort. Get your water balanced (including lowering the CYA) and see if your wife still has problems. Remember, a salt pool is still a chlorine pool. Also, how did you ever end up with a CH of 600 ppm. That is on the high side for your area unless you are on well water.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    ph 6.8-7.2
    Are your test results from strips?
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    For the three years I've had the pool, I've kept the ph pretty constant around 7.5. I won't be doing anything to the cya except waiting it out due to the extreme drought conditions. I understand salt is chlorine, the question I was asking was I can keep it 3ppm lower with an swg, would it make a difference? My cya is also in line with an swg, which is another consideration. I can get a hayward swimpure for about 691 right now, if it will make a difference with this issue. I have no clue about my ch. The pool stores give me around 400 but I haven't brought it to them in a little while. I've done the test several times. Not on well water and have not tested fill water. I do have a water softener and the water does go through it first, not sure if it makes a difference. Thanks.
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Not from strips, just fluctuating while I'm trying to aerate and keep it around 7. Unfortunately, I can only aerate manually. The eyeballs don't create any bubbles even straight up, and after 2 days there was no change in TA except what I had already accomplished manually. At this point, I'm completely against spending any money on that issue. The manual aeration is good exercise anyway.
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    The salt that you add when installing a SWG often improves the water feel and reduces skin irritation. You can add salt even without a SWG.

    The small reduction in FC level that you can make with a SWG doesn't have any real impact on skin irritation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    That's what I was looking for. Thanks very much Jason.
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    If I understand your posts, you are asking if the lower chlorine levels you can run by purchasing an SWG will be better for your wifes skin. Very unlikely.

    A balanced pool with .5 or less combined chloramines seldom causes any skin irritation. 8ppmFC and CYA 70 is certainly a normal situation. I would look at something other than chlorine causing your wife's irritation.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    I do have a water softener and the water does go through it first, not sure if it makes a difference. Thanks.
    Yes, If you are filling the pool with softened water then your CH should be very low and not the 600 ppm you initially reported. Something is wrong here!



    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    Not from strips, just fluctuating while I'm trying to aerate and keep it around 7. Unfortunately, I can only aerate manually. The eyeballs don't create any bubbles even straight up, and after 2 days there was no change in TA except what I had already accomplished manually. At this point, I'm completely against spending any money on that issue. The manual aeration is good exercise anyway.
    Aeration does NOT lower TA. Adding acid lowers TA! Aeration then raises pH without raising the TA back up by outgassing CO2. Your pool is carbonated just like a bottle of club soda. When you add acid you convert some of the bicarbonate ions in the water into carbonic acid (carbon dioxide dissolved in water). Aerating is like putting your thumb on the bottle of club soda and shaking it up to drive off some of the carbon dioxide. This will cause the pH to rise. You then repeat the process by adding acid again and then aerating until your TA is where you want it.
    Efficient aeration will speed the process up considerably so investing in a $35 floating fountain is a sound investment, IMHO.

    I still say that you probably had to add acid frequently with a TA this high and that when you did your pH was MUCH higher than the 7.5 that you were always lowering to, correct?

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    If I understand your posts, you are asking if the lower chlorine levels you can run by purchasing an SWG will be better for your wifes skin. Very unlikely.

    A balanced pool with .5 or less combined chloramines seldom causes any skin irritation. 8ppmFC and CYA 70 is certainly a normal situation. I would look at something other than chlorine causing your wife's irritation.
    Exactly, unless your wife has an actual allergy to chlorine (which can occur but is very rare). In that case you will have wasted your money on the SWG. (Which is why I suggested getting your water in balance FIRST and see if the problem goes away.)

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    sorry, I said that wrong. the ph and ta were virtually the same as I left them. I've read the lowering ta sticky many times, and I think I understand it, but I'm saying it wrong.
    at any rate, I made a post earlier about the CH, you can read more info about it if you want. I don't know what the deal is. ch-jump-t11841.html
    the way I'm testing with the tf100: I follow the directions with two drops, then five which makes it green. I add a drop at a time until the tint changes to 100% red. in other words, after I've done some drops, you can see the drops turn the water red slightly, then it quickly becomes green again while swirling.
    I've been fighting rising ph since the pool was redone in 12/07. I've attributed it to the new plaster, but now that's probably over and it's just the ta giving me problems. but I've never seen my ph above 7.8.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    the way I'm testing with the tf100: I follow the directions with two drops, then five which makes it green. I add a drop at a time until the tint changes to 100% red. in other words, after I've done some drops, you can see the drops turn the water red slightly, then it quickly becomes green again while swirling.
    Sounds like you're doing it correctly. Keep adding drops until the color stops changing.
    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    I've been fighting rising ph since the pool was redone in 12/07. I've attributed it to the new plaster, but now that's probably over and it's just the ta giving me problems. but I've never seen my ph above 7.8.
    Rising pH is common. The high TA contributes to that. Work on lowering TA. Once you get that in range, if pH drift is still a problem then you could try borates. I did that in my hot tub and pH has been much more stable since then.
    --paulr
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    sorry, I said that wrong. the ph and ta were virtually the same as I left them. I've read the lowering ta sticky many times, and I think I understand it, but I'm saying it wrong.
    at any rate, I made a post earlier about the CH, you can read more info about it if you want. I don't know what the deal is. ch-jump-t11841.html
    the way I'm testing with the tf100: I follow the directions with two drops, then five which makes it green. I add a drop at a time until the tint changes to 100% red. in other words, after I've done some drops, you can see the drops turn the water red slightly, then it quickly becomes green again while swirling.
    I've been fighting rising ph since the pool was redone in 12/07. I've attributed it to the new plaster, but now that's probably over and it's just the ta giving me problems. but I've never seen my ph above 7.8.
    You discribed the TA test above but the testing error is surely from your CH test at some point.

    I still say your best bet would be to get your water balance and then see if there is still skin irritation. I am not saying not to get a SWG (I think they are the BEST) but I would hate to see you spend the money on it and still have problems. I will tell you that if you get a SWG it will be imperative to get your TA down or you will have major pH stability problems.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    ok, this morning my numbers are as follows:
    FC: 7.5 (it was 8 yesterday afternoon, and I added 32oz which should have given me 1ppm based on previous tests, so it looks like I lost 1.5ppm since approx 4:30pm yesterday. we did use the pool 2-3 hours yesterday, but did not use it the day before)
    CC: maybe .5, if that
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 130 (woohoo, it's coming)
    now, as far as CH, I tested my fill water and it was 30-50. I added the drops too fast cause I expected it to be higher, but it's definitely 30-50, and I've used so much CH reagents that I didn't want to repeat it cause it didn't really seem necessary. that said, I did my pool water CH two more times, and I'm now getting 620-630. could something be wrong with my plaster? I have noticed in several spots (i.e. steps and parts on the edges in the deep end) that it looks "swirly" or discolored somehow).there are some pictures here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/reebokHCFR/Pool
    you can particularly see the issue in pictures 1 and 2 near the edge of steps 2 and 3. it's kind of like a darker blue line. could just be the way the aggregate was applied I guess, but we haven't noticed it until fairly recently. I put some other pictures in there for good measure in case there's something else telling in them.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    ok, this morning my numbers are as follows:
    FC: 7.5 (it was 8 yesterday afternoon, and I added 32oz which should have given me 1ppm based on previous tests, so it looks like I lost 1.5ppm since approx 4:30pm yesterday. we did use the pool 2-3 hours yesterday, but did not use it the day before)
    CC: maybe .5, if that
    pH: 7.2
    TA: 130 (woohoo, it's coming)
    now, as far as CH, I tested my fill water and it was 30-50. I added the drops too fast cause I expected it to be higher, but it's definitely 30-50, and I've used so much CH reagents that I didn't want to repeat it cause it didn't really seem necessary. that said, I did my pool water CH two more times, and I'm now getting 620-630. could something be wrong with my plaster? I have noticed in several spots (i.e. steps and parts on the edges in the deep end) that it looks "swirly" or discolored somehow).
    A few things:
    1. with high CH you can do the test this way--10 ml water sample, 10 drops of first reagent, 3 drops of indicator, and then when you titrate each drop of titrant is 25 ppm CH instead of 10 ppm. You lose some precision but when you have very high calcium like yours it really does not matter that much if your CH is 620, 625, or 630 ppm (or even 600 or 650!)

    2. I suspect that the 'swirly or discolored' areas are scale deposits. Do they have a different feel than the rest of your plaster? Your high CH is the primary reason to get your TA down. High CH + high TA + constantly rising pH is a sure fire recipe for scale!

    3. The high calcium has probably been in your water since your plaster was new and that there has just been some testing error until now (some store testing systems such as LaMotte's Waterlink Express is notorious for reading low when the CH is actually high. It is a limitation of the colorimiter that the system uses.)

    4. The low CH from your water softener is what I would expect. Was your pool filled with this water or was the softener bypassed when it was initially filled?

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    ok, using the short method, I got 25 drops for a reading of 625ppm.
    I don't think they feel different, but I'll have to feel them later on to make sure. for a while, particularly in the deep end, I thought the dirt was settling in lines for some reason, because it would be dark and light stripes. now that we're swimming, I can go down there and see it's not dirt, just discolored.
    it was filled with the same faucet I used to test. the only thing I know of is if the pool builder added tons of calcium? I only remember him adding chlorine, acid and stabilizer, but I didn't pay real close attention. I imagine he probably did add calcium since it would have been really low. the previous owners left a big container of CH increaser, so apparently they had the opposite problem that I do.
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    Re: liquid chlorine vs swg and skin irritation

    well today I went ahead and used some old pvc and duct tape, as well as some hayward pool cleaner parts (I have no idea what they are, the previous owner left them but not the cleaner) and made an aerator (or redneck waterfall as my wife put it). hopefully that will speed up my aeration a bit and when I'm done I'll be adding borates.
    today as I was swimming around, I noticed the white deposits on my walls. I had seen them before but just thought they were misapplied plaster from the pool redo. now I know (or am pretty sure anyway) that they're calcium scale deposits. fortunately, they come off pretty easy with a fingernail. once I get my TA in range, because I'm going to be living with a high CH, what should I keep my ph at? thanks.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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