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Thread: Newbie with chlorine questions!

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    Paul-pool's Avatar
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    Question Newbie with chlorine questions!

    So i have just got in to this pool keeping game, in my new house!
    I am trying to understand the differences in pool chlorine. Some people say use liquid, others say don't, some say use a floater, others say don't, some say shock weekly, others say don't.
    Can someone please explain to me what the differences and why of liquid, tablet, powder, how you add it etc, and also is shocking weekly really required, surely if your levels are all good it isn't needed?
    Also with regard to algacides and other additives, are they something that are required on a schedule, or just as and when or if needed?

    Also...Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but....
    I have a pipe in my pool (i'll attach a pic) and we have no idea what it's purpose is. When we moved in it was vertical, and the opening was about level with the water line, any idea?
    pool1.jpg

    Also by the filter there is another open pipe, again vertical, any ideas?
    pool2.jpg


    Told you i was new to this SMH
    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Powder and pucks are either trichlor, dichlor, or cal hypo which add cya or calcium to your pool along with the chlorine. When these add up they cause problems. Liquid chlorine is just strong bleach with very minor amount of salt which will almost never cause problems
    24ft x 52in AGP 18000 gal
    sand filter, 200#,1.5 hp single speed pump
    Wood deck (still in progress...)

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Hiya Paul- nice to have you here. Welcome to TFP the EASIEST way to maintain your pool, along with being the CHEAPEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way.

    Can you tell I am a big fan? yeah... its that good.

    First question is about chlorine. Chlorine in its natural state is a gas. We home pool owners can't use a gas so they make it in to either a liquid (aka "bleach" or "liquid chlorine") which are all the same and don't add any other unnecessary ingredient. The only difference is the concentration. Household laundry bleach (which we highly recommend using) is 8.25%, liquid chlorine that you buy at a pool store is usually 10-12%. Exact same thing but a little stronger so you use a little less to get the same desired result (your Free Chlorine "FC" level)
    Solid forms of chlorine such as granular or puck type products are also chlorine BUT they include other ingredients the allow them to be made solid. The other ingredients are either Calcium or CYA Stabilizer. We discourage folks from using them because in time the level of Calcium "CH" or Stabilizer "CYA" gets too high in the pool and requires you to drain and refill. And if your CYA is too high it also can cause algae outbreaks because your FC won't be high enough.

    Sooooo... using regular old household bleach is a GOOD thing!

    Next Question: A Trouble Free Pool almost NEVER needs Shocking because our pools don't have algae.
    Pool stores are in the business of selling products. You'll be told you need to add this or that weekly or monthly which 99% of the time is totally unnecessary.

    How do we know its unnecessary??? By doing our own TESTING! We all have bought a test kit which is of a professional level that tests chlorine up to 50ppm and all the other tests we need to keep our pools balanced. There are only two test kits we trust: The TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006. Both are available through a company in NC TFTestkits.net or Amazon. I personally prefer the TF-100 as it provides more tests that we do the most.

    Next Question: Algaecide- NOPE! Rarely ever needed or recommended. And cheap ones have copper as an ingredient and we NEVER add that to our pools as it causes metal stains and green hair and is hard to remove. Algaecides are a preventative and are worthless if you already have algae. They aren't algae-killers.

    Please read this to get started learning about our way of doing things--> ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Your pipe in the pool looks like a fountain to me, turned downwards. Not sure what the pipe near the equipment pad is for?

    Bring back new questions and I'll try to answer them.

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Welcome to TFP! No worries on the questions, we're happy to talk pool any time.

    Edit - YS beat me to it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul-pool View Post
    So i have just got in to this pool keeping game, in my new house!
    I am trying to understand the differences in pool chlorine. Some people say use liquid, others say don't, some say use a floater, others say don't, some say shock weekly, others say don't.
    Can someone please explain to me what the differences and why of liquid, tablet, powder, how you add it etc, and also is shocking weekly really required, surely if your levels are all good it isn't needed?
    Also with regard to algacides and other additives, are they something that are required on a schedule, or just as and when or if needed?
    Solid chlorine (tablets, powders, pellets, etc) will ALL add something to your pool that will not evaporate out - it will build up over time. Look at the packaging on the chlorine - if it is DiChlor or TriChlor, it adds CYA - stabilizer. Stabilizer buffers the chlorine so that the sun isn't able to burn it off as fast. Stabilizer also, however, leaves your pool at a very, very slow rate - far slower than it is added when you're using dichlor or trichlor pucks. Other solid chlorine adds calcium instead - which over time builds up to create scale (if not managed properly). The only easy way to lower CYA or Calcium is to drain your pool and put fresh water in (there's also expensive reverse osmosis treatments). Liquid chlorine, on the other hand, leaves a small amount of salt, which also builds up over time (unless you have a saltwater chlorine generator - which you don't). On the whole, you can build up thousands of PPM of salt with no problems, you can't build up hundreds of PPM of CYA (stabilizer), nor should you go much higher than 1000ppm of Calcium. Most of us on this forum use either bleach/liquid chlorine (hint, they're the same thing, just make sure if you use bleach that it is unscented, and is not labeled splashless or EZPour), or a saltwater generator to chlorinate our pools. While adding liquid chlorine can be a daily task, we just generally make it part of our daily regimen, like showering or drinking coffee.

    Shocking weekly is totally unnecessary if you're monitoring your pool's chemistry levels and keeping everything in balance. We have members that haven't had to SLAM (our version of shocking the pool - it's a little different) in years.

    Algaecides are a preventative. Kind of like shocking, they're usually not necessary, except some folks use them when they close their pool for the season in the northern latitudes to help inhibit algae growth - in Florida, you'll likely leave your pool uncovered and "open" all year long. Further, many algaecides add metals to your pool that can not be removed without removing the water such as copper or silver. These metals can cause staining and problems in very low amounts (<10ppm) - they're very bad news and again, require water drain to get rid of. The correct algaecide to use if you want to use one is Polyquat 60 - it has nothing in it that will cause issues with the water long term.

    Anything past that, like "phos-free", "magic-anything", etc. are usually pool store potions designed to suck money from your wallet while doing nothing truly beneficial for your pool.

    Most of us generally just add chlorine and muriatic acid to lower pH on a regular basis. That's very nearly it.

    I'll let a few other folks answer your question regarding those two pipes - I'm unfamiliar with them.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Thank you for your answers, i appreciate it. I thought the pipe in the pool may well be a fountain, but unsure as to why someone would make a fountain outlet so ugly and crude. Also i have no idea how to make it work...unless the open pipe at the filter area has something to do with it?!
    So in your opinion, you think i'm better off using liquid chlorine as opposed to putting a tablet in my chlorination system?
    When i test the pool, my levels on everything are all pretty good, i do however have a problem with a high hardness reading, but water here is VERY hard, and i have not yet installed a water softener.

    My first test readings were

    ALK 80
    PH 7.5
    FREE CL 5
    HRD 800
    CYA 200

    Latest readings are

    ALK 90
    PH 7.5
    FREE CL 3
    HRD 250
    CYA 60
    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul-pool View Post
    Thank you for your answers, i appreciate it. I thought the pipe in the pool may well be a fountain, but unsure as to why someone would make a fountain outlet so ugly and crude. Sometimes budget fountains appear so. My husband built our fountain and it resembles that a bit-see link in siggy line for Skippy's Fountain. Fountains are sometimes just for fun, but they also serve the purposes of cooling the water when it gets too swampy feeling and they can raise your pH when you desire it. And some folks just like the sound they provide.

    Also i have no idea how to make it work...unless the open pipe at the filter area has something to do with it?! No, that doesn't seem to be tied in together to me. Have you tried turning the "fountain" (since we're guessing that is what it is?) upwards and seeing if water comes out of it? Does it remove from the wall? Do you have valves that control water to it?
    So in your opinion, you think i'm better off using liquid chlorine as opposed to putting a tablet in my chlorination system? ABSOLUTELY! Or a Salt Water Chlorine Generator...... but NO solid pucks or granular chlorine products, please!
    When i test the pool, my levels on everything are all pretty good, i do however have a problem with a high hardness reading, but water here is VERY hard, and i have not yet installed a water softener.
    There are ways to deal with hard water, but you don't want to be adding anything that adds yet *more* calcium to the pool like CalHypo products (granular and pucks).

    Can you provide us with a full set of test results like this:
    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Thanks

    Yip
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    I'll try putting air down the open pipe at the filter end to see if it bubbles out the pipe in the pool.
    I have adjusted that pipe in to all manner of angles to see if i can make it do something, but nothing happened yet.
    I'll start looking in to liquid chlorine as opposed to the 3" tablets i am currently using.
    Tomorrow i will take a water sample from the pool to pinch a penny to have them test it, and then write my results up. Thanks so much for your help its awesome!!

    Oh...your water fountain looks a lot better than what i have here i can assure you of that. If we can get this one up and running, the set up you have there will be made here
    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Will you be obtaining your own test kit any time sooooooon? THAT is what you need most of all.

    Yippee
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    I've been using the HTH test strips at the moment, it seemed fairly basic, but does the job. I'm guessing for more in depth I need something else, a bit better?

    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Ummm... well.... we don't trust "Guess Strips" much either actually. IF they give you a reading usually its in a range like saying "TA 100-150" when you really REALLY need to know that its *exactly 110ppm. We work on exact test information.

    As you can see from your posted test results- they're all *over* the place. So which ones do you trust to be more accurate for making changes with? I sure wouldn't trust 'em when they vary as they did up there <points upward to earlier post>

    Test kit. $70 TF-100.... if you can splurge toss in the Speed Stir device. Seriously. THAT test kit is what saves you time and money.

    Yip
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul-pool View Post
    I've been using the HTH test strips at the moment, it seemed fairly basic, but does the job. I'm guessing for more in depth I need something else, a bit better?
    Actually, no it doesn't do the job.

    Chemically there is no way to go from CYA 200 to CYA 60 unless you changed about 80% of the pool water. You really need a test kit.

    We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100.


    How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    So, welcome to TFP!!
    TFP Moderator

    Trouble Free Pool is a free resource. The people who answer questions are volunteers. If you find the site to be a good resource, please consider making a donation to help support the site. Thanks.

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Yeah, I'm reading and reading, this is an awesome site and I can gain so much info from knowledgeable people. The results I gave, admitedly were taken about 2 months apart. However, I am going to look at buying a TF100.

    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    There are ways to deal with hard water, but you don't want to be adding anything that adds yet *more* calcium to the pool like CalHypo products (granular and pucks).

    Can you provide us with a full set of test results like this:
    FC
    CC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Thanks

    Yip
    FC 4
    CC 0
    pH 7.8
    TA 170
    CH 400
    CYA - shows not tested
    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul-pool View Post
    FC 4
    CC 0
    pH 7.8
    TA 170
    CH 400
    CYA - shows not tested
    Without a current *accurate* CYA test, I don't know if 4ppm is enough to keep your pool algae free.

    Your CH is ok as long as it doesn't go a bit higher.

    PoolMath will help you monitor if your pool is balanced and you can monitor your CSI, but you have to enter that missing CYA value in to the program.

    Yip
    Maddie :) 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Skippy's Pool Cooler --> Skippy's New Fountain Our Build --> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Without a current *accurate* CYA test, I don't know if 4ppm is enough to keep your pool algae free.

    Your CH is ok as long as it doesn't go a bit higher.

    PoolMath will help you monitor if your pool is balanced and you can monitor your CSI, but you have to enter that missing CYA value in to the program.

    Yip
    I cannot understand why they didn't do the CYA... Either way, I've purchased the TF100 and stirrer, so hopefully I can get on well with everything, thank you so much for your input and advice

    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Hiya Paul- nice to have you here. Welcome to TFP the EASIEST way to maintain your pool, along with being the CHEAPEST and MOST EFFECTIVE way.

    Can you tell I am a big fan? yeah... its that good.

    First question is about chlorine. Chlorine in its natural state is a gas. We home pool owners can't use a gas so they make it in to either a liquid (aka "bleach" or "liquid chlorine") which are all the same and don't add any other unnecessary ingredient. The only difference is the concentration. Household laundry bleach (which we highly recommend using) is 8.25%, liquid chlorine that you buy at a pool store is usually 10-12%. Exact same thing but a little stronger so you use a little less to get the same desired result (your Free Chlorine "FC" level)
    Solid forms of chlorine such as granular or puck type products are also chlorine BUT they include other ingredients the allow them to be made solid. The other ingredients are either Calcium or CYA Stabilizer. We discourage folks from using them because in time the level of Calcium "CH" or Stabilizer "CYA" gets too high in the pool and requires you to drain and refill. And if your CYA is too high it also can cause algae outbreaks because your FC won't be high enough.

    Sooooo... using regular old household bleach is a GOOD thing!

    Next Question: A Trouble Free Pool almost NEVER needs Shocking because our pools don't have algae.
    Pool stores are in the business of selling products. You'll be told you need to add this or that weekly or monthly which 99% of the time is totally unnecessary.

    How do we know its unnecessary??? By doing our own TESTING! We all have bought a test kit which is of a professional level that tests chlorine up to 50ppm and all the other tests we need to keep our pools balanced. There are only two test kits we trust: The TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006. Both are available through a company in NC TFTestkits.net or Amazon. I personally prefer the TF-100 as it provides more tests that we do the most.

    Next Question: Algaecide- NOPE! Rarely ever needed or recommended. And cheap ones have copper as an ingredient and we NEVER add that to our pools as it causes metal stains and green hair and is hard to remove. Algaecides are a preventative and are worthless if you already have algae. They aren't algae-killers.

    Please read this to get started learning about our way of doing things--> ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    Your pipe in the pool looks like a fountain to me, turned downwards. Not sure what the pipe near the equipment pad is for?

    Bring back new questions and I'll try to answer them.

    Yippee
    So I have worked out, the mystery open pipe by the filter is connected to the mystery pipe in the pool - so I will be able to make it into a functioning fountain!
    My question is, would it be best to have the pipe from the filter split in 2, one to the chlorinator (which ultimately won't be used as i'm using liquid chlorine) and 1 to the open pipe feeding the fountain?
    Or just 1 pipe direct to the fountain and bypass the chlorinator route altogether (this in effect would mean flow back to the pool would not come out the jets in the pool).

    15000 gallon in ground reinforced concrete gunite, Sta-Rite P2R pump, Sta-Rite PTM70 cartridge filter,Hayward CL110 automatic chlorine feeder, Pentair weir skimmer, using the TGH water testing kit & app
    New pool owner, no experience....need i say more?!!

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Newbie with chlorine questions!

    You need the pool jets to function - they are what provide the circulation that is necessary to keep "dead" spots from developing in the pool - spots in which the chlorine, pH, etc. can change drastically from the "live" spots, allowing algae to grow. Those jets also help to circulate debris into the skimmers - they're quite important!

    If you're going to hook up the fountain pipe, you'll want to consider splitting the output from the filter. Make sure you have a Jandy Neverlube valve on the split to be able to control the flow - you won't want the fountain running all the time as it will cause pH rise and temperature cooling (you probably won't want to cool the pool during early/late parts of the swim season).

    I'm not qualified to talk about pressures and other considerations for plumbing that pipe - you'll want to wait for an expert to chime in.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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