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Thread: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

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    Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    I'm trying to calculate if it's cheaper to buy household bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or granular calcium hypochlorite.

    The bleach is only 3% concentration (I haven't been able to find liquid chlorine in my area).

    I calculated that 200g of calcium hypochlorite is equivalent to about 375ml of bleach in terms of cost.
    But i'm not sure which is more effective. Does anyone know how to work this out?

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Where are you located? We might be able to point out a supplier of higher concentration liquid.

    As far as solid forms of chlorine, they work fine for the chlorination but they also add other stuff. In your case you would be adding calcium hardness.
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Where are you located? What is your pool surface/construction/type?

    Cal-hypo will result in a buildup of calcium in the water, which will eventually make the pool difficult to manage due to the possibility of scaling. This will require water drains and refills to keep the calcium level manageable.
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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Since the calcium doesn't go away, over time you will have to drain some water off and replace it with calcium free water.
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Where are you located? Generally in the US every grocery store has 8.25% bleach. Same with the ubiquitous Wal-Mart.

    To answer your question, I believe 1lb of 65% Cal-Hypo is about the same as 1 gallon of 8.25% in terms of FC and is about $1 more. (Standard disclaimer Cal-Hypo increases CH eventually to a point of "too much")

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Also, What % Cal-Hypo were you looking at?
    Bob - INTEX 12x24 owner (not setup yet), 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    It depends on the % available chlorine. You want to compare the cost based on how much chlorine gas equivalent each provides as that is a direct comparison.

    Typically speaking, the difference in price will be fairly minimal. The main benefit of cal hypo is that it packs a lot of chlorine into a small volume making it very easy to transport and carry around. The biggest drawback is it is very caustic and adds quite a bit of alkalinity to the water which will need to be controlled by acid additions. Also, for every 10ppm FC added by cal hypo, you roughly add about 6ppm to your CH. If your local water is soft, then the CH increase won't be a problem.

    Bleach, by comparison is only slightly alkaline, affects pH very little and adds only a small amount of salt to the water. However, it is much bulkier to carry around and transport.


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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    I'm not sure its even worth buying 3% bleach and lugging it home? Why bother when 8.25% is so readily available?

    Try to avoid buying at Lowes and Home Depot, or any other place that stores their bleach outside in the garden center where its hot and sunny. That weakens bleach fast and you may end up buying 3% bleach but paying for 8%.

    Walmart <insert shiver> does sell 10% liquid chlorine in their pool aisle. Check that out.

    Yippee
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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    As Matt said, if you have soft water, its a good alternative. Even helpful if you need a Calcium source, cost aside. I don't think we say this often enough but its just fine in many cases.

    Bleach is great, and the next best thing as an alternative to most sources of FC, but the cumbersome nature of getting it to the pool is undeniable.
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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Costco is the most convenient for me
    They sell 8.3% in three packs for $8.79 around me.

    A little more expensive than HD when you compare compensating for % and fluid oz, but stored inside and we go to Costco about once a week anyway.
    25,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 336k BTU low nox RP 2100 gas heater, Pentair CCP520 520 sq ft Cart filter, Max-Flo VS2303VSP pump, diy control and automation system

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    I live in South Africa

    I've been looking at bleach at my local grocery stores but they're all 3%.
    I'm yet to look at our local equivalent to Walmart, as it's a bit of a drive, but looking at their website there are some brands I haven't seen before, so some might be stronger.

    I've got a fibre glass pool.
    I haven't had any issues with calcium deposits, but then it hardly ever needs refilling as we get a lot of rain.

    According to the label, the calcium hypochlorite is 600g/1kg, so 60% then I guess.

    I believe 1lb of 65% Cal-Hypo is about the same as 1 gallon of 8.25%
    So, from that info, I get this:

    200g of 60% calcium hypochlorite is about the same as 4.28l of 3% bleach, which works out to about 11x the price, so yeah, not worth it!

    The biggest drawback is it is very caustic and adds quite a bit of alkalinity to the water which will need to be controlled by acid additions
    Yeah, I tend to have to add acid quite often.

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    In you situation, I would use calcium hypochlorite. You're likely going to get enough rain dilution that your calcium levels will be decreasing more than increasing.

    The more important question is this - do you have a good test kit for measuring your pool water? That will be much more important than what source of chlorine you'll be using.


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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    The more important question is this - do you have a good test kit for measuring your pool water? That will be much more important than what source of chlorine you'll be using.
    I do, but it only measures chlorine up to 3ppm, and no stabilizer or calcium :/
    I need to inquire at my local pool shop, but I might have to import one.

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Quote Originally Posted by fogeshan View Post
    I do, but it only measures chlorine up to 3ppm, and no stabilizer or calcium :/
    I need to inquire at my local pool shop, but I might have to import one.
    Yeah, 3ppm is not very useful if you don't know stabilizer levels. Does South Africa allow for the use of cyanuric acid? Typically countries that don't allow CYA to be used in commercial public pools also have limited sources of stabilized chlorine (dichlor and trichlor) on the retail side. If you've never used either of those then your water may not have any CYA in it. Having some CYA in the water is better than none at all and 30-40ppm would be a good level to start at. That would at least make the FC/CYA ratio ok for 3ppm FC.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Yup, it does. I've just added some actually. Based on the guidelines on the packaging, I estimate the the CYA to be around 30ppm now.

    I've used trichlor in the past, but ended up having too much CYA in the water.

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    While reading up on chlorine and CYA, I came across this article which suggests a chlorine level of 7.5% of CYA: New Thinking: Chlorine/Cyanuric Acid In Balance - AQUA Magazine

    So at 30ppm CYA, you get 2.25ppm FC. This is quite a bit lower than the 4-6ppm recommended by the Cl/CYA chart here. Thoughts?

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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Quote Originally Posted by fogeshan View Post
    While reading up on chlorine and CYA, I came across this article which suggests a chlorine level of 7.5% of CYA: New Thinking: Chlorine/Cyanuric Acid In Balance - AQUA Magazine

    So at 30ppm CYA, you get 2.25ppm FC. This is quite a bit lower than the 4-6ppm recommended by the Cl/CYA chart here. Thoughts?
    Ben Powell is the founder of what we do here.

    The 7.5 % is the minimum FC required to keep the pool sanitized, and is what the TFP minumum FC is based upon.

    Our target range is recommeded as just that, a daily target that will allow for loss of FC throughout the day.
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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Ben Powell is the founder of what we do here.
    The 7.5 % is the minimum FC required to keep the pool sanitized, and is what the TFP minumum FC is based upon.
    Our target range is recommeded as just that, a daily target that will allow for loss of FC throughout the day.
    Ah ok, thanks for clearing that up

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Bleach vs Calcium Hypoclorite

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    Ben Powell is the founder of what we do here.

    The 7.5 % is the minimum FC required to keep the pool sanitized, and is what the TFP minumum FC is based upon.

    Our target range is recommeded as just that, a daily target that will allow for loss of FC throughout the day.
    And also cited in the article is ChemGeek, aka Richard Falk, the theoretical chemist who has many, many citations and threads here in the archives.
    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.
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