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Thread: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    This year I've been using bleach exclusively. For the past week or so I've had CYA level of 50, TA of 110, PH of 8.0, CH of 200.

    The biggest trouble I have now is maintaining Chlorine levels. I'm putting in 1 gallon 6% bleach in at night around 7 and the next morning free chlorine level is at 0 when it should be up around 4 ppm. If I put 2 gallons of 6% bleach in at 7 it may get to 4 ppm for about 24 hours but then drop to zero again. This is costing a lot - when I was using trichlor tablets I typically only needed to use 3 about every 3 days to get an acceptable chlorine level.

    I recently had a lot of green and yellow algae but have now nearly got rid of it all using Yellow Out and Polyquot and for the past week or two the pool's been clear. For some reason my CYA level had dropped to 0 (from about 30 in April when I added some). I added enough to get it up to 50 ppm about a week ago. I had thought getting rid of the Algae and fixing the CYA would fix the chlorine demand but apparently not much.

    I live in Texas and temperatures been running between 95 and 107 degrees (yesterday's temperature) for the past week or so.

    Questions:

    1) How much is the high PH contributing to this situation? I've added some acid today and hope to get the PH down to more normal levels of 7.4-7.6. Any other reasons for the chlorine demand? I added 32 oz of Polyquot a week ago - does that interfere with chlorine?

    2) This is getting expensive. At 2 gallons a day the bleach will easily run me about $30 a week. Using trichlor tablets I would spend $100 for a bucket which would last me all summer.
    I would go back to using trichlor tablets but it led to high levels of CYA that I didn't like and caused problems. At prices for bleach these days is it really less expensive v. using triclor tablets? Transporting the gallons and gallons of bleach and having to go shopping for it every week is getting old also. If I'm not getting a decent cost difference and if it's actually more expensive it's probably not that worth it to me.

    3) I'm beginning to think bleach is a solution for colder climates and not for high heat and sun areas as Texas. Any thoughts?

    Any help would be appreciated. When I hear that others spend very little on bleach v. trichlor I just don't get why I'm not seeing the same results.

    Thanks.
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeH20

    I recently had a lot of green and yellow algae but have now nearly got rid of it all using Yellow Out and Polyquot and for the past week or two the pool's been clear.
    Both of these, particularly the first, will create a huge chlorine demand and
    "nearly got rid" is NOT the same as killing the algae and having your FC holding, is it?

    3) I'm beginning to think bleach is a solution for colder climates and not for high heat and sun areas as Texas. Any thoughts?
    Wrong, you just have not killed all the algae and organics in the pool. Climate has nothing to do with at as evidenced at how well liquid chlorine works in Florida and Arizona!
    Any help would be appreciated. When I hear that others spend very little on bleach v. trichlor I just don't get why I'm not seeing the same results.
    Because you have an active algae bloom and have used chemicals that create an even larger chlorine demand in an attempt to speed up a process that really cannot be sped up!

    Thanks.
    Fix the problem, get your water balance stable, and THEN see how much it costs to use bleach. Right now you are comparing apples to oranges.

    First step would be to post a full set of test resuls and details about your pool.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Welcome to TFP!

    You need to shock the pool properly, see here, and stop using products like Yellow Out, which often create more problems than they solve. Once you get an overnight FC loss test with a loss of 1.0 or less, indicating that the algae is dead and chemical residues are gone, everything will be much better.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Thanks - I'll try shocking the pool again. It hasn't been clear to me that the shocking was to continue until the chlorine levels don't drop over night. Also, I did find the CYA/Chlorine/Mustard Algae chart (http://www.troublefreepool.com/chlor...art-t2346.html) and it shows I have to shock at 30 ppm for mustard algae (which is actually what I was doing but probably not long enough).

    I know Yellow Out is frowned upon but I used it because I had an old one around and the bleach didn't seem to be working; but I thought polyquat was ok (at least on poolforums.com it was).

    Regarding maintenance level, pool calculator shows I need to add about 2 gallons to get it to 6 ppm which is level for my cya. Once I get the algae cleared and the 6 ppm achieved, how many gallons of 6% Bleach should I expect to be using per day or week with my CYA being at 50 for a 20k pool?

    Even a ball park figure would be helpful so I can get a handle on whether I'm in the normal range.

    Thanks for the help.
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    average loss is 2ppm per day, though if you're in texas with full sun it will be more. polyquat 60 is ok if you want to run lower chlorine levels for some reason, you're doing an asorbic acid treatment, and probably some other reasons. but it's been said here that it's better at prevention than battling algae.
    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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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Thanks reebok, that's good information.

    I would agree re: Polquat - I used the yellow out first last Monday, shocked and it did work to get rid of the yellow algae. I then added 32 oz polquat but that didn't seem to do too much. That was added on Wed (today's Sunday).

    But now the yellow algae is back covering the bottom with a thin layer.

    I'm shocking as we speak to 30 ppm after vacuuming and brushing. I will test later tonight, then tomorrow night to see if there's any drop.
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    What kind of pool do you have, vinyl, fiberglass, or plaster?

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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Plaster - I just updated my sig.

    Also, forgot to mention I got my PH down to 7.6 and TA to 80 (Temp 95, 200 CH). According to the Taylor kit Watergram, my Saturation Index is close to perfect to a zero.
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Don't waste too much time over the SI. It's really not that useful a number.

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Hold your shock level consistantly!

    You're done shocking when:
    you lose less than 1ppm FC over night
    0 CC
    and your pool sparkles!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    If you have the FAS-DPD test, and you perform an overnight FC loss test....

    you are done shocking when
    you lose 1ppm or less overnight
    and your CC is .5 or less.

    We are currently debating the clear/sparkly criteria - may not be an issue if you have an FAS-DPD test.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Ok Sunday night dumped 7 jugs 182 oz bleach in to shock to 30 ppm.
    Monday morning it was down about 20 ppm, dumped another 5 jugs.
    Monday night yellow algae was visibly gone - i.e., brushing produces no yellow cloud like it did before, but there still seems to be some white dust which I'm guessing is the bleached algae? hopefully not plaster. FC was about 7 or 8. Dumped another 6 jugs in to 30 ppm.

    Will see where it is tomorrow morning.

    Question - the Leslie's kit I have which appears to be the Taylor K-2006 kit has you test for FC over 5 ppm by having you use either 4.5 ml of water and diluting to 9, then multiplying the color match by 2, or you can go as low as 1.8 ml, dilute and multiply by 5. The dilution method seems to be very inaccurate, doesn't go past 25, and I can't distinguish 1 ppm differences. For example, at most, the 1.8 dilution method gets me to 25 ppm (5 x 5). If it matches at 4 I would multiply by 5 and get 20.

    Do the other kits test this way or is there a kit that tests more finely the higher ppm?
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Joe, the procedure that you're going through now recently took me at least 2 weeks to get my FC to hold overnight. My water was clear the whole time. But I had had some cloudy water and dark green issues earlier this year and last year. Like you, I would shock my pool once and thought that would take care of it until I came here and studied hard. I'll bet we spent well over $225 in bleach to get this straight. Now I am adding a couple of small jugs every other day, thinking of adding borates. I have a good test kit, and I use the pool calculator. I don't just guess any more like I once did. I have been getting lots of hot sun all day. It is frustrating, but you will get there.
    Sallie
    25 K gal., vinyl IG, Hayward 3/4 hp pump, Hayward Pro Series S-220T 18" sand filter, full sun all day, no main drain - Columbia, SC

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom

    We are currently debating the clear/sparkly criteria
    Sparkly is important when doing a baqua-to-cholrine conversion, as it is a good indicator that all the baqua-goo is out of your water.

    However, when shocking for algae or other general purposes, you water may remain cloudy for a few days while your filter gets out all the dead junk.

    If the junk is already dead, no need to continue trying to kill it!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    It does not sound like you have the K-2006 kit... I think the Leslie's name for that is Leslies Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    It's called the Leslie's "Complete Poolcare DPD Test
    On the back, it says 81330 "TLR Complete Kit Chlorine DPD" and it has a Taylor manual.

    This is it: http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...400000/I/81330

    Does the K-2006 kit test for higher levels of FC and if so how - do you have to dilute it and multiply like this one or is it more accurate?


    The descriptions I've read one the K-2006 just says it tests to 5 ppm and it doesn't look any different from mine except mine doesn't have the little bottle with the flat cap - second to the left of the yellow bottles out of the container in this picture:
    http://secure.poolcenter.com/prodinfo.asp?number=K2006
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    You can buy a seperate FAS-DPD test to supplement your kit. Both the Taylor website and TFtestkit's sell the test seperately for around $25. I would think Leslie's would sell it too.
    http://www.tftestkits.net/index.php?...d&productId=23

    It's not a color-comparison test, it's a drop count test similar to TA that you count till there is a color change. You do not have to dilute it. It can test up to 50ppm FC.

    In the picture, the bottles out of the package are the FAS-DPD test.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    The kit you currently have is a rebranded Taylor K-2005. The FAS-DPD test is a titration test, not a color matching test. It can test up to 50 ppm FC with a precision as great as .2 ppm. It is not subjective at all and has a distinct endpoint that even color blind people can see. You can order the Taylor FAS-DPD titration test from Taylor
    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/produ ... KitID=2185
    This kit comes with 10 grams of DPD powder, .75 oz of FAS titrant and .75 oz of DPD reagent 3# for $24.95 in a cool blue box!

    OR

    you can order the kit from TF Testkits
    http://www.tftestkits.net/index.php?act ... oductId=23
    for $25.50
    It comes with 10 grams of DPD powder, 2 oz. of FAS titrant and .75 oz. of DPD reagent #3 and it uses all Taylor reagents.
    BUT
    you don't get the cool blue box!

    Hmmmm, let me think for a minute....no cool blue box but I can do approx 3 times the number of tests for just about the same money before I need to order refills! Now that's a hard decision, isn't it?

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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    Great - Thanks for explaining about the tests and the titration - I was wondering how people were able to get such fine readings on the ppm. In the meantime I will have to bear with the color matching and dilution.

    I added another 3 Jugs this morning (should have been enough to raise FC 12 ppm to about 20 ppm is my guess) as that's all I had left. So far since Sunday night (now Tuesday night) I've added a total of 21 182 oz 6% jugs (total of about 30 gallons). Since I don't have the proper tests I don't know whether it's been holding or not. Tonight I didn't add any bleach but tested and the best I can tell FC's at 10 ppm from whatever it was this morning. I didn't add any tonight and will see if it drops tomorrow morning. I figure I can tell better on changes when its 10 ppm or below. I have another 9 jugs on standby... I"m assuming that this may slow the process down but as long as it doesn't drop below 6 ppm (the maintenance level for my CYA level) new stuff won't grow?

    Tonight there was visible MA on the steps and in certain areas; I vacuumed and brushed. Can't tell whether it's dead or not - still somewhat yellow but not as much as it was I don't think. More so than yesterday when there appeared very little and mostly white but maybe there's just more dead now. I added some clarifier too.
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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    JoeH20's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble Maintaining Chlorine Levels With Bleach

    (Near) Disaster!

    I woke up this morning with the pool overflowing to the brim. I had left the hose on!! I drained it down a few inches. I absolutely hate when I do that - I don't even remember turning it on - must have done it when cleaning the skimmers.

    I know my levels are now probably all screwed up. The FC still tested at above 5 -my guess is about a 6. So it's holding better than it was I think even with all the dilution. The pool is much clearer mostly due to the clarifier I think. I will probably add enough to go to 20 ppm now and then see how it holds. The bottom still has a thin level of MA on it - I'll vacuum it again tonight. Hope its dead!
    20k, Plaster IG, Tagelus Fiberglass Sand Filter TA-100D Flow Rate 100, Pentair 2HP Pump, Polaris 280 Pool Cleaner, Taylor K-2005 Test Kit

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