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Thread: TriChlor Question

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    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Dallas, TX Suburbs
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    TriChlor Question

    Is there a difference between the different brands of TriChlor 3" tabs? Is Leslie's better than Bio Guard, others? I know I will run into issues with CYA, but I am prepared to partially drain my pool when needed.

    How do I tell which setting to use on my Pentair 320 Auto-chlorinator? It is currently set on 4? Is there a guide to the Chlorinator?
    14,500 Gallon Chlorine Pool made with Plaster. Pentair 320 Autochlorinator, Polaris 280 w/ pump, Jandy DE Filter, Jandy Onetouch Automated system.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: TriChlor Question

    As far as I know, the difference in brands is simply price, also some brands put copper in them - so read the labels for active ingredients.

    The tabs also lower PH/TA so make sure you have soda ash or Borax/Baking soda on hand for adjusting them.

    As for the level/setting, be sure to keep your FC levels according to the CYA chart: the higher the CYA the higher the required FC. You may reach a point where the tabs don't produce enough FC to stay above your "min" level, so either drain down at that point to lower the CYA or supplement with bleach. STaying above the "min" will ensure you don't get algae.
    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: TriChlor Question

    At the bottom of the Pool Calculator you can see what each puck, by weight, will add to your pool. use thatto keep track and then test when you think you are at the upper limit to know how much water to dump. (such a shame to be dumping water in Texas, though)

    In my pool of 23,000 gallons, one 7 oz puck adds 1 CYA. Before, when I was using that exclusively, I was using 7 a week, so that was 30 ppm extra a month. It wasn't long before I'd gotten well above 100, strips said between 100 and 150. I guess there had been a lot of dillution with the hurricane in September because it really should have been even higher.

    CYA is probably "too high" at about 70 for Texas, though I am running at 40-ish now, so that really does not give you much wiggle room if your pool is about the size of mine.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Dallas, TX Suburbs
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    Re: TriChlor Question

    One of the local stores sells Bioguard and Leslies is right down the street as well. Price aside, which would you choose or would you use an online store branded product?
    14,500 Gallon Chlorine Pool made with Plaster. Pentair 320 Autochlorinator, Polaris 280 w/ pump, Jandy DE Filter, Jandy Onetouch Automated system.

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    Re: TriChlor Question

    Price aside is never the answer for me. I get my good advice here, I want a good price elsewhere. i don't think that online is realistic for a chlorine source, it is too bulky to ship and probably too dangerous for the mail. You need to get it locally I think.

    Let's see, I think my cal-hypo is Leslies branded Power Powder Shock. The pucks I probably got from there as well, huge bucket, maybe 100 lbs? 75 lbs? I don't recall, sure have a lot left at this point since I hardly use them. I was still following the pool store direction to fill the in-line chlorinator and shock weekly with cal-hypo bags. So, that was all bought right when we bought the house and I noticed Lelsie's along the road between the old house and the new house since I was traveling every day to take care of the skimmers in the new house.

    I had not even located all the local pool stores yet. Now I know that Leslies is just across the street from Warehouse Pool Supply which is down the strip from Home Depot and then Sam's Club.

    I mainly use bleach and MA. The bleach I get from the grocery store when it is on sale or from Sam's Club otherwise. Liquid Shock (10%) is from Warehouse Pool Supply, where I get a lot of things, muriatic acid and stuff that I want now not in the mail from the internet.

    I cannot answer your question any better than that, I don't even know what Bioguard is, actually.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: TriChlor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JRock80
    One of the local stores sells Bioguard and Leslies is right down the street as well. Price aside, which would you choose or would you use an online store branded product?
    IF you are going to use trichlor look for one with a 99% purity (1% inert ingredients, meaning the binder). Many brands have a lot of fillers and other things you don't want in your pool. Bioguard tends to put borax into their trichlor to help prevent the pH from dropping as fast but it means you are paying a lot of money for borax and not getting your money's worth of trichlor. Better to test the pH and TA weekly and ajust it as needed with borax and baking soda.They also like to throw clarifers in. Often copper sulfate is added to trichlor as an 'algaecide', such as the HTH dual action tabs. Bottom line, all these formulas make money for trhe manufacturers because borax and copper sulfate are a lot less expensive than trichlor so they are actually selling you less chlorine for the same price (as low as 91% trichlor).
    Read the label and know your ingredients.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: TriChlor Question

    My reply with the help of the TFP moderator and a professional chemist:

    Boric acid is not used as a filler, but as an active ingredient. As a general rule of thumb, a combination of chlorine with boric acid is almost always going to be more effective than chlorine alone -- it doesn't matter if it's dichlor or trichlor, especially in inhibiting algae. Boric acid and chlorine both attack bacteria in different ways; and with a combination you're going to get a 2-prong attack -- with softer water and less irritation to skin and eyes being side bonuses.

    Boric acid solutions are used in eye washes, as an antiseptic or to treat some infections, as it is anti-bacterial and inhibits growth of microorganisms. Some industries use it as an insecticide.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boric_acid
    http://www.natbat.com/What%20Is%20Boric%20Acid.pdf

    However, the use of boric acid does not replace the need for an effective sanitiser (chlorine). Bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms still require quick kill times to keep a pool safe. When using borates in the pool, consider who will be using the pool. The small amounts of water inadvertently consumed during normal pool activities do not pose a hazard, but pets or small children may be inclined to drink large quantities of pool water. Consuming large amounts of borate-treated water is toxic, as is drinking water with excessive borate levels.

    When using liquid chlorine, be very careful of accidental spillages. Apart from being corrosive, the fumes from spillage can make you very sick. I know of several cases where commercial pool workers have had to be hospitalised due to accidental chlorine spillages.

    Liquid chlorine also loses its potency over time. After about 30 days, using typical storage methods, you can expect a noticeable reduction in concentration. It starts to weaken as soon as it leaves the manufacturing facility (could be local, interstate or overseas by road, air (unlikely) or ship), then the warehouse to await an order before despatch, then the retailer's storage area, then the retailer's Point-of-Sale area before it reaches your home. This is not even counting the amount of time the liquid chlorine may sit in retailer's storage because they bought the item in bulk (for a discount) in anticipation of the upcoming season or due to a winter sale. Quite often, the strength listed on the label is not its true strength, so always test the water before adding.

    Although granular chlorine does not lose its strength like liquid chlorine does, you can inhale dust while broadcasting into the pool on breezy days, also making you quite sick. Because granular chlorine is potent, also be careful during application.

    Cal Hypo is highly reactive and explosive when not used properly, mixed with other chemicals or stored properly. I have personally seen how quickly Cal Hypo can combust when accidentally mixed with other chemicals in 2 incidents (i.e. you may not have time to get out). The mixing with other chemicals usually occur during accidental spillage in storage.
    Leslie's Pool Supply in Dallas recently exploded and went up in flames because of Cal Hypo. $6.2 million of inventory destroyed in minutes:
    http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/arch...ught-in-o.html

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: TriChlor Question

    Read the labels, that's all. It's like medicines; 200mg Ibuprofen is the same whether it comes in a pill or a capsule or a gelcap or it says Walgreens or Motrin. But especially watch for what else is in them - some brands put copper compounds in their product, which you don't want.

    That being said, you need to be careful about relying on pucks. Sure, they add Chlorine, but they also add CYA. Chlorine disappears, but CYA doesn't. and it just keeps building and building and building until it's so high your Chlorine is rendered useless. And then you will be starting a thread saying the water looks cloudy and dull, soon to be followed by one that says your pool has turned green. By that time, the CYA is so high that in order to shock the pool you'll be buying liquid chlorine by the truckload, and it probably still won't clear without a partial drain. Trichlor is fine when you're trying to raise CYA, and it's even better when you're out of town, but around here it's not recommended for daily use.

    If you haven't done so already, spend some time in Pool School. Especially read the section on test kits, then get one of the recommended kits. Using a good test kit and Pool Calculator is the surest way to keep expenses down. You can slack off some right now while the water is cold and no one's using it, but once the season starts you'll need to spend a few minutes a day consistently. Trouble-free does not mean Maintenance-free. My favorite analogy is brushing your teeth versus going to the dentist: You can spend a few minutes a day for pennies a week or spend a small fortune once a year to have a movie-star smile. But one way is less painful.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
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    Re: TriChlor Question

    AMEN to all of the above. As a new pool owner just 2 years ago, I bought a floaty duck thing, filled it was 3" tabs and tossed it in the pool. A few months later the battle with algae began and no matter what I did I could not beat it. FC levels were good, etc etc. Until TFP finally explained what was happening. I checked my CYA and sure enough it was well over 300! Drained 75-80% of the pool and started fresh (mostly).
    Then I decided I would avoid that pitfall again and started using Cal Hypo to chlorinate. Lately, I've been seeing this white, chalky cloud puff up from the bottom of the pool when I scoop up leaves or walk in the pool. Guess what? Cal Hypo adds Calcium to the pool. My calcium levels are above 800! Ugh.
    Moral of the story: follow TFP for EVERYTHING! My mistake was referring to it in times of need (which is great), but I wouldn't have "times of need" if I just followed it to begin with!
    Now I know I can deal with the high levels of Calcium hardness and slowly work on lowering over time....vacuum to waste will be my new best friend for quite sometime i think.
    32x16 -16,500 gallon plaster pool with connected spa and spillover, Hayward RS 1 HP pump, 2 Hayward Cartridge filters. 10 hours of direct sun a day and a first time pool owner!!

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