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Thread: Chlorine and Stabilizer

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    Chlorine and Stabilizer

    I have had an inground, 22,000 gallon pool with an ozone system for a year, and I live in Houston. I have been putting tri-chlor tablets in the chlorinator, with a setting of 2. I have been shocking the pool with two cups of di-chlor every week. Problem is, every weekend when I get my water tested at the local pool chem place, the chlorine reads as 0 ppm and the stabilizer is over 150 ppm. I therefore drained about 2/3 of the the pool, refilled, and the stabilizer now reads 95 ppm, but, even after shocking, the chlorine level still reads 0 ppm. What am I doing wrong? I've read that all chlorine tabs contain stabilizer, and that stabilizer doesn't burn off, so every time I put a tri-chlor tab in the chlorinator, I add more stabilizer. I've also read that the more stabilizer, the less effective chlorine is (which may account for my 0 reading).
    Given that my stabilizer is still high, is there a tab that doesn't contain stabilizer (and, if so, what is it called), or should I continue to use tri-chlor tabs, and should I be using a stabilizer free shock instead of di-chlor (and, if so, any recommendations?).

    Thanks for any help. This whole stabilizer/chlorine balancing act has been a huge pain.

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    I don't know anything about ozone systems but I suspect the pros here will tell you to go to bleach or liquid chlorine for your chlorine source at this point. And that you ought to drain and fill a bit more to lower the CYA (stablizer) to about 40 or 50 or 60. In this heat, assuming you have lot of sun, the higher levels might be OK. Later, if the rains ever return, you ought to see some lowering of CYA if your pool ever gets to the overflow level.

    I converted this pool to the BBB method when I found my pool had CYA of something like 125-ish and I had been doing just like you are, pucks and weekly bags of "shock". And I had a bit of algae most of the time. Now I test every 3rd day and add a big jug of bleach from Sam's club. I add 2 or 3 cups of acid when the pH gets above 7.8. And I try to get someone to brush the pool each week, 'cause I still hate to do the far side. It's pretty easy, otherwise.

    But that is just my story, your needs may be quite different with the ozone system, so we probably need to wait on one of the smarter folks around here. But, welcome to the TFP forum, and I hope you find your pool to be Trouble Free soon.
    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: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Thanks. The backyard faces west, so the pool receives a lot of noon/afternoon south Texas sun. It was around 95 degrees before I drained about 2/3 of it -- I originally wondered why my pool guy was trying to sell me a "chiller", but now I know.

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    there aren't really any useful tabs that don't have stabilizer. there is granular chlorine that contains calcium instead of cya/stabilizer, but then your calcium will get too high which leads to big problems like scaling. if you are set on convenience, an swg is the way to go if you want to maintain your pool the way this forum recommends (which is the best way by far and long imo). otherwise, you can add some chlorine/bleach every night or other night. your ozone is...well, you can read here about them:
    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html
    basically they aren't recommended and you can't really run your pool at a different level from the chlorine/cya chart (see the chart in pool-school/) with it. I also recommend reading the pool chemistry section inhttp://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-school/
    if you would like more help, a full set of test results is needed, and it's highly highly recommended to get your own test kit, and not rely on the pool store which is often inaccurate.
    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: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Not only do the trichlor pucks contain CYA, the dichlor "shock" also contains CYA.

    To solve the 0 FC level, you need to shock the pool. It will be much simpler to do that if you can get the CYA level down some more before you start. Once it is time to shock, you need to bring the FC level up to shock level for your CYA level. That probably means using a lot more chlorine all at once than you have been using.

    I don't recommend using ozone systems for outdoor residential pools. But the ozone system wouldn't have much effect on your current situation. Ozone will often consume a little chlorine, but not enough to have any significant impact on the situation you describe.

    Sadly, there is no ideal form of chlorine. Liquid chlorine, which is just higher strength bleach, is your best choice all around, if you can find it in your area.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Thanks. Do I use the liquid chlorine to shock the pool or just for general chlorine maintenance, and is liquid chlorine in addition to the tri-chlor tabs or a substitute for them?

    I will drain some more water out and flush out the filter system to see if I can get the stabilizer down this weekend. I was disappointed to find that draining 2/3 of the pool merely reduced the stablizer from 150 to 95 (especially since tri-chlor will just elevate it again).

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    that's why most people here don't use trichlor except for small increases in cya (stabilizer) if it gets a bit low, or vacations. an SWG will completely solve that problem though. if there was an ideal form of chlorine, the swg would be it imo.
    what most people here do is add bleach/chlorine daily after testing the water to maintain target level chlorine for their cya level.
    pool-school/basic_pool_care_schedule
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    also, shocking probably isn't what you think it is. you can read this article that explains how to truly shock:
    pool-school/shocking_your_pool
    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: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Thanks. Is there a test kit that measure both FC and CYA?

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    If you look in Jasons Signature you will see TF Test Kits. This kit will test all you will need to get answers at this fourm.
    20K gallons,plaster, IG, Posi Flo 100 cartridge filter, 3/4hp pump. , Polaris 280?

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Thanks. Is there a test kit that measure both FC and CYA?
    Well, yes. I sell one and so does Taylor....There's is the K-2006. However, I'll let others comment since I have a financial interest.

    The reason I posted is to emphasize what hasn't been emphasized enough in the posts above.

    Your chlorine is disappearing because you have algae in your pool. Chlorine is consumed two things.....by organics (algae) and the uv rays of the sun. The CYA (stabilizer) is in your pool to protect the chlorine from the sun. Unfortunately when it gets too high (yours is way too high), it makes the chlorine ineffective and it cannot kill off the algae like it is supposed to.

    You must raise the chlorine to very high levels for a few days to kill off that algae. In order for it to be effective, you must first reduce your CYA down to around 60 so the chlorine will be effective enough to kill the algae. The only way to reduce your CYA is to partially drain your pool and refill with fresh water.

    Meanwhile, stop using pucks and dichlor.....they are making your situation worse. Read Pool School and ask lots of questions. Many nice folks here who will help you get your pool water back in good shape.

    PS - you can also get your pool water back below 90 degrees pretty cheaply.....like $5-10 dollars. Search "pool cooler" on the forum.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Thanks. I missed that.

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Quote Originally Posted by trclac
    Thanks. The backyard faces west, so the pool receives a lot of noon/afternoon south Texas sun. It was around 95 degrees before I drained about 2/3 of it -- I originally wondered why my pool guy was trying to sell me a "chiller", but now I know.
    If you go to a weather underground site (does the weather for google pages) and pull up a nearby data site you will see that early in the morning, like 5 AM to maybe 8 AM it is actually quite cool outside. That is the time to run that waterfall as those rocks will be cool then.

    I also have a very large Giant Bird of Paradise planted right next to the pool, among other things, that will shade the pool at various times of day. Looks like a banana tree but it is more hardy, wont' melt away in a freeze. Interesting to me that while the tree is on the northeast side of the pool, it still manages to provide shade since it leans to the southwest, slightly over the pool. The waterfall is also a little bit shaded by a large sago palm. So, you can look at plants to provide some help if you are patient.

    There was a topic here recently about how to cool a pool... waterfall and circulation at night vs the need to have some circulation during the day to keep pool areas well chlorinated. I have chosen a median path, 1 hour of waterfall at 7 AM plus two 15 min bursts during the day to keep chlorine in the waterfall pools without putting too much hot water into the pool. Day before yesterday, it was NOT 100+ but only 90 something.... and the pool was almost too cool at first. Weird.
    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: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Great idea on the waterfall cooling approach. I may try that.

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    You know, I just realized....
    The test strips I relied upon when we moved to this house with the pool had me keeping the FC at 1 - 3 ppm and the pool store suggested I "shock" each week but using one or two bags of "shock". I assume the bag was one lb of dichlor. This was what I was told was standard maintainence, along with "brush the pool and empty the skimmer and the pump basket".

    I was playing with the Pool Calculator and I see that the pound of dichlor only bumped my chlorine 3 ppm and added 3 ppm CYA. Plus the pucks added 7 ppm CYA each week. So my CYA was climbing 10 each week while my FC never exceeded 5 or 6.

    More importantly, when my CYA was 125-ish (that is somewhere between 100 and 150 on strips) my shock level of FC was at least 30 ppm. To even get to true shock level would have taken 10 bags of dichlor (and CYA would have risen by 26).

    Wow... no wonder pools are such a chore when you follow that common advice.
    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: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    I was disappointed to find that draining 2/3 of the pool merely reduced the stablizer from 150 to 95 (especially since tri-chlor will just elevate it again).
    There's a math error in there somewhere. Draining 2/3 of a pool with 150 CYA reults in CYA 50. Draining 1/2 of that same pool resaults in CYA 75, etc. etc.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    There's a math error in there somewhere. Draining 2/3 of a pool with 150 CYA reults in CYA 50. Draining 1/2 of that same pool resaults in CYA 75, etc. etc.
    I thought I'd read here somewhere that CYA may become attached to the walls and pipes and such and so drain and refill may not get quite the results anticipated.

    Plus, if he is using strips then 150 may have been 180 or 250 for all he knows.
    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: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    A good test kit will reveal accurate CYA levels.

    Welcome to TFP
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    There's a math error in there somewhere. Draining 2/3 of a pool with 150 CYA reults in CYA 50. Draining 1/2 of that same pool resaults in CYA 75, etc. etc.
    I thought I'd read here somewhere that CYA may become attached to the walls and pipes and such and so drain and refill may not get quite the results anticipated.

    Plus, if he is using strips then 150 may have been 180 or 250 for all he knows.
    Just to clear up the math error, my test device could only read up to 150. My bad for not mentioning that. However, the chem place also checked it and said it was above 150 but only slightly. Never got the actual number from them, so I just mentioned 150. But when I drained and refilled, my test showed 95 and the chem place showed around 99. I asked how that could be. They said the same thing as above ... the CYA may have attached to the walls and pipes. They recommened flushing the filter system and hosing down the walls during draining, which is what I am doing. Major pain. I am draining it 2/3 again, hoping to knock it down to at least 40; even with CYA attached to the piping and walls, I am hoping this will do it! They mentioned tonight what other posters mentioned ... not use the tri-chlor for awhile and use liquid chlorine while it's around 40. Once the CYA starts dipping due to rain, etc., then use a puck again.

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    I'm at a loss. I drained over half the pool again yesterday evening/last night, and refilled it during the night. This is my second draining within a few days. My CYA is still high ... the reading I am getting now (after filling the pool) is a CYA of about 60, which is better than 95 but not what I hoped for. The CYA must be sticking to the pebbletec surface and the piping.
    Given that my water bill is going to be outrageous this month, I am done draining/refilling.
    There is no FC is the pool. I therefore need to shock it. I notice that the Shock FC is around 24. How many gallons of liquid chlorine will that take (again, for a 22,000 gallon pool).

    Thanks for all the help!

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    Re: Chlorine and Stabilizer

    tr,

    Not to worry. You can manage with that 60 CYA for the rest of the summer.....it's high but it's not unacceptable. You'll do fine.


    1. If your water is clear, I would not shock right away....you may not need to. It will depend on your CC test results to determine the need to shock. Can you do the CC's test?

    2. If you do need to, you can use Jason's calculator (in my sig info) to figure how much you will need.....you will need you need almost 4 gallons of 12% chlorine

    3. Assuming you do shock, it is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a process that can take a few days. Read How to Shock up in Pool School

    Post back with more questions. You have progressed tremendously and are getting nearer to taking charge of your pool.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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