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Thread: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

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    Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    no chlorine tablets? just bleach?

    I visit each pool once a week. normally a tablet will keep the FC stable for a week. but i don't want to keep adding CYA. so can bleach once a week do the job?

    Thanks.
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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    no chlorine tablets? just bleach?

    I visit each pool once a week. normally a tablet will keep the FC stable for a week. but i don't want to keep adding CYA. so can bleach once a week do the job?

    Thanks.
    Probably not...I take it you clean pools since you say you visit each pool. In order for bleach to work you have to pay attention to your pool at least every two or three days...at least that is my experience. I test my water daily and don't let it go below 5-7 ppm with a CYA of 30-40. if it gets to 5 or below, I add about 30- 50 ounces when I add. If the pool is covered you can shock up to what ever your shock level is...for me 16 ppm and if it is covered the sun does not evaporate off the chlorine. I have been gone for 14 days and have come back to a pool with 7 ppm still. But as soon as you uncover for a day, it goes down. This is why they invented stabilized chlorine tablets or pucks...the stabilizer keeps the chlorine from being burned off by the sun, and you don't have to pay attention to the pool. Until it gets to the point where the CYA is too high and you don't have enough chlorine in the pool then it does not work and you get algae. the BBB method is really best for people who have the ability to keep regular tabs on the pool water.
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by cubbybeave08
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    no chlorine tablets? just bleach?

    I visit each pool once a week. normally a tablet will keep the FC stable for a week. but i don't want to keep adding CYA. so can bleach once a week do the job?

    Thanks.
    Probably not...I take it you clean pools since you say you visit each pool. In order for bleach to work you have to pay attention to your pool at least every two or three days...at least that is my experience. I test my water daily and don't let it go below 5-7 ppm with a CYA of 30-40. if it gets to 5 or below, I add about 30- 50 ounces when I add. If the pool is covered you can shock up to what ever your shock level is...for me 16 ppm and if it is covered the sun does not evaporate off the chlorine. I have been gone for 14 days and have come back to a pool with 7 ppm still. But as soon as you uncover for a day, it goes down. This is why they invented stabilized chlorine tablets or pucks...the stabilizer keeps the chlorine from being burned off by the sun, and you don't have to pay attention to the pool. Until it gets to the point where the CYA is too high and you don't have enough chlorine in the pool then it does not work and you get algae. the BBB method is really best for people who have the ability to keep regular tabs on the pool water.
    Thanks. yes I'm in the pool cleaning biz. Maybe I can do a partial BBB.

    what about those liquid chlorine feeders? I've heard about them. never seen one. do they float?
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    There are some pool services who use larger swings of chlorine at high CYA levels. One pool service in hot states of Arizona, Texas, Nevada and southern California uses 100 ppm CYA in their pools and raises the FC to 14 ppm during weekly dosing with the FC dropping to around 4 ppm by the time they re-dose the next week. One can use 50 ppm Borates in the pools to reduce the pH swings and as a mild algaecide, though that is optional.

    As for automatic dosing, there is The Liquidator, but see threads on this forum (here and here, for example) about that since there are potential downsides (calcium carbonate "white stuff"). Another option is a peristaltic pump, but obviously these options cost extra.

    A hybrid approach using some Trichlor, some chlorinating liquid or bleach, and some dilution of the water to help keep the CYA in check can work. This is easier if there are rains that can overflow the water to dilute it.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    There are some pool services who use larger swings of chlorine at high CYA levels. One pool service in hot states of Arizona, Texas, Nevada and southern California uses 100 ppm CYA in their pools and raises the FC to 14 ppm during weekly dosing with the FC dropping to around 4 ppm by the time they re-dose the next week. One can use 50 ppm Borates in the pools to reduce the pH swings and as a mild algaecide, though that is optional.

    As for automatic dosing, there is The Liquidator, but see threads on this forum (here and here, for example) about that since there are potential downsides (calcium carbonate "white stuff"). Another option is a peristaltic pump, but obviously these options cost extra.

    A hybrid approach using some Trichlor, some chlorinating liquid or bleach, and some dilution of the water to help keep the CYA in check can work. This is easier if there are rains that can overflow the water to dilute it.

    Richard
    Thanks Richard.

    We have lots of sun. 315 days of sun. and we get lots of rain in the summer. not much in the winter. I think the idea of using a hybrid approach might be best for me.

    These I think are my essential chemicals. (stuff I should carry on my pool route daily)
    1. Bleach (FC)
    2. Muriatic Acid (pH Down/TA Down)
    3. 20 Mule Team Borax (pH Up)
    4. Arm and Hammer Baking Soda (TA Up)
    5. D.E. Powder
    6. 7 Day Chlorine Tablets

    How I should arrange them on my truck is something I'm still working on.
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    My FIL has a pool guy. He's gone through a few in the past 20 or so years, and here is what the current guy does for $75 / mo.

    Once a week (Wednesdays) he brushes, vacuums, adjusts chemical levels, cleans the filter, etc. He also will make sure my FIL has a yellow jug of chlorine and some muratic acid. He instructs my FIL to add X amount of chlorine and acid over the weekend. My FIL does not even have to test first - this guy just knows this pool well enough now. If my FIL goes on vacation, he calls the pool guy and he will come out on those weekends to add the chemicals himself for no extra charge. For an additional $50 per month, my FIL could have him come twice a week and not have to bother with adding the chlorine and acid himself.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne
    My FIL has a pool guy. He's gone through a few in the past 20 or so years, and here is what the current guy does for $75 / mo.

    Once a week (Wednesdays) he brushes, vacuums, adjusts chemical levels, cleans the filter, etc. He also will make sure my FIL has a yellow jug of chlorine and some muratic acid. He instructs my FIL to add X amount of chlorine and acid over the weekend. My FIL does not even have to test first - this guy just knows this pool well enough now. If my FIL goes on vacation, he calls the pool guy and he will come out on those weekends to add the chemicals himself for no extra charge. For an additional $50 per month, my FIL could have him come twice a week and not have to bother with adding the chlorine and acid himself.

    I think customer service is key. at least that the only reason I still have a pool. The first month I had an algae outbreak and I was just starting out so gave the first month free and we had a guy come in and strip the filter down and clean it. now my client got his filter cleaned this month and didn't have to pay for my cleaning service. he feels good everything is looking better and he's not feeling ripped off. He has already paid me for next month. I have a happy client now.

    I decided when I start to do everything myself. the cleaning, chemicals and repairs. I'm still learning but thats my goal...a one man operation with very low overhead. I want to clean less pools for more money and not more pools for less money.

    I think a hybrid approach is best for me. Once the pools are well balance a tablet in each skimmer should keep FC level all week. I will need to keep an eye on CYA level and adjust if needed.
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Note that Trichlor tabs/pucks should not normally be put into the skimmer. They are very acidic and can damage equipment as well as the plastered area near the skimmer (assuming the pump cycles on/off each day). Normally, they are put into a floating feeder or an inline chlorinator. The floating feeder isn't risk-free either since it can park itself in one place causing some damage in that area. This happened in my own pool where some stainless steel bars rusted at the mounts closest to where the Trichlor feeder parked itself (this was when I first got my pool and was part of what prodded me to learn pool water chemistry).

    There are some types of Trichlor tabs, such as BioGuard Silk Smart Sticks that are designed to be used in the skimmer because they apparently do not dissolve (much) when there is no water flow. One problem with using Trichlor in the skimmer is that there isn't an easy control to lower the rate of introduction. You can use fewer sticks, but then they will get used up faster. This is why a floating feeder or an inline chlorinator are better since they are both adjustable for dosing rates.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Note that Trichlor tabs/pucks should not normally be put into the skimmer. They are very acidic and can damage equipment as well as the plastered area near the skimmer (assuming the pump cycles on/off each day). Normally, they are put into a floating feeder or an inline chlorinator. The floating feeder isn't risk-free either since it can park itself in one place causing some damage in that area. This happened in my own pool where some stainless steel bars rusted at the mounts closest to where the Trichlor feeder parked itself (this was when I first got my pool and was part of what prodded me to learn pool water chemistry).

    There are some types of Trichlor tabs, such as BioGuard Silk Smart Sticks that are designed to be used in the skimmer because they apparently do not dissolve (much) when there is no water flow. One problem with using Trichlor in the skimmer is that there isn't an easy control to lower the rate of introduction. You can use fewer sticks, but then they will get used up faster. This is why a floating feeder or an inline chlorinator are better since they are both adjustable for doing rates.

    Richard
    I have the 7 day slow tablets. they stay together and dissolve slowly. They are the ones all the companies use on the island. I used to use them when I did the chemical balance 20yrs ago on over 100 pools a week. I used to get paid $200 per week. I wish I had 100 pools now.
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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    I used to use them when I did the chemical balance 20yrs ago on over 100 pools a week. I used to get paid $200 per week. I wish I had 100 pools now.
    Earning $2 a week per pool would motivate most people to aspire to a career of dishwashing.
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    Re: Can I chlorinate a pool once a week with only bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by IslandPool
    I used to use them when I did the chemical balance 20yrs ago on over 100 pools a week. I used to get paid $200 per week. I wish I had 100 pools now.
    Earning $2 a week per pool would motivate most people to aspire to a career of dishwashing.

    the companies around here pay their employees $150 per week. usually it takes two employees to clean a pool and they have to come to the pool twice a week. on top of that the owner or supervisor has to check the chemicals once a week.

    That's the way they operated over here. I used to work for two pool companies. plus they all want a office so that puts their overhead up even higher. I rent storage space for my chemicals and use my cell phone...my office is my truck.

    my idea as the owner is to do everything myself. I think it is possible but I have lots to learn. but I am not afraid of hard work and working up a sweat.
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