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Thread: Can Chlorine (aka Bleach) Fade a Vinyl Liner?

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    Can Chlorine (aka Bleach) Fade a Vinyl Liner?

    Okay, I'm having a very difficult time believing that pouring bleach into a vinyl lined pool will not fade the liner. I've read that many of you are using this BBB system and I mentioned it to many veteran pool owners I know, and ALL of them said I "would fade my liner....chlorine is for Pools and bleach is for laundry". I mentioned that chlorine bleach is for laundry and there is no difference. It is mainly a "Scam" by Pool Supply houses to make more money.

    Bottom line; Is chlorine and bleach identical? I believe the answer is yes. (See link http://science.howstuffworks.com/question189.htm ) But what about fading the vinyl liner? I have seen and been in many vinyl lined pools that have faded liners. Is this due to liquid chlorine (aka bleach)? Why wouldn't the pucks or sticks be a safer bet?

    Sorry but this June will be the grand opening of my new & first pool. Doing all this research is making me dizzy. Everyone has an opinion and it almost always contradicts the last one! As the great Charlie Brown once said Arrghh!
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

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    I asked a similar question and was given some good answers on This Link

    Im sure others will chime in here as well.
    26000 Gallon Vinyl in ground pool
    1.5 HP Pump
    Sand Filter (with a bit of DE)
    Goldline Aqua Rite SWCG

    But I like driving to the lake!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. It doesn't mater if you get it from bleach, pucks, liquid chlorine, sticks, or a SWG. If you apply concentrated chlorine directly to your liner it will fade. This applies to almost all of the common sources, pouring bleach directly on the liner is bad just as sitting a trichlor puck directly on the liner would also be a problem. A SWG never has chlorine at that concentration outside of the cell, so it would be difficult to do that with a SWG.

    Now, over many years the chlorine in the pool will fade the liner. This will happen slightly more quickly if your average chlorine level is higher. But the effect is rarely dramatic, usually a ten year old liner shows some fading. Again, this will happen regardless of the source of the chlorine. The only way using bleach is ever likely to cause a problem is if you pour it directly on the liner. Trichlor pucks have a slight advantage here, it takes them a little while to disolve so a second or two of contact won't do much of anything.
    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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    Then again, people think that dumping cal hypo "shock" into a vinyl pool is ok! I have seen 'vinyl pool shock' that is just plain cal hypo and it says to broadcast it and that pre dissolving is not necessary. If you want to fade a liner just broadcast cal hypo into your pool and let it settle!
    IMHO, liquid chlorine or bleach is much safer to use in terms of vinyl fading! Just be careful where you pour it. slowly into the return stream so it is quickly spread throughout the pool is one good way.

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    A couple of additional points. Concentrated Acid is more harmful to vinyl than chlorine so the advice about carefully pouring or pre-mixing and distributing any form of chlorine also applies to acid (so dry acid should always be pre-mixed in water before addition). Of course, Trichlor tablets are both chlorine AND acidic so that's a double whammy to be particularly careful about (so keep away a floating feeder from the sides, especially if the pump ever turns off). Sunlight (UV) is the main source of fading for vinyl unless chemicals are added too quickly in concentrated form.

    If the addition of chlorine were the primary source of fading or weakening, then this should be most visible in the area where chlorine addition is made. If sunlight is the main source of fading, then the main areas that the sun hits would have the greatest amounts of fading. Most previous reports of vinyl fading on the Pool Forum were in areas of most intense sunlight and even vinyl failures (usually after 10 years) were also where the sun has shown. And someone (I forget whom) did an experiment on the Pool Forum with a piece of vinyl put into a jar with high levels of chlorine and found no visible fading.

    Nevertheless, some pool builders swear that bleach makes vinyl fade and fail after becoming paper thin. Maybe people using bleach are less careful with chlorine addition and just dump it quickly in one spot near a wall not near a return and maybe even with the pump off.

    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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    I'll let you know if it has any effect on my vinyl Intex. When I initially opened it, I super-shocked it with massive doses of 12.5% chlorine.
    18' round Intex using BBB

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S
    I'll let you know if it has any effect on my vinyl Intex. When I initially opened it, I super-shocked it with massive doses of 12.5% chlorine.
    What level did you "shock" your pool to?


    Certainly it will be possible to fade a liner over time with high levels of chlorine. But it won't matter what type of chlorine you choose to use...if your unwise with your chlorine levels liner fade will be a potential problem.

    happy swimming!

    dan
    33' Aqua-Leader AGP
    Hayward cartridge filter and IntelliFlo VS pump.
    Solar Heat coming ; used to own Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Aqua-Rite t-15 SWG

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    Also, the rate of any harm from chlorine depends on the disinfecting chlorine level, not the FC level alone. So the shocking really depends on the FC AND CYA levels together. See this chart to look up the CYA level (on the left) and FC level (columns on top) that you used. The chart numbers are disinfecting chlorine levels. (or you can go "backwards" in this chart to see the FC in the table and look up the column that represents the disinfecting chlorine level). Normal shocking is "0.3" and high shocking for mustard/yellow algae is "0.7". So long as your disinfecting chlorine was less than "1.0", then your vinyl should be fine, especially if not exposed to that for a long time. "1.0" disinfecting chlorine is equivalent to having an FC of 2.0 ppm with no CYA. This is similar to what is found in many indoor pools (and is why my wife's swimsuits degrade over one winter of use in such a pool -- while using our own pool in the summer with 20-30 ppm CYA and 3 ppm FC results in no degradation whatsoever).

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris S
    I'll let you know if it has any effect on my vinyl Intex. When I initially opened it, I super-shocked it with massive doses of 12.5% chlorine.
    What level did you "shock" your pool to?


    Certainly it will be possible to fade a liner over time with high levels of chlorine. But it won't matter what type of chlorine you choose to use...if your unwise with your chlorine levels liner fade will be a potential problem.

    happy swimming!

    dan
    I wish I knew. A day or two after adding the bleach, my best guess with the distilled water test was about 25 ppm. I think my CYA is zero. The thing was so green, I just dumped about twice what I would shock it to last year. I probably went to high, but I'm sure the sun took care of a lot of it.
    18' round Intex using BBB

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    So let me see if I got this right...

    ALL of them said I "would fade my liner....chlorine is for Pools and bleach is for laundry".
    This means that if I pour Clorox 6% sodium hypochlorite solution bleach into my pool, the vinyl will fade, but if I pour HTH 10% sodium hypochlorite liquid chlorinator in my pool, it will be OK?

    Hmmm.... I'll have to sit in my pool and ponder this. Probably off and on all weekend long.

    Oh yeah - there's THIS:
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    So let me see if I got this right...

    ALL of them said I "would fade my liner....chlorine is for Pools and bleach is for laundry".
    This means that if I pour Clorox 6% sodium hypochlorite solution bleach into my pool, the vinyl will fade, but if I pour HTH 10% sodium hypochlorite liquid chlorinator in my pool, it will be OK?

    Hmmm.... I'll have to sit in my pool and ponder this. Probably off and on all weekend long.
    LOL!!
    18 X 40 IG Vinyl
    Pentair DE filter
    400K BTU Pentair Mini-Max Heater

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