Best option for buying large quantities of liquid chlorine

4rings6stars

Active member
Oct 4, 2016
37
Littleton, MA
#1
Hi All

I posted a question about this in the "best places to buy liquid chlorine" thread...but looks like although it's a sticky, it doesn't get much activity. I realized the last post before mine was almost two years ago, so figured I would start a new thread.

This will be my first summer maintaining a pool. We bought our house in October of last year and closed it right away. I'm planning to use liquid chlorine / bleach. Is there an option besides buying ~5-10 jugs of bleach every week? Is there any way to buy larger quantities or larger, refillable bottles? I don't love the idea of having so many bottles around and needing to recycle them all every week. Long term, I think I will probably do a salt water system, but at least for this first year I will be using liquid...

Where are you all getting bleach?
Anybody else in MA?

Thanks!
 

ntobik

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2015
98
Pittsburgh, PA
#2
We purchased bottles at Wal-Mart and ACE when they went on sale early in the season.

For our 20k gallon pool I'd use a jug every few days with moderate to heavy use. I kept the pool covered with a solar cover when not in use. When we had parties I'd dump an extra jug or two in. I don't think we went through 5-10 a week or anywhere close.

I believe you can buy bulk chlorine at pool stores. You can buy giant water tanks for the back of your pickup to carry it. I've seen them used on Craigslist, you can get 50 or 100 gallons for a few hundred dollars. The issue isn't purchasing or transporting, it's storing.

Chlorine breaks down over time. If you're buying bulk you're going to need to build an underground tank to keep the chlorine at a constant temperature and away from the light.

My advice would be to start with the jugs and see what your demands are. If it's burdensome then consider buying a tank and burying your chlorine, or going with a salt water generator.
 

madwil

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
370
lebanon tn
#3
Cheapest for me is cleaning bleach at Walmart. 6% and gal jugs @1.77. Pool store has 12.5% they sell @7 something so much more expensive. However they do have 2 1/2 gal totes so more convenient. I'm a cheap son of a gun so put up with gal jugs
 

4rings6stars

Active member
Oct 4, 2016
37
Littleton, MA
#4
We purchased bottles at Wal-Mart and ACE when they went on sale early in the season.

For our 20k gallon pool I'd use a jug every few days with moderate to heavy use. I kept the pool covered with a solar cover when not in use. When we had parties I'd dump an extra jug or two in. I don't think we went through 5-10 a week or anywhere close.

I believe you can buy bulk chlorine at pool stores. You can buy giant water tanks for the back of your pickup to carry it. I've seen them used on Craigslist, you can get 50 or 100 gallons for a few hundred dollars. The issue isn't purchasing or transporting, it's storing.

Chlorine breaks down over time. If you're buying bulk you're going to need to build an underground tank to keep the chlorine at a constant temperature and away from the light.

My advice would be to start with the jugs and see what your demands are. If it's burdensome then consider buying a tank and burying your chlorine, or going with a salt water generator.
All good info, thanks. Based on what I've read here, I figured I would be going through more chlorine than that during the summer (no solar cover...need to look into that as well) and the idea of having to go to wal mart every week (I think I've been in there 4 times in my life) or store dozens of bottles of bleach at a time doesn't sound fun. I'll see what the local pool stores offer for refillable options.


Cheapest for me is cleaning bleach at Walmart. 6% and gal jugs @1.77. Pool store has 12.5% they sell @7 something so much more expensive. However they do have 2 1/2 gal totes so more convenient. I'm a cheap son of a gun so put up with gal jugs
Sounds like me! Thanks for the information.
 

Mavrk

Active member
May 24, 2013
30
Central/East FL
#5
Cheapest for me was the local pool store. They sell them in 2.5 gallon refills. You have to purchase the first container, but then you just exchange it (like one can do with propane tanks). I ran the numbers and theirs was cheaper than buying bleach. Their concentration is higher, so you have to take that into account when doing the calculations since you use about half the amount.

For example, the 1.77 mentioned above for 1 gallon is 6%. If you buy 2.5 gallons of 12% pool store chlorine, then that is the equivalent of buying 5 gallons of the bleach. So 1.77x5=8.85. So the 7 something is actually cheaper. Of course, the initial cost of the container will offset this, but you should make that cost up easy enough. Plus, my store will give the 10th one free, which means it gets paid for down the road anyway. Just saying that for me, this was the cheaper/easier way to go. I have a SWG, but the storms here in FL means that I often have to drain water or SLAM the pool.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,285
NW Ohio
#6
In the next few weeks or so somebody will start a "2017 bleach prices" thread and people will update it based on what they find around their area. Should help you more once additional East Coast people start logging in for the season and they might turn you on to more regional options that we might not know about. I agree with above though, get an idea of what you will use before buying too much. More than a week or two in advance and you will lose a lot of strength, especially if it is stored in a warm area.

Here is the link to the thread from last year to give you an idea: 2016 bleach prices
 

madwil

Well-known member
May 2, 2011
370
lebanon tn
#7
Cheapest for me was the local pool store. They sell them in 2.5 gallon refills. You have to purchase the first container, but then you just exchange it (like one can do with propane tanks). I ran the numbers and theirs was cheaper than buying bleach. Their concentration is higher, so you have to take that into account when doing the calculations since you use about half the amount.

For example, the 1.77 mentioned above for 1 gallon is 6%. If you buy 2.5 gallons of 12% pool store chlorine, then that is the equivalent of buying 5 gallons of the bleach. So 1.77x5=8.85. So the 7 something is actually cheaper. Of course, the initial cost of the container will offset this, but you should make that cost up easy enough. Plus, my store will give the 10th one free, which means it gets paid for down the road anyway. Just saying that for me, this was the cheaper/easier way to go. I have a SWG, but the storms here in FL means that I often have to drain water or SLAM the pool.
Mabel
You would be right if 2 1/2 gal was 7 something. My pool store charges 7 per gal not per tote. 2 1/2 gal would be close to $20, so the gal @1.77 is cheaper here.
 

4rings6stars

Active member
Oct 4, 2016
37
Littleton, MA
#8
In the next few weeks or so somebody will start a "2017 bleach prices" thread and people will update it based on what they find around their area. Should help you more once additional East Coast people start logging in for the season and they might turn you on to more regional options that we might not know about. I agree with above though, get an idea of what you will use before buying too much. More than a week or two in advance and you will lose a lot of strength, especially if it is stored in a warm area.

Here is the link to the thread from last year to give you an idea: 2016 bleach prices
Thanks for the info.

Interesting info about the bleach losing its strength so fast. I assumed that the stuff I'm buying at the store has been in a warehouse or the back of the store on the shelf for weeks already before I purchased it, so a few weeks out of the sun in my basement wouldn't do it any harm. I will do as suggested and will likely start out just buying a few gallons at a time to get a sense of how much I will be using.
 

Mavrk

Active member
May 24, 2013
30
Central/East FL
#9
Mabel
You would be right if 2 1/2 gal was 7 something. My pool store charges 7 per gal not per tote. 2 1/2 gal would be close to $20, so the gal @1.77 is cheaper here.
Holy cow that is pricey! My pool store charges $4.50 to refill 2.5 gallons of 10.5% chlorine. That is $1.80 per gallon, plus it is higher concentration, so it ends up cheaper than bleach.

FWIW, I have not noticed a significant loss of strength when storing my bleach.
 

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
310
Ellington, CT
#10
Ocean State Job Lot sell gallon jugs, 12.5% chlorine for $2.99 each. That has been the price for the 4 years that I've been buying from them so I hoping that they keep it at that price this coming season. During the pool season they have high inventory turnover so their product is always fresh. Usually I can get stock that has been manufactured with in 10 days. I get enough to last me about a months, so the last of it is never older than 6 weeks. I also keep it stored in my basement where it stay cool.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,643
Pacific NW
#11
I go through a gallon of 8.25% in a week. (dosing a half gallon twice)

Best deal i found was Fred Meyer generic for $ 1.78
been buying that the last 3 years.
 

laprjns

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2012
310
Ellington, CT
#12
Ocean State Job Lot sells gallon jugs, 12.5% chlorine for $2.99 each. That has been the price for the 4 years that I've been buying from them so I hoping that they keep it at that price this coming season. During the pool season they have high inventory turnover so their product is always fresh. Usually I can get stock that has been manufactured with in 10 days. I get enough to last me about a months, so the last of it is never older than 6 weeks. I also keep it stored in my basement where it stays cool.

Once you get your water balance and have established your target FC, and assuming that you will need to replace ~3 ppm of chlorine each day, for 18,000 gallon pools it's going to run around 1/2 gallon of 12.5 % chlorine a day. This is a rough ball park number.
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#14
They call it liquid chlorine.
Note: The bottles of bleach from the grocery store have a date code on them. It looks like a bunch of numbers, something like 17050D2. That is 2017 the 50th day. That way you know how old it is.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,285
NW Ohio
#15
Yes, don't ask for bleach at a pool store or you risk getting a lecture on how using bleach will raise your TDS and destroy your pool and all that good stuff. None of it is particularly true, bleach is just lower strength liquid chlorine, but save yourself the trouble and call it liquid chlorine.

Sent with Tapatalk on HTC Ten
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,079
Evans, Georgia
#18
When I need bleach for the pool, I like the 3 jug box from Costco. Worth pricing out if you belong there. Like the OP, I never step foot in Wallyworld. Also I think you're possibly over estimating how much you'll be using each week.

Yippee :flower: