Bleach, Chlorine Tablets, and Pristine Blue (Oh My!)

azlawhorn

Member
May 1, 2019
5
Unionville, TN
Hey there! I have been searching around the forum for the answers but I’m still confused.

My husband and I bought our first house in November and it came with an above ground pool. I can’t tell you exactly what the measurements are of the gallons.

The previous owners used pristine blue and it stayed crystal clear all winter (Tennessee Winter) even though it remained uncovered and drained below filter. So I thought I wanted to keep using that because that’s what I thought kept it so clear.

My mom has a pool and said to just use the chlorine tablets and shockit. So that made me start doing research and I found this forum where I heard you can use liquid bleach?!

Does anyone have a brand name of what they use? Can you explain why it’s better than the other stuff?
 

homegameroom

Bronze Supporter
Sep 23, 2015
72
Sunrise,FL
Smarter minds than mine will also reply, but the Trouble Free Pool Method (and it really is trouble free and EASY!) prefers liquid chlorine with NO ADDITIVES. This way, you KNOW what you are putting in your pool and can maintain much better control.

Any brand of plain liquid chlorine will be fine. Pool stores (and some home improvement stores) sell 10% liquid. Be aware that it does degrade over time, so look for fresh stock.

This forum is amazing. Welcome!!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
17,859
Laughlin, NV
Test Kits Compared
FC/CYA Chart

Take a look through the links above. Also you can download the Pool School eBook.

The TFP methods consist of having your own proper test kit to manage your pool water chemistry. You then add only the chemicals needed based on your testing. Most of the chemicals are normal household items, bleach, baking soda, muriatic acid, etc.
 
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splashpad

Bronze Supporter
Aug 2, 2017
1,980
SE Kansas!
Hey there! I have been searching around the forum for the answers but I’m still confused.
Glad you are asking questions!! Welcome!

My husband and I bought our first house in November and it came with an above ground pool. I can’t tell you exactly what the measurements are of the gallons.
You can add your pool & equipment details to your signature for even more specific answers!

The previous owners used pristine blue and it stayed crystal clear all winter (Tennessee Winter) even though it remained uncovered and drained below filter. So I thought I wanted to keep using that because that’s what I thought kept it so clear.
The TFP method is actually more affordable and sustainable! When the pool water is balanced, you rarely have to drain & replace! You'll want to get a good proper test kit, so that you are in control of your water's condition!

My mom has a pool and said to just use the chlorine tablets and shockit. So that made me start doing research and I found this forum where I heard you can use liquid bleach?!
This common method works until the CYA level is too high in comparison to the chlorine sanitizer... ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and FC/CYA Chart

Does anyone have a brand name of what they use? Can you explain why it’s better than the other stuff?
Usually whatever is the best price per chlorine ounce. Chlorox brand has a polymer that is not pool friendly, so that brand is not recommended.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
10,210
Evans, Georgia
Pristine Blue's main ingredient is copper. Sure that works as algaecide, but it stains hair green and causes stains on pool surfaces over time. And its expensive!

I have a SWG for my pool, which essentially means I paid for all my future years chlorine ahead of time. But since I would have paid for it in jugs of bleach anyway it actually ends up costing about the same as buying bleach weekly. And bleach is a LOT cheaper than Pristine Blue. I spend about $100/year on chemicals... that's all! How much would continuing to use Pristine Blue cost you??

Maddie :flower:
 

azlawhorn

Member
May 1, 2019
5
Unionville, TN
Glad you are asking questions!! Welcome!

You can add your pool & equipment details to your signature for even more specific answers!

The TFP method is actually more affordable and sustainable! When the pool water is balanced, you rarely have to drain & replace! You'll want to get a good proper test kit, so that you are in control of your water's condition!

This common method works until the CYA level is too high in comparison to the chlorine sanitizer... ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and FC/CYA Chart


Usually whatever is the best price per chlorine ounce. Chlorox brand has a polymer that is not pool friendly, so that brand is not recommended.

I am not sure the exact measurements of my pool. I will have to text the previous owner :D Once I do find out I will put it on my signature line :)
 
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azlawhorn

Member
May 1, 2019
5
Unionville, TN
Pristine Blue's main ingredient is copper. Sure that works as algaecide, but it stains hair green and causes stains on pool surfaces over time. And its expensive!

I have a SWG for my pool, which essentially means I paid for all my future years chlorine ahead of time. But since I would have paid for it in jugs of bleach anyway it actually ends up costing about the same as buying bleach weekly. And bleach is a LOT cheaper than Pristine Blue. I spend about $100/year on chemicals... that's all! How much would continuing to use Pristine Blue cost you??

Maddie :flower:
More than that most likely lol
 

SBall

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2017
225
Nashville, TN
I just buy good old bleach. Yesterday I picked up a couple gallons from Kroger. Sometimes I get it from publix or wal-mart...just wherever I am at.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,189
Franklin, NC
Welcome to the TFP pool! :swim:

First, understand yo are not alone. I bought a house with a 23,000 gallon in ground gunite (concrete) pool and had no idea how to take care of it. Like you, we find that many times people turn to friends/relatives with a pool or the local pool store to "learn" how to take care of it. The friends/relatives generally can tell you how they take care of those, but generally don't have a depth of knowledge to say why what they do works or maybe doesn't work. Again, like yourselves many people show up here thinking that an outbreak of algae once or twice a year is "normal" and that you drain and refill your pool evey couple of years because the water gets "stale". I'm here to tell you , both ar false.

First, pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing. The pool store want's you to have "a shed filled with white bottles of pool chemicals that had mysterious names and purposes". Unfortunately the pool industry has evolved into sales by scare tactics, misdirection, misinformation and marketing hype. Go in to the store and tell them your Total Alkalinity (TA) is low and they are going to sell you baking soda in a fancy package at four times the cost of WalMart. Do they have a right to make a profit, yes - but lets be reasonable. Heck, even their definition of "low" can many times put you on a pH roller coaster that's hard to get off of. Is that lack of knowledge or a sales technique to sell you more chemicals to control your pH????

What do we propose? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. Which leads to

TFPC tenet - Never put chemistry in your pool when you do not know the outcome

For almost everything the pool store sells, there is a generic "twin" that you can get at your grocery store or big box store. Alkalinity low like I used as an example? You can go to the pool store and buy Alkalinity Up in a fancy bottle or you can stop by Walmart and pick up baking soda.

So, to control your pool you need to know what is going on. Many folks have a Saturday morning ritual, dip a bottle of water out of the pool and take it to the pool store (they give you the bottle for free). They test it and sell you what they say you need to "fix" what ails your pool. But, you will find not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Plus, the results of their "testing" is used to convince you that you need to buy things. Why do you think that testing is free?

But, what can you do?? You need your own accurate test kit! Order a TF-100 Test Kit ™. The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006-C. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

While entirely optional, I also have the Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer and Sample Sizer Measuring Tool. They speed testing and accuracy.

Please don't go to a pool store for a test kit. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. The TF-100 Test Kit ™ and the K-2006 have this test while very few other kits do. The kits sold at the pool store generally won't won't cut it, but be careful pool store employees are known to say “it's the same thing”. Generally it's not!

You mentioned 3" tabs. We really are not against their use. We are against their uncontrolled use. The pool store tells you that they are the easiest way to get chlorine in your pool. They are. But, they don't tell you (or really don't understand) that the 3" tabs also add CYA (also known as stabilizer or conditioner) to your pool. All pools need stabilizer, but not too much. Others here can give you the scientific details if you want, but lets just say CYA locks the ability of chlorine to sanitize. The more CYA you have the more chlorine you need to keep in the pool to keep algae at bay.

While talking about chlorine understand, chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. The chlorine in bleach is the same chlorine in the 3" tabs and is the same chlorine that is produced by a salt water chlorine generator (SWCG). They are just different methods of adding the chlorine to you pool water.


So, TFP is not "against" anything - it's "for" knowledge. The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School.



How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:









So again, welcome to TFP!!
 

Shruggs85

Active member
Apr 27, 2019
28
Morganville
Welcome to the TFP pool! :swim:

First, understand yo are not alone. I bought a house with a 23,000 gallon in ground gunite (concrete) pool and had no idea how to take care of it. Like you, we find that many times people turn to friends/relatives with a pool or the local pool store to "learn" how to take care of it. The friends/relatives generally can tell you how they take care of those, but generally don't have a depth of knowledge to say why what they do works or maybe doesn't work. Again, like yourselves many people show up here thinking that an outbreak of algae once or twice a year is "normal" and that you drain and refill your pool evey couple of years because the water gets "stale". I'm here to tell you , both ar false.

First, pool store employees primary goal is to sell stuff, not necessarily get your pool in perfect condition. As to whether that is because of improper training, lack of knowledge or just to sell stuff I will leave up to you. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their advice and testing. The pool store want's you to have "a shed filled with white bottles of pool chemicals that had mysterious names and purposes". Unfortunately the pool industry has evolved into sales by scare tactics, misdirection, misinformation and marketing hype. Go in to the store and tell them your Total Alkalinity (TA) is low and they are going to sell you baking soda in a fancy package at four times the cost of WalMart. Do they have a right to make a profit, yes - but lets be reasonable. Heck, even their definition of "low" can many times put you on a pH roller coaster that's hard to get off of. Is that lack of knowledge or a sales technique to sell you more chemicals to control your pH????

What do we propose? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. Which leads to

TFPC tenet - Never put chemistry in your pool when you do not know the outcome

For almost everything the pool store sells, there is a generic "twin" that you can get at your grocery store or big box store. Alkalinity low like I used as an example? You can go to the pool store and buy Alkalinity Up in a fancy bottle or you can stop by Walmart and pick up baking soda.

So, to control your pool you need to know what is going on. Many folks have a Saturday morning ritual, dip a bottle of water out of the pool and take it to the pool store (they give you the bottle for free). They test it and sell you what they say you need to "fix" what ails your pool. But, you will find not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Plus, the results of their "testing" is used to convince you that you need to buy things. Why do you think that testing is free?

But, what can you do?? You need your own accurate test kit! Order a TF-100 Test Kit ™. The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006-C. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

While entirely optional, I also have the Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer and Sample Sizer Measuring Tool. They speed testing and accuracy.

Please don't go to a pool store for a test kit. To effectively practice the TFPC methods, the FAS/DPD chlorine test is essential. The TF-100 Test Kit ™ and the K-2006 have this test while very few other kits do. The kits sold at the pool store generally won't won't cut it, but be careful pool store employees are known to say “it's the same thing”. Generally it's not!

You mentioned 3" tabs. We really are not against their use. We are against their uncontrolled use. The pool store tells you that they are the easiest way to get chlorine in your pool. They are. But, they don't tell you (or really don't understand) that the 3" tabs also add CYA (also known as stabilizer or conditioner) to your pool. All pools need stabilizer, but not too much. Others here can give you the scientific details if you want, but lets just say CYA locks the ability of chlorine to sanitize. The more CYA you have the more chlorine you need to keep in the pool to keep algae at bay.

While talking about chlorine understand, chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. The chlorine in bleach is the same chlorine in the 3" tabs and is the same chlorine that is produced by a salt water chlorine generator (SWCG). They are just different methods of adding the chlorine to you pool water.


So, TFP is not "against" anything - it's "for" knowledge. The knowledge is condensed in the Pool School.



How much Pool School have you read? Start with these:









So again, welcome to TFP!!

Tim - this was very well written and detailed. I appreciated reading thru this as I am in a similar boat. New house with inground pool, prior owners left 2 buckets of chlorine pucks and I'm trying to figure what to do with them!
 
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AUSpool

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 23, 2015
578
Brisbane, Australia.
Tim - this was very well written and detailed. I appreciated reading thru this as I am in a similar boat. New house with inground pool, prior owners left 2 buckets of chlorine pucks and I'm trying to figure what to do with them!
Keep your pucks for now, if your ever running low on CYA and go on holidays they may come in handy. If you’ve already added the SWG then eBay might be your best shot.
 
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Aprilspool

Well-known member
May 9, 2018
75
Central NC
There are a lot of people that use other methods, go to the pool store, and in general enjoy their pools. The TFP method is about knowing why and what you need to add to your pool to keep it looking great, instead of going to a pool store to have them make suggestions. I live a good distance from a pool store, so that is why I initially found TFP - because an 1.5 hour round trip to the pool store just wasn't what I wanted to do! So I have the TF100 test kit, and this forum ... and between those two things I have access to more knowledge about my pool than I ever really thought was possible. And I spend way less money on our pool because I am not blindly throwing chemicals in without knowing what they do.
 
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Ericargard

Member
Apr 4, 2018
13
Gastonia, NC
Does anyone have a brand name of what they use? Can you explain why it’s better than the other stuff?
Home Depot has the best prices on everything that I've found. And trust me, I've looked at pool stores (which are ALWAYS the most expensive), Target, Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.
Liquid chlorine 10% is a crate of 3 gallons for 9.98. Walmart also has a decent price, around 3.50 a gallon for 10%, but Home Depot will also have your Muriatic Acid, Baking Soda, etc so you don't have to make two trips when you need to restock. All the inexpensive stuff to balance your other chems.
 
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