Does Liquid Chlorine Rust AGP?

six20five

Member
Jun 12, 2018
11
NJ
This is my third season with my Intex Ultra Frame above ground pool and the horizontal bars have seen better days. My next door neighbor has the same pool, purchased the same day but his pool is not rusting at all.

The only difference is that I've used liquid chlorine exclusively (+ borax, and stabilizer) to keep my water clean. He, on the other hand, has used tablets every now and then, and not much else. Ironically, he doesn't really do much maintenance to his pool, but that's another story.

So my question is, does liquid chlorine rust metal? If so, what's a good chlorine product that will help me without rusting my pool? I'm hoping I can replace these horizontal beams come next spring (I pray to the gods I'll be able to remove those things from the vinyl sleeves).

Thanks!

Intex 22'x52" round Ultra Frame AGP (10450 gallons)
14", 2800 GPH Intex Sand Filter Pump (#28647EG)
TF-100 Test Kit
 

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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
933
Hernando, Ms
If you put it directly on the rails i’m sure it would but I’m sure you’re not doing that. His acidic tablets & powders are probably worse than liquid chlorine.
I think its kind of a toss up with those pools some rust badly & some don’t
Do you take it down in the winter?
Maybe u are storing it differently than he is.

I suspect surface scratches when installing ( this caused my troubles & could have been headed off with some paint/coating😩) & splashing water are the likely cause of the accelerated rust.
Also if the insides of the tubes get water in them & it can’t drain out this happens more quickly.
There are quite a few posts from others here who have went to great lengths to prevent that or at least slow it down by wrapping/painting them etc. when installing to make these pools last longer than they were designed to.

I’d be looking for replacement rails as you don’t want your yard flooded or anyone injured. 10,000 gallons is a lot of water💧
Once they rust they just start crumbling ☹
 

six20five

Member
Jun 12, 2018
11
NJ
This is my third season with my Intex Ultra Frame above ground pool and the horizontal beams have seen better days (photos below). My next door neighbor has the same pool, purchased the same day but his pool is not rusting at all.

The only difference between us is that I've used liquid chlorine exclusively (+ borax, and stabilizer) to keep my water clean. He, on the other hand, has used tablets every now and then, and not much else. He doesn't really do much maintenance to his pool, but that's another story. He doesn't even put a cover on it during the winter.

So my question is, does liquid chlorine rust metal? If so, what's a good cleaning product that will help me without rusting my pool? I know liquid chlorine is good because it doesn't affect CYA levels, but if it rusts my pool, then I have to consider something else. Alternatively, should I replace the horizontal beams or go with another brand/type of AGP?

Thanks!
 

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beggehorn

Active member
Sep 14, 2015
38
Azusa, CA
IMO, rust is a factor of how much water gets splashed into the T connectors. The Intex Ultra Frame (non-ATX) hardware is not protected on the inside. Any water that gets in there will start the rusting process very quickly.

Any chance your neighbor has less splash activity in his pool vs yours?
 

cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
302
NJ
I've been told rust is much more from low pH than chlorine.

What do you keep your pH at? I aim for 7.6.
 

six20five

Member
Jun 12, 2018
11
NJ
IMO, rust is a factor of how much water gets splashed into the T connectors. The Intex Ultra Frame (non-ATX) hardware is not protected on the inside. Any water that gets in there will start the rusting process very quickly.

Any chance your neighbor has less splash activity in his pool vs yours?
Thanks for your reply. I would say he has the same or more splash activity, since he has 3 kids.
 

jtpipkin

Bronze Supporter
Oct 2, 2016
237
albany, ga
not certain, but I suspect chlorine does have an effect on metal. I was spraying all the door handles around here with bleach when covid hit - they're all rusting now. Bleach is a type of salt isn't it?
 

clduncan

Bronze Supporter
Jul 2, 2019
74
Waco,Texas
i have had 2 different ultra frame intex pools and each of them only lasted 2 seasons might just be the life of that pool they both looked like yours with the rust
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
838
South-Central WI
not certain, but I suspect chlorine does have an effect on metal. I was spraying all the door handles around here with bleach when covid hit - they're all rusting now. Bleach is a type of salt isn't it?
Bleach is an oxidizer, rust is oxidation. Concentrated bleach rusting metal is expected. In concentrations used in pools it will have some effect but it will be minimal, bordering on undetectable.
 

six20five

Member
Jun 12, 2018
11
NJ
Bleach is an oxidizer, rust is oxidation. Concentrated bleach rusting metal is expected. In concentrations used in pools it will have some effect but it will be minimal, bordering on undetectable.
What would a good alternative be, if I can't use liquid bleach to clean my AGP?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In concentrations used in pools it will have some effect but it will be minimal, bordering on undetectable.
I would agree. Remember that bleach right out of the container is much stronger than what we dose in a pool that is tested in parts per million. Even water from the tap has some FC in ppm. Several variables play a part in how fast rust develops. Local weather, the material itself, and sure, the water chemistry. A lower pH is indeed more aggressive. Heather cores. (copper) are a good example. Why your bars rusted faster than your neighbors is odd, but I'd lean more toward workmanship of the item more than anything. Even during installation, the slightest scratch and moisture will get in there.
 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
933
Hernando, Ms
How does one go about merging threads?
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
838
South-Central WI
What would a good alternative be, if I can't use liquid bleach to clean my AGP?
That's not what I meant, sorry. I was explaining why spraying bleach or bleach water on door handles would rust them.

You need an oxidizer in your water, to break down waste, and a sanitizer, to keep nasties from growing. Chlorine does both. Liquid chlorine is a convenient way to add it, and you should continue to use it.

What I meant by my statement of effects of chlorine rusting metal are almost negligible, that was my engineering speak for "chlorine doesn't cause rust when used as outlined on this website." So carry on using it without fear in your next pool.

As others have mentioned, the non XTR pools have bare metal on the insides of the tubes, which tends to lead to many of them rusting out in a few years, unrelated to using one form of chlorine or another. I've seen a lot of threads with this. People always think it's what they did, but since I've seen it enough I would say it's just the pool.

The newer XTR pools have powder coating on both the inside and outside of the tubes, and should in theory last a bit longer. I'd let you know from experience, but mine just went up a month ago. I can confirm they are indeed powder coated all through the inside of the tubes though. If you buy another Intex I would recommend the XTR series. In addition to the inside powder coating, Intex has extended the warranty from 90 days on all their other pools to 2 years on the XTR series. I think that alone says much.
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
291
Katy, Texas
I don't know if anyone has answered your exact question, but chlorine is an oxidizer. Once in the pool water, it doesn't matter how it got there--liquid, powder, or tablets. Oxidizing is how it works, and yes that process leaves behind salt. According to Taylor tech support, depending on chlorine levels and other factors, you can expect 60-80 ppm salt level increase just from chlorination. I've monitored the salt in my pool with the K1766 kit, and from February to July, the salt increased from 1200ppm to 1600ppm, so I'm halfway to having a "salt pool" without ever putting a teaspoon of salt into the water. And as a metal destroyer, salt is legendary. Bottom line is you have a hostile environment for steel: chlorine, salt, and acid.

I don't know the practicalities of it, but if you could hit the first signs of rust with Rustoleum primer, you could slow or stop the rusting. Your pictures look like they may be past the point for Rustoleum, but it's cheap enough to try. Rustoleum (or comparable products) is supposed to react with the rust to create a seal--a little like the paint used on bridges. I've used it for years on steel roof valleys and on the pipes and joints in my home natural gas meter and pipes to the standby generator and pool heater. If you replace the rails, you might investigate spraying it on the inside of the replacements, as well as on the outside, as a preventive.
 
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cj133

Well-known member
May 6, 2018
302
NJ
If you really want to extend the life get some galvanizing paint. Problem is, it doesn't work as good as hot dipping and it's far from cheap. But it'll work far better than paint.

Google cold galvanizing paint preferably with 99% zinc