Smelly suits, too high chlorine?

MNPoolDreamer

Well-known member
May 13, 2009
198
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Mn
#1
Ok, I know everyone says if your pool is balanced, you don't smell like chlorine, your skin doesn't itch and your suits don't bleach out.

Here are my results after a "swim party" yesterday...
Fc 7
Cc 0
Tc 7
TA 110
Ch 270
Ph 7.4 ish
Borates between 30 and 50
Cya 60

I know the chlorine had been sitting around 11 which given my cya is not too bad. Is that what caused our suits to bleach out? The water boatmen were dying on impact to the water, but due to the heat I added water (which is why my fc is lower), now I have boatmen enjoying my pool again. I thought maybe letting the fc down a little would be ok.

Is keeping the fc up the reason our suits bleached out? Is there bodily harm to keeping the fc high? I rather buy new swimsuits than share my pool with bugs. The kids won't swim if the boatmen are alive.

Thanks!
 

karmazrevenge

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May 22, 2012
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#2
I don't think it's your FC. I've been keeping mine at 7 or above and we smell nothing. What kind of chlorine are you using? And pros, please chime in. I'm so new to this it's silly!
 

Bama Rambler

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#4
That high a FC is probably why your suits have faded but there's no harm to your person. I would let the FC come back into the normal range and consider adding borates for the bugs. Several people have said it helps keep them away.
 

MNPoolDreamer

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May 13, 2009
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Mn
#6
I think he means that keeping it at 11 was too much for swimsuits to handle.

We do have borates in the pool. How much is too much? I thought 50 was the max we should go.
 

Bama Rambler

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#7
Yeah I meant keeping it at 11. If you have 50 ppm borates, then maybe keeping your FC at the top of the recommended range will help but not be too hard on the swimsuits.
 

MNPoolDreamer

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May 13, 2009
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Mn
#10
Everybody's suits are bleaching out. We rinse them after swimming too. My husband was complaining of smelling like chlorine and the itchy skin, but my cc has been 0 and I've been keeping a constant level of chlorine (I add about 4 cups of 12% chlorine after swimming). We keep the cover on all day.

Our hair feels like hay too. I just can't seem to get the hay feeling rinsed out even with special shampoo. Maybe it's time to get a swg.
 

linen

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#11
Even with CC measuring 0, I would try leaving the cover off during the day and allowing the sun to get at and remove whatever CC is there and see if that helps.
 

George N

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Oct 9, 2011
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New Caney, Texas
#12
My FC runs 9 to 9.5 on any given day. CYA at 50. Borates at 50.
We have no smell or bleaching of suits.
My 9 year old merfish swims just about every day.
I could drop the FC but that would mean running the SWCG less and I only run it 3 hours a day now.
So I'm happy with it like it is.
 

lightingguy

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Jun 18, 2010
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Glendale, CA
#13
MNPoolDreamer said:
We keep the cover on all day.
I too thought this was suspicious. Try leaving it off for a week of swimming, etc. At least you can rule it out.

MNPoolDreamer said:
Maybe it's time to get a swg.
You can always just add the salt. I salted my pool and would highly recommend it.

Either way the chlorine in a salt water pool is the same thing. The difference in the "feel" of the water is the actual salt content.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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#14
My wife's suits only wear out (mostly elasticity gets shot and fabric gets thinner) after a winter season of use in an indoor commercial pool at 1-2 ppm FC with no CYA, but those are chlorine-resistant swimsuits. In our own pool with 3-6 ppm FC and 40 ppm CYA, the suits last for many years. Is it possible that your CYA level isn't as high as you think? Did you test the CYA with a Taylor K-2006 or TFTestkits TF-100 test kit? What kind of daily FC drop are you seeing in percentage terms? If it's high, your CYA may be lower than you think.

On the other hand, according to the City of Minneapolis Water Quality Report, they use chlorine (not monochloramine) at 2.8 to 3.4 ppm FC and of course that has no CYA. That's pretty high. I would think that it is more likely to have problems from the tap water than from the swimming pool. Rinsing off the suits with the tap water probably isn't helping. Of course, that doesn't explain the other symptoms you have been having, assuming they are only occurring during/after swimming. Just for the heck of it, try testing your tap water to measure it's FC level (and CC too, though that should be near zero).

By the way, when one adds bleach to a washing machine, it's almost 100 ppm FC with no CYA. The suits from swimming shouldn't have any noticeable fading after a single use. Something strange is going on.
 

aasbury

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Jun 2, 2012
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#15
jeffjr464 said:
personally i think your FC is off the charts, i keep mine anywhere between 1 to 2.5, if insects died on contact with my water i wouldnt be going anywhere near it
No, this is incorrect information.
 

linen

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#16
aasbury said:
jeffjr464 said:
personally i think your FC is off the charts, i keep mine anywhere between 1 to 2.5, if insects died on contact with my water i wouldnt be going anywhere near it
No, this is incorrect information.
Good point aasbury.

The chlorine/cya chart gives 5 ppm FC as a minimum and 7 ppm as the target. At 1-2.5, you would be susceptible to an algae outbreak.
 

MNPoolDreamer

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May 13, 2009
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Mn
#17
Our tap water does have a fc level of 3-4 but the only place that water is used is outside on the lawn and filling the pool. Our house water goes through multiple filtration units and it's softened. The filters take out the chlorine and iron.

So I'm confused. Why does everything I read say keep your fc between 1-3, but bbb keeps it higher depending on cya? I was looking at a swg manual and it says cya between 60-80 but fc 1-3.

Yes my cya is 60. Tested multiple times, in the sun, in the house. Same result.

We lose about 1-2 ppm fc each day (cover on, temp 96) if we don't use it. I haven't left the cover off during the day because of the dust and bugs. I'll try this weekend and see what I get.

My water is clear and sparkly blue though. I just don't like th chlorine issue I'm having.
 

Smykowski

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#18
MNPoolDreamer said:
So I'm confused. Why does everything I read say keep your fc between 1-3, but bbb keeps it higher depending on cya? I was looking at a swg manual and it says cya between 60-80 but fc 1-3.
Because the relationship between CYA and FC is not widely understood. If you overstabilize the chlorine (ie, high CYA and low FC), it can't do its job killing germs, algae, etc.


MNPoolDreamer said:
We lose about 1-2 ppm fc each day (cover on, temp 96) if we don't use it.... I just don't like th chlorine issue I'm having.
1-2ppm is well within the range of normal. Depending on the climate, some pool owners see daytime drops of as high as 3-4.
 

linen

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#19
Also, swgs can keep water algae free at a slightly lower FC level then a manually chlorinated pool, that is why we have different FC minimums listed for swgs in the poolcalculator and Chlorine/cya chart.
 

chem geek

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#20
If you're only losing 1-2 ppm FC with your 60 ppm CYA, then you could start with 7 ppm FC and end up with 5 ppm FC and be in good shape keeping algae away and having a lower chlorine level than the 11 ppm FC you mentioned in your first post. Even so, something doesn't add up since even those getting into their pools at shock levels don't have swimsuits degrade as fast as you describe, though clearly the chlorine smells more at shock levels (which would be 24 ppm FC in your case).

If you were to use 1 or 2 ppm FC with 80 ppm CYA with an SWG, you'd be much more likely to get algae in the pool and we get reports of that every season. Our recommendation of 3 ppm FC with 60 ppm CYA or 4 ppm FC with 80 ppm CYA isn't very high but is enough to prevent algae growth in an SWG pool.

Are you measuring the FC using a 10 ml water sample and counting each FAS-DPD drop as 0.5 ppm so taking the total number of drops and dividing by 2 to get FC?

If you want to use a lower FC level than recommended, it's your pool and you can certainly do that and you might get lucky if your pool is poor in algae nutrients. Or you could use an algaecide such as Polyquat 60 weekly and have a lower FC level (at the same CYA level), but that's extra cost of around $2-3 per week. Just keep in mind that if you go too low in FC and algae starts to grow, it may show up at first as a higher-than-normal chlorine demand while the water may still look mostly clear.