Tired of carrying bottles, anyone switch to granular chlor?

rastoma

Well-known member
May 17, 2009
249
Jasper, TN
I've had it with hauling gallons of bleach and filling up our trash cans with nothing but bleach bottles.

I love the low the cost but the inconvenience has surpassed the cost savings.

I saw in my local Walmart today, 22.5# of granular chlorine for $69.

With 3 kids, wife and me, and sometimes a friend or two of the kids, using the pool almost every day, I use an average of 1 gallon of 6% bleach a day. The instructions on the granulated chlorine says 4-6 ounces provides around 4ppm (I know lots of other factors involved), but using that as a guesstimate, I figured if I can use 6 ounces a day, that's about $1.20 which is actually cheaper than bleach and just ONE BUCKET. Even if I have to use 8 ounces a day that's still on par with 1 gallon of bleach. But the main issue is not cost but convenience. I'm not willing to go overboard on cost, but even if my chlorine cost per day/week/month/whatever is an extra 10-20% (which would have me using around 10 ounces a day I THINK), then I'm all for it.

The 22.5# bucket should last almost 2 months. Two months of not hauling bleach bottles. Eventually I'm going to SWG.

But does anyone have any arguments or corrections to show that this is not a good deal or idea?
 

reindeerboy

LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2008
519
Jamestown, ND
You do realize that by using strictly granular chlorine that over time, your CYA is going to be much too high.

I use a combination. I use Trichlor/Dichlor in the spring until my CYA is at my desired level and then switch to bleach in the hot summer months like right now. I also use 12.5% bleach as I buy it in a case from my local pool place who will sell it to me at a good discounted price. That saves me time in hauling those bleach bottles around. In the end, I feel I have the correct combination and understanding of how and when to use the proper kinds of bleach throughout the year. PH & TA are also kept in check with small amounts of Borax used to increase the PH and keep that in balance. I usually balance the TA first and then the PH just comes into check as well with a little borax.

I feel your pain so do an SWG sooner rather then later. I too will plan to do it at some point, but for now, I really dont mind doing it manually. Makes me feel good looking at how clean my pool is and that is especially true when my family and myself are in it almost everyday now. Plan to continue this until the weather stops allowing me to enjoy my beautiful pool!

Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
If the granular chlorine is Cal-Hypo, then this is sometimes fairly inexpensive though for every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) it will increase Calcium Hardness by at least 7 ppm. Even so, unless your CH is high, you could use it. You should probably dissolve it in a bucket of water before distributing it into the pool (it tends to dissolve a little slowly; not as quickly as Dichlor, for example).

If, on the other hand, the granular chlorine is ground Trichlor (usually it's Dichlor, but that's not cheap), then for every 10 ppm FC it will increase Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm. Also, with Trichlor being very acidic, you'll need to adjust the pH up and that costs more so needs to be factored in when comparing costs. On a percentage basis, Trichlor and Dichlor increase CYA much faster than the CH rises from Cal-Hypo.

So if the granular is Cal-Hypo and your CH isn't already too high, I'd say go for it. If it's stabilized chlorine (Trichlor or Dichlor), be careful about the rising CYA.
 

duraleigh

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TFP Expert
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,682
Sebring, Florida
As always, posting without test results ends in speculation and guesswork. Rastoma, post up your tests and you'll get accurate advice. Regardless of what your "granular chlorine" turns out to be, it will surely add things to your pool you don't need.
 

rastoma

Well-known member
May 17, 2009
249
Jasper, TN
duraleigh said:
As always, posting without test results ends in speculation and guesswork. Rastoma, post up your tests and you'll get accurate advice. Regardless of what your "granular chlorine" turns out to be, it will surely add things to your pool you don't need.
There's nothing wrong with my numbers, the water is perfect. I'm only discussing granular chlorine vs 30 bottles of bleach a month... it's gotten ridiculous with the landfill waste and trips to the store. No one here has 12%, no pool store carries it or will order it.

The only extra thing that will be added is CYA and I know how to monitor that. I've already had to add CYA twice just this swimming season alone already and could really add another 10ppm today actually. Due to bather load, dust, water bugs etc, I have to do more than typical backwashing and always have young kids splashing up a storm in the pool so I have a fair amount of water replacement going on. But if I see CYA heading too high I can always go back to bleach for awhile... at least I'll have a break from the bottles before having to go back.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
As long as you know what is happening in the pool you can piece together a method that works.

I started the year with cal-hypo to raise CH and switched to mostly pucks to get CYA up, now I've got both pucks and bleach as my chlorine source. Next year I'll probably do the same but I'll start testing the pool a bit earlier so that I don't hit that FC=0 and let algae get started.
 

PaulR

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
1,966
Cupertino, CA
rastoma, ignore the knee-jerk reactions. If you know what's in the stuff you're using, and you know where your levels are and where they're going, you'll be fine. (There are whole months of the year where trichlor is all I need; keeps FC happy, builds up some CYA, and keeps the pH in check.)
--paulr
 

lbrownin

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2010
49
Pearl, MS
I used granular chlorine for several years, per the pool store's advice. I'm convinced that this contributed to my liner's early demise. The entire bottom, especially in the deep end, looked like wrinkled leather. When we removed the liner, you could easily tear it by hand. This was a 6-year old liner. I do feel your pain, though. I'm already a bit weary of toting bleach bottles, although the pool looks wonderful. Trying to decide between SWCG or peristaltic pump (I know that still requires bleach, but only once a month or so).
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Any source of chlorine improperly applied can result in liner degradation. For any concentrated source of chlorine, it needs to be thoroughly mixed with the bulk pool water. For Cal-Hypo, this usually requires pre-mixing in a bucket of water to get it to fully dissolve before adding it to the pool. Even when adding other powdered chlorine (Dichlor, Trichlor) or adding bleach or chlorinating liquid, it is important to pour slowly over a return flow with the pump running and then for extra safety to lightly brush the side and bottom of the pool to ensure thorough mixing. Even with bleach and chlorinating liquid, you could have them fall to the bottom of the pool as they are denser than water until thoroughly mixed.

Of course, there's nothing worse than a Trichlor puck (or granulated Trichlor) against a pool surface (for too long) as it is not only concentrated chlorine, but very acidic as well.
 

CaOCl2

LifeTime Supporter
May 23, 2007
326
Montreal Canada
The calhypo stuff at your Walmart is probably 47%, at that point it's not chlorine anymore, too much inert ingredients (Epson salts for one) for my taste, up here the stuff is not even classified as a Class 5.1 Oxidizer anymore. Try getting some 75% if available in your market. May be more expensive but certainly worth it.
 
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