TriChlor

twilk

Member
Sep 23, 2019
9
Brenham, TX
Hi everyone, our pool is about two months old, it is 7.5k gallons and we have a spa. My question which I may be over thinking has to do with using trichlor. I have seen many folks say trichlor should not be used or is not preferred. Why would a pool builder install a Fusion 2 that uses trichlor if that is not a good method to handle algae? Should I consider switching to an SWG? If I have to change water in the pool due to high CYA levels every five or so years that does not seem so bad to me with a smaller pool like we have? Would like to get some feedback on this issue as I think I am really over thinking this.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,655
Bedford, TX
T,

You are only seeing one side of the story... We do not have any problems with people using 3" chlorinated tabs if that is what they want to do.. The key is knowing what you are putting in your pool and what effect it has on your pool water.

Our primary focus is in reliable testing.. As long as you test and know your chemical levels, what you put in your pool is up to you..

Some of the things that we do not like about tabs is that they do add CYA to your pool water.. The tablets are about half CYA. Many people will find that they have to drain and refill a lot more often than every five years. What I don't like about tablets is that they make your pool smell like a public pool and to make them work you also have to add a bag or two of "shock" every week to keep your pool clear.

One of the good things about SWCG pools is that the saltwater has a softer feel.. When you swim in a public pool, you feel like you need a bath when you get out, when you swim in a saltwater pool, you feel like you just took a bath..

We are also not fans of Mineral systems and I believe that is what the Fusion 2 is... You ask why a pool builder would install one.. Well, where do you plan to buy the expensive replacement cartridges??? :mrgreen:

I suggest that you monitor your CYA and let us know when it hit 100 ppm.. It will be interesting to see how long it takes..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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twilk

Member
Sep 23, 2019
9
Brenham, TX
T,

You are only seeing one side of the story... We do not have any problems with people using 3" chlorinated tabs if that is what they want to do.. The key is knowing what you are putting in your pool and what effect it has on your pool water.

Our primary focus is in reliable testing.. As long as you test and know your chemical levels, what you put in your pool is up to you..

Some of the things that we do not like about tabs is that they do add CYA to your pool water.. The tablets are about half CYA. Many people will find that they have to drain and refill a lot more often than every five years. What I don't like about tablets is that they make your pool smell like a public pool and to make them work you also have to add a bag or two of "shock" every week to keep your pool clear.

One of the good things about SWCG pools is that the saltwater has a softer feel.. When you swim in a public pool, you feel like you need a bath when you get out, when you swim in a saltwater pool, you feel like you just took a bath..

We are also not fans of Mineral systems and I believe that is what the Fusion 2 is... You ask why a pool builder would install one.. Well, where do you plan to buy the expensive replacement cartridges??? :mrgreen:

I suggest that you monitor your CYA and let us know when it hit 100 ppm.. It will be interesting to see how long it takes..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thanks Jim, I agree with what you say about SWG, we had a water softener on our house that used salt and you did not have that sticky feeling after a shower.
I think I have talked myself into adding an SWG, I just have to find the right one. I have an Aqualink system controller and I believe Jandy makes an SWG that works with this controller. I will look into get one installed. thanks again.
 

anotherpyr

Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
78
Columbia, MD
I have a trichlor in-line chlorinator and my response is it’ll raise the CYA faster than you expect. Of course pool math and testing will keep you on top of it. I’m a fan of staying at the low end of recommended CYA levels.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,603
Stuart/FL
Twilk,

My pool is 6 years old and started with a tablet feeder and liquid pool chlorine. Since CYA degrades and dissipates so much slower than chlorine it will always build up. The amount it builds depends on exposure to the sun, number of days your pool is open and even the amount of rain plus other factors. In my case with a year round pool trichlor tablets would cause CYA excesses in months. So I reverted to liquid chlorine for primary and used tablets for vacations. Long ago several (including Jim I think who posted earlier in this thread) suggested I consider a salt pool. I decided to keep on with liquid chlorine... bad decision for me! Six months ago I finally got tired of jug-lugging and trying to time the liquid chlorine sales. I did the simple conversion myself to a Circupool. I love the salt pool and my wife loves it more! She says it feels like a spa. It does not leave us feeling sticky like happens when we swim in the ocean since a salt pool has only about 10% of the salt in the ocean. If I had this to do over again I would have switched years ago.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 

twilk

Member
Sep 23, 2019
9
Brenham, TX
Twilk,

My pool is 6 years old and started with a tablet feeder and liquid pool chlorine. Since CYA degrades and dissipates so much slower than chlorine it will always build up. The amount it builds depends on exposure to the sun, number of days your pool is open and even the amount of rain plus other factors. In my case with a year round pool trichlor tablets would cause CYA excesses in months. So I reverted to liquid chlorine for primary and used tablets for vacations. Long ago several (including Jim I think who posted earlier in this thread) suggested I consider a salt pool. I decided to keep on with liquid chlorine... bad decision for me! Six months ago I finally got tired of jug-lugging and trying to time the liquid chlorine sales. I did the simple conversion myself to a Circupool. I love the salt pool and my wife loves it more! She says it feels like a spa. It does not leave us feeling sticky like happens when we swim in the ocean since a salt pool has only about 10% of the salt in the ocean. If I had this to do over again I would have switched years ago.

I hope this helps.

Chris
Thanks Chris, based on what I have learned I am going to make the switch to a SWG, I wish I had done this when the pool was built but live and learn. I am seeing the cost to move to a SWG is not that bad when compared to what the pool itself cost. I hope to get this done in the next few weeks. It has cooled done enough here in Texas where swimming is over but hot tub season is still on
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,603
Stuart/FL
Twilk,

Glad to help. It's rare but there are those that don't like the feel of a salt pool. Just to be sure (my wife has a lot of allergies) I switched to salt before I installed the cell. Then let my wife try it. Her words: "don't ever change this back I love it". You can use liquid chlorine 'till you get the salt cell installed if this is what you choose to do. If you plan to do any DIY you'll need a brand other than Jandy as they drop the warranty to zero for DIY or online purchase. If you use an authorized dealer this is not an issue.

Chris
 

twilk

Member
Sep 23, 2019
9
Brenham, TX
Thanks everyone for all the good input. But being an electrical engineer I had to do some more research. So I got with my chemical engineer friend another friend who owns a pool maintenance company and a friend who works in the water field at a treatment plant. My chem E friend ran so many calculations and simulations it made my head spin. My chem E friend is the chlorine steward at a plant in Houston so if anyone knows about chlorine he is the guy. Bottom line I have decided to stay with my chlorine generator. A big reason is the Texas sun, my pool is in direct sunlight 9-10 hours a day during the summer peak. While a SWG might work it would have to work hard to kept chlorine in my pool and I would still need CYA. I found out (this was my mistake) I was using my chlorine generator incorrectly. I was loading it full of 3" tabs, that was the wrong thing to do. We determined 1/2 a tab would be close and should last about two weeks based on the calculations we ran. So as long as I monitor my pool things should be fine. I learned more about chlorine and CYA then I thought possible. My pool friend said they struggle with pools with SWG in the Texas summer trying to keep the chlorine up and the pH down is a challenge. Either way as Jimrahbe mentioned it is all personal preference. After spending money to install the pool I was not keen on spending more at this time. Each option for putting chlorine in a pool has it's pros and cons and based on what I found out those tri-chlor tabs in a chlorine generator are not as bad as I had feared as long as one knows and understands how their chlorine generator works. Knowledge in this case is key and I have learned a lot so far.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
496
Spring Valley, NY
Thanks everyone for all the good input. But being an electrical engineer I had to do some more research. So I got with my chemical engineer friend another friend who owns a pool maintenance company and a friend who works in the water field at a treatment plant. My chem E friend ran so many calculations and simulations it made my head spin. My chem E friend is the chlorine steward at a plant in Houston so if anyone knows about chlorine he is the guy. Bottom line I have decided to stay with my chlorine generator. A big reason is the Texas sun, my pool is in direct sunlight 9-10 hours a day during the summer peak. While a SWG might work it would have to work hard to kept chlorine in my pool and I would still need CYA. I found out (this was my mistake) I was using my chlorine generator incorrectly. I was loading it full of 3" tabs, that was the wrong thing to do. We determined 1/2 a tab would be close and should last about two weeks based on the calculations we ran. So as long as I monitor my pool things should be fine. I learned more about chlorine and CYA then I thought possible. My pool friend said they struggle with pools with SWG in the Texas summer trying to keep the chlorine up and the pH down is a challenge. Either way as Jimrahbe mentioned it is all personal preference. After spending money to install the pool I was not keen on spending more at this time. Each option for putting chlorine in a pool has it's pros and cons and based on what I found out those tri-chlor tabs in a chlorine generator are not as bad as I had feared as long as one knows and understands how their chlorine generator works. Knowledge in this case is key and I have learned a lot so far.
I sort of disagree with what your friends tell you because a properly sized SWG and that means minimum 2x the pool capacity with proper chemical levels per geographical pool location will not be a problem at all. Again, preference is important and you are welcome to make any decision you want but don't nix the SWG. There are many out in Texas and in other places even hotter that do a great job keeping up with the FC demand.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,668
Evans, Georgia
All outdoor pools need CYA no matter how you get the chlorine in to the water. What you failed to state is that you understand just how much *is* needed and what your plans will be when you get too high CYA allows algae to take over. If you don't mind the frequent water exchanges that's one way to handle the problem of too high CYA. Some folks in the North with short swim seasons know they can get away with puck use because the fall/winter/spring rains and snow will help dilute their pool yearly.

You don't sound like you realize that SWGs are sized to pools, and we always recommend one at least 2x the pool's volume so it can work less and longer.

We'll be here for any questions that arise with your pool. We don't mind anyone using any method....as long as they know what they're using and they know what the response will be. And owner testing is basically a *must*.

Maddie :flower:
 
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setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,603
Stuart/FL
Twilk,

Glad to see you've made your decision. With all due respect I think your Chem E friend is mistaken. But it's OK because everybody knows all engineers go to Heaven! And this can work as Jim said. My brother does this with his 24K gal pool in Dallas. He just monitors and drains water each summer to stay in the recommended range for CYA and adjusts his FC via the tablet feeders to ensure his FC is effective at the CYA level.

Good luck to you and if there's anything else we can help with don't hesitate to drop back in..

Chris

PS Full disclosure: I'm a Chem E too, class of '77 and my poor brother is only an EE.
 
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twilk

Member
Sep 23, 2019
9
Brenham, TX
I sort of disagree with what your friends tell you because a properly sized SWG and that means minimum 2x the pool capacity with proper chemical levels per geographical pool location will not be a problem at all. Again, preference is important and you are welcome to make any decision you want but don't nix the SWG. There are many out in Texas and in other places even hotter that do a great job keeping up with the FC demand.
I haven't complete ruled out a SWG. I will just kind of play it by ear as we go through next season. As our pool is on the smaller side a SWG might work but outside this forum I am hearing a lot of negative comments about SWG in Texas from people who have them and pool maintenance companies. Thanks for all the input, as a newbie to owning a pool this site is chock full of great information.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,668
Evans, Georgia
I am hearing a lot of negative comments about SWG in Texas from people who have them and pool maintenance companies.
We hear folks say "they heard...." yet no one has ever *seen* any actual examples of problems caused by SWGs. If you can find one please do take a picture and share it with us. As mentioned often, once a non-SWG pool is in service, a year or so down the road that pool will have 1/2 to 3/4 the salt in it already that SWGs need to operate. Every chemical added leaves behind traces of salt. (... with the possible exception of Bacqua because that crazy stuff is just a hot mess and I have no clue what it has in it!)

Maddie :flower:
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
172
Port Orange, FL
Thanks everyone for all the good input. But being an electrical engineer I had to do some more research. So I got with my chemical engineer friend another friend who owns a pool maintenance company and a friend who works in the water field at a treatment plant. My chem E friend ran so many calculations and simulations it made my head spin. My chem E friend is the chlorine steward at a plant in Houston so if anyone knows about chlorine he is the guy. Bottom line I have decided to stay with my chlorine generator. A big reason is the Texas sun, my pool is in direct sunlight 9-10 hours a day during the summer peak. While a SWG might work it would have to work hard to kept chlorine in my pool and I would still need CYA. I found out (this was my mistake) I was using my chlorine generator incorrectly. I was loading it full of 3" tabs, that was the wrong thing to do. We determined 1/2 a tab would be close and should last about two weeks based on the calculations we ran. So as long as I monitor my pool things should be fine. I learned more about chlorine and CYA then I thought possible. My pool friend said they struggle with pools with SWG in the Texas summer trying to keep the chlorine up and the pH down is a challenge. Either way as Jimrahbe mentioned it is all personal preference. After spending money to install the pool I was not keen on spending more at this time. Each option for putting chlorine in a pool has it's pros and cons and based on what I found out those tri-chlor tabs in a chlorine generator are not as bad as I had feared as long as one knows and understands how their chlorine generator works. Knowledge in this case is key and I have learned a lot so far.
I'm surprised that nobody has brought this up yet but your projected chlorine usage seems extremely low and unreasonable. Based on my use and considering our pool size differences I'd expect your pool to consume about two tabs a week mid summer, mine was consuming 3-4 tabs per week when I was using pucks and that's with a screened pool that has greatly reduced sun exposure. Granted my pool is almost twice the volume of yours but half of 4 is 2! I fought and eventually beat excessive CYA by first going to liquid chlorine and then to a SWG. I suggest that you keep track of all weekly chlorine additions and FC and CYA readings. This will give you a baseline. After that it's easy to know what to expect in future years and calculate what would be needed going forward using other methods. I've done this with a spreadsheet for the past three years so I know in advance what to expect as the year progresses and can deal with it. I just installed my SWG in February so I now keep track of pump time, SWG setting and SWG "on" time so I'm building some history that can be expected to repeat next year. So far I've been able to accurately predict the proper SWG output based on past chlorine use from other sources. From my experience SWG is the way to go assuming you can afford the upfront expense of buying/installing it.
 

twilk

Member
Sep 23, 2019
9
Brenham, TX
I'm surprised that nobody has brought this up yet but your projected chlorine usage seems extremely low and unreasonable. Based on my use and considering our pool size differences I'd expect your pool to consume about two tabs a week mid summer, mine was consuming 3-4 tabs per week when I was using pucks and that's with a screened pool that has greatly reduced sun exposure. Granted my pool is almost twice the volume of yours but half of 4 is 2! I fought and eventually beat excessive CYA by first going to liquid chlorine and then to a SWG. I suggest that you keep track of all weekly chlorine additions and FC and CYA readings. This will give you a baseline. After that it's easy to know what to expect in future years and calculate what would be needed going forward using other methods. I've done this with a spreadsheet for the past three years so I know in advance what to expect as the year progresses and can deal with it. I just installed my SWG in February so I now keep track of pump time, SWG setting and SWG "on" time so I'm building some history that can be expected to repeat next year. So far I've been able to accurately predict the proper SWG output based on past chlorine use from other sources. From my experience SWG is the way to go assuming you can afford the upfront expense of buying/installing it.
I never thought about that, I am not consuming very much chlorine at all. Right I have had one tab in the chlorinator for two weeks and I have about half a tab left.
I checked my numbers earlier and listed them below.
FC = 7.2
CC = 0
CH = 800
TA = 100
CYA = 60
My CYA seems to be holding and not climbing. I have my chlorinator on the lowest setting it has. I still am not clear how the setting numbers correlate to chlorine release into my pool. I run my pump about 6 hours a day, in the morning. I have a friend who is in the water/waste water business and he said a company called Biowish Technologies makes a biodegradable CYA reducer? It sounded interesting, I have to do some research on this to see if it is a valid product but who knows!
I will just have to watch this over the winter months and into next season to see how this progresses. My wife doesn't want to spend the money for a SWG right now so I will stay with chlorine and watch the numbers and see what happens.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,668
Evans, Georgia
Ah....that sad "CYA Reducer" did not work for anyone who tried it here. (I lie, I *think* one guy lost something like 20ppm but was still too high and out a lot of bucks.) Over the winter folks often lose some thru natural degradation. We had hopes it would work but it let us down. :(

As the weather and water cool down, the sun changes direction, your chlorine requirements naturally lower this time of year. Come winter it will be near non-existent. That's not to say you don't need to test in winter every couple of weeks though, ok?

Maddie :flower:
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,603
Stuart/FL
Twilk,

Several decades ago I did some work on cyano-group metabolizing bacteria toward my master's thesis in microbiology. There are several naturally occurring soil bacteria that can do this, I found mostly in the Pseudomonas genus. Unfortunately the process is very slow and they are somewhat difficult to isolate, purify, and then grow to effective commercial quantities. The most effective cultures I isolated were from some oily soil beside a gas station. Maybe with modern genetic engineering techniques they could develop more effective strains. Much of the work I was involved in was to support mining industry which generates large amounts of cyanide compounds. For pool CYA reducing applications the cost of developing, producing, and distributing is far greater than just dump/replace some water. And it's even more cost effective to just avoid the excess CYA in the first place using liquid chlorine or swg.

I hope this is helpful.

Chris
 
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holdup1time

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2019
57
Houston Texas
Hi everyone, our pool is about two months old, it is 7.5k gallons and we have a spa. My question which I may be over thinking has to do with using trichlor. I have seen many folks say trichlor should not be used or is not preferred. Why would a pool builder install a Fusion 2 that uses trichlor if that is not a good method to handle algae? Should I consider switching to an SWG? If I have to change water in the pool due to high CYA levels every five or so years that does not seem so bad to me with a smaller pool like we have? Would like to get some feedback on this issue as I think I am really over thinking this.
I got my new pool going in June. Didn't know anything about water chemistry. Pool builder did provide me with CYA and I added the amount he suggested and it put my CYA at 40....now I know that was a great number ...however, I kept using the triclor tabs...first 30 days pool pump ran 24 hours...after that, put pump on 8 hour cycle each day....it only took about 2 months to go from 40 to 90. I only lost 10 CYA over course of summer due to evaporation of water and filling. However, we had a lot of rain over a 3 day period...I knew the rain was coming. So I drained about 1 foot out of my pool and let the 3 day rain fill it back up for free. Tested several times since then and my CYA is between the 50 and 60 line on my test kit so I round up to 60. Figure I will drain 1 more foot sometime this winter and get my CYA to 40 to 50. My point is that it doesn't look like I'll ever have to drain like half my pool. Once my CYA hit 90, I did make the switch to liquid chlorine and no more trichor tabs. It's easy to manually add liq chl each day but the online chlorinator with tabs is easier for sure. I'm not sure which method I'm going to stick with. Now that I know I can drain about 1 ft at a time over the course of winter until my CYA is 30 to 50, I may go back to trichlor tabs just for the ease of it. Always having to go to Home Depot, Wal Mart, etc trying to find the best dated liq chlorine does get old...to me anyway. All this being said, testing your CYA will need to be done regularly if using trichlor tabs since they have CYA in them and it will always be increasing. But from what I'm seeing, if I start the swim season off around 30, I probably can go all swim season without having to drain...and just drain some over the course of the winter. This site has been super helpful in learning what my pool needs...for me it's real simple...just need chlorine and Muratic Acid...all that other stuff at the pool store is literally a waste of money...to raise my TA, I use normal baking soda ...which is sodium bicarbonate....real cheap. Good luck with your pool :)
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,415
Franklin, NC
My CYA seems to be holding and not climbing.

he said a company called Biowish Technologies makes a biodegradable CYA reducer? It sounded interesting, I have to do some research on this to see if it is a valid product but who knows!
First, as to your CYA rising. It is. It is basic science. In your 7,500 gallon pool, when totally consumed each 8 ounce trichlor tab will have added 7.3 FC, 4.4 CYA, lower pH by .36 (trichlor is an acid) and will raise the salt content of the water by 6. It is basic physics. The CYA is in the tab and when the tab is gone the CYA is now in solution in the water.

Why do tabs have CYA?
In it's natural state, chlorine is a gas. Many large commercial pools actually use gas injection systems to chlorinate their pools. Now, to change chlorine into something we can use at home it needs to be bound to something to turn it into a solid. The "somethings" that are commonly used are stabilizer (also known as CYA), calcium, lithium, or --- get this water.

All of these add a little salt to your water, but they add something else. Cal-Hypo add calcium, Tri-Chlor and Di-Chlor (tabs and most granules) add stabilizer, Lithium hypochlorite adds lithium and liquid chlorine adds - water.

All of these things can be bad for your pool (except the water) in large quantities. The stabilizer helps shield the chlorine from UV degradation, but at higher levels it also impairs the ability of chlorine to do it's work. The higher the stabilizer level you have the higher the amount of chlorine you need. Too much calcium and you start to get scaling on the walls and floors of your pool.

So, why do pool stores push these products? Several reasons.

- Money would be the first. Unless a pool store is in Florida, Arizona or other year round areas they must make their profit in a short swim season. So, they need to sell you as much as they can as quickly as they can. Additionally, chemical sales is their bread and butter. Profit on a bucket of tabs is much higher than on a gallon of liquid.

- Secondly, we are an immediate gratification society. We want a magic potion that will fix our problem right now. This is where the industry has tried to ad items like clarifiers, floculants and the like which in a perfect world help get the bad stuff out of the water quickly.

- Third in my book is training. Most pool store employees learn on the job or through seminars taught by chemical salesmen. So, bad information is handed down from employee to trainee and the chemical salesmen teach them to push high profit items. This is especially true in large chain stores where employees are paid commission and managers jobs are based on how much product flows out the door.

Pool store methods can work for a long time and many are oblivious to what is happening in their pool. If you are in an area where your pool is drained down a lot each winter and winter snow/rains fill an overflow the pool each spring you are starting with a blank canvas, chemically speaking.

Are there good pool stores out there, yes! But, most of them are in the "sun" states where a family can own a small store and operate it 12 months a year, give good service and make a profit.

As to the CYA reducer. Through the years several members tried it with minimal or no results. The manufacturer even participated here on the forum for a short time trying to work with members to get positive results. When no positive results were obtained they stopped participating.

We have had several folks join the forum, say the stuff is the best thing since sliced white bread and then never participate again. I don't want to accuse anyone of being a shill, but these type of "reviews" are suspect at best.

We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Anyone who posts reviews of the product using only pool store testing (we have had a couple) are ignored entirely.

As you have probably notices many of the members here are passionate about our system of pool care. They are trying to make you beleive

I will close by quoting Dave here at TFP:
Throughout TFP, you will read that we suggest certain levels that good science and practical experience has taught us fall within safe ranges.

Further reading of posts here will draw you to the inescapable conclusion that these guidelines work.......in thousands and thousands of pools worldwide.

You may or may not choose to use these methods and guidelines or you may use some and not others. Our goal is to teach you what has been proven time and time again and then let you use that information to your benefit.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,415
Franklin, NC
And I forgot to say, we visit Brenham, TX evry couple of years. Friends family ranch is just outside Brenham.

Folks have not rerally lived until they visit the Blue Bell plant or stop at a Buc-ee's.......