Aq: Many Homeowners Are Looking To Use Less Chlorine In Their Pools Why Hasn’t Non
EL: For most homeowners, if you own a pool, you think chlorine goes with the territory. You just accept the fact that you have to use chlorine. And if nobody introduces you to the idea that you can use less chlorine, you never think about it. Youre just going to go on using it and worrying a little bit about whether your kids are okay, swimming in all that chlorine. At least thats what we found in our survey of pool owners across the U.S.
And for people in the trade, people in pool service and retail, its not part of the educational program thats taught throughout the industry on water care.
We dont teach oxidation as a key part of regular water treatment. In all the courses Ive ever attended, all the water chemistry discussions that Ive ever been involved in, they go from sanitation to water balance, and then, if they have a problem, to remedial action. Oxidizers are back in the remedial action section, defined as something you dont need to use unless you have a problem. But the best way to avoid a problem is to incorporate oxidation into the routine with sanitation, oxidation and then water balance.
If you just maintain a sanitizer and you oxidize every week, using chlorine or non-chlorine I dont care which and you keep your water balanced, you will have good success with your pool and avoid a lot of problems.
The Difference Between Liquid Chlorine And Granular Shock
Liquid chlorine and granular shock have the same active chemical that sanitizes your pool, what changes is the strength and the way you use it. Liquid chlorine is less costly, unstabilized and comes in liquid form. Granular shock is stabilized and comes in a solid form that dissolves in your pool.
A quick disclaimer: The word chlorine is often used inappropriately, but has become the generic term for the worlds most common sanitizer. Real chlorine is only available in gaseous form. The kind used in your pool is derived from this form and mixed with various chemicals to make it a solid or liquid.
Chlorine is the most cost-effective way to sanitize your pool. It has been the product of choice for almost 100 years. It is safe enough to sanitize drinking water and powerful enough, in the right concentrations, to kill bacteria, germs and viruses. It also oxidizes as it sanitizes, helping to keep your pool clear. With that in mind, lets dive into more detail.
Differences between Stabilized and Unstabilized Chlorine.
Each chlorine compound is designed for a specific purpose. Using these two types in conjunction with one another will keep your pool clean, clear and sparkling!
Liquid Chlorine vs. Granular Shock
Now that we know the difference between stabilized and unstabilized, lets look at the differences between liquid and powdered shock. Both of these types of chlorine are considered unstabilized. However, there are some major similarities and differences.
How To Make Bleach From Pool Shock
Calcium Hypochlorite is a fine granular substance.
It is the main active ingredient of commercial products called bleaching powder or chlorine powder. Its primary uses are for chlorinating / sanitizing swimming pools and to disinfect drinking water. This compound is relatively stable and has greater available chlorine than sodium hypochlorite .
The advantage of Calcium Hypochlorite is its shelf life when stored properly . Ive read 10 years, as well as indefinite. In either case, its a great item for preparedness. Why? because just a single 1 pound bag of ~ 70% Calcium Hypochlorite can treat LOTS of water. Whereas regular bleach has a poor shelf life. Read more below regarding safe storage and how much water you can treat.
I always wanted to experiment and find out for myself What is the formula to make your own equivalent Regular Bleach solution by using Calcium Hypochlorite .
There are a number of results when you search the internet. But I wasnt going to trust any of them without setting up my own temporary chemistry lab and testing for myself. I wanted to trust but verify. Well, I just did. Heres what I found
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Stabilized Vs Unstabilized Chlorine
Stabilized chlorine is used in automatic chlorinators that are best used for daily sanitizing, as they last longer. This form of chlorine often comes in tabs or granular form. Floating chlorinators use tabs and will distribute the chlorine over a select period of time while automated chlorinators allow the chlorine to mix into the pool water at a slower pace. Automated chlorinators typically come in the form of a bucket.
Unstabilized chlorine is used for weekly shock treatments. It is also used to give pools a large dose of chlorine to quickly and efficiently sanitize after heavy pool use or extreme weather. Unstabilized chlorine provides quick, powerful, high chlorine concentration. This format has also proven helpful in controlling algae, destroying organic contaminants and restoring pool water clarity. After using unstabilized chlorine your chlorine levels will be quite high but, your pool will be safe to swim in by the next day.
To Make 1 Gallon Of Bleach From Pool Shock
- 11 Tablespoons of ~ 70% Calcium Hypochlorite
- 1 Gallon of water
You might be wondering why the seemingly odd amount of solution for my initial formula . It was the basis for my testing:
It started with a document titled TB MED 577 from the United States Department of the Army. Sanitary Control and Surveillance of Field Water Supplies.
In it, while referencing tables I-1 and I-2, , the 1-1/2 cups comes from a note regarding dissolving an amount of Calcium Hypochlorite in a half canteen cup of water. Their reference was canteen cups. So thats where I started
I began with the data from those two tables and then interpolated the amount of Calcium Hypochlorite necessary for the equivalent amount of Regular Bleach one would use to disinfect water.
Long story short, the direct math from their tables worked out be about 2 teaspoons Calcium Hypochlorite per 1-1/2 cups water. However my real world chemistry lab tests revealed that 3 teaspoons of high test Calcium Hypochlorite is closer to matching regular bleach with a 6% concentration of sodium hypochlorite.
This also matches with some of what I found while searching the internet in general.
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Chemicals Used As Pool Shock
For a pool that uses chlorine or bromine for daily chlorination, there a variety of EPA approved chemicals that can be used for shocking the pool. The best one for your pool may depend on your pool type, or if you have issues with hard water or high cyanuric acid levels.
Calcium Hypochlorite:Cal Hypo for short, is the most economical pool shock you can buy. It is available in 65% and 73% strength, pH level of 12, and is not stabilized.
Sodium Dichlor:Dichlor for short, is stabilized pool shock, with cyanuric acid as protection from the sun. 56% strength, with a nearly neutral pH level. Adds no calcium to the pool.
Potassium Monopersulfate:Non-Chlorine Shock for short, oxidizes pool water in a chlorine free formula that is not affected by sunlight, leaves no residue, and adds only oxygen.
Which pool shock to use? Most pools can use Cal Hypo, but for those in hard water areas, with concerns of growing calcium hardness levels, Sodium Dichlor or Non-Chlorine shock may be a better choice. Each pound of Cal Hypo will add 5-7 ppm to calcium hardness levels. Vinyl pools benefit from non-chlorine shock, which wont bleach or fade vinyl liners, and also dont cloud the water or leave behind a dusty residue. Pools with growing cyanuric acid levels may want to avoid Dichlor shock each pound adds a small amount of cyanuric acid.
Pool Essentials Shock Treatment
Whats the best pool shock for weekly treatment? Were partial to Pool Essentials Shock Treatment, a fast-dissolving product that clears murky water by getting rid of oils, sweat, sunscreen, and other contaminants swimmers leave behind.
You can apply this easy-to-use chlorine shock directly to your pool water in the deepest area. Not only is it super effective at shocking pools, but its also affordable enough to use once a week . Pool Essentials Shock Treatment can be used at any time of year and is safe for frequent use.
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How Much Water Will 1 Pound Of Pool Shock Treat
1 gallon of Regular Bleach can treat LOTS of water. It depends on the concentration used, the turbidity of the water, the organics within the water, etc. However if you use the formula of 8 drops per gallon and if you do all the math you end up with about 30,000 gallons of treated water from one pound of pool shock. Even if you halve that amount factoring for more turbid water youre looking at treating ~ 15,000 gallons of water for drinking.
10K-plus per pound of pool shock .
What To Do If It Doesnt
So days have passed and you dont see a difference. Youve done everything right, but your pool is still cloudy not to worry. Not all hope is lost.
If the chemistry in your pool is right then the clarifier will work. You may just need to recheck a few things and try again later. Here are some reasons the clarifier didnt take on the first try:
- Chlorine: Recheck your chlorine levels and make sure they are not too weak or too strong. Were looking for a Goldilocks level here.
- Filtration problems: I know you already checked it, but do me a favor and check it again. If your filter isnt functioning at its best, it may be time to have it serviced.
- Too much calcium: Do you have hard water? Calcium buildup will keep your water looking cloudy and cause damage to your pool filter and plumbing. Muriatic acid is your best bet to clear up this scaly problem.
Remember that although clarifiers take more time, they also require a lot less work on your part. Be patient, recheck these steps, and youll be well on your way to a crystal clear pool in no time.
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When Should I Shock My Pool
The best time of day to shock your pool is in the evening after sunset so that the suns UV rays will not evaporate the shock from the water and will allow the shock to oxidize the water for a longer length of time. Youll want to choose a time when your swimmers are finished and out of the pool for the day because you dont want anyone in the pool during this time.
Make sure to use protection when handling shock such as eyewear and gloves. Prepare the shock by following the manufacturers recommendations. Once you shock the pool run the filtration for 24 hours. Make sure to recheck your pool chemistry the next day and balance accordingly.
Which Is The Best Chlorine Shock Sodium Hypochlorite Vs Calcium Hypochlorite
There are two common types of chlorine shockssodium hypochlorite and calcium hypochlorite and each is used for a different purpose. Apart from these two, there are also other types of special pool shocks including:
- potassium peroxymonosulphate
- lithium hypochlorite
- dichloroisocyanuric acid
However, all these special shocks, including calcium hypochlorite, are not recommended for regular pool sanitization. This is because their continued use introduces other compounds in your pool water, including calcium, pH, and cyanuric acid, leading to increased levels of these chemicals in your water.
This article is mainly about two common shocks: sodium hypochlorite for daily chlorination and calcium hypochlorite for fighting algae during algae breakout.
The type of pool shock to use in your pool will depend on what you need to achieve, which may include clearing cloudy water, killing germs/bacteria, or fighting pool algae.
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Top Versus Bottom Simple As That
The main difference comes in when you have to get those clumps out of your pool. Whereas clarifier brings the particle clumps to the top and leaves your pool filter to do the heavy-lifting, floc requires some elbow grease on your part.
Once youve added flocculant to your pool, youre left with a ton of clumpy gunk on the floor of your gorgeous pool. Yuck. From here, it has to be vacuumed up. By you. Yep, thats where we come to the downside of floc.
Flocculant works really fast, but it requires a bit more effort on your part. In fact, you actually cant even use an automatic vacuum for this one. You have to do it manually on waste mode, which means youll be removing water from your pool.
The real advantage of flocculant is its speed in de-clouding your pool. If you dont have days to wait for clarifier to work, you should definitely give floc a try. Whether youre planning a pool party for the next day or just dont like to wait, using floc will be your best bet.
There you have it: fast-acting flocculant with added manual labor versus slower-acting clarifier with no work on your part. The choice is yours.
Aq: What Are The Prime Situations That Call For Non
EL: I think its helpful to turn this question around and ask, What are the prime situations that call for a chlorine shock? A chlorine shock treatment is appropriate when you have a problem that requires a pesticide, like when youve got algae, maybe when theres an accidental fecal release, or if you just have no chlorine in the water and you want to raise the chlorine. In all other situations a non-chlorine oxidizer should be considered.
For example, how about when your son or daughter has the baseball team over and they all jump in the pool, and then it looks like a murky bathtub afterward? Thats a great time for a nonchlorine shock. You clear up the water without creating a ton of chloramines. And you can get back in the pool very quickly after using it.
Basically, if you want to kill something, when you feel the need to have a pesticide, thats when you need to use chlorine shock. But for all other occasions, a non-chlorine oxidizer can be a better choice, providing routine oxidation that removes contaminants without creating disinfection byproducts. Non-chlorine oxidizers should be the workhorse for routine weekly oxidation, with chlorine shock taking the position of a remedial treatment alternative. And thats a total paradigm shift from where the world is today on chlorine and non-chlorine shock oxidizers, but were gaining ground.
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What Does Pool Shock Do To A Pool
Pool shock combats built-up chloramine and other contaminants by quickly bringing the free chlorine level in your pool water back to its normal range.
A normal range for pool chlorine tends to be between one and three parts per million . However, different chlorine manufacturers and pool types may require different concentrations. Make sure you check information provided by your pool builder and the chlorine manufacturer if youre not sure how much chlorine is normal for your pool.
Getting back to this normal range requires more than the normal amount of chlorine.
Pool shock can get your pool water to whats sometimes called breakpoint chlorination, which is the level at which added chlorine will start breaking apart built-up chloramine and other contaminants.
Breaking up chloramine turns it into a gas, which can then evaporate harmlessly into the atmosphere, freeing up your pool water for more of the good free chlorine it needs to stay clean.
The ominous terminology used for this process — shock and breakpoint and so on — might give you some indication of how much pool shock youll need to get things back to normal. Breakpoint chlorination typically requires adding up to 10 parts of fresh free chlorine for every molecule of chloramine in your pool.
Knowing how much to add will require some basic chemistry.
About the wake up part of that statement you might want to wait till the sun goes down before you add pool shock to the water.
Does Pool Clarifier Always Work
Pool clarifiers are not magic although they have been described that way in certain product reviews.
Q: What is pool clarifier? Isnt it suspect that manufacturers shroud the product in mystery?A: It clears the water by magic.
Hocus pocus aside, your pool filter is the main component that works to keep your pool clean and clear.
When you use clarifier, however, youre actually helping your pool filter work more efficiently. This, in turn, extends the life of your pool filter since its not having to work so hard to do its job.
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After Shocking Your Pool
What should you do if your pool still looks cloudy or discolored after being shocked, and how long after shocking is it safe to swim again? We answer these questions and more below but first, a quick word of warning. If you activate your swimming pools automatic safety cover too soon after shocking, it could be stained or damaged by the pool shock chemicals. To learn more about this issue , check out our article on how to keep pool chemicals from damaging your safety cover
Potassium Peroxymonopersulfate Pool Shock
Potassium peroxymonopersulfate pool shock is oxygen-based, which means it wont kill off algae — its not an algaecide. This non-chlorine pool shock is best for pools with too much chloramine, but no evident algae. Its a good choice for post-party and post-storm shocking, particularly if you want to swim the same day.
MPS is often used in vinyl liner pools, but its also popular with pool owners who want their pool clean ASAP. It works quickly, sometimes in just 15 minutes, and it wont add chlorine to your pool. It also wont do anything to your pools cyanuric acid level.
Most non-chlorine pool shocks are marketed for spas and hot tubs, but theyll work just fine in the proper quantities. Here are a few good options:
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