Will Superchlorination Clear Phosphates?

Chlorinating, maintaining the right chlorine levels,
chlorine problems. Dichlor, trichlor, cal hypo, bleach,
granules, chlorine pucks and chlorine sticks.
Jack Sparrow
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Will Superchlorination Clear Phosphates?

Postby Jack Sparrow » Sun 05 Aug, 2007 08:40

Quick, simple question-- will superchlorination (>15ppm) clear phosphates?


chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Sun 05 Aug, 2007 17:55

No. But phosphates are usually not the cause of algae. Usually, Free Chlorine (FC) levels that are too low for the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level are what allow algae to grow. If you don't have your FC at 11.5% of your CYA level, then I'd shock with chlorine first or possibly do a partial drain/refill to lower your CYA level. Though phosphates are a necessary nutrient for algae, chlorine alone will usually keep algae from growing regardless of how much algea "food" there is.
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Postby Jack Sparrow » Sun 05 Aug, 2007 18:29

Ok, thanks.
Now, considering this 11.5% target FC level. At what threshold is the chlorine to high for swimming, thus requiring you to drain/dilute the water to lower CYA levels.
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Postby chem geek » Sun 05 Aug, 2007 21:31

There isn't any limit, per se, since the amount of disinfecting chlorine is the same, but in practice high levels of CYA of 100 or more requiring 10+ Free Chlorine levels can end up using lots of chlorine (if consumed from sunlight, etc.) and it can be hard to maintain that high a chlorine level. If you can't or don't want to drain/refill part of the water to lower the CYA to the more normal range of 30-50 ppm, then you can use a weekly maintenance dose of PolyQuat 60 algaecide to keep away algae. Most bacteria and viruses require very low amounts of chlorine to kill so it's really algae prevention and you can use an algaecide for that, at least until you get the CYA lower.

Keep in mind that stabilized sources of chlorine such as Trichlor and Dichlor contain CYA and are usually how the CYA gets too high. You either need to use an algaecide or need to switch to an unstabilized source of chlorine such as bleach or chlorinating liquid when the CYA gets high (or you can dilute more such as more frequent backwashing)
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Postby Jack Sparrow » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 07:50

Yes, I'm fully aware of the tablets, etc.-- I'm a bleach guy.
Right now I'm sitting at around 40-45 CYA, so I'm in the safe range.

I think, with the water getting warmer right now, I'll be buying a qt. of PolyQuat 60. I did a quick search and it seems a little tougher to find. Where do you buy yours?

Thanks,
Joe
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Postby chem geek » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:34

Sorry I misunderstood. I thought that the question was prompted due to algae and possibly higher CYA levels. You should be able to keep away algae in your 40-45 ppm CYA pool by having a target FC of around 5 ppm with an absolute minimum at all times of 3.4 ppm. The algaecide should be seen more like insurance if the chlorine level drops too low for any reason. I don't use algaecide anymore unless I'm going on an extended vacation (just in case those that stay at the house forget to add chlorine) or upon closing in the winter.

Look for algaecide that has the following name in the ingredients:

Poly{oxyethylene(dimethyliminio)Ethylene (dimethyliminio)ethylene dichloride}

and shows 60% as the amount. The following is a sampling of such products:

GLB Algimycin 600
Robarb Robacide 60
Applied Biochemists Pooltrine 60
BioGuard Algae All 60
Leslie's Algae Control (I think -- check the label, I couldn't find an MSDS)

Do you know the phosphate level in your pool and have you had a hard time keeping away algae even at the recommended chlorine level?

Richard
Dan Y

Postby Dan Y » Wed 08 Aug, 2007 19:35

Richard,

Thanks for all the great information. Do you know where I can buy liquified chlorine for use in shocking so that I don't increase either my hardness or my level of stabilizer? Thanks.

Dan
Guest

Postby Guest » Wed 08 Aug, 2007 21:04

Dan,
You can buy liquid chlorine at WalMart!
Unscented bleach goes around here for $2.28. :D
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Postby chem geek » Wed 08 Aug, 2007 22:21

Dan,

Pool User is correct. Unscented bleach is sodium hypochlorite and is identical to the chlorinating liquid sold in pool stores except it is not as strong. Be aware, however, that only Clorox Regular is guaranteed to be 6% chlorine by weight (5.7% available chlorine; 6.2% trade) and that the normal bottle size is 3/4 gallon (96 ounces) though some larger 1.5 gallons bottles are sometimes available. Usually, the off-brand "Ultra" brand is also 6%, but it doesn't say so on the bottle. Off-brand Regular is often only 3% or less, so be careful.

Chlorinating liquid is sometimes reasonably priced and usually comes at 10% or 12.5% strength and may sometimes be found at hardware stores (Home Depot, OSH) and at Wal-Mart, etc. In my area, I buy chlorinating liquid from my pool store since they are reasonably priced ($3.50 for one gallon of 12.5%), it's less for me to carry, and they reuse the bottles that I return so I feel better about the environment. :D Of course, the choice is up to you.

Richard
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Postby Backglass » Thu 09 Aug, 2007 13:57

I wish I could get a good deal on liquid chlorine from a pool store but mine charges 9.99 a gallon for 12% "Liquid Shock". :shock:

I get the 6% ultra from Wal-mart. $2.49 for 174oz which works out to $1.83 a gallon.
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