ballpark of how much chemicals are going to cost for 45,000

The basics of swimming pool maintenance.
New swimming pool owner's questions.
Help getting started with daily pool care.
buzzbait

ballpark of how much chemicals are going to cost for 45,000

Postby buzzbait » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:19

Newby here!
In a week my mother closes on her house in North Alabama.I will be mowing the 2 acres and taking care of the pool :shock: .The pool guy working on it now says its a 45,000 to 50,000 gal pool.All I know is it's BIG!My first of (im shure)many questions is how much does it cost (ballpark)for chemicals a month?What will I need too start with? Im not the kinda guy that just calls somone and then write the cheak!I want to learn how to do everything myself on a budget.I have reef tanks now so Im pretty familiar with testing water.


buzzbait

Postby buzzbait » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:36

Oh!can someone tell me about the BBB thing?
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 11:49

Once you get the pool properly balanced in pH, Total Alkalinity (TA), Cyanuric Acid (CYA) and Calcium Hardness (CH), then your main expense will be adding chlorine regularly. You should seriously consider getting an automated chlorine system -- either a saltwater chlorine generator or for bleach or chlorinating liquid you can use The Liquidator .

To add 4 ppm FC to 45,000 gallons will take 23 cups of 12.5% chlorinating liquid. It costs me $3.50 per gallon, but prices vary a lot around the country, so this would be about $5 and could be a daily cost if your pool uses 4 ppm FC per day. That's on the high side of usage and very much depends on how exposed your pool is to sunlight, whether it has an opaque pool cover, etc. Your actual usage could be half that. Clorox Regular bleach is 6% (actually, 6.2% "trade") so is about half the strength, but may be less than half the cost of chlorinating liquid in your area -- remember that it comes in 96 ounces, not 1 gallon, so you need to account for that when comparing costs.

You can use a higher CYA level, say around 60-70 ppm, and maintain a higher FC level of around 8 ppm and this may reduce your chlorine usage from the sunlight breakdown. However, the best way to cut down usage is using an opaque to UV pool cover, but that's a pain to put on and off unless you get an electric automatic "safety" cover (that's what I have, but my pool is only 16,000 gallons).

BBB stands for "bleach, borax, baking soda" and refers to using store-bought chemicals instead of pool-store chemicals. Unscented bleach is the same as chlorinating liquid from the pool store except that it is about half-strength (or less, depending on brand -- Clorox Regular is 6%). Borax can be used to raise the pH instead of using pH Up and has the advantage of not increasing TA as much. Baking soda is identical to Alkalinity Up to raise TA. However, once your pool water chemistry is balanced, you usually only have to add chlorine and occasionally add a little Muriatic Acid to keep the pH down and even more rarely add some baking soda to raise the TA -- this depends on the amount of aeration in the pool.

Personally, I prefer paying a little more for the chlorinating liquid from my local pool store as it is more convenient (less weight to carry) and they reuse the bottles which I return to them (they clean and refill them). Also, with an opaque pool cover, my chlorine usage is less than 1 ppm FC per day.

Richard
buzzbait

Postby buzzbait » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 12:44

Thanks Geek!
I feel like im on my way now!
buzzbait

Postby buzzbait » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 12:53

What about those 3" hocky pucks and the floater.What are they?How cost efficient are they?Pro's?con's
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 13:13

Those 3" pucks are Trichlor and are usually the least expensive source of chlorine. For a comparison of the cost of chlorine sources, see this post .

There are two downsides to using Trichlor. One is that it is highly acidic, especially when taking into account that the usage of chlorine is acidic. So you have to add pH Up regularly and need to be careful of where the floating feeders park themselves. I've had submerged stainless steel bar mountings rust near where the Trichlor parked itself in my pool (this is when I didn't know anything about pool water chemistry when I first got my pool and this experience, plus high CYA levels and difficulty maintaining chlorine levels, had me research the chemistry).

The second downside is that Trichlor produces both chlorine and Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in water. For every 1 ppm FC added by Trichlor, it also increases CYA by 0.6 ppm. So over time, the CYA level builds up. Higher CYA levels require higher FC levels to get the same disinfecting chlorine level (i.e. to kill algae and bacteria as effectively). You generally want to have a target FC level that is 11.5% of the CYA level and never let it get below 7.5% of the CYA level. At some point with very high CYA of 150 ppm or more, the CYA itself can damage plaster surfaces (see this link ).

So generally, you do not use stabilized sources of chlorine (i.e. chlorine containing CYA) unless you need to raise the CYA level. Trichlor pucks/tabs and Dichlor powder/granules have CYA in them. Dichlor has even more relative to chlorine -- for every 1 ppm FC from Dichlor you get 0.9 ppm CYA and it is fast dissolving so it is a reasonable way to increase CYA over time if needed as pure CYA takes a long time to dissolve.

In smaller pools with frequent backwashing and/or splash-out, one can dilute the pool water enough to use Trichlor as the main source of chlorine and keep the CYA relatively stable. I doubt that this will work for you in your large pool, however, since even a regularly backwashed sand filter is going to be a relatively small percentage of your pool's water volume.

Richard
buzzbait

Postby buzzbait » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 13:36

Ok!learning alot now!I like the Troublefree pool site.
Looks like Trichlor Tabs/Pucks or bleach for me.
If you use Trichlor Tabs/Pucks can you lower cya with borax?
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 14:06

Nope, there isn't anything you can do to lower the CYA level except dilution of the pool water (backwashing, splash-out, partial drain/refill). There is a CYA reducing product on the market that appears to be melamine to precipitate CYA, but it's messy and not always effective. Some people who let their pools go over the winter and turn into an algae swamp find that the CYA level drops as anaerobic bacteria consume CYA, but this results in ammonia which takes a LOT of chlorine to consume upon spring opening (along with clearing up the algae).

So you really can't use Trichlor regularly if your CYA is already high (except see below). It's fine for temporary use when on vacation or when the CYA is low.

Now there IS a way you can use Trichlor and not worry about the CYA level until it gets to around 150 ppm or so and that is to use a weekly maintenance dose of PolyQuat 60 algaecide. The high CYA level will make the chlorine less effective so it won't keep away algae unless you maintain a much higher FC level, but with the algaecide you can get away with lower FC levels (around 3 ppm or so). The less effective chlorine will still kill bacteria, but the algaecide will prevent algae growth. The PolyQuat 60 algaecide is sold in a variety of brands as described in this post.

So you can compare the cost of Trichlor and pH Up (or Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda which is identical -- caution: not the laundry detergent) and PolyQuat 60 vs. just bleach or chlorinating liquid. You can figure that every 8-ounce 3" puck will require 7.0 ounces weight of pH Up / Soda Ash / Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (assuming some outgassing of carbon dioxide from the pool) to maintain pH and carbonate level (the carbonate portion of TA) and figure on the standard recommended weekly amount of 3 fluid ounces per 10,000 gallons (so about 14 fluid ounces for your pool) though you might be able to get by with less. One 8-ounce Trichlor puck will raise the FC by 1.2 ppm and the CYA by 0.7 ppm so you'll probably use at least two pucks per day.

One 8-ounce Trichlor puck is equivalent in FC amount to 7.0 cups of 12.5% chlorinating liquid or 14.2 cups (114 fluid ounces) of 6% bleach.

Richard
buzzbait

Postby buzzbait » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 23:14

Will the Aqua-chem 6-way test kit be ok?Is a stablizer test and a cya test the same?Cra is Cyanuric Acid right?
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Mon 06 Aug, 2007 23:36

Yes, a stabilizer test and Cyanuric Acid (CYA) test are the same, but the Aqua Check 6-way test strips are not a good test kit -- no test strip kits are good except the Aqua Check strips for borates and salt.

You need to get yourself a good test kit, the Taylor K-2006 from Taylor here or from Leslie's here or the even better test kit from tftestkits here . I noticed that the Leslie's kit is on sale at a decent price. The tftestkits kit has more reagents for common tests so is generally a better deal (and tests CYA as low as 20 ppm instead of 30 ppm). The test kits will last up to 2 years, depending on how many tests you do.

Richard

Return to “Basics for New Pool Owners”

Who is online at the Pool Help Forum

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest