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Old 04-19-2011, 07:41 PM
 
13 posts, read 28,487 times
Reputation: 11
Default Help picking pool shock

Hello all,

Thanks in advance for your help and expertise. I find myself a new owner of a pool and getting a crush-course in pool maintenance. I think I got a handle on water testing, chlorination and pH, but I am still struggling with shock...

What is the best shock to use? Should I go with chlorine-free? Should I use the one with calcium or the one with metals??? Any specific product recommendations would be really helpful. My pool is fresh-water, gunite.

Thank you for your advice!
RM
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
7,860 posts, read 13,750,361 times
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I used Green to Clean with great results. The water is beautiful now.
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,510 posts, read 4,146,889 times
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Personally, I use liquid bleach. It costs more, and is less convenient, but it doesn't build up cyanuric acid in the water like stablized chlorine products do, nor does it add any calcium hardness.

There is a school of thought that believes shocking is unnecessary if you maintain a sufficient level of free chlorine and CYA is kept low enough so that the chlorine is effective. I only take care of my own pool, but my guess is that most pools in Las Vegas run with high levels of CYA due to use of stabilized chlorine for sanitizing, which makes chlorine less effective.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:58 AM
 
1,079 posts, read 1,530,948 times
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To answer your question, I also only shock with liquid bleach (clorox). I don't recommend using dichlor or trichlor to shock since it will add CYA, which is very difficult to remove. Cal hypo is also popular, but will add calcium to the water, which our calcium level is already off the charts so no need to do that.

Here's everything you need to know about taking care of your pool:

Pool School • Trouble Free Pool

Rule #1 is never go to the pool store that rhymes with Heslies. Also, never buy Phosfree, that stuff is a joke.

Rule #2 is make sure your CYA level is at a correct level and you're not adding to it (which means you either use liquid chlorine or a salt system to chlorinate your pool)

Rule #3 is keep your chlorine at the right level based on your CYA. Without knowing your CYA level, you can't know how much chlorine you need.

Buy a good test kit with a CYA test and a DPD dropper type chlorine test which turns pink to clear (not the OTO chlorine test which turns yellow). It can be hard to find the CYA test, I recommend the TF-100 from TFTestKits, but it has to be ordered online. The Taylor K-2006 is another option which should be available locally.

I just installed a salt system a couple weeks ago since I got tired of lugging a ton of liquid chlorine around. We'll see how that goes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RetrogradeMotion View Post
Hello all,

Thanks in advance for your help and expertise. I find myself a new owner of a pool and getting a crush-course in pool maintenance. I think I got a handle on water testing, chlorination and pH, but I am still struggling with shock...

What is the best shock to use? Should I go with chlorine-free? Should I use the one with calcium or the one with metals??? Any specific product recommendations would be really helpful. My pool is fresh-water, gunite.

Thank you for your advice!
RM
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Here and there, you decide.
9,487 posts, read 14,553,830 times
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actually i prefer Leslies for the knowledge and free water check at least at my location. second, phosfree is great... My pool is crystal clear! i also use poolperfect
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:37 AM
 
1,079 posts, read 1,530,948 times
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Leslies will happily sell you an expensive product like Phosfree/Pool Perfect instead of teaching you the relationship between CYA and Chlorine which negates the need for Phosfree/Pool Perfect and thus would kill sales of their high margin product.

I used to be on the Leslies Phosfree bandwagon until it stopped working once my CYA went too high for even Phosfree to work. After I learned about pool chemistry, I adjusted CYA and chlorine, have never used Phosfree/Pool Perfect since, and my pool has been perfect and my pocketbook heavier.

I'm all for whatever works for you. Just keep in mind that phosphate removers are the latest way for pool stores to make money and are usually not needed. If you need an algecide (usually you don't), Polyquat works just as well and is a fraction of the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by airics View Post
actually i prefer Leslies for the knowledge and free water check at least at my location. second, phosfree is great... My pool is crystal clear! i also use poolperfect
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:43 AM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,757 posts, read 20,291,968 times
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I am also on the liquid chlorine only routine. My situation is somewhat simpler in that I have an automatic pool cover which basically reduces chlorine usage by a fact of 5 or 10. I also run the filter only an hour a day off season 4 or so in season. I use about a half gallon of chlorine a week in prime time. Virtually none off time...maybe half a gallon a month or less.

Note that covered pools don't develop much algae. You need sun light.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:02 PM
 
74 posts, read 73,653 times
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I just recently test for cya for the first time and was blown away at how high it is. What are the consequences of it being that high? I am assuming it has been high for a long time and I don't really notice any problems. I have never had algae.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
2,510 posts, read 4,146,889 times
Reputation: 1440
Chlorine becomes less effective at sanitizing as your CYA increases. You want your CYA high enough to provide UV protection for the chlorine, but not so high that it reduces the effectiveness of chlorine at sanitizing.

That's the problem with using stabilized chlorine (typically the pucks) for sanitizing. It continually increases your CYA, so you have to continually increase your free chlorine level to maintain its effectiveness. People who are knowledgeable about pool water chemistry bring their CYA up to oh, around 80-100ppm, and then stop using stabilized chlorine. At that point you should use either liquid bleach or gaseous chlorine (via salt water pool or pool service that uses chlorine gas, such as Pool Chlor).
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: NW Las Vegas - Lone Mountain
15,757 posts, read 20,291,968 times
Reputation: 2661
Quote:
Originally Posted by thlf View Post
I just recently test for cya for the first time and was blown away at how high it is. What are the consequences of it being that high? I am assuming it has been high for a long time and I don't really notice any problems. I have never had algae.
YOu can lower the CYA level though it is a pain and takes a while. The easiest way of course is to dump the pool and refill.

You can also stop with the pucks, go to liquid and try and oxygenate the water. There are fountains that plug into side outlets that will do it as will waterfalls and such. Decorative fountains work too. See what you can rig and check in a week and see if you are doing any good.

The only consequences are that you need lots of chlorine and eventually, if it gets high enough, you have to drain and refill to get effective chlorine action.

Go read the pool school stuff. Lots of info there about all this.
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