I am going to share a trade secret for maintaining perfect water chemistry. Believe it or not, the form of chlorine you add to your swimming pool water is very important!
Chlorine in tablet form almost always has conditioner (cyanuric acid) in it. Conditioner actually adds to the total alkalinity of pool water and we need to subtract that cyanuric alkalinity (alkalinity from conditioner) from the total alkalinity to find out what our true level of carbonate alkalinity is. Just know that carbonate alkalinity = total alkalinity - cyanuric alkalinity. You will learn more in depth information about pool conditioner (cyanuric alkalinity) in our Pool Conditioner is Important article.
We can simplify by advising you to keep your conditioner (cyanuric acid) level under 100 ppm. Just understand that a swimming pool with over 100 ppm of conditioner is more likely to have aggressive water chemistry and/or high alkalinity.
Tablet chlorine has a major advantage as it is slow dissolving. This means we can add chlorine tabs to your swimming pool and they will slowly add a measured amount of chlorine to your swimming pool over a weeks time. It is much easier to maintain a constant, ideal level of chlorine by using chlorine tablets.This is very important in the summer time when people are most likely to use their swimming pool and why chlorine tablets are more popular then liquid chlorine.
Switching to Liquid Chlorine Will Help You Maintain Perfect Water Chemistry
Instead of tablet chlorine, you can use liquid chlorine in the summertime , but if you service the swimming pool once a week and have to add enough liquid chlorine to last a full week, you would have to add enough for decay of chlorine throughout the week. This means you will have to add a large amount at once which makes the water potentially aggressive and uncomfortable, so you can maintain ideal levels of chlorine for the whole week.
This is why at Pool Heaven, we add tablet chlorine in the summer til around the beginning of November and then switch to liquid chlorine. We then limit how much conditioner we are adding to the swimming pool. Conditioner levels will still rise moderately over time with this method, but so will calcium and other minerals found in tap water. Over time your water will rise in calcium hardness and total dissolved solids regardless, so it is a good idea to drain your swimming pool and refill with fresh water every 5 to 10 years.
There are some other negatives with using liquid chlorine. The strength of liquid chlorine in the bottle will decrease over time as you store it in your yard. It is also easier for kids to open and/or pour. Liquid chlorine is also a little more expensive and potentially dangerous as it is in liquid form. More and more, swimming pool suppliers are not transporting liquid chlorine as it is potentially hazardous and damaging to anything that comes in contact with it.
Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer Will Reduce Conditioner Levels
Also, we currently have a drought in California and draining your swimming pool is frowned upon unless your swimming pool is a health hazard. If you have very high conditioner levels, there are new products on the market that will lower conditioner levels. We have used Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Remover and it worked, but we will be using this product more and we will update our blog if we find negative side effects.
You can also lower conditioner levels in your swimming pool by using liquid chlorine until your conditioner level drops to ideal levels between 50 and 80 ppm. Remember that liquid chlorine does not have conditioner in it and by just switching the form of the chlorine you add to your swimming pool, you can maintain perfect water chemistry for a longer period of time.
Your water will naturally evaporate over time and everytime you add fresh water to your swimming pool, you are diluting the level of conditioner, because fresh water does not contain conditioner. Fresh water does have calcium and other minerals in it, so you are still adding to the hardness of your water chemistry, however.
The best way to understand this is to remember that all the minerals and byproducts in the water remain solvent in the water and as water evaporates, you are adding more minerals from fresh tap water to your already saturated swimming pool water.
For this reason, swimming pool water should be drained every 5 to 10 years regardless of conditioner level, because your swimming pool water will get saturated over time.
For Perfect Water Chemistry, Use a Good Conditioner Test Kit Like The Pentair #79 R151226 Test Kit
Understand that keeping conditioner levels under 100 ppm will make your pool water easier to maintain and balance as you do not need to worry about the cyanuric alkalinity factor. We can usually tell when a swimming pool has high conditioner, because we cannot add enough acid to lower the alkalinity to ideal levels due to the water having very low pH.
Typical, Bad Water Chemistry Results
Total Alkalinity - 160 ppm
We cannot add more acid without making the pool water chemistry aggressive with an even lower ph. This usually is, because the swimming pool has a very high conditioner level. Most conditioner test kits only test up to 100 ppm, so you have to dilute the pool water you use for the test and multiply the result to get an accurate test result. We will explain this process in another blog.
In conclusion, pay close attention to your conditioner level(otherwise known as cyanuric acid) in your swimming pool to avoid aggressive water chemistry and switch to liquid chlorine in the colder months of the year instead of adding chlorine tabs which have conditioner in them. Use this secret to maintain perfect water chemistry in your Pool Heaven in Newport Beach, Ca.
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