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How much bleach do I need to add to my pool to raise my free chlorine?
My pool is a 16′ x 32′ x 4′ rectangle. About 14,300 gallons. My reading at my latest test were:
CYA – 0
Total Chlorine – 5.5
Free Chlorine – 0
pH – 7.4
Total Alkalinity – 71
Total Hardness – 110
The place that tested it recommend that I add:
14.5 pounds of Balance Pak 100 (Alkalinity Increaser)
6.5 pounds of stabilizer
3.25 pounds Balance Pack 300 (to increase total hardness)
15 pounds of Burn Out Extreme (Shock)
These numbers seemed really high to me and I was wondering if they are correct. I was at a BioGuard dealer to have the water tested and it seemed like they just wanted me to buy more chemicals. My main question is how do I raise my free chlorine readings? Thanks!!!
Your CYA (cyanuric acid should be about 30-50 ppm.
About 3-4 pounds of cyanuric acid seems right for your pool size.
When you add this your pH will lower and you’ll need to add some sodium bicarbonate at about 3 pounds which will also raise your alkalinity a bit.
Once alkalinity, pH and CYA are in spec for four hours, then you should add some chlorine based on your new test results.
The 15 pounds of burn out extreme is to increase the free chlorine by shocking it. But this free chlorine won’t stay in the pool very long with your CYA so low. CYA helps prevent chlorine burn from uv rays. Chlorine should be initially added in late evening if possible.
Some tips that will help you:
1) When testing, be sure to get your water sample from the deep end of the pool at about 2-3 feet below the surface level (about an arm’s length is perfect). Water near the top of the pool is not very stable chemically.
2) Add chemicals in small doses as listed on the container (usually 2-3 pounds) and wait four hours to retest. A four hour cycle is usually a complete recirculation of the pool’s water.
3) Get your CYA into spec first, pH comes second, Alkalinity is third (but there is such a wide range of acceptable ppm that most pools are okay after CYA and pH adjust) After these three are stable for a four hour period, then begin adjusting the chlorine. Chlorine isn’t very stable and burns off quickly if the CYA, pH, and Alkalinity are to far out of spec.
4) Chlorine has to be constantly added to the system for free chlorine to be available. Using soluble tablets or a chlorinator are typical.
5) Call a local apartment complex and find who services their pools or provides their chemicals. These firms that service apartment pools typically deal in the basic chemicals and are usually very helpful. They don’t sell superficial titles of chemicals, know the water trends for their local area, and keep the same employees year after year.
6) Be careful with acids and where a long sleeve shirt with safety glasses while handling, especially when in liquid form.
Right now, your free chlorine is 0 primarily since the CYA is so low that it isn’t protecting the chlorine or you’re getting a bad sample from the top of the pool water. The low alkalinity is a factor, as well.