My sister's pool water is chronically green... She just spent $70 on
various chemicals as recommended by the pool supply dealer and two
weeks later it is just as green as ever... My question is whether she
could just pump the pool dry and replace the water in it with city
water? We figured that the pool has 28,000 gallons and the cost to
replace the water would be around $40... The pool supply person just
scared her by telling her that it would take about $100 worth of
chemicals to get the city water up to the right levels of PH, chlorine
etc... It would seem to me that there must be a lot of nutritious
stuff in solution in that pool water (after 20 years worth of kids
peeing in the pool )that with the addition of sunlight would quickly
turn green... Or am I wrong in that assumption and is the water
essentially pretty clean of organics in solution?
You can end up with TOO many chemicals in the pool. Particularly you can end up
with to much stabilizer which will lock up all the chlorine.
Usually the fix is to dump about half the water. Be very careful not to pump it
dry. If you have any ground water it will pop your pool right out of the
City water should come out of the tap just about perfect for pool water. Take
your test kit and try it. You might be surprised how "dirty" your city water
is. Go slow on dumping chemicals back in.
My pool company prints out a report with the current and recomended levels of
various things. I try to stay on the low side of things I am dumping in.
When you need chlorine just dump <liquid> chlorine in, not tablets since they
come with other stuff that tends to inhibit chlorine.
That may be the problem. Do you own "up" and "down"?
You should throw one of them away. In a plastic pool you probably don't need
"down" and use the "up" sparingly. YMMV depending on your sanitizer and pool
material but pH should always be going the same way.
Don't try to fix a chemical imbalance problem overnight. You will always end up
overshooting, then you will be trying to go the other way.
Most pool problems are owner inflicted wounds, caused by trying to micromanage
the levels. If you hire a pro he will only see your pool about once a week.
Don't repeat the nonsensical hints-from-Heloise-frugality folk "wisdom".
Chlorine bleach is loaded with lye, which requires lots of acid to
neutralize. Typically 1 qt 31 pct HCl acid to 2.5 gal 12.5 pct
hypochlorite. Otherwise pH will drift higher and doom everything.
There is no purpose for putting boron in a pool. It is toxic, besides.
A plaster pool will require adding calcium chloride for hardness.
"nonsensical hints-from-Heloise-frugality folk "wisdom"." might be pushing
it. The information related to me is from pool professionals . Check the
The only difference in labeling I see between the two are that bleach
contains 6% hypochlorite and "pool chlorinator" contains 10% hypochlorite.
the remaining difference is listed as inert in the pool chlorinator.
Nothing else listed on the bleach.( Wal-Mart house brand) I would think
that lye should/would be listed.
So I googled it...from an urban myths site...
"Sodium hypochlorite, at 5.25%, is the active ingredient in products
commonly called "household bleach," and it is made by breaking salt water
down into its basic components of sodium hydroxide (i.e., caustic soda or
lye), water, and chlorine, then recombining them. Contrary to what the
e-mail would have one believe, sodium hydroxide was not added "to make
bleach work faster" - it's not even present as sodium hydroxide in the
finished product, as it has been combined with two other elements much
earlier in the manufacturing process to form something else. "
Boron is an element, 20 mule team borax is not boron. Boron CAN be obtained
from borax by heating it with carbon.
Hardly an event that will take place in my, or anyone else's pool.
Besides...hypochlorite is not toxic?
Back in early spring when I opened my pool and had 0 knowledge of
water balance and chemistry, the local pool store sold me a bucket of
Bioguard "Optimizer Plus". No need to consult their web site for info
on this product, it's all content-free ("Suppresses algae and
increases sanitizer efficiency".. oh , really.. how?) , however I did
find the MSDS sheet:
And I do remember that on the bucket it said "Contains: Boron Salts".
The MSDS refers to disodium biborate pentahydrate, and perhaps if any
chemists are listening they can answer me: Is this borax or boron?
And what area of water chemistry (pH, hardness, alkalinity) does it
act? And please tell me it's not CYA in disguise...
That's utter stupidity. No "pool professional" would say bleach, borax,
and baking soda are all you need to "keep a pool chemically stable".
Your "urban myths" site is quite foolish and ignorant about chlorine
chemistry. Read _Kirk Othmer_ on "chlorine" to learn why lye is *added*
to commercial sodium hypochlorite solutions. That lye is an ingredient
consumed in the production of hypochlorite is irrelevant. Mikkelson is
wrong, although the myth addressed still is, too (lye has always been a
Dilute some pool chlorinator and read the pH, if you still don't
You don't get it. Borax is a compound of boron, which doesn't belong in
No, not in the self-limiting concentrations in pool water, where it
serves a useful purpose of killing things that make you sick. The dose
makes the poison. Boron serves no purpose and will concentrate over
As little as 5 grams, about 1 tsp, can be lethal to children. [_Merck
Index_ 11th edition, entry 8535]
If you don't know chemistry, or don't know how to research chemistry, you
shouldn't actively spread your ignorance on matters of life and death.
The TSCA and MSDS are political statements, not scientific authorities.
The "stupidity" characterization had nothing to do with toxicity, anyway.
Comprehend the thread before attempting to reply.
Don't put boron in your pool.
Hogwash. The oral LD50 is 3000 -- that means 3000 mg _per_kilogram_ of body
mass, not 3000 mg period. So 5 grams (5000 mg) is the LD50 for an organism
with a mass of 1.67 kg. Human infants are typically 3 to 5 kg _at_birth_, and
by the time an infant is able to come into contact with borax on its own (e.g.
by crawling), they typically mass around 8 to 10 kg, at which point the LD50
is around 24 to 30 grams (approx 1/8 cup).
Indeed. This is pretty rich, coming from the guy who claims that it's safe to
drink gasoline hydrocarbons.
email@example.com (david fraleigh) wrote in message
My first question would be: Is she maintaining a chlorine level
between 1 and 3 ppm? If so, have the pool company check the ORP and
CA levels. Should be at minimum 625mV for the ORP, and (hopefully)
very little CA (10 ppm).
Then again, the cemistry could be fine and this could be copper.
Can you post these figures?
Don't get taken for a ride.
There are seven steps to sparkling clean water :
1. Clean the leaf trap, backwash and ensure the pump and filter are
2. Get the pH right - otherwise even a truckload of chlorine will do zip.
3. Ensure your chlorine has at least 80% "Available chlorine" - and don't
use "stabilized" chlorine. Shock treat with about 1 cup of chlorine per
2000 gallons of water (We are metric here, so my numbers may not be exact -
I use 1 cup per 10000 litres.)
4. Set the filter pump to run 24 hours a day and wait two days
5. Repeat from step 2 to step 4.
6. Wait two days - then set the filter pump back to (summer time) 2 hours
on, two hours off, or (wintertime) 2 hours on, 4 hours off.
7. Congratulations - you now have a sparkling blue pool!
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