Lots of pool owners, especially those who are used to using chlorine tablets, usually have questions with regards to using chlorine granules.
Chlorine granules are added to a pool, either by broadcasting directly or by pre-dissolving them before you pour them in.
In this article I will explain all the peculiarities involved in using chlorine granules. Just follow me.
Is it better to use chlorine tablets or granules?
All this depends on choice. There are some factors one should consider when choosing to use either one. Let’s dive in.
- Cost: The use of chlorine granules is slightly more expensive than the use of chlorine tablets. On average, 1 kg of chlorine granules could cost £13.99. On the other hand, 1 kg of chlorine tablets could cost £12.99. The difference isn’t that much, but over time, chlorine tablets could help you save more.
- Ease of use: When using chlorine tablets, you can simply place the required dosage in your chlorine dispenser while you wait for it to dissolve slowly. Some argue that this saves time and doesn’t require much monitoring. While this is true to some extent, the disadvantage is that you will find it harder to boost chlorine levels. Chlorine granules offer a more instant adjustment to chlorine levels. This is because the granules are quickly dissolving and their effect can be felt quickly. Some owners even add chlorine granules after using tablets. So if you want an instant spike in chlorine levels, chlorine granules are the way to go.
- Bacteria control: Chlorine is quite effective against bacteria growth, so this is a given. In comparing the two methods, you will discover that chlorine tablets when used in a dispenser give a steady supply of chlorine. This is an advantage, given that with or without your presence, your pool will still have chlorine streaming in. On the other hand, chlorine granules can only be added manually. This means that if you are not around to monitor chlorine levels, the levels could drop. And with no one to add more chlorine, bacterial infestation could occur. In this case, chlorine tablets are a better option.
- Impact on bathers: Chlorine tablets are more acidic. This is because of the make-up. The active component is trichloroisocyanuric acid. Chlorine granules, on the other hand, are composed of sodium dichloroisocyanurate. This compound is relatively neutral in terms of pH. This means that, over the course of time, as the chlorine tablets dissolve, they reduce the pH and alkalinity levels of your pool water. This can cause skin and eye irritation in swimmers. Another risk involved is the presence of dispensers in the pool. If swimmers tamper with them when chlorine tablets are still inside, it can cause harm to them. So, always ensure that the chlorine dispensers are removed from the pool before swimmers dive in.
- Impact on water chemistry: As mentioned above, chlorine tablets can cause a drastic reduction in pH. This is so important when you realize that most US hot tub manufacturers can void the warranty for your hot tub if they discover that chlorine tablets were used. This is because of what low pH levels can do to your hot tub components. The low acidity levels can be damaging to your hot tub components. Also, low pH levels mean that the chlorine efficiency is reduced. When chlorine efficiency is reduced, bacteria can grow unchecked, and this is what you wouldn’t want.
Can you put chlorine granules directly into the pool?
Yes, you can. Newer forms of granular chlorine allow them to dissolve directly in the water rapidly. So you don’t necessarily need to pre dissolve it in water before adding it to the pool. Hence, you can sprinkle it directly on water and get your chlorine in full action.
Do I need to dissolve chlorine granules?
This depends greatly on the type of chlorine shock you are making use of. Dichlor chlorine granules are usually small-grained. Hence, you don’t need to pre-dissolve it in any bucket before applying it to the pool. On the other hand, Cal-hypo granules are large grains, so they need to be dissolved to get an even mixture. If you fail to do this for Cal-hypo, you risk getting your vinyl liner bleached.
Another thing to consider is the temperature. If the temperature of your pool is quite low or the water is cold, then you would need to dissolve it in warm water before pouring it into the pool. This is because chlorine dissolves better in warm water.
How do you pre-dissolve chlorine granules?
You can pre-dissolve chlorine granules in the following steps:
- Ensure you wear safety goggles and hand gloves.
- Fill a chemical-resistant bucket with warm water. The pool water can do it too. Just ensure that it isn’t cold.
- Add 1-2 pounds of the Cal-hypo shock granules. This will depend on the size of your pool. But a general rule is 1 pound of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water.
- Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. Avoid using a plastic spoon, as this can cause the plastic spoon to bleach. Also, avoid inhaling the chlorine vapors.
- Turn on the pump. This is to ensure proper circulation and mixing. Now that the pump is running, take off the skimmer cover. When you have done that, pour in the chlorine mixture carefully, so as to avoid spills.
- Now put back the cover and allow the pump to run for 1-2 hours. This is enough time for the chlorine to disperse properly.
How long after adding chlorine granules can you swim?
On a general note, most pool experts recommend waiting for 4 hours before you dive into the pool. However, it is ideal to wait till your pump has done a full cycle. This rests heavily on the power of your pump and the size of your pool. A smaller pool will take a shorter time to circulate as opposed to a large one.
In all, make sure to read through the manufacturers’ instructions. It will give you the best duration before you dive in. In addition, you can just wait till the chlorine levels are around 5 parts per million or lower. This chlorine level is generally safe to swim in.
What is the best way to add chlorine to a pool?
The best way to add chlorine is through an in-line chlorinator. This is a device that allows water to pass through it. It is connected directly to your filtration system. It allows a small bit of dissolving chlorine tablets to mix with the water flowing through the chlorinator.
The device is connected after your filter and heater. This is an advantage as the water only enters it after passing through your filter and heater. This way, you can protect that critical pool equipment from corrosion.
They are plumbed into PVC piping. The best way is to include it when doing pool construction or renovation. But even so, you could still attach it later. All it requires is just some little tweaks to your PVC piping.
Is granular chlorine the same as shock?
Shock comes in two forms: liquid and granular chlorine. So yes, granular chlorine is a category of shock.
Can you put chlorine granules in a floater?
It isn’t recommended to do this. Pool floaters or dispensers were built with chlorine tablets in mind. They were designed in such a way as to allow chlorine tablets to dissolve slowly. Most chlorine granules dissolve rapidly, so putting them in the floater can cause you to run out of chlorine faster.
Is liquid chlorine better than granules?
Not necessarily. Chlorine, in whatever form, as long as it is in the right concentration, will do its work perfectly. However, there are some factors to consider when going for whatever form.
Liquid chlorine is cheaper to procure, and it is used mainly in commercial and large traffic pools. It is even available in large 55-gallon drums. However, the process of making liquid chlorine is a major drawback.
Liquid chlorine is made when gaseous chlorine bubbles through caustic soda. This causes it to have a high pH value of around 13. This makes it quite corrosive to pool equipment. You will also spend more by adding more acid to the water to balance the pH.
On the other hand, chlorine granules are just slightly expensive, so it won’t really cost your pocket much. Chlorine granules have a lower pH, meaning you won’t have to spend as much on acid to maintain proper water balance.
In addition to all this, chlorine granules give more chlorine per pound as compared to liquid chlorine.
How do you know if your pool has too much chlorine?
The only effective way of knowing if your pool has too much chlorine is by carrying out a test. You could easily use a test strip to test the water. Then you compare the results with what is in its manufacturer’s manual. In general, chlorine levels above 5 parts per million are regarded as high, and can cause health issues.
How often should I put chlorine in my pool?
You can put chlorine in your pool as a daily dose of sanitizer. This you can do after usage every day. You can also decide to shock it once every week in larger doses.