Should You Use Chlorine Granules for Pool Maintenance?

With summer around the corner, the idea of spending some relaxing time in the pool sounds like the best idea! If you have a pool in your backyard, you are undoubtedly lucky, but at the same time, you have to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining your pool as well. 

To ensure cleanliness and hygiene, you have to keep certain things in mind regarding pool maintenance to evade health hazards. The procedure of cleaning the pool is quite elaborate and must be done with precision. In this venture, chlorine is indeed your primary weapon. Chlorine is available in different forms, and each form has to be added to the pool following some specific methods.

Role of Chlorine in Pool Maintenance

Chlorine is the most critical sanitizer that contributes to the disinfection and oxidation of the pool and ensures your safety in swimming or relaxing in the pool.

This chemical is a sanitizer available in the market in different forms-tablet, liquid, and granular forms. The addition of it is crucial to make the water safe for use. 

Chlorine is produced by electrolysis. It breaks the cell walls of microorganisms like bacteria and algae and then oxidizes them. This leads to the killing or deactivation of these microorganisms, thereby ensuring pool sanitization.

However, in the process, chlorine also disintegrates and loses power, and so to maintain your pool, you have to regularly add it to the pool, whether in liquid or granular form, as both are equally effective.

Chlorine fights against the following in the pool:

  • Micro-organisms that may cause diseases such as hepatitis A, cholera, and dysentery
  • Sweat, urine, saliva, and dirt from other people who are swimming inside the pool
  • Dirt, pollutants, and debris from the wider environment
  • The growth and expansion of algae

 

The Different Forms of Chlorine 

Chlorine Tablets

For releasing Chlorine tablets in the pool, a dispenser is used that allows them to be released consistently. This process is easy, and the domestic pool owners can do it by themselves.

Chlorine tablets are generally replete with certain helpful substances like water clarifier and algaecide, which further help in the pool’s sanitation. So, you need not buy them separately, and this proves to be quite pocket-friendly as well. 

Liquid Chlorine

This is the most cost-effective option for you. The process is easy, too; you just have to pour the liquid chlorine into the pool directly. It has a greater pH level in its liquid form, so it is ideal for only bigger pools like the commercial ones at clubs, resorts, hotels, or other institutions. In the case of smaller pools, it may create a pH imbalance.

Chlorine Granules

The granular or powdered form of chlorine is sprinkled throughout the pool evenly, or it may also be dissolved in a separate container and then mixed into the pool. Though adding it is a bit complicated, it guarantees more efficiency in increasing the chlorine level in the pool. 

Chlorine granules that are available in the market are of two types:

·         Dichlor

It is also known as sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione or dichloroisocyanuric acid. Having a low pH of about 7, it dissolves quickly and effectively works on pool contaminants. It contains around 62% actual chlorine per pound. However, it is also expensive, but the product is stable.

·         Calcium Hypochlorite

It is also referred to as cal hypo. This is a cost-effective option, but it’s unstable and may cause health hazards. It has about 65% chlorine content with a pH of 12. It is advisable to use it cautiously.

What is Pool Shocking? 

Chlorine combines with the harmful elements in your pool to create new compounds called chloramines. The addition of a greater amount of chlorine leads to the building up the chloramines in the water. This chloramine creates a problem because it:

  • Slows down sanitation.
  • It causes skin rashes and eye irritation in swimmers.
  • It causes an irritating and pungent “chlorine smell.”

To evade this situation, pool shocking is considered to be the ideal option. In this process, more chlorine is added so that the chloramine level reaches its breaking point. It leads to the ripping of the chloramine molecules by the chlorine. This process of ripping apart is known as “oxidation,” which eradicates the chloramine from the pool. 

However, it should be kept in mind that chlorine has to be added till it reaches the breakpoint. Not adding the required amount of chlorine might worsen the problem by creating more chloramines. 

Process of Adding Chlorine Granule 

The procedure for adding granular chlorine includes:

  • Measuring the dry chemical
  • Pre-dissolving it in a bucket
  • Pouring it around the perimeter of the pool but not directly into the skimmer 

A few types of dry, granular chlorine are used as a shock because they rapidly dissolve in water. However, different types of granules should not be mixed together.

The tools required for adding chlorine are:

  • A test kit to measure alkalinity and pH
  • A plastic bucket of around 5 gallon
  • Safety equipment – glasses and gloves
  • Something to stir with – like a wooden stick
  • Sodium Bicarbonate or some Soda Ash – 
  • A dry measuring cup or bucket 
  • The Orenda App

These steps are to be followed to accomplish this task:

Step 1

Firstly, you should test the pool water and the fill water for free available chlorine. The results you record using the Orenda app will indicate the amount of granular chlorine added. This will help you understand the dosage that has to be added, and you can do it on your own. After that, you need to get all the other abo-stated items to start the process.

Step 2

Then you have to submerge the bucket into the pool to fill it quarterly. After that, you have to add the measured amount of chlorine into the bucket slowly.

Step 3

Then you should stir the powder to dissolve it entirely because undissolved chlorine particles may cause cloudiness. However, this addition of chlorine should be done to maintain the pool’s pH, or else the pool surface might get affected. Thus, it is ideal to pre-dilute the chlorine and then add it.

Step 4

Then you have to slowly pour a half bucket of the wholly dissolved solution into the pool. Then you can add fresh pool water into the bucket only after stirring it again and then slowly pouring it. It is advisable not to pour the solution into the skimmer directly. Instead, you must add it around the pool’s perimeter. 

 Advantages of using Chlorine Granules

  • Have a long shelf life, and you can store it
  • Dissolves in water easily
  • Easy to transport
  • Are more stabilized
  • Have a lower pH value

When should chlorine granules be added?

Unlike liquid chlorine, granules do not require much outside product use, and so chlorine granules of either kind are smart choices for private pool owners. 

Chlorine granules, particularly dichlor, possess a pH that is lower than the liquid form of chlorine. Hence, you can mix them into your pool water, and you need not add acid to neutralize it. Since it saves time and effort, these granules are a better choice for use. However, they are a bit expensive. 

Disadvantages of using chlorine granules:

  • Too much CYA of water can reduce chlorine’s effectiveness
  • High CYA levels can lead to cloudiness in the pool water
  • The pool must be first diluted/drained to reduce the CYA levels
  • Granules are more expensive
  • Sold in smaller amounts in small containers
  • Effective in private or smaller pools.

Chlorine granules of both types are readily available in the market.

These two are the top-rated products in the market of both the types of chlorine granules-dichlor and calcium hypochlorite.

#1 StarPlus Dichlor Shock for Swimming Pools 

This Dichlor pool shock of Nava Chemicals does not cause any scale build-up and contributes to a stabilized pool shock. This product can be used for all pools and spas. One pound of this product works for 10,000 gallons. This packet includes 12 pounds of the product.

Pro:

  • Keeps the pool clean
  • It can be used in both swimming pools and spas

Con:

  • It is expensive

#2  In the Swim Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorine Granular Pool Shock

This is needed for an impactful chlorine shock treatment that is required for pool maintenance. Here the main ingredient is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal-Hypo) which is best for quick sanitizing.

To prevent bleaching of any surface of the vinyl liner, it must be pre-diluted. One pound of this product works for 10,000 gallons.

Pro:

  • Easy and prompt in action

Con:

  • There have been complaints about the ingredients used in it being too strong.

Bottomline

I hope this article has successfully enlightened you about the significance of cleaning and maintaining swimming pools to evade health hazards. The importance of chlorine granules in cleaning the pool has been thoroughly analyzed.

While cleaning the pool, you must prioritize your safety and wear the proper protective gear or gloves while handling pool chemicals such as chlorine. Use it safely and keep your pool hygienic.

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