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Bleach Your Pool and Save Print E-mail
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House - Maintenance
Written by Joe "The Pool Guy"   
Wednesday, 09 September 2009 09:52
I once worked for a Chemist who used to shake his head at how much people would pay at a for certain products.  Companies would buy a chemical, dilute it, give it a fancy name and a scent, have the marketing department create some pretty packaging and then sell it at 20 times or more what the original chemical cost.  He just couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t take the time to figure out what they were using and buy the chemicals in their higher concentrations cheaply.  Of course, he was a chemist and chemicals with 42 letter names were second nature to him.

 

When it comes to sanitizing your pool with chlorine, it all comes down to the form and the concentration.  For those of you heading to the pool or hardware store to buy your liquid chlorine, this tip should save you about $30 - $60 a year and make those extra trips unnecessary.

 

Bleach is simply Sodium Hypochlorite in 5-6% concentration.  Bleach is Bleach is Bleach so buying a name brand thinking its going to clean your house better is just lining some company's pockets.  The only thing that really matters is the concentration which should be labeled on the package.  If its not, don't buy it.  Liquid Chlorine in your pool or home improvement store is.....(drumroll).....Sodium Hypochorite typically in 10% - 12% concentration.  So the only question is how much you are paying for the Sodium Hypochlorite.  The table below does a typical calculation:

 

Comparison of Bleach vs. Pool Store Chlorine

Type

Chlorine Concentration

Actual Chlorine

Typical Price

Price Per Ounce of Chlorine

2 Gallons Liquid Chlorine (256 ounces)

10.0%

25.6 ounces

$7.99

$0.31 per ounce

Liquid Bleach (182 ounces)

6.0%

10.92 ounces

$2.49

$0.23 per ounce

Liquid Bleach (96 ounces)

6.0%

5.46 ounces

$1.49

$0.26 per ounce

 

So there you go, pick up the big size of 6% plain non-branded bleach and you’ll save about 8 cents an ounce.  It adds up, if you are using about 25 ounces of chlorine each week, you’ll save $2.00 a week and save yourself an extra trip.  Over 20 weeks, $40, not a huge amount, but enough to go out to dinner with the family.  For those of you in hot climates where you can operate your pool year round, you'll save $60-$70 a year enough for roses, chocalates, and a card on Valentines Day.

 

A Few Hints

  1. Always look for the chlorine concentration. Some bleaches at discount stores won’t have the concentration listed which could be as low as 3%.  At $1.00, 3% concentration for 96 ounces is expensive….that’s right the dollar stores are ripping off people who buy this stuff thinking they are getting a great price!
  2. Sometimes you can get the two gallon pack for as little as $5.99 (Walmart charges this much) and bleach in the small size for as little as $0.99.  These are stock up deals.
  3. Put your liquid chlorine in at dusk and run the pump for a little while to get it mixed in with the water.  Liquid chlorine isn’t stabilized and you will lose a lot to the sun if you chlorinate during the day time.
  4. Pay attention to your PH level, if its too high you aren't going to get as much effectiveness when you shock.

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