Liquid Chlorine VS Cal Hypo

Liquid Chlorine or Bleach is the tried and true standard chemical of choice for most pool service professionals. It is easy to use and relatively inexpensive and it has the least side effects of any of the chlorine you can…

Liquid Chlorine VS Cal Hypo

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Liquid Chlorine or Bleach is the tried and true standard chemical of choice for most pool service professionals. It is easy to use and relatively inexpensive and it has the least side effects of any of the chlorine you can choose from. It is usually sold in 12.5% active chlorine per gallon with Bleach coming in at about half that strength at 6.5%. It will raise the pH slightly, but it does not contain any Stabilizer or Conditioner making it ideal for all pool types. This means that when you add a gallon of liquid chlorine and your Conditioner level (CYA) is 50 ppm it will stay at 50 ppm even if you add 20 gallons of liquid chlorine since it contains no cyanuric acid.

Chapter Marks:
00:00 Intro
01:45 By products
03:25 How Strong Are They?
06:18 Reaction with Copper
08:22 Shelf Life
09:56 Which is Easier?
10:54 No CYA Can Be a Problem
16:15 Liquid Chlorine Plus Cal Hypo
16:56 Price Point
18:00 Use Both
21:43 Safe Handling

One drawback of liquid chlorine is that typically a gallon of 12.5% will not last the entire week in a pool. This means you will need some way to add a dose of liquid chlorine during the week. Expect to lose 1 ppm each day so if you started the week at 7.0 ppm, by that next week the chlorine level would be at 0.0 ppm if you did not add any more chlorine during the week. A few options are a liquid chlorine feeder from HASA, a Rolo Chem type feeder, or simply adding another gallon of liquid chlorine mid-week.

Pros:
Fastest acting of all chlorine types
Available at pool stores, wholesalers, and hardware stores
Will not raise your CYA level
Safe for all pool types
Easy to use

Cons:
Breaks down by the Sun’s UV Rays so your pool needs a CYA level of 30-50 ppm
Short shelf life so rotate stock or buy fresh chlorine when needed
Half-life is about 90 days
The gallons can be heavy compared to a bag of shock
Can react to metals in the water and cause a green water tint
Adds salt to the water so it will raise the pool’s TDS over time

Cal Hypo is very popular and there are several reasons why it is widely used in the industry. It is easy to carry and comes in different strengths of 60-75% active chlorine. One of the major side effects is that it contains calcium, so over time, it will raise your pool’s calcium hardness. Not an issue if you live in an area with soft water but I caution against the use in areas with hard water. It also has a high pH of around 12 so it will raise the pH in a pool if you use a significant amount each week. It can also make the pool cloudy if you pour a bag directly in. A very powerful form of shock.

Cal Hypo has the same problem of not lasting the entire week, however, with Cal Hypo tablets such as the Pool Life brand you can add these slow-dissolving tablets directly to the skimmer each week and they will slowly release Cal Hypo into the water all week long. That is one advantage that Cal Hypo offers over liquid chlorine. The Cal Hypo tablets also contain no CYA.

Pros:
Strong and easy to use
Does not contain a Conditioner so it will not raise the pool’s CYA levels
Cal Hypo Tablets dissolve slowly over a week and don’t raise the pool’s CYA level
Safe for all pool surface types but use caution with a vinyl liner

Cons:
Raises Calcium Harness in a pool
Raises the pH in a pool
Clouds up the pool water if poured directly in
Can react to copper in the water and cause temporary black stains

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