Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Chlorinating, maintaining the right chlorine levels, chlorine problems. Dichlor, trichlor, cal hypo, bleach, granules, chlorine pucks or sticks.

Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Postby spbb558 » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 13:46

I use 3" tablets due to ease of use. I'd like to switch in the future, but not this year. I'm looking to reduce my costs and need some advice.
I have been using BioGuard 3" Silk tablets witch are very expensive. Is there any difference in quality and perfromance between BioGuard, Leslies, Pool Brand and HTH 3" tablets?

Also, for shock, What is the cheapest way to go?

Thanks!
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Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Postby Me... » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 13:58

Good tabs will cost money. Main difference will be whether or not they are stabilized pucks. A good puck you will see last for several days. A cheap puck dissolves like Alka-Seltzer. Over the years we have had several customers come back for our expensive pucks because in the long run they were cheaper and also didn't spike their chlorine readings.

And of course, you will use a proper Erosion feeder to dispense them?
Me...
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Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Postby spbb558 » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 14:09

Sorry about that - I have an inline dispenser for 3" tablets.
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Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Postby chem geek » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 14:13

Most of the pucks are Trichlor and you use them in a floating feeder or in an inline chlorinator. The Silk tabs are more expensive because they do not erode/dissolve when there is no water flow so are the only ones that can be used in a skimmer. The other Trichlor tabs cannot be used in the skimmer since they continue to dissolve and the acidity can damage the area near the skimmer (as well as blast the equipment with brief acidity when the pump comes on). With your inline chlorinator, there is little need to use the Silk tabs unless the chlorinator is put in the wrong place in your plumbing and/or doesn't have a check valve.

The HTH tablets are also usually Trichlor -- if any of these tablets say "stabilized", then they are Trichlor.

Some tablets from Arch Chemicals (HTH brand) are Cal-Hypo and those are unstabilized and also tend to fall apart quickly and leave a residue. You cannot use these in the same inline chlorinator as your Trichlor (this can cause a vigorous reaction, even an explosion).

The least expensive approach is to use chlorinating liquid (or bleach) instead of Trichlor tabs. This will avoid the need for using pH Up products as well and will prevent the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level from rising which can lead to algae growth if you don't raise the Free Chlorine (FC) level or use a supplemental algaecide (e.g. PolyQuat 60 or a phosphate remover). However, this is less convenient since you have to add chlorine every day or two unless you have a pool cover in which case you have to add it about twice a week. There are automatic dosing systems (peristaltic pumps, The Liquidator) and there are also saltwater chlorine generators (SWG) as other options.

For every 10 ppm FC added by Trichlor, it also increases CYA by 6 ppm.

Richard
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Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Postby spbb05 » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 14:25

Thanks- due to time, I cann't do liquid this year, maybe next year. If all the brands I mentioned are trichlor, do they perform the same or is one brand better? BTW, my CYA is normally around 80. I understand that's pretty common in Texas.
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Brands of 3" Tablets/Shock

Postby chem geek » Sun 29 Mar, 2009 17:47

As Me... says, some inexpensive brands may have poor binders or compression of the tablets so that they fall apart too quickly. When I used GLB Trichlor tablets in my floating feeder 6 years ago, they lasted around 5 days. They will probably dissolve more quickly in an inline chlorinator though it depends on the setting (flow rate through the chlorinator) you use. Bioguard is a name brand. See this post for a list of manufacturers and brands. The big 3 are Chemtura, Advantis and Arch. I don't know who Leslie's uses.
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