A WARNING about water testing,chlorinators and Cyanuric Acid

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A WARNING about water testing,chlorinators and Cyanuric Acid

Postby jazzman » Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:32 pm

Salt water chlorination has become increasingly popular in Thailand and there are now many models on the market ranging in price from as little as ฿ 12,000 to ฿ 100,000.
The problem is that this is a lucrative niche for vendors. It is therefore essential to:
- Search the internet for truly accredited dealers in Thailand
- Carefully compare prices, features, manufacturers' claims, and guarantee and after-sales service.
- Bear in mind that salt water chlorination steadily increases the pH over time.
- Unless using a special dosing system or Hydrochloric (Muriatic) Acid - grotglua), the use of proprietary 'pH Minus' (prices differ very widly for the same product) is much safer, and easier to store. Hydrochloric acid.
- if using Hydrochloric Acid, wear protective clothing and goggles, don't breathe the fumes, dilute it, and remember: Do what you oughta - add acid to water.
- Consider the use of Cyanuric Acid.
- Consider investing in hand-held digital water testers for pH, Free & Total Chlorine, Alkalinity, Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid, that are now finally available here in Thailand at reasonable prices; the traditional 'blue box' test kits and test strips are notoriously inaccurate.

Cyanuric Acid

There are some popular misconceptions about the use of cyanuric acid.
Generally, most chlorine products for pools, whether in powder, granular, or tablet for form, are marketed as 90% Stabilised Chlorine, or T.C.CA.. This means that they already contain the cyanuric acid that prevent too rapid 'burn off' of the chlorine by the sun's ultra violet rays - particularly important in the tropics. If you are using TCCA, which you almost certainly are if you purchase it in a pool shop, unless you have special difficulty maintaining your pH, do not allow yourself be persuaded that you need to buy additional cyanuric acid. The full name of TCCA chlorine is TRICHLOROISOCYANURIC ACID, but it must not be confused with pure Cyanuric Acid. Some vendors may also possibly be offering TCCA for sale as pure Cynauric Acid which it is not.

This also means that normal chlorine powder or granules sold in hardware stores or builders' markets may not be T.C.C.A, and it may also be only be 60%.

Cyanuric Acid really can improve the performance of basic, non-TCCA chlorine, but it must be carefully dosed - too much of it will have the reverse effect and will block the chlorination process. There is no price advantage in buying non TCCA chlorine, and then buying Cyanuric Acid to add to it. Cyanuric Acid test kits are now also available in Thailand from from around ฿ 4,000.

90% T.C..CA chlorine is practically all the same and is usually unbranded, although Nissan™ chlorine is available at a slightly higher price. Pool chlorine sells at widely differing prices, from as little as ฿ 4,000.00 to as much as ฿ 10,00.00 for a 50 Kg drum in which it usually ships from abroad. It may also have been be repackaged in smaller quantities by retailers, at 1 Kg, 5 Kg, 7 Kg, and 20 Kg., and sold under their own brand name. See photo.

On the other hand:
Saltwater chlorinators generate chlorine through the electrolytic breakdown of common salt (sodium chloride) and the chlorine will not contain Cyanuric Acid.

Cyanuric Acid is relatively expensive and carries a very lucrative margin for the vendors. Surprisingly few of even the purported 'pool professionals' in Thailand appear to fully understand these differences and uses. Always do a thorough Internet search for product information, prices, and availablility before you purchase.

Review - FAQ:
Q: Do I need cyanuric acid?
A:Generally, most chlorine products for pools are marketed as T.C.C.A, that is, they already contain Cyanuric Acid. While this is true for chlorine powder, granules and tablets, saltwater chlorination systems DO NOT produce cyanuric acid and to reduce the load on a chlorinator it should be used. Here in the tropics, however, the sun is very fierce, and in some situations, many pools may benefit from careful addition of Cyanuric Acid.

Q: What does cyanuric acid do?
A: Cyanuric acid forms a weak bond with free chlorine in the pool water, protecting it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays to reduce chlorine loss. Properly managed, cyanuric acid has been shown to reduce the amount of chlorine needed to maintain the minimum chlorine residual in an outdoor pool. In a small pool with a moderate bather load, cyanuric acid can significantly reduce the cost for chemical disinfection.

Q: How much cyanuric acid should be used in a swimming pool?
A: Chemical suppliers recommend that the optimal range for cyanuric acid is 30-50 ppm. Other sources recommend about 20 ppm for a good cost- to-benefit ratio. At levels above 50 ppm, pools reach the point of diminishing returns where the reduction in chlorine effectiveness and cost of buying cyanuric acid outweighs the benefits.

Q: How does one test for cyanuric acid?
Any pool operator who uses cyanuric acid or stabilized chlorine should purchase a test kit capable of measuring cyanuric acid and understand how to use it properly. Cyanuric acid level should be tested at least once a month.
Standard 90% T.C.C.A pool chlorine in powder, granules, or tablets
(TRICHLOROISOCYANURIC ACID) already contains Cyanuric Acid.
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Re: A WARNING about water testing,chlorinators and Cyanuric

Postby scudman » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:18 pm

I have been studying up on pool chemistry and have run across an interesting (US) forum that basically says you can maintain a sparkling clean pool using the 3 BBB method. Bleach, Baking Soda and Borax. Bleach of course for FC, Baking Soda for TA and Borax for PH. They don't claim that this is the end all to buying pool chemicals, but using these common household products are just as effective as the pool store stuff at highly inflated prices. I know you can get bleach here, but can you get unscented, straight bleach. I am also sure that Baking Soda is available although I have never bought any. I am not sure about Borax.
The BBB method: http://www.troublefreepool.com/bbb-for-beginners-t5208.html
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Re: A WARNING about water testing,chlorinators and Cyanuric

Postby jazzman » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:55 pm

let's make one thing quite clear: baking soda (bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate) is not the standard way of raising pool pH. It's use is more for addressing pH 'bounce' without upsetting the total alkalinity too much. And for another thing, it's far too expensive. In fact as far as I know, there is only one pool shop in the country that sells it in reasonably priced quantities for pool use. Sodium CARbonate, also known as soda ash is the product to use for raising pH and is very cheap.

For those who are too skint to buy proper pool chlorine, cheaper even than household bleach is sodium hypochlotite which is nothing other than liquid chlorine. You will however have to add the very expensive cyanuric acid. So at the end of the day, the only way to sanitise a pool is the proper way.
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