19 Aug 2012

The Shocking Truth About Granular Chlorine

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I continue to be shocked by those who use granular chlorine instead of tabs to regularly chlorinate their pools. These people think granular is heavy duty chlorine. Well, it is, but there is no reason to use it instead of tabs. Admittedly, the packaging certainly makes it look like an alternative to tabs. But let me establish that granular chlorine is really “shock” which was a principle long before it became a product. 

 The principle of shock is simple. Boost the chlorine in your pool very high, very fast to prevent algae and bacteria from taking over your pool. In the pool industry, we call this balance. If you regularly maintain the balance of chemicals in your pool or pay a company to do it regularly (my company offers this service), chances are you won’t have to shock it very often. Nor will you pay the higher price for granular chlorine.
Even well maintained pools need to be shocked from time to time. Algae can build a resistance to chlorine and eventually turn green, even with normal chlorine levels. Because granular costs more and is only needed when algae threatens the health of your pool, you should think of it in terms of medicine, and not the kind of “medicine” my mom’s uncle Eli used get at the liquor store.
Like other forms of chlorine, pay attention to the percentage of chlorine in the package. Buyer beware: some shocks are as low as 24%! Most shocks under 89% use fillers, generally calcium, which can cause cloudiness and over time can make the water in your pool “harder” than what comes out of the tap water of your home. You need hard water in your pool, but too much creates a need for more chemicals in order to balance the chemistry in your pool. This is an expense you can easily avoid by purchasing 99% shock and chlorine. Buying the right chlorine also means you won’t need to do more than the regular maintenance of your pool.

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