Chlorine was discovered in the 16th Century and has become one of the most widely used disinfecting agents in the United States. In addition to its uses as a bleaching agent for laundry and as a purifying agent in municipal drinking water, chlorine is widely used to keep home and municipal swimming pools clean and clear of harmful micro-organisms. Chlorine comes in different forms and in different strengths. The type used frequently depends on the type of pool to be treated.
Trichloro-s-triazinetrione, or Tri-chlor, is a stabilized form of chlorine in tablet form. This popular form of chlorine pool treatment is stabilized by the addition of cyanuric acid salt which binds with chlorine gas to form a solid tablet that is 90 percent chlorine. Tri-chlor tablets have a relatively low pH of 3. They dissolve slowly and are effective at controlling algae, although they can be corrosive to metal parts. Tri-chlor tablets can etch plaster and deteriorate vinyl so they should not be thrown directly into the water. Application is typically by in-line erosion feeders or floaters.
Sodium Dichloro-s-triazinetrione, or Di-chlor, has a more neutral pH value of 7. It typically comes in granular form which allows it to dissolve quickly in water and go to work almost immediately. Di-chlor is considerably lower in available chlorine than Tri-chlor at just 62 percent, but it is stabilized with cyanuric acid giving it a long-lasting quality. Di-chlor is one of the most expensive forms of swimming pool treatment.
Calcium Hypochlorite, or Cal-hypo, is an un-stabilized form of chlorine. It comes in both granule and tablet form and is a popular chemical additive for shocking swimming pools. Cal-hypo has a pH value of around 12, contains 65 percent available chlorine and is effective at killing algae quickly. Much of its popularity is attributed to its low price.
- Photo Credit Swimming pool and pool house image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com
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