Discovered by Swedish chemist Carl Scheele in 1774, chlorine has become one of the most widely produced chemicals in the United States.
Types of Chlorine for Pool Cleaning
Like many elements, chlorine can come in a gas, liquid, or a solid; however, when used as a pool cleaning agent it will not be 100% pure in its liquid or solid form. The liquid chlorine used as a household cleaning agent is created by bubbling pure chlorine gas through a caustic soda, resulting in a yellow liquid called sodium hypochlorite. It has a very high pH (14) and 3-8% available chlorine. The sodium hypochlorite used in the swimming pool industry has a higher concentration of available chlorine, ranges from 10 – 15%.
Solid chlorine is available in a couple common types, granulated (di-chlor) or tablet form (tri-chlor.) Di-chlor is manufactured in a similar fashion to tri-chlor, both use the stabilizer cyanuric acid; however, di-chlor has 62% available chlorine, dissolves quickly and has a pH of 7 whereas tri-chor has around 90% available chlorine, is slow-dissolving and has a pH of 3.
These two forms allow for different approaches to pool cleaning. Di-chlor can be used as a shock treatment or as a daily sanitizing agent. Tri-chlor tablets work well in floaters or in-line/off-line erosion feeders as a means of dispensing the chemical. Tri-chlor products should not be thrown directly into the pool or used in a skimmer, as they may affect metals, plaster, and vinyl.
People handling chlorine or chlorine products should proceed with care. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves, only handle chlorine in well-ventilated areas, make sure to rinse thoroughly any area (skin, eyes, etc.) that comes into contact with chemicals and contact a medical professional if necessary.
Store chlorine products in cool, dry, ventilated areas and do not let them become contaminated. This especially includes not sharing scoops used in chlorine products with other chemicals.
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