Can You Add Bleach To A Pool? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

When you first become a pool owner, the first thing that becomes apparent is that you are going to need a lesson in chemistry. There are so many chemicals that you are going to have to get acquainted with. You might already know that you’re going to need some form of chlorine, but did you ever wonder why people are talking about bleach? Is that even meant for pools?

Adding bleach to a pool isn’t just perfectly acceptable, it’s perfectly normal. Bleach offers a cost-effective way to sanitize your pool and maintain a healthy level of chlorine. If you choose to use bleach instead of pool chlorine tablets, it’s important to keep an eye on the formulation and add cyanuric acid to prevent the breakdown of chlorine in sunlight.

Getting a grip on your pool chemistry basics is a must. Before you get too worried about choosing the wrong bleach or product, let’s hit the pause button and learn about it.

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What Does Bleach Do To A Pool?

Bleach is basically the same thing as chlorine, just in a different form. In other words, you can use bleach as a more affordable alternative to pool bleach. This is particularly good to know considering that we are in a major chlorine shortage. (You can thank the pandemic for that.) The best way to describe it is that it’s your new go-to pool sanitizer.

How To Add Bleach To Your Pool

Now that we have made it clear that bleach is good for your pool, it’s time to talk about how to add bleach to it. Believe it or not, this is a fairly simple process.

  • Choose regular, unscented chlorine bleach. Ideally, you will choose one with a higher percentage of sodium hypochlorite. Most bleach bottles on the market, though, will have 5 to 6 percent for this.
  • Test your pool to find out how much chlorine you have in there. You should shoot for a reading of around 2 to 3 ppm.
  • Use a pool chemistry calculator to find out how much bleach you need to add into your pool. You can use this nifty tool here to do it. The calculator will tell you how much of the stuff you’ll need.
  • Dump the prescribed amount of bleach into your pool. Make sure that your pool pump is running. When putting the bleach in the pool, you have the option to stir it in with a pool rod. It isn’t necessary but some folks like to err on the side of caution.
  • Adjust daily as needed. Some days, you might not need to add more bleach. Other days may require a top-off. It all depends on what your pool readings say.

An Important Note About Adding Bleach To Your Pool

If you don’t want to run through bleach like I run through energy drinks, then you really should consider investing in a pool conditioner. The most common one paired with bleach is cyanuric acid, also known as CYA. Most companies suggest that you get your CYA levels up to 20 to 30 parts per million.

CYA is a special pool conditioner that prevents the breakdown of chlorine as a result of UV radiation. If you live in a sunny area, this is going to make it possible to cut your bleach budget down significantly. While you usually need to use conditioner if you treat your pool with straight bleach, many pool bleach kits will have it built-in.

You can find out if your pool bleach has pre-added CYA by searching the label for “pre-treated” or “pre-conditioned.” It’ll save you some time, though it might not save you much money. It’s up to you to decide if you want to use that.

Should You Ask A Professional About Using Bleach In Your Pool?

Most of the time, it doesn’t really make sense to ask a professional about using bleach with your pool. It’s such a common thing to do, you can usually just read up more on it online. However, it never hurts to hear what the local pool techs would advise you to do. One thing we want to point out is that bleach is totally safe for most pools as long as it’s administered properly.

Because bleach is generally safe for pools, it’s important to realize something about shady pool techs. If you hear them telling you that you absolutely have to use pool bleach, you probably are dealing with someone who wants to bilk you for money. Get a second opinion if you hear this from your pool tech, and then fire the pool tech who wasn’t being honest with you.

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Related Questions

How long should you wait to swim after putting bleach in your pool?

Most of the time, you will need to wait a minimum of 20 minutes before you will be able to swim post-bleaching. This gives the bleach enough time to dissipate through the pool, lowering the risk of chemical burns on skin. Prior to swimming in any pool, make sure to check your water’s chlorine, pH, and alkalinity levels. You want to make sure that the water that you just treated is actually safe for you.

What should you do if your pool becomes cloudy?

A cloudy pool is a sign that your pool has a build-up of bacteria or algae, or that is just needs to be better sanitized. The easiest way to fix a cloudy pool is to give your pool a shock treatment by raising chlorine levels to your ideal shock level. Once you shock your pool, you should see the cloudiness dissipate.

What is the biggest benefit of using bleach in your pool?

For most homeowners, the biggest perk to using bleach instead of regular chlorine tablets is the fact that it saves you money in the long- and short-term. You can find bleach anywhere, so it’s easily accessible. You also don’t have to worry about running out, which isn’t something that can be said about chlorine. Shortages can and do happen with chlorine.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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