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If you’re wondering what sodium and calcium hypochlorite are and how they relate to your pool then you’ve come to the right place. Both are found in house and commercial, including those used to clean your pool. Let’s get into them one by one.

What’s Calcium Hypochlorite?

In its simplest form, calcium hypochlorite is a white solid that you can purchase in granular or tablet form. It is used to disinfect water and kill off bacteria that could make you sick. Its uses extend to swimming pools, drinking water for small communities and industrial food processing.

Applications

Pool Water

When it comes to swimming pools, you can purchase calcium hypochlorite tablets or granules to kill off bacteria that result in sicknesses, including diarrhea, swimmer’s ear, and wound infections. You can also purchase for use in spas and hot tubs.

Agriculture

Calcium hypochlorite also helps fight against foodborne diseases through a process called post-harvest water treatment. In this case, calcium hypochlorite and water are mixed to various strengths with the help of chlorination systems in order to kill off all germs and keep our food supplies safe.

Drinking-Water

Finally, calcium hypochlorite can be used to disinfect drinking water. Due to its limitations, it’ better suited to smaller communities i.e. those with smaller water systems that deliver up to give million 19 million liters (5 million gallons) per day. This makes calcium hypochlorite perfect for use in developing communities i.e. third-world countries.

Using Calcium Hypochlorite in your Pool

To keep your pool sanitized, you need to shock it regularly. Therefore, you should shock your pool regularly. Instance during which you would want to shock your pool include after heavy rain, after increased use i.e. pool party, and if your water levels have significantly changed.

To shock your pool using calcium hypochlorite, take the following steps:

  • Get a 20 liter (5-gallon) bucket and fill it with water
  • Add calcium hypochlorite tablets or granules
  • Stir the water to dilute the chemical and then slowly pour it directly into your pool

Note: make sure that your wearing safety goggles and gloves, closed shoes and long-sleeved shirts and pants. You want to cover all body parts, as exposure can cause irritation.

Now that we’ve briefly covered calcium hypochlorite, let’s jump into sodium hypochlorite – not literally.

What is sodium hypochlorite?

Like calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite is used is some pool sanitizers albeit less often. It’s also the key ingredient in household bleach. So, like its calcium counterpart, sodium hypochlorite keeps things germ free. Its applications include pools, household use and disinfection of drinking water for larger communities.

Applications

Pool Water

When it comes to your pool, you will want to use sodium hypochlorite when your water is hard. When in its liquid chlorine state, this compound can be added directly to your pool water. Unfortunately, sodium hypochlorite gets dissolved by the sun fairly quickly. Therefore, you’ll need to use Cyanuric Acid (CYA/stabilizer) to help it last.

Household Use

We mentioned that sodium hypochlorite is the main ingredient used in bleach. So, anywhere you’re using bleach, you’re using sodium hypochlorite i.e. when you’re cleaning your toilet.

Industrial Use

Many industries use sodium hypochlorite on a large scale. A great example is the textile industry, which uses sodium hypochlorite to bleach tiles. The other most-common place where sodium hypochlorite is used is the wastewater industry. Other notable industries where it’s used include glass, paper, pharmaceutical and synthetic.

Using Sodium Hypochlorite In Your Pool

You can add liquid sodium hypochlorite directly to your pool through your skimmer. Then just run your pumps to make sure that it’s distributed. Just ensure that you also use CYA, particularly if your pool is located outdoors. This way, the sodium hypochlorite will be able to hang around long enough to perform its job.

Sodium and calcium hypochlorite can cause irritation of the eyes, skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tract.

Exposure to high levels results in severe corrosive damage to the eyes, skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal tissues and can be fatal.

Sodium hypochlorite is generally used and dissolved in water at various concentrations. Although available, solid sodium hypochlorite is not commercially used. Sodium hypochlorite solutions are clear, greenish to yellow liquids with an odor of chlorine.

Calcium hypochlorite is a white solid that readily decomposes in water releasing oxygen and chlorine. It also has a strong chlorine odor. Neither compound occurs naturally in the environment.

Sodium and calcium hypochlorite are used primarily as bleaching agents or disinfectants. They are components of commercial bleaches, cleaning solutions, and disinfectants for drinking water and wastewater purification systems and swimming pools.

What happens to sodium and calcium hypochlorite when they enter the environment?

When released to air, sodium and calcium hypochlorite are broken down by sunlight and compounds commonly found in the air.

In water and soil, sodium and calcium hypochlorite separate into sodium, calcium and hypochlorite ions (an ion is an electrically charged atom or molecule). These ions may react with other substances found in the water.

Sodium and calcium hypochlorite does not accumulate in the food chain.

This guest post was written by, Dragan Veselinovic