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Chlorine questions

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by alphapygmy, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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    I'm wanting to store some chlorine for water treatment but I have heard liquid chlorine bleach only has a shelf life of around 6 months so I'm wondering if anyone has used pool type dry chemicals to treat their water and how long they store for if kept in a cool dry place.:huh:
     
  2. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    I have a 20,000 gallon in-ground pool. I thought it would be perfect for drinking water if the mains get shut off.
    The chlorine powder should hold for a long time, but I would avoid the Wal-Mart stuff. It has a lower chlorine content per volume.

    I buy the stuff at the pool place at 148th and Airport way for $95ish a bucket.

    I think it's called Care-Free Pool and Spa on Airport way.

    There is a skinny guy that works the counter that you could ask about using it for drinking. (I think his name is John)He is kinda cool like that, and probably won't think you are WACKO for suggesting it.
    I wouldn't ask any of the other employees though.

    I don't know about drinking pool water, but I know as the chems burn off they are less hazardous.

    Putting chlorine shock into a 5 gallon bucket of water...................You would have to be pretty desperate to do it.
    I don't think it would be safe unless you had (at least) a pool test kit to test the PH, alkalinity, etc.

    There may be other pool owners that may chime in on the issue of drinking shock treated water.

    It would probably be better to buy a really nice water filter like the Mini-works EX Microfilter.
     
  3. simpleguy

    simpleguy Clackamas Active Member

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    Interesting post, I buy the cheapest, non-scented bleach I can find and after 12mos(I keep a 12mos. rotation going) it still smells like bleach and cleans clothes, can't imagine bleach goin' "bad", maybe like medicine it loses some "life".
     
  4. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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    Somewhere a while back I read about using the pool chems but can't for the life of me find it again. If I recall, you need very little shock powder to disinfect 5 gallons of water as it's about 46-47% available chlorine vs. 5-6% for the liquid bleach you buy at the supermarket. After the water is disinfected I run it through a carbon filter to remove the chlorine. The problem is finding the right amount to add that disinfects but doesn't overload the carbon filter too quickly. As an alternative I have a couple canister filters buddied up, a 5 micron carbon then into a .5 micron carbon. I believe a 1 micron removes almost all harmful living nasties plus the carbon works on other stuff in the water so I should be good for a while if the electricity goes and I have to use water from the nearby creek.
     
  5. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    Liquid bleach is probably a bad way to go unless you are rotating it in the laundry room.

    If you are storing it, then the powdered shock will be better.

    Sunlight will deteriorate chlorine, so keep it in a cool dark place.

    In the pool the sun will burn out 1/2 pound of chlorine a day.
     
  6. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read, liquid chlorine bleach loses a little over one half its strength in one year. Granular spa shock type chlorine sounds like it is stable for 2 years or more (that is what I remember reading in the past). I do plan on using our spa as a water source if needed, but will be running the water through a British Berkefeld filter system. We add 3 TBL chlorine spa shock per week to a 450 gal spa, so it certainly does not take much shock to get the job done.
     
  7. dave

    dave Independence Member

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    Check Bimart in the household section. They sell 1 pound thru 10 pound bottles of powdered "Pool Shock". Its 47% Calcium Hypochloride.

    Lots of info can be found on Pool shock. This is what I stock for neutralizing ground water. Keep it dry and in the dark, it will outlast us.

    This guy has a decent video on it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fsKUyObUIs
     
  8. goatguns

    goatguns Dallas OR Member

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    bleach is 3.5% you can get hth sodium hypochlorite that is 12.5% I would be very careful just adding any of this without know what your residual of cl2 is. to much will burn out your gizzard and not enough will do nothing. The cl2 will help disinfect ecoli but it still will not kill cryptosporidia or giardia.adding it is a good idea just be careful, after the demand is met and a residual of say 3 ppm or .3 mg/l is more that fine. just my 2 cents
     
  9. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member

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    Chlorine will kill cryptosporidia and giardia but only at concentrations you would not want to drink. I can look up the actual data on rates it takes to kill these germs later, but typing on my iPod gets old real quick.
     
  10. goatguns

    goatguns Dallas OR Member

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    yes I guess that is true, but if you cant drink it then it defets the purpose. What I have may not be right but this is what I plan on doing. I have a katadyn pocket filter to remove most virisis, and if there is any questions about water quality after I have remove all the tribidity I can use my pocket steripen (uv light) to make sure. I still have
    CL2 availible but most likley not for water, but disinfection purposes.That is what I planned on doing, for what it is worth.
     
  11. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Simpleguy, you're right.

    I have no idea who started this nonsense about bleach losing its 'oomph,' but it's nonsense, pure and simple. Bleach is 5% sodium hypochlorite, NaOCl, in water and it decomposes in one of two ways, either by producing oxygen gas or chlorine gas, depending on what it's reacting with. The point being that if your bleach bottle doesn't go 'whoosh' and release a bunch of gas when you open it, then it hasn't decomposed.

    Caveat: If the bleach is given the opportunity to react with something like organic matter or metals, then it can decompose without producing gas as a byproduct. But if your bleach bottle is sealed it will remain clean and the hypochlorite will stay good indefinitely.
     
  12. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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    There are lots of sites that talk about a shelf life for liquid chlorine bleach but none mentioned if the shelf life is for an opened bottle or one that has been stored, which I think is an important detail. I e-mailed Clorox and asked specifically about the shelf life of unopened stored bleach, hopefully I will get a response and we will know straight from the people that make the stuff and get this figured out. Inquiring minds want to know!
     
  13. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    What data are you basing that on? It would be wonderful if it were true, but credible sources indicate otherwise:

    http://www.ouhsc.edu/ehso/saf-t-gram/Spring01.pdf

    http://www.clorox.com/products/faqs.php?prod_id=clb#faq8

    http://www.ercoworldwide.com/documents/SodiumHypochlorite_000.pdf
    (page 5)
     
  14. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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    After e-mailing Clorox specifically about storing liquid chlorine bleach they replied :The active ingredient in liquid bleach, sodium hypochlorite, is very sensitive to high heat and freezing, but under normal home storage conditions, it should still perform well for nine to twelve months. So if your storage conditions were either of these, then you will have irreversibly created salt and water. Next question is intended use. The active does decline over time and to meet our EPA disinfecting requirements you are probably on-the-edge; so I might add a little more than the 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water for any disinfecting projects. For general cleaning, you should be fine since a little liquid bleach goes a long ways. Finally, I would start using it up ASAP and try not to keep it around so long on the future.
    Hope this helps and let me know if you have any further questions.
    Dr Laundry.
     
  15. dave

    dave Independence Member

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    Great job Alpha and EZ. Guess it goes to show that anyone can call themselves "Mr rocket scientist" or any other made up online name.
    It sure helps a bold statement to be backed up with a valid link.

    Well done.
     
  16. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Ph.D., Physical Chemistry, Stanford '83. Twelve US patents.

    Way back in my poverty days I used Clorox that was practically old enough to VOTE and it still acted and smelled like new. Heat's bad for hypochlorite, but it's really contaminants like dust that'll catalyze its decomposition quickest. The same goes for peroxide, BTW.

    The key is the gas evolution: If unsealing the container doesn't release gas, then there's no conceivable way that the hypochlorite could've disappeared.

    Clorox is in business to sell product, and from their point of view there's no downside to piling up all the 'worst-on-worst' possibilities to make their case.
     
  17. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    Here is a study I wanted to post earlier, but couldn't find it. It shows degradation over time. But, I think you are saying that as long as the bottle is factory sealed (unopened) it will be as good as new bleach? I am assuming this study utilized containers that were repeatedly opened during the testing process, and thus repeatedly exposed to room air. Right?

    Is there a cheap/easy way to test bleach for effective water treatment that has been on the shelf for years? (I'm really curious and would like to see for myself).

    http://www.forp.usp.br/restauradora/soda/sodaingl.html

    Thanks
     
  18. Oohrah

    Oohrah NorthwestSouthern Oregon Coast Member

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    I also have not heard of bleach losing it's power through age unless it is exposed to the air. The use per gallon is drops, not cups. Seems like it was ten to twelve drops killed most ecolli. I used to put in a half a cup into my spring cistern once a month, but stopped that practice years ago. I have not treated it in any form, and for the last 20 years, I haven't noticed any extra legs, arms, or heads, nor has any one ever been sick from drinking it. It is acid slightly, and slightly hard with some mineral content to it. It is clear. Cistrin is about eight foot across, and perhaps 20 plus foot deep.