blunt essays with sharp points

Clorox does not understand how to measure bleach

by Scrvpvlvs
Jan 24, 2013 6:45 PM–

Dear The Clorox Company:

To treat new, fresh water in a 6 000 gallon pool, should it cost me 4 cups of “Clorox” regular bleach, or only 3?

After reading the instructions for pool water treatment on your service bulletins page[PDF] I believe you have something wrong.

Your service bulletin says 200 ounces “Clorox” regular bleach supplies 10 ppm available chlorine in 10 000 gallons of water. Based on this, it should cost 3 cups of bleach to supply 2 ppm available chlorine in a 6 000 gallon pool.

And 3 cups must be right because it works out to “Clorox” regular bleach containing 6.4% available chlorine by volume. Your service bulletin says it contains about 6% sodium hypochlorite by weight (and you describe it elsewhere as containing 6% sodium hypochlorite) and this also works out to 6.4% available chlorine by volume, assuming the specific gravity is 1.12 which is a reasonable value for household bleach. So all these facts make sense together.

But your service bulletin also says 4 cups of bleach supplies 2 ppm available chlorine in 6 000 gallons of water, and gives a table of values for other pool sizes which are proportional to this.

4 cups only makes sense if “Clorox” regular bleach contains only 4.8% available chlorine by volume, which can’t be right. And if this is wrong, then your whole table is wrong, and is causing pool owners to overdose their pools by a factor of a third.

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