Think you understand pool chemicals? Many of us think we know what we are doing when taking care of our pools. However, there are a number of common mistakes that can complicate pool maintenance. After the long winter, we are all looking forward to warmer weather and having our backyard pools open again. And we are all aware that the use of chemicals is a big part of getting our pools ready for the season. It is important to revisit safety precautions when using these pool chemicals to avoid potential injury. At Fronheiser Pools, we would love for you to take a look at 5 of the most common mistakes using pool chemicals.
One of the biggest hazards involved with pool chemicals is improper storage. Make sure you do the following:
- Store chemicals in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place (no sun, no moisture).
- Store chemicals away from gasoline or any source of ignition (including cigarette smoking).
- Do not stack containers of chemicals.
- Store chemicals in their original containers with lids on tightly. Never transfer them into a different container.
Mixing and Measuring Chemicals
Pool chemicals need to be handled with respect and caution.
- Never add leftover chemicals to a new container of the same chemical because a chemical reaction could occur.
- Use a different measuring container for each chemical you use. Even a small amount of one chemical can react with another.
- Clean up any spills immediately.
Failure to Follow the Instructions
Pay attention to the instructions on the chemical container and follow them to the letter. Some of the most important information is how to add them to your pool.
- Add chemicals to water, not water to chemicals. You want to avoid a situation called “wetting,” which is where water accidentally gets into the chemicals instead of the chemicals getting into the water. Chlorine gas could be produced which can damage the lungs.
- Some chemicals need to be diluted prior to adding them to the pool. Use a large (5 gallon or larger) bucket to perform this task. Fill your bucket at least half full of water, then add the chemical.
- Wait for one chemical to dispense into the pool water thoroughly before adding another one.
Ignoring Safety Precautions
- Wear protective gear such as goggles and rubber gloves when handling pool chemicals.
- Keep your pool chemicals locked when not in use.
- Never flush leftover chemicals down the drain, especially into a septic system.
- Be sure you are using the pool chemicals in a well-ventilated area.
Not Waiting to Re-Enter the Pool After Adding Chemicals
We get it. It’s hard to wait to re-enter the pool after chemicals have been added. Jumping back in too soon can have detrimental effects on skin and eyes. In an ideal world, you will treat your pool when it is not in use. Otherwise, there will be a certain wait time before swimmers can safely dive back in. Below are some typical wait times.
- pH, Alkalinity, and Clarifier: 20 minutes
- Calcium: 2 to 4 hours (a full cycle of the pool filter)
- Shock: Best added in the evening. Wait 24 hours before using the pool. Chlorine level should be 5ppm.
- Muriatic Acid: 30 minutes
- Algaecide: 15 minutes
- Liquid Chlorine: 4 hours, or until chlorine level is 5ppm
As you can see, 5 of the most common mistakes using pool chemicals are centered around mishandling, storage, and incorrect usage. All of these mistakes can be easily addressed by common sense, a bit of education, and observance of safety precautions. Fronheiser Pools is your number one source for high-quality pool chemicals. Our professional staff is on hand to answer any questions and guide you through their correct usage for a safe and happy swim season this year. Read Water Care 101 to learn even more about maintaining a crystal clear pool.