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Thread: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

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    Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    I found a 50lb bag of DE for $50 online from diatomaceousearth.com but it is listed as food grade. Is that a good price and is food grade ok for the pool filter?

    Next, I can order a 50lb bag of calcium chloride marketed as Snow Joe Ice Melt from Home Depot for $15, but it looks like the crystals are quite large. Maybe the image on the Home Depot website is throwing me off, but they look like the size of chocolate chips. Normal?

    Finally, Home Depot sells 2 gals muriatic acid 31.45% for $11. Is that a good deal?
    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Food grade will not work for the pool. You need the type made specifically for pools, usually listed as "filter aid". I'm not sure about the salt, thinking ice melt is different, but possibly the kind for water softening will work. (Not positive on that though, someone with an SWG can probably better answer that.)
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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    The ice melt is fine for raising CH. The 31.45% MA is the right stuff. I get mine at Lowes, I've been buying there forever don't know about the price. It is probably fine.

    Here is a page on pool chemicals that tells what they are, what they do and how to add them to your pool. Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by PAGirl View Post
    Food grade will not work for the pool. You need the type made specifically for pools, usually listed as "filter aid". I'm not sure about the salt, thinking ice melt is different, but possibly the kind for water softening will work. (Not positive on that though, someone with an SWG can probably better answer that.)
    Do you know what makes the D.E. different in food grade vs the type one would use in a pool filter? Is there some kind of additive in it?

    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by dclynds View Post
    Do you know what makes the D.E. different in food grade vs the type one would use in a pool filter? Is there some kind of additive in it?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Pool DE is heat treated so that the particles are in a crystalline form that filters are designed for.

    50lbs is a lot anyway. I know we razz on pool stores here, but they are usually the best place to get it.
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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by dclynds View Post
    Do you know what makes the D.E. different in food grade vs the type one would use in a pool filter? Is there some kind of additive in it?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    It's some kind of heat treatment. Garden DE comes in nice small bags but it isn't suitable. You can substitute cellulose filter media for DE. It's a lot lighter and comes in smaller bags. Not sure if it's much cheaper, though.

    The acid from HD is fine to use, and the price doesn't seem outrageous. You won't be buying enough of that to make it worthwhile to spend a lot of time hunting for the best price.

    Check the ingredients on that ice melt. A lot of it also has salt or Magnesium salts in it.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Thanks for the replies. I thought I read somewhere on this site that cyanuric acid is the only thing we need to go to pool stores to buy. So where should we go to buy the correct D.E.?

    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    My local Home Depot has the right DE in their small area of pool stuff.
    33k(ish) gallon, IG, vinyl liner, Pentair IC60 SWG, Pentair Triton II sand filter, 1.5hp Pentair VS pump (SuperFlo), Sta-Rite (Pentair) 400K BTU heater (LP), (2) Pentair LED spa lights, TF-100 test kit w/speed stir

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by dclynds View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I thought I read somewhere on this site that cyanuric acid is the only thing we need to go to pool stores to buy. So where should we go to buy the correct D.E.?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Pool stores aren't inherently bad. We just find that the majority of recommended chemicals can be found at grocery/hardware/big box stores for cheaper. Your mileage may vary depending on what is local. I get everything from a combination of the Pool Store, Walmart, and Home Depot. This year I ordered CYA from amazon.

    Most of the hate for pool stores here is due to the terrible chemistry advice that they use to push sales of expensive and useless "dump & pray" type products.
    Helpful Links: Pool Chemistry 101 - Recommended Levels - Recommended Chemicals - FC/CYA Chart - SLAM Instructions - Pool Math
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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by dclynds View Post
    I found a 50lb bag of DE for $50 online from diatomaceousearth.com but it is listed as food grade. Is that a good price and is food grade ok for the pool filter?

    Next, I can order a 50lb bag of calcium chloride marketed as Snow Joe Ice Melt from Home Depot for $15, but it looks like the crystals are quite large. Maybe the image on the Home Depot website is throwing me off, but they look like the size of chocolate chips. Normal?

    Finally, Home Depot sells 2 gals muriatic acid 31.45% for $11. Is that a good deal?
    The HD Muriatic Acid is the same price as around here, and is as good a price as I've found. Just check the label -- many of the stores here have 14% MA for $10 in similar boxes (labeled "pool", while the 31.45% is labeled "contractor strength" but also lists pool pH as a use), which is obviously not as good of a deal. Often the boxes are mixed in the same stack, and one HD here only carries the 14%. Do note that some people prefer to pay a bit more for the lower strength because it fumes a lot less so is easier to handle.

    As others have mentioned, pool DE is treated very different from the food-grade DE used around plants etc. You can't use the food grade in the pool, and can't use the pool stuff in the garden.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Walmart usually has two different sized boxes of DE, seasonally, in the pool supply aisle or on an end cap.
    26' X 52" Intex Ultra Frame. Intex Sand Filter
    26' X 52 Intex Ultra Frame Install
    You can lead a horse to (clear) water, but you can't force him to swim in it!

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    I just bought a 25lb box of DE at Home Depot over the weekend for $20.00. Seemed to be a good price.
    30,000 Gallon Pool IG (Pool 18' X 38' / Spa 7' X 7') - Pentair IC40 SWG - (1) Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST Pump - Pentair DE FNS-Plus 60 Filter - Pentair Mastertemp 400 Heater - Pentair Easytouch 8 - Pentair Electronic valves - Pentair 5G Color LED Pool/Spa Lights - Pebble Sheen Mini Tahoe Blue - Auto Fill/Over Flow - Taylor K-2006C - Completion 3/2016.

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    Quote Originally Posted by eostrike View Post
    I just bought a 25lb box of DE at Home Depot over the weekend for $20.00. Seemed to be a good price.
    Just as you were writing this post, I found the exact same product at Home Depot online. It shows up in the Home Depot website as "DE Filter Aid" so my initial searches spelling out "diatomaceous earth" didn't bring it up.

    IG, Plaster, 15,000 gal, Free-form (angular)
    Pentair FNSP 48 DE filter (48 sqft)
    Hayward SP3010X15AZ pump with 1.5 HP motor (installed 3/2015)
    Rock waterfall, large live oak shades half the pool
    Re-plastered April, 2017

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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    I encourage every new member to take a step back when it comes to buying chemistry. You must be careful not to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    Saving nickels and often even dollars is important but, BY FAR, the most important thing is to understand why you are using these chemicals and what the consequence to your pool will be.

    One careless mistake in measuring, testing, dosing, etc. may wipe out a years worth of saving for the cheapest price.

    So, make your testing very precise.

    Make your dosing amounts very precise

    Know the outcome of the dosage before you ever put it in the pool.

    Understand why you are making these changes.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Buying Diatomaceous Earth, Muriatic Acid, and Calcium Chloride

    I agree that cheaper is not always better. I bought a few gallons of acid at HD for about $6.00 cheaper than Leslie's and later I found it was half the strength which meant I needed to use twice as much which cost me more in the end. Back to the good stuff .

    Hope the DE I bought does not come back to haunt me.


    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I encourage every new member to take a step back when it comes to buying chemistry. You must be careful not to be penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    Saving nickels and often even dollars is important but, BY FAR, the most important thing is to understand why you are using these chemicals and what the consequence to your pool will be.

    One careless mistake in measuring, testing, dosing, etc. may wipe out a years worth of saving for the cheapest price.

    So, make your testing very precise.

    Make your dosing amounts very precise

    Know the outcome of the dosage before you ever put it in the pool.

    Understand why you are making these changes.
    30,000 Gallon Pool IG (Pool 18' X 38' / Spa 7' X 7') - Pentair IC40 SWG - (1) Pentair Intelliflo 2 VST Pump - Pentair DE FNS-Plus 60 Filter - Pentair Mastertemp 400 Heater - Pentair Easytouch 8 - Pentair Electronic valves - Pentair 5G Color LED Pool/Spa Lights - Pebble Sheen Mini Tahoe Blue - Auto Fill/Over Flow - Taylor K-2006C - Completion 3/2016.

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