I am not a chemist. But I don't like getting ripped off ... nor do I like doing stupid things ... plus I would like to learn more about pools and pool chemistry ... specifically ... I'd like to know what I just put in my pool two days ago!
So I post this query seeking more information!
Based on price, and an assumption of available chlorine, I bought a case of Costco 4-in-1 pool shock (Costco Item #175121, EPA registration number 67262-27) which is manufactured for a company in Georgia named "Recreational Water Products, AquaChem Division". I put half that case, so far, into my new-to-me pool (because it's a swamp).
Belatedly, I found out in another thread, that I almost certainly miscalculated the cost per available chlorine - and probably wasted my money.
I feel deceived. Note: I'll call a different number on Monday (800-859-7946), which is their Customer Service, to complain about the poor labeling (which they almost certainly did on purpose).
I suspect deceptive advertising for a number of reasons:
a) The box doesn't state the available chlorine;
b) When I called customer service, they wouldn't tell me the available chlorine level (800-252-7665);
c) The box touts that it's a 4-in-1 product (as if that's a good thing) but doesn't list the other three ingredients.
What did I just put into my pool?
Googling, I find the Pool Time ® Shock Plus 4-IN-1 POOL SHOCK MSDS, which lists, cryptically, two of the ingredients as:
- Trade secret 001 = 5% to 15%
- Trade secret 016 = 1% to 10%
That's not all that helpful (unless someone here has a 'trade-secret' secret decoder ring?).
Digging in another direction, right below the ingredients are the words "US Patent no. 5,670,059".
Hmmm... Googling for that, I find it's a patent taken out on September 23, 1997, perhaps not surprisingly by folks in Georgia, titled:
- Method and compositions for treating recirculating water systems.
It's a difficult read (for a non chemist non-pool afficianado, anyway) but the patent implies that "a preferred composition ... includes 60% sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione, 20% sodium persulfate, 10% sodium tetraborate, and 10% aluminum sulfate (an additional clarifying agent)."
Further reading of that patent spends a lot of time to say they sometimes add something called glycoluril, apparently to slow down what they call the 'erosion' of the source material (maybe they add the glycoluril for tablets only?). Even after reading about glycoluril, I was unable to understand what it does in a pool at the 1ppm to 5ppm levels the patent implies.
Trying to come to a conclusion, I guess these are 5 possibilities for the 4 components in the Costco 4-in-1 shock solution:
1. Sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione (58.2%)
2. Sodium tetraborate (~10%)
3. Sodium persulfate, added as an oxygen donor (~20%)
4. Aluminum sulfate, added as a clarifier (~10%)
5. A glycoluril-based chemical to slow down (tablet?) erosion (~1.8%)
Again, I fully admit I'm not a chemist! I don't even understand pools. And I certainly don't understand pool chemicals. But - I have a pool (new to me) and I really want to know more about what I just put in my pool (and what, presumably, thousands of others are putting into their pool today).
Given I can't be the only one to use Costco pool chemicals, and given I already put this stuff in my pool, it would be useful to know MORE about what the consequences of these 4 (or 5?) chemicals are in our pools.
For the consequences of the boron, I'll read "So you want to add borates to your pool--Why and How".
But, do we know the consequences of adding the other chemicals in this 4-in-1 solution?