Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Salt water is all you need?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Smithtown, NY (Long Island)
    Posts
    7

    Salt water is all you need?

    I like to experiment, have a background in chemistry (though not my profession), and am interested in anything infintely renewable or cheap. My pool probably costs $500-$1,000 year in chemicals which I routinely fork over without much thought. Until now. I should add I like to ask embarassing questions.

    The older gentleman at the local pool store now shudders when I enter. He tested my water 2 days ago saying "Hmmm, pH 6.8, alkalinity low". He puts 2 - 10lb bags of "Alkalinity" on the counter, then says "I'll get you some pH Up". As he walked away, I noticed the Alkalinity bag reads "100% Sodum Hydrogen Carbonate" - which I knew was baking soda. When he comes back, at the register it says $21.95/bag, so with tax 20lbs comes to $47.50. I said "For baking soda?" He then says "No, there's other chemicals in there". I then hold up the bag and run my finger under the 100% Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate. I've only seen the look on this 60-something year-old man's face once before, when catching teenagers stealing. I then said "Baking Soda make a pretty strong base; won't that bring the pH up?" He nods, takes the pH Up off the counter and says "Just give me $35", and then adds "If you're going to read the labels, you'll have to talk to my son". This wasn't a victory as much as it was confirmation that I have been ripped off for years and didn't know it.

    So, I'm reading the BBB with interest as fast as I can. What I'd like to know is:
    - Can I buy what I need in powdered form and mix when needed?
    - Can I buy it in large quantities? Like where do you get 100lbs of baking soda, or borax?

    My goal here is to bring the cost of pool chemicals under $100/year. I had a fleeting thought that people who live by the ocean could actually make bleach & baking soda from sea water, having only to buy borax. But maybe I'm taking it too far
    John
    Smithtown, NY (Long Island)
    30000g - InGround - Vinyl - Sand

  2. Back To Top    #2
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Mint Hill, NC
    Posts
    2,589

    Re: Salt water is all you need?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdettori
    I then said "Baking Soda make a pretty strong base; won't that bring the pH up?" He nods, takes the pH Up off the counter and says "Just give me $35", and then adds "If you're going to read the labels, you'll have to talk to my son". This wasn't a victory as much as it was confirmation that I have been ripped off for years and didn't know it.

    So, I'm reading the BBB with interest as fast as I can. What I'd like to know is:
    - Can I buy what I need in powdered form and mix when needed?
    - Can I buy it in large quantities? Like where do you get 100lbs of baking soda, or borax?

    My goal here is to bring the cost of pool chemicals under $100/year. I had a fleeting thought that people who live by the ocean could actually make bleach & baking soda from sea water, having only to buy borax. But maybe I'm taking it too far
    Much of what you need to know is in this article in pool school about recommended chemicals.

    As for powdered - yes many of the chems can be purchased in powder form - Chlorine being not the best choice for this since the powdered versions come with tradeoffs.

    Also you mentioned using Baking Soda for raising pH - the truth is it raises Total Alkalinity which will eventually raise pH but not right away. The best commonly available chemical for raising pH is Borax (20 mule team for example). The truth is however that most pools not using stabliized chlorine (dichlor, trichlor) are going to have pH rise without adding anything - most of us have to add Muratic Acid to lower pH.

    As for chemical costs - the pools vary - I used about 96oz of 6% bleach a day at the peak of summer and used less than 2 gallons of Muratic Acid the entire year. I did not add any TA up (baking soda) except when I first opened and didn't know better. I did not add algaecide except at the start when I did not know better (until closing and then I did it for fun using polyquat). I did not need clarifiers, floc, or anything else. Overall my cost for chlorine ran around $1.80 a day but there were times I did better than that by buying larger amounts at a time.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mike_W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Orange County, California
    Posts
    142

    Re: Salt water is all you need?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdettori
    I had a fleeting thought that people who live by the ocean could actually make bleach & baking soda from sea water, having only to buy borax. But maybe I'm taking it too far
    You can make bleach/chlorine from salt water easily - that is what a salt water chlorine generator (SWG) does. It is a lot easier to accomplish by adding salt to your pool rather than hauling the equipment to the ocean. There is a lot of info on SWG on TFP. As UWV stated, usually high pH is the long term issue. A SWG raises the pH as a side effect of generating chlorine.
    Mike
    ~17' x 34' IG pool with attached spa - 20500 gallons - Gunite with a "pebblesheen"-ish finish
    Jandy iAqualink with iPad and Jandy PDA remote - Pentair IntelliFlo VS 11018 Pump
    AquaRite SWCG - Pentair SMBW 4060 DE Filter - Really Old Raypak heater
    "Wall-E" an Arneson-Hayward Navigator - A couple of Jandy/Zodiac WaterColors LED Lights - Blue-White F-1000 Flow meter

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cedar Hill, TN
    Posts
    248

    Re: Salt water is all you need?

    Sam's and Wal-Mart sell the large bags of baking soda.
    12500 AGP 2HP Sand filter
    Five years on BBB & loving it!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    dmanb2b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    3,728

    Re: Salt water is all you need?

    Ironically, the reality is that Baking soda is rarely needed in a "BBB" pool. Borax is much more effective at raising PH, while Baking saoda is mainly used to increase TA. Both high PH and high TA are issues we are constantly helping members overcome, unless one is using trichlor for chlorination, which is acidic.

    You can also raise PH for free via aeration.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •