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Thread: Chemical storage

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    Chemical storage

    Hello! I'm new to the board and looking for tips on storing spa chemicals. I realize this is a long message about a boring subject so if you want to skim through you can just read the bolded parts.

    I have owned a CalSpas outdoor hot tub since autumn 2010. I've used chlorine tablets and AquaFinesse weekly to maintain water quality. The seller told me I don't need to measure water quality with this system, but after reading some forums I've learned I should probably change my system. Regardless, water has been ok since I don't use my hot tub often and I always change the water after parties.

    My real issue is with chemical storage. Right now I have chlorine tablets, shock chlorine powder, liquid aquafinesse, and aquafinesse filter cleaner tablets. I used to store all chems outside in a box, but I figured it's not safe due to sunlight, rain and temperature. I live in Finland and the temperature varies commonly between -25C to +25C. I think I moved the chems inside during the first winter. Since then I've kept them in a wooden box/closet thingy in my living room. When I open the door of the closet there is a strong chlorine/chemical smell. The vapors also leak outside. I can smell the odors from my couch which is several feet away, but no one else is able to smell them beyond close proximity to the closet door.

    At some point small amounts of chlorine and/or aquafinesse did leak onto the closet (i kept old bed sheets under the chemicals). I also kept the powder chlorine sideways for a long time because it didn't fit properly into the box closet. I thought this was the source of the smell so I tweaked the box closet and the items can now stand properly in it. However, the smell still exists. I have an A/C system in my house but as far as I know it only circulates and cleans air. It doesn't actually bring in fresh air from the outside. I am worried of incurring damage to my health by keeping the chemicals inside, and worried of ruining the chems or starting a fire by keeping them outside. I've also thought about storing them inside the engine room of the spa, but I don't know if it's safe. It sure would be inconvenient. I did not get proper instructions from the seller and there is nothing useful written on the chemicals (some say "store in a cool and dry place", some say nothing about storage).

    I've had eye irritation for about 2 years. Today I read online that one of the symptoms of long-term exposure to low amounts of chlorine in the air is eye irritation. I moved the chems back into the box outside but don't know if that's a permanent solution. The timing of the irritation coincides better with the installation of my A/C unit (which dries air), than with placing the chems inside the house, but I can't be sure what causes it. The irritation is really bad during winters, almost unnoticeable during summers, and goes away entirely when I vacation in humid countries. I've purchased an air humidifier which has helped considerably.

    I'm also somewhat paranoid of already doing some irreparable damage to my respiratory systems, skin, eyes or brain. If someone can help alleviate my paranoia I would be grateful. Google has not been my friend today :P

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Swampwoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Re: Chemical storage

    I don't know, I'm in Michigan with harsh winters and I keep my non-liquid chemicals out on the deck by the hot tub under the overhang. I've never had an issue with ineffectiveness. I just test the water, which is how I know they're working.

    I personally would not store the dry chemicals indoors for a variety of reasons including fire safety.

    With respect to your eye irritation, if you move them back outside and it clears, you have your answer. However, sometimes people get a condition called dry eye that responds better to prescription drops and adequate hydration. In other words, it may not be strictly environmental.
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Chemical storage

    Welcome to TFP!

    You do not really want to store 12+ baume muriatic acid or chlorine (in any form more concentrated than 6% bleach) in a space that shares ventilation with a residential space if you can avoid it. The actual risk is rather variable, from very unlikely to definite trouble, depending on a number of factors, not all of which you have complete control over. Most everything else is alright to store indoors, though check the packaging for warnings as there are occasional exceptions.

    Any form of chlorine has the potential to produce chlorine gas, which is a significant irritant even at low levels and poisonous at higher levels. Some forms of chlorine, especially the higher concentrations of cal-hypo, and to a lesser extent dichlor and trichlor, are dangerous fire accelerants that can turn a tiny fire into a huge blaze in a very short period of time. Just generally not good to have near where you sleep.
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  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Chemical storage

    Thanks for the comments! After taking the chlorine outside I did some major cleaning and my eye condition went away pretty much entirely - so I wasn't sure if it was chlorine or dust etc. Lately I've been somewhat lazy with the cleaning and I had eye irritation for a few nights, but nothing of the level I'm used to, so I think keeping the chlorine inside the house was actually a major factor. Now I'm keeping the chlorine outside and AquaFinesse inside.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Yukon, Oklahoma

    Re: Chemical storage

    Keeping dry chemicals outside should not affect them much, I would think heat would be the big issue but 25 degrees C is not a problem. Yes keep them covered and "in" some sort of container. All of my chlorine is kept either in the laundry room (I only need one gallon of bleach a month for topping of SWG of the pool) and as I said everything else is dry so outside in a secure container it goes. If I had to bring chemicals into the house I would want to fit them into another container which was air tight to prevent any leakage of content into the home environment.

    Bob E.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Chemical storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Safetybob
    If I had to bring chemicals into the house I would want to fit them into another container which was air tight to prevent any leakage of content into the home environment.
    At least chlorium should not be kept in an airtight container because leaked vapors could increase pressure and potentially cause an explosion. That's why none of the chlorium containers, in which chlorium is sold, are airtight.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Chemical storage

    We don't see the latin derivation of chlorine around here much. You must not be from these parts!
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Chemical storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    We don't see the latin derivation of chlorine around here much. You must not be from these parts!
    lol I speak Finnish as a first language

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