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Thread: Acid Handling Question

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    Acid Handling Question

    New here. Hi all. I'm setting up a new pool this weekend. It's about 5x the water of my previous little Intex.

    My biggest fear is dealing with neutralizing the borax. I'm going to need about two gallons of acid.

    I have a facemask and respirator rated for it, and gloves as well.

    I'm just wondering how fast I can or should pour it in? Should I dump a gallon or two in, or slowly a cup or two at a time?

    Thanks,
    Ed

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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Pour acid slowly and be upwind.

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    Last edited by Analogbytes; 05-06-2017 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Double post
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taema View Post
    New here. Hi all. I'm setting up a new pool this weekend. It's about 5x the water of my previous little Intex.

    My biggest fear is dealing with neutralizing the borax. I'm going to need about two gallons of acid.

    I have a facemask and respirator rated for it, and gloves as well.

    I'm just wondering how fast I can or should pour it in? Should I dump a gallon or two in, or slowly a cup or two at a time?

    Thanks,
    Ed
    MA mixes fairly quickly. I would think you can measure within 15 minutes of your addition. Of course, make sure your pump is running. You sound like you are taking good protection measures.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taema View Post
    New here. Hi all. I'm setting up a new pool this weekend. It's about 5x the water of my previous little Intex.

    My biggest fear is dealing with neutralizing the borax. I'm going to need about two gallons of acid.

    I have a facemask and respirator rated for it, and gloves as well.

    I'm just wondering how fast I can or should pour it in? Should I dump a gallon or two in, or slowly a cup or two at a time?

    Thanks,
    Ed
    You should absolutely NOT wear the face mask or respirator. Unless the SCBA gear was specifically fitted for your face and you are clean shaven, you could experience leaks and then the acid vapor can cause unintended problems. We had a pool owner here two summers ago that wore improper PPE's while pouring acid where he cut off the vapor response of his nose but his eyes were still exposed. Because he had no smell/recoil reflex, his eyes were exposed to vapors. This caused corneal burns.

    While MA acid vapor can make your nose tingle and give you a good cough, they are way less dangerous than you are making them out to be. The odor threshold for MA is very, very low compared to the health and safety exposure limits. This means that you smell MA vapors well before they can cause any kind of physical harm.

    The most you should wear is eye protection to avoid splashes. Otherwise, everything else is overkill.

    Also, if you want to add borates without having to use MA, then order boric acid instead of using borax. With boric acid, you don't need any MA.
    Matt
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and stand upwind. My two cents.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    You should absolutely NOT wear the face mask or respirator. Unless the SCBA gear was specifically fitted for your face and you are clean shaven, you could experience leaks and then the acid vapor can cause unintended problems. We had a pool owner here two summers ago that wore improper PPE's while pouring acid where he cut off the vapor response of his nose but his eyes were still exposed. Because he had no smell/recoil reflex, his eyes were exposed to vapors. This caused corneal burns.

    While MA acid vapor can make your nose tingle and give you a good cough, they are way less dangerous than you are making them out to be. The odor threshold for MA is very, very low compared to the health and safety exposure limits. This means that you smell MA vapors well before they can cause any kind of physical harm.

    The most you should wear is eye protection to avoid splashes. Otherwise, everything else is overkill.

    Also, if you want to add borates without having to use MA, then order boric acid instead of using borax. With boric acid, you don't need any MA.
    That is some good info. Previously when I was down wind I don't recall it ever noticable for vision. So would your recommendation be a steady slow pour with just gloves and facemask?

    Thanks all for the replies too!

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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    I agree about the respirator: don't use it!
    Safety glasses, gloves and staying upwind will work!
    Also you can dilute the acid before pouring, but it will take a little longer to add it! If you decide to dilute the acid, be sure to add the acid to the water and NOT vice versa!!
    And if you get some acid on your skin: don't get too freaked out, but wash it right away with cold water for a few minutes!!
    ~21-25,000 gal, Inground gunite, Pentair DE filter, Pentair pump (one speed), Taylor K2006 (FAS-DPD) test kit

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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Safety glasses to help avoid splashing in your eyes.
    Possibly a pair of appropriate gloves.
    If there is any wind, make sure it's blowing from behind you as you're facing the pool.
    Bend down close to the water - maybe even float the jug in the water - and pour in front of a return at a slow to moderate pace.

    Don't over think it or "over-protect" for it. If you splash a little on yourself, rinse with water. And do NOT dilute it first - that's just exposing yourself to the vapors twice. In any case, ALWAYS add acid to water - NEVER water to acid.
    Gene
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    As others have said, MAs bark is worse than its bite but if you have asthma (a gust can irritate) or are a bit klutzy like me and want to avoid a the pita factor of using a lot of MA when applying borates, here's the link to what I and several other TFPers use instead...no MA required:
    boric | Duda Diesel Alternative Energy, Chemicals & Industrial Supply Store
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    As has been said, safety first. Wear old clothes and eye protection.

    While acid should be respected, it is nothing to fear. If you get a little on exposed skin, wash it off.

    I like to get in front of a return on my hands & knees and splash a little water on the pool deck. Then open the acid bottle and partially submerge it in the water. Tilt the bottle to pour the acid in at close to water level, but don't let the bottle get submerged. I don't measure because it's an additional step for me to spill the stuff. Remove the bottle from the water and set it down in the puddle on the pool deck while you replace the cap. Try not to breathe the fumes.. Guess a little low on amount you need, then test again after it circulates well. You can always add more.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    I think if I had to wear a hazmat suit and respirator to maintain my pool, there would not be a pool. I wear a pair of sunglasses because I don't want it splashing in my eyes. But it isn't like the acid will melt you into the pool deck if you get a splash on you. I find it might sting a little (and I mean barely noticeable) and then I dip my arm or hand in the pool (someplace other than I just poured) and it's done.

    Pour slowly so it doesn't start to glug out of the bottle. A smooth even stream works the best and get it close to the water. I sometimes pour a whole gallon in at a time in front of a return with pump running. I don't usually need more than that.


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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    An additional tip. If you want to be able to measure the amount of muriatic acid and not pour it into a measuring cup, use an old gallon jugs and fill it with water. Pour out 16oz of water at time marking the water line with a sharpie each time. When you need to add MA, just line up that bottle with your current MA bottle to see how much you need to pour in.

    You can use different amount than 16oz, but I find that to be my best for measuring.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    How do you know you need the acid? What is your current pH?

    Don't add any borax until you know your pH!!
    Dave S.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    How do you know you need the acid? What is your current pH?
    Don't add any borax until you know your pH!!
    I finished my acid add. It worked out to one 4 pound box of borax to 32 oz MA. So I just went back and forth all day. I used my chemical gloves and a face shield (not a respirator). I ended up with about a gallon of MA and 16 pounds borax. I already got my TA solid with baking soda. So a day later it's looking good. My cake is baking. Too bad it will be a few weeks at least to warm up!

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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    What prompted your need to add acid to lower pH and then to add borax to raise pH.....I do not understand.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    What prompted your need to add acid to lower pH and then to add borax to raise pH.....I do not understand.
    Sounds like adding borates without ever saying it.


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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Yup. I was just getting borate level up. So one box of borax + 32 oz MA oring ph back to 7 ish and borate level up 10 ppm.

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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    You would do better with boric acid. No need to handle hydrochloric acid.
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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    Yeah it sounds great. But I'm paying 1$/pound for borax and 1$ per box to neutralize it.

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    Re: Acid Handling Question

    To get to 50 pm, you need 24 lb per 10,000 gallons.

    You can get 8 lbs for about $1.60 per pound and 55 lbs for about $0.95 per pound.

    How many gallons is your pool and what increase are you targeting.
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