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Thread: Muriatic Acid Substitute

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    Muriatic Acid Substitute

    I read here recently about a substitute for 31.45% MA. I've looked for the thread and can't locate it. I just added some to the skimmers for the first time to lower the Ph just a bit. Uncapped the bottle and the vapor just about got me - wow!! If there is something else just as good - I'd like to know. That MA is wicked stuff.
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

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    Guest
    NEVER put muriactic acid into a skimmer unless you are looking foward to replacing your pump seals and other pump parts and possibly parts of your filter very quickly! Acid should be either mixed into a large bucket of water (always add acid to water and NOT the other way arournd!) or should be SLOWLY poured into the stream from one of the returns if they are located on the opposite side of the pool from the skimmer (Usually not the case on above ground pools).

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Acid should be either mixed into a large bucket of water (always add acid to water and NOT the other way arournd!)
    Hi waterbear...


    At what ratio? I'm going to be adding a bunch of borax (and consequently acid) to my pool tomorrow. So any tips about mixing the acid with water would be appreciated. I usually add the stream to the discharge and have also added it to the skimmer. I guess I'll be mixing it in a 5gallon bucket from now on

    thanks,
    dan
    21' Aqua-Leader AGP (10,200 gallons).
    Hayward cartridge filter and two speed pump.
    Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Salt 3200ppm (in non-salt water pool)
    Borates 20ppm (slowly raising)
    Aqua-Rite SWG

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    NEVER put muriactic acid into a skimmer unless you are looking foward to replacing your pump seals and other pump parts and possibly parts of your filter very quickly! Acid should be either mixed into a large bucket of water (always add acid to water and NOT the other way arournd!) or should be SLOWLY poured into the stream from one of the returns if they are located on the opposite side of the pool from the skimmer (Usually not the case on above ground pools).
    Well, I learn something everytime I come here. Guess I've made a big mistake this time. Just didn't know the proper way to introduce it to the pool.
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

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    I usually don't recommend adding more than a pint per 10000 gallons at a time, either diluted in a bucket of water ( i use one of the big 5 gallon buckets and fill it about 3/4 with pool water) and broadcast it over the surface of the water or walk it around the pool or poured slowly into the return if you don[t kilute it first. In a case where you have added a large quantity of borax (and it has dissolved) then it is probably ok to add about a quart per 10000 gallons. The idea is to add it slowly enough to give it time to mix so you do not have a pocket of low pH that can damage pool finishes or equipment. Brush down the pool walls after adding the acid (or any chems) and it will mix pretty quickly from the currents created by the brushing, usually by the time you have gone around the perimiter of the pool!

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    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    I usually don't recommend adding more than a pint per 10000 gallons at a time, either diluted in a bucket of water ( i use one of the big 5 gallon buckets and fill it about 3/4 with pool water) and broadcast it over the surface of the water or walk it around the pool or poured slowly into the return if you don[t kilute it first. In a case where you have added a large quantity of borax (and it has dissolved) then it is probably ok to add about a quart per 10000 gallons. The idea is to add it slowly enough to give it time to mix so you do not have a pocket of low pH that can damage pool finishes or equipment. Brush down the pool walls after adding the acid (or any chems) and it will mix pretty quickly from the currents created by the brushing, usually by the time you have gone around the perimiter of the pool!
    I added about 3 cups slowly thru the skimmer. I was trying to lower the Ph just a tad from 7.6 to 7.4 in a 30,000 gal pool. I had never used MA before. I hope I haven't ruined anything.
    20x40 30,000 gal IG Liner, Pentair II Sand

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rangerman
    I added about 3 cups slowly thru the skimmer. I was trying to lower the Ph just a tad from 7.6 to 7.4 in a 30,000 gal pool. I had never used MA before. I hope I haven't ruined anything.
    You probably didn't do much, if any damage doing it one time. In a 30k pool you can safely add 3 pints (6 cups) of acid at a time. Just add it slowly and/or dilute it first.
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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    To answer your original question, you can use dry acid instead of muriatic acid. The bleachcalc program will give you the amount you need to use to lower pH by 0.2, given the volume of your pool.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    NWMNMom's Avatar
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    I use dry acid. It costs more but I feel more comfortable using it than the MA.
    18x33x52 Buttressfree Seaspray (Wilbar) AGP - 1.5hp Pentair Maxim w/22" Pentair Meteor Sand Filter, Aqua Rite SWG System, Biltmore Walk In Steps - 2/4x20 Solar Panel Setup - Doheny Jet Drive (RIP -Pool Rover Jr) - finally hard plumbed the whole darned thing -
    Beats Driving to the Lake!

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    The only downside to dry acid (which should be pre-mixed into water to prevent it settling on pool surfaces) is that it contains sulfates (similar to non-chlorine potassium monopersulfate shock, in that regard). A high level of sulfates may degrade plaster surfaces, but I don't have info on what level starts to become a problem. For occasional acid addition, there's probably not much buildup.

    Interestingly, calcium sulfate is what is in gypsum and is another kind of plaster compared to the calcium carbonate that is in the limestone used in plaster/gunite pools. Perhaps high sulfate levels exchange for the carbonate in the plaster and this mix disrupts the solidity of the crystal structure, but that's speculation on my part.

    One pound of dry acid is equivalent to 11.9 fluid ounces of Muriatic Acid, but also adds 9.6 ppm sulfate in 10,000 gallons of water.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    I too am getting away from Muriatic Acid for the most part. I am awaiting my PH Adjuster from Hasa which uses Sodium Bisulfate (Dry Acid). I am installing it to aid in controlling the PH level and test out the use of Dry Acid vs. Muriatic Acid.

    Are there any issues with using Muriatic Acid & Sodium Bisulfate in the same pool? My thoughts are that I might need to make minor adjustments with Muriatic Acid until I can dial in the PH Adjuster.
    20k Gunite/Prism Blue-Pebblesheen, Pentair Tagelus TA-100D Sand Filter, Heliocol Solar Water Heater, 2 bubblers and 2 waterfalls installed 2007, 3hp IntelliFlo VS Pump 011018 installed 2013, Aquabot Turbo T4 RC and Stenner 45MHP10 w/The Liquidator container installed 2012.
    Antigua Spa by Artesian Spas: 325 gl, 52 jets, 6 hp 2 sp & 6 hp 1 sp, Circulation System 24 Hour Whisper Pure, Ozonator, LED digital lighting, The Artesian Pillowfall installed 2007.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You can use both muriatic acid and dry acid in the same pool. Small amounts of dry acid are not going to cause any problems. The issues with using dry acid come up when you are using large quantities over extended periods of time, particularly with an SWG (which can be damaged by high sulfate levels).

    There is a product called ACID Magic, which is muriatic acid with an additive to suppress the fumes, but it is very expensive and it isn't clear what effect the additives will have on the pool in the long run.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Thanks Jason.

    I have been trying to find information about the level of sulfates which is destructive. So far, no luck. Any idea where to look? Likewise, I am looking for a tester which will be able to test for it.

    Can you include the info/data into your Pool Calculator?
    20k Gunite/Prism Blue-Pebblesheen, Pentair Tagelus TA-100D Sand Filter, Heliocol Solar Water Heater, 2 bubblers and 2 waterfalls installed 2007, 3hp IntelliFlo VS Pump 011018 installed 2013, Aquabot Turbo T4 RC and Stenner 45MHP10 w/The Liquidator container installed 2012.
    Antigua Spa by Artesian Spas: 325 gl, 52 jets, 6 hp 2 sp & 6 hp 1 sp, Circulation System 24 Hour Whisper Pure, Ozonator, LED digital lighting, The Artesian Pillowfall installed 2007.
    Retired: 2hp Pentair Whisperflow, Legend Platinum w/booster pump, PH Adjuster

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You might want to read Chem Geek's post at PoolForum on plaster issues with chlorides and sulfates. He also has some links to test kits. There doesn't appear to have been a good study of what specific levels are significant.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Interesting read but most of it is over my head. Without any specific levels, it's still a wide open discussion. I guess the good thing is to monitor the current level and see where it goes from there. I didn't see if there is a way to reduce sulfates buildup in a pool. I guess, water removal..?

    What test kit is recommended to do this? I saw two of the three that Chem Geek linked to. The Hanna site has a number of test kits. Man.. another column in my already big pool tracker Excel workbook.
    20k Gunite/Prism Blue-Pebblesheen, Pentair Tagelus TA-100D Sand Filter, Heliocol Solar Water Heater, 2 bubblers and 2 waterfalls installed 2007, 3hp IntelliFlo VS Pump 011018 installed 2013, Aquabot Turbo T4 RC and Stenner 45MHP10 w/The Liquidator container installed 2012.
    Antigua Spa by Artesian Spas: 325 gl, 52 jets, 6 hp 2 sp & 6 hp 1 sp, Circulation System 24 Hour Whisper Pure, Ozonator, LED digital lighting, The Artesian Pillowfall installed 2007.
    Retired: 2hp Pentair Whisperflow, Legend Platinum w/booster pump, PH Adjuster

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    I have been forgetting to ask... what is Muriatic Acid adding to the pool? Since Sodium Bisulfates are adding sulfates which some think are bad, what bad things is the Muriatic Acid adding? A total novice here but I have to think something so powerful as Muriatic has to have some bad effects to the water as well.
    20k Gunite/Prism Blue-Pebblesheen, Pentair Tagelus TA-100D Sand Filter, Heliocol Solar Water Heater, 2 bubblers and 2 waterfalls installed 2007, 3hp IntelliFlo VS Pump 011018 installed 2013, Aquabot Turbo T4 RC and Stenner 45MHP10 w/The Liquidator container installed 2012.
    Antigua Spa by Artesian Spas: 325 gl, 52 jets, 6 hp 2 sp & 6 hp 1 sp, Circulation System 24 Hour Whisper Pure, Ozonator, LED digital lighting, The Artesian Pillowfall installed 2007.
    Retired: 2hp Pentair Whisperflow, Legend Platinum w/booster pump, PH Adjuster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabot
    I have been forgetting to ask... what is Muriatic Acid adding to the pool? Since Sodium Bisulfates are adding sulfates which some think are bad, what bad things is the Muriatic Acid adding? A total novice here but I have to think something so powerful as Muriatic has to have some bad effects to the water as well.
    Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid, so it's adding chlorine in the form of a chloride ion.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Or more simply, muriatic acid adds salt. [Only without the sodium, but that is comparatively unimportant.]
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Jumping in here. If I have to add more than the pint per 10,000 gallons, how long do I need to wait between additions to get to the full amount? Do I need to test in between? How long would it take before the test is valid?
    Salinda
    owner of ~37,000 gallon plaster IG pool/spa combo. Intelliflo VS+ filter pump, 2 hp whisperflo spa jet pump, Jandy Aqualink RS-6 with iAqualink upgrade, The Pool Cleaner 4x suction cleaner, Clean & Clear Plus 520 cartridge filter, Zodiac Clearwater LM2-40 SWG, Sta-rite 400k heater, solar heat pads and coils, Solar-Breeze NX.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Muriatic acid mixes very quickly, half an hour to an hour with the pump on and you can measure again.

    If you are adding borates to 50 ppm using large amounts of borax and muriatic acid, it is common to add the acid in two or three batches right after adding the corresponding batch of borax. As long as you are measuring your quantities carefully (to keep the final PH balanced) everything should be fine. When doing this you need to remember to come back an hour or two after you are done and test/balance the PH to correct for any mistakes in calculations or measurement.

    When adding acid to adjust the PH it is usually better to go in small increments, as waterbear suggests.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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