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Thread: how to handle chemicals

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    Charlize's Avatar
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    how to handle chemicals

    Hi,

    I am trying to find info about how to handle chemicals. I am probably not looking in the correct places. can someone provide a link?

    how to handle MA, chlorine etc. Does MA give off bad fumes? How can i protect myself when pouring it into the pool etc.


    Thanks in advance!
    12x6 meters freeform, 1,2-1,5 meter deep, IG, ceramic tiles, 20000 gallons of water, SWG (hurlcon vx 11T, 42 g/h), 3 hp pump (astralpool victoria plus), sand filter (35in, flow rate: 32 cubic meter /h).

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: how to handle chemicals

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlize
    I am trying to find info about how to handle chemicals. I am probably not looking in the correct places. can someone provide a link?

    how to handle MA, chlorine etc. Does MA give off bad fumes? How can i protect myself when pouring it into the pool etc.
    I don't have a link, off hand, but I can share with you what I do. You could read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that manufacturers produce for chlorine, acid and other compounds... but I think they overstate the risk of chemical burns to a reasonably careful pool owner, especially considering the small quantities that are stored and used. And I don't much care for the fashion statement made by wearing rubberized bib overalls, hip boots, neoprene gloves and a face shield to the pool area.

    Some folks here may recommend safety glasses and latex rubber gloves when handling or applying muriatic acid or Cal-Hypo. I'm just careful. Once you have had a strong whiff of 31.45% Muriatic Acid it becomes second nature to avoid repeat inhalations. And though it smells awful it is still a weak acid; if you were to spill some on your skin, it wouldn't dissolve your flesh like in a scene from a horror movie, but I would rinse if off with pool water as soon as possible. Of the other chemicals in my storeroom (calcium chloride, CYA, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hypochlorite and powdered trichloro isocyanuric acid) I take precautions only with the latter, wearing dishwashing gloves and standing upwind of it while adding it to pool. Store muriatic acid and chlorine of any kind far from each other or try to separate them with something more pH neutral (bicarb of soda.)

    What else? Full strength Muriatic Acid will almost instantly create unsightly splotches on concrete, stone coping, patios, furniture etc. Even a few drops.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: how to handle chemicals

    I agree that you should be careful when handling any chemicals. I'm one for those people that recommend wearing safety glasses when pouring muratic acid. A little on your skin will wash right off and any clothes can be replaced but protect your eyes.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: how to handle chemicals

    MA is relatively benign for your skin if washed off pretty quickly. Except for eyes. Use some kind of protection. I've been using it for years for pool, spa, and other jobs around the house/property and even acid washed our pool three times, so I'm pretty experienced using it. AND every once in a while a splash comes to my face area which could hit eyes without protection. As far as my skin goes I'm pretty much a "delicate flower". I've splashed drops, even straight 32% to nearly every part of my skin, over the years. It stings a bit but has never caused any burns; just stinging. Just rinse it off pretty quickly.

    I've been told that plasterers use it to clean their hands.

    The fumes are another story. Very unpleasant.

    I like to dilute it especially for the spa. Always add acid to water in the bucket if you are diluting. If you do it the other way you will have more potential splash out of bucket. Acid is much heavier than water. Undiluted it falls pretty quickly to the bottom of a water filled body of water. On a post, here on TFP, someone posted a link showing how undiluted MA behaves being dumped into a pool. They used some kind of dye in the MA. It "dove" down the side of the pool, to bottom, and then to drain, amazingly fast. Sure made an impression on me.

    When directions call for "keeping dry" they really mean it. Moisture, somehow, always seems to find its way into sealed containers, usually ruining the substance and sometime creating gases that not only swell the container but are also dangerous to inhale. Even in dry conditions, with proper storage, some gases will be produced and leak out of the containers. That's why it is so important to keep certain chemicals stored away from each other. Always open container in well ventilated space and don't stand over the container while opening. I, once, opened a chlorine or bromine feeder, located at the pump station, in very cramped quarters, bending directly over the feeder. The gases hit me like a brick wall and virtually knocking the breath out of me. After I recovered enough to get up I called poison control. They told me to go stand in a hot shower until the hot water ran out, to help clear my lungs. It was really scary.

    gg=alice
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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: how to handle chemicals

    There's a chemical overview you can read in Pool School that covers most of what you'll need to know.

    A few things I do...

    Pouring both MA and Liquid Chlorine as close to the surface of the water as possible will minimize splashback and fumes.

    Most deck stains I see are from people mixing dry chemicals in a bucket and splashing some out. If you're dissolving a dry product in a large bucket, you can hold the bucket in the pool while mixing. It will float so that the surface of the water in the bucket is level with the pool water, you just have to hold the top of it still. I always dissolve cal-hypo this way (when I use it).

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    Charlize's Avatar
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    Re: how to handle chemicals

    great info. This will help us a lot in the coming weeks.
    12x6 meters freeform, 1,2-1,5 meter deep, IG, ceramic tiles, 20000 gallons of water, SWG (hurlcon vx 11T, 42 g/h), 3 hp pump (astralpool victoria plus), sand filter (35in, flow rate: 32 cubic meter /h).

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    Re: how to handle chemicals

    NEVER store tri-chlor tabs and shock/granular chlorine near each other. Something that many pool owners don't realize is that the tri-chlor tabs and cal-hypo don't go well together and could cause extreme dangers.

    Always be sure to use extreme caution with chlorines because of what I just mentioned above. Many people put chlorine tabs in their skimmers instead of a chlorinator. Then they'll add shock directly on top of the tabs or where tab residue may still be. This is extremely dangerous.

    Most people use tri-chlor tabs in their feeders. However there are also places that sell cal-hypo tabs. Be sure to never mix or add the opposite tabs in a feeder that has contained another type of chlorine.

    Household items such as floor cleaner or even something as simple as Coca-Cola can be very dangerous around chlorine.

    Liquids should never be stored above powders or solids.
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