Clumsiness and lowering pH

LaurenB

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2014
94
Shrewsbury, PA
I'm super clumsy... not gonna lie. Just about every time I've added bleach to my pool, I've bleached whatever clothes I'm wearing.

A gallon of 12.5% liquid chlorine spilled in my trunk and just about ruined the car, as well as everything I was wearing and my skin. I got a medical grade disinfectant in my eye the other day at work, burned like h***. I trip and spill things a lot. Can't tell you how many times I've knocked over my test kit cylinder in the middle of running a test. I try to be really careful but I'm a hazard to myself. It is what it is.

ANYWAY

That said, I'm scared to use muriatic acid to decrease my pH. I feel much safer using the pool store pH reducer... the brand is Haviland, and it's a powder that I just pour in front of the return. So far I've been able to do this without any sort of casualty.

My questions are... is this a bad alternative? Do I really need to use the muriatic acid to follow TFP? And... does anyone know if pool store pH reducers will add anything else to my water that will throw off my water balance?

Thanks :D
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
The dry acid adds sulfates to the pool which can build up and be a problem (not exactly sure what problem though off hand ;) )

Do you partially drain for winter up there? If so, this may not be a problem.
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
You can use powdered pH reducers but they all are sodium sulfate/bisulfate. This will add sulfates to your pool over time that will accumulate.

See here for effects of sulfates: Sulphate attack |

Also this thread: Sulfates why so bad?

High sulfates can also crystallize and make a mess on the pool bottom and sides once they get high.

I'd say you can use them and because you likely close each year, thus drain some water and refill each spring, it will take longer for sulfates to build up. Keeping your TA in line and not using products that add TA will allow you to maintain pH without using too much powder over time.

Muriatic acid is recommended because it adds no new species/elements to your pool that aren't already there. You could buy muriatic acid that is less concentrated but it's more costly as it's usually the same price as the full strength stuff. It's usually branded as green muriatic acid or low fume muriatic acid. Try the less concentrated stuff for the convenience and safety and see how it goes is another great option.
 

LaurenB

Well-known member
Jun 4, 2014
94
Shrewsbury, PA
Thanks for your responses! I don't want any more chemical burns for at least another 3 months; I've already filled my quota for the summer. This one time in college I got sulfuric acid on my face... good times.

I sort of figured there would be a trade off.

I do drain (about 1/3) for the winter. Are sulfates similar to phosphates? Duhhhhh. Is there a test I can do/buy for sulfates?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Since you have a vinyl liner the risk is lower for the sulfates being a problem since they are mostly an issue for concrete/plaster.

Sulfates are not really similar to phosphates since the latter is an algae nutrient while the former is not. There is a somewhat expensive Hach Model SF-1 test kit for sulfates that uses a turbidimetric test similar to a CYA test. I believe the method uses barium sulfate precipitation as described in this link. You might need to dilute the sample with sulfate-free water if sulfate levels are high.