Hit With Muriatic Acid Fumes


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
North Central Texas
Two Major MA Boo-Boos: (I'm very comfortable using MA and I've acid washed my pool at least 6 times over 24 years.)

I once left an MA 2 bottle carton in the cargo area of my new car for about a week. It wasn't summer. I never smelled any fumes but I do always have fresh air coming in the car with sun roof cracked open. When I went to move the box there were two bare rubber circles where the carpet had been dissolved. :hammer:

This one is extremely embarrassing but hopefully some will learn from it. This makes pouring DE into a skimmer sock pale to clear in comparison. And it really taught me a lesson. I'm usually pretty cautious but got way too complacent and comfortable.

I store MA in a big poly bin, outside, in the shade; bleach goes in the big metal shed or garage. I've been using MA left over from my last acid wash, summer of 08, but I finally ran out earlier this summer. I picked up a bottle from a Home Depot other than my local one. The label had been changed since I last purchased some. These were sold individually but stored in 2 bottle cartons. If you only wanted one you had opened the box. I picked one out of an open carton; only one jug in it. I used it for several weeks and did wonder why the pH wasn't reducing like it should have but chalked it up to maybe a bad batch. I purchased another bottle. I poured the remaining amount, about 8 oz from old bottle into the 32 oz plastic measuring cup, over by where I store it but the new bottle was near the end of the deep end of pool on a concrete bench. I needed to add enough from the new bottle to make a full 32 oz. The moment I started pouring the new bottle in I knew I had made a major mistake. During addition of first small pour of new an immediate reaction occurred in the cup, with fumes and bubble up right out of a mad scientist movie. I instantly chucked the whole cup into the pool. The wind was behind me luckily. Did I mention it was dark and I wasn't wearing my head light but I do keep the area somewhat lighted at night with a fluorescent light up about 30 ft on the second story deck.

And thank goodness the dogs were all in as they always are when I put any chemicals in the pool.

What I had been using for a couple of weeks, thinking it was MA, was 10% pool chlorine. :roll: I had also used it in a friends pool a couple of times thinking it was MA. The labels on the HD pool chlorine and pool MA look very similar to each other but one has red lettering (MA) and the other green lettering (chlorine). As an excuse, not reason, I've never seen pool chlorine at my HD. I picked these up, first one in haste, at a different HD. When I went back to that HD to see why I made such a stupid, reckless mistake I saw that they had pool chlorine on a shelf near the other pool products and pool MA way down the aisle away from all pool products. In making the assumption that this HD only had MA and not chlorine, like my HD I really messed up. :hammer:

I won't be so careless again, ever. I was really lucky.

When we moved into this house the pool had an inline puck chlorinator. The pumping station is under the deck so you have to bend down about 90 degrees from the waist to do many things with the equipment. I did this only once. I opened the chlorinator standing over it, in the summer. I was, what seemed like, literally knocked back onto my backside. I didn't pass out but came close. When I could stand up I rushed into the house and immediately called a poison control center.

Poison Center told me to get in a hot shower and run it until the hot water ran out, letting the warm mist flush out my lungs. It did help a lot.