How to introduce the BBB chemicals into a Pool

Sabot

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 2, 2007
343
Austin, TX
#1
Good afternoon,

How do you introduce the various BBB chemicals into your pool? I am a complete newbie to pools, especially to the BBB concept. Do you place the chemicals directly in the pool? How long do you wait before taking another reading?

Thanks,
Mike
 

tagprod

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 3, 2007
489
Tomball, Texas
#2
I just slowly pour bleach around the deeper edges of the pool. For Muriatic Acid I go to the deep end and slowly pour it in front of a return jet - while I'm croutched down just above the water to eliminate it splashing onto the coping or deck. For CYA I just put it in the skimmer, but many here advocate putting it in a skimmer sock. That's really about the only things I have to add - almost forgot - and the Jack's purple stuff which I pour slowly around the deep end of the pool.
 

duraleigh

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#3
Over the years, I have had good success with all additives into the skimmer....pump running. The exception is muriatic and I do exactly as tagprod.
 

tagprod

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Jul 3, 2007
489
Tomball, Texas
#4
Always add chemicals to water - Never water to chemicals. that's pretty basic, but I hear stories on the news every so often of someone doing it the other way. Also Do not mix or store Chlorine and Acid together.
 

Butterfly

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May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
#5
Being a newbie and trying to stay on the SAFE side of chems, I always use EYE PROTECTION when adding Muratic ACID! I believe I have read that here and on PF many times. Safety first. :)

Joyce
 

duraleigh

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#7
crazycanuck said:
would there be a problem if you poured diliuted muriatic acid into your skimmer? You think it would even more diluted by the time it reached your pump/filter etc etc.
That would surely work but involves more handling of the acid than simply letting it dilute in the return stream.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
#8
When I did the calculations using reasonable flow rates, I found that even slowly pouring acid into the skimmer still overwhelmed the pH buffer and resulted in very low pH (I think it was between 1 and 2 if not mistaken) so I would not add acid to the skimmer and would only add it slowly over a return flow.
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
Ontario, Canada
#11
chem geek said:
When I did the calculations using reasonable flow rates, I found that even slowly pouring acid into the skimmer still overwhelmed the pH buffer and resulted in very low pH (I think it was between 1 and 2 if not mistaken) so I would not add acid to the skimmer and would only add it slowly over a return flow.
sorry chemgeek, can you explain what you mean by this?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
#12
Muriatic Acid is normally 31.45% Hydrochloric Acid and has a pH of -1 (yes, the pH scale can go negative since it's the negative logarithm of hydrogen ion concentration -- so that means a hydrogen ion concentration of 10 moles per liter since -log(10) = -1). A dilution of 10 to 1 with unbuffered water would raise the pH by 1 unit. If I assume a very slow pouring of one cup every 30 seconds (2 cups per minute) and a decent flow rate through the skimmer of 25 gallons per minute (GPM), then that is a dilution ratio of 200 to 1. If the water were unbuffered, it would dilute the acid to a pH of 1.3 (each factor of 10 adds 1 to the pH and the factor of 2 adds 0.3 to the pH). Remember that log(200) = 2.3 where "log" is to the base 10. So, -1 + 2.3 = 1.3 for the resulting pH. Or another way to look at it is that the concentration of hydrogen ion goes from 10 to 10/200 = 0.05 and the pH becomes -log(0.05) = 1.3

Pool water is buffered so will resist changes in pH, but the strong Muriatic Acid overwhelms this buffer essentially eliminating it in small volumes of water. When I run the calculations assuming a TA of 100 and a CYA of 30, it only helped by 0.2 in pH (at the most) so the resulting pH in buffered pool water is around 1.5 for the slow pouring assumptions above. That's VERY acidic (similar to strong gastric acid). So the pump, filter, gas heater, and any other inline equipment will be exposed to very acidic conditions while you are pouring the acid in the skimmer. There isn't much problem in the general body of pool water as the acid will get significantly diluted rather quickly after it comes out of the returns.

So I would never pour strong acid into the skimmer. It is true that the exposure would be relatively brief -- just a few minutes -- but the pH is very, very low. I just wouldn't risk it. It's far more harmful than anything else in the skimmer -- chlorine or even Trichlor tabs (the latter with the pump off). Pouring over a return flow in the deep end of the pool will offer the greatest dilution possible in the fastest amount of time. That minimizes exposure to low pH. Pouring it around the pool would probably also be OK except that near the edge of the pool it will be exposed to lower pH -- at least with a return flow it tends to push the acid away from the edge of the pool somewhat. Muriatic Acid, just like chlorinating liquid and bleach, is denser than water so you want to get it diluted quickly so that it doesn't settle at the bottom of the pool (I suspect that acid may mix more readily than chlorinating liquid, even though they both are about equally as dense, but I do not know that for certain).

Richard
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
Ontario, Canada
#13
Thanks for the explanation. I thought that the speed the acid was going through the pumps/filter etc would be fast enough but I guess you have a point that it is very acidic. Does it help that i have a main drain when the acid settles to the bottom? My only concern pouring it next to the return jet in the deep end is that my stainless steel pool ladder is right next to the return and that it will increase the corrosion rate.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
#14
Yes, having the main drain at the bottom of the deep end helps circulation a lot. The main issue with chlorine and possibly acid settling is with pools that don't have a main/floor drain where the circulation at the bottom is very poor (typically above-ground vinyl pools).

As for the stainless steel, you are right that this is of some concern. If the return flow is away from the ladder, you might be OK. If you want to pour over a different return then that should be good. If it's in the shallow end, you can always brush the bottom after adding the acid, just to be sure it gets mixed well.
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
Ontario, Canada
#15
thanks for the advice. I will probably turn the return away and pour slowly. Its interesting you can actually see the acid settle down to the bottom as one big blob when you pour it in.
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
Ontario, Canada
#16
just an interesting observation on how corrosive muriatic acid is. At the hardware store where they sell it, the plastic jug is sealed again with plastic to prevent accidental spillage, but still, the metal shelf where all the acid is kept is all rusted out. I guess that is why home depot doesnt carry it any more.
 

JCJR

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May 4, 2007
267
Miami
#17
I keep a 5 gal bucket near my equip pad used only for pool chemicals. I fill bucket about 85% of pool water and add .5 of chemicals to that bucket and walk around pouring into pool. Repeat with remaining chemicals. I do this for acid, baking soda, clarifier, Borax etc except chlorine, just walk around and pour that around perimeter of pool. I usually brush when I add acid so it will mix quicker and kill two birds with one stone.
 
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Sabot

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Aug 2, 2007
343
Austin, TX
#19
Could I add BBB chemicals via my Pentair automatic inline chlorinator? (I am thinking mainly of chlorine but what about the others?) Pros/Cons?
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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Silver Spring, MD
#20
The normal inline chlorinator is designed to do one thing, feed trichlor tablets, and shouldn't be used with any other chemical. That can be handy when you are starting up a new plaster pool or when you are going on vacation. Other than that you shouldn't use the inline chlorinator.

There is a rather rare alternate design that is intended for cal-hypo tablets. That model can only be used with cal-hypo and isn't any use with anything else.