"Used" Baking Soda plus a Vacation Question

Wendynat

Active member
Mar 4, 2008
28
We use the typical open box of baking soda in the fridge each month to absorb odors, and then toss it. I found myself this morning wondering if it could be used in the pool to raise TA even though it's been open in the fridge for a month? Just idle curiosity, really, but what are your thoughts?

Also, we're headed out for vacation in August for nine days. We've had the pool three years and have never put anything other than bleach in it, so I'm totally clueless about how floaters and pucks work. My sister normally puts bleach in for us, but she won't be available. From talking to one of the pool store peeps, it sounds like I would need maybe 3 -4 trichlor pucks, either in skimmer or floater. We have a cartridge filter, 18' round about 7600 gallons. We leave the pump on low 24/7 in the summer, and would just leave it on the same way while we're gone.
1) Can I put them in the skimmer? If no, how does a floater work?
2) Is there any place that may sell them individually, rather than in a bucket that I'll never finish using?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
"Used" baking soda is fine. The chlorine will break down any odors it has absorbed, while the actual baking soda will still be just fine.

If you leave the pump running 24x7, then it is fine to put trichlor tablets in the skimmer. However, they will all dissolve relatively quickly that way. A trichlor floater usually has an adjustable door that controls how quickly they dissolve so you can put several tablets in and not have them all go into the pool at once.

Tablet floaters are available at nearly any pool store or big box store with a pool department. A pool store will also usually have floaters that come pre-loaded with chlorine, so you don't need to buy tablets. I have heard that WalMart sometimes sells tablets individually.
 

PaulR

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 11, 2009
1,966
Cupertino, CA
I use 4 tabs when I'm away for a week, but my pool is over twice as big and I have a cover. If you don't have a cover, I'd use 3 tabs in a wide open floater; if you have a cover, 2 should be enough. Bring the FC up a bit with bleach first.
--paulr
 

Wendynat

Active member
Mar 4, 2008
28
Thanks, everyone - I did find some individually wrapped trichlor tabs at Walmart and grabbed a cheapo floater. I'll bring it up to shock level before I leave so hopefully the tabs won't have to do too much work.

And I'll start using that baking soda instead of throwing it out - good to know!!
 
tagging on to Wendynat's vacation comment and all of your answers - still new here but thanks to pool school, our TF-100 kit and a lot of answers here and help, we're doing great w/ the new pool (26k gal and C = 5, pH = 7.6 this evening w/ similar readings each night after adding a bit of C per The Pool Calculator, thank you very much): we too will be heading out late Sep for 10 days and so need to use some tabs ... from reading above, several more questions:

1) 'bring the FC up a bit first' - what range would be a good 'bit'?

2) we have 2 covers, or sort of covers - a solar cover and a winter cover - should we use one of them and cover the pool and if so, which cover? and finally,

3) if we had to use the house-sitter instead, and i'm pretty certain that she can't be easily trained (confidently trusted) on the use of the test kit, is there a safe level of bleach she could add for us each evening? thanks again for all of your help - awesome being a BBB'er (haven't been to the pool store in 3 weeks and swimming clean and crystal clear.) and a ps - we typically run our pump 24/7.
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
She should be able to safely add 1-2ppm of bleach each evening (use the pool calc to figure that out). By keeping the solar cover on, you shouldn't lose too much chlorine each day. So I'd raise it up to 1-2 points above your "target" level and then have her add 1-2ppm. More if its warm and sunny, less if the temps are cool and it is more cloudy.

If you do this you shouldn't need tabs at all.
 

boostaddict

New member
Jun 9, 2010
3
I grabbed four individually wrapped trichlor tabs and a cheap floater after reading this thread. I used them a couple of weeks ago when were out of town on a long weekend, starting on Friday and didn't get back until Monday afternoon. They worked like a champ and kept my fc up, even after I tested and had to close the floater gate to 1/4 open. My pool sitter was all nervous about testing the water and I gave her the easy route - use test strips until we get back, close enough. All the PS had to do was add a bit of water since the daytime highs were in the low 100's. There was about 1/4 of one tab left when we got home, so I left it in to fully use it up. My fc was a bit high and I could have closed off the floater gate a bit more - I'll know better for next time.

I know its been said countless times but I'll repeat it one more time - my pool has been absolutely trouble free this season! Hands down, this forum was the best find for me and converting from Baquacrap to the BBB method. I love my crystal clear (and cheaper to maintain) pool now!
 

Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
3,899
Tucson, AZ
boostaddict said:
I grabbed four individually wrapped trichlor tabs and a cheap floater after reading this thread. I used them a couple of weeks ago when were out of town on a long weekend, starting on Friday and didn't get back until Monday afternoon. They worked like a champ and kept my fc up, even after I tested and had to close the floater gate to 1/4 open. My pool sitter was all nervous about testing the water and I gave her the easy route - use test strips until we get back, close enough. All the PS had to do was add a bit of water since the daytime highs were in the low 100's. There was about 1/4 of one tab left when we got home, so I left it in to fully use it up. My fc was a bit high and I could have closed off the floater gate a bit more - I'll know better for next time.

I know its been said countless times but I'll repeat it one more time - my pool has been absolutely trouble free this season! Hands down, this forum was the best find for me and converting from Baquacrap to the BBB method. I love my crystal clear (and cheaper to maintain) pool now!
boostaddict, welcome to TFP! Great success story........for me to poop on! :mrgreen: (love the avatar)
 

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