Chemical Storage and Safety - Further Reading

Chemical Storage and Safety

Pool chemicals in general are safe if properly stored and handled. Some chemicals should not be stored together and others should only be stored outdoors.

  • All chemicals should be kept in locked hard plastic bins with tight-fitting lids out of the reach of children
  • Use several bins so you can separate liquids from solids
  • Do not mix chemicals that are reactive together in a bin, i.e chlorine and muriatic acid.
  • Areas where you store chemicals should be well ventilated and dry.
  • Preferably temperatures should not exceed 95F, especially for storing liquid chlorine
  • Pool chemicals are more sensitive to heat than cold
  • Avoid direct sunlight and high humidity.
  • Store chemicals in the containers they were bought in. Those containers are safest for the chemical and properly labeled.
  • If you use measuring cups then have a labeled dedicated cup for each chemical
  • Reseal containers after use so no moisture can get in.

Separate Chlorine Products and Muriatic Acid

If chlorine and muriatic acid is mixed it will create toxic chlorine gas. The two chemicals should never be stored where they can possibly mix.

Chlorine

  • All chlorine products should be stored in a well ventilated area.
  • Segregate chlorine products in different areas.

Liquid Chlorine

Liquid chlorine should be stored in a cool area. See Breakdown of Bleach Over Time by Storage Temp for the effect of storage temperature on liquid chlorine.

TriChlor Tablets

If TriChlor tablets in a closed container gets wet it can generate a toxic level of chlorine gas. Open the container in a well ventilated area, preferably outdoors.

The dissolving tablets can also create a highly acidic mix.

Trichlor is classified as an NFPA Class 1 Oxidizer. The lowest NFPA rating reflects the fact that Trichlor does not burn or decompose unless a direct flame or other intense heat source is applied. Once the flame or heat source is removed, Trichlor stops decomposing.

Dichlor

Dichlor is a dry solid with strong oxidizing properties.

It is stable when stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area and not contaminated by other chemicals such as acids or easily oxidizable materials.

Dichlor, in the solid form, shall not be mixed with other pool chemicals including other chlorinating agents. Partially empty packages must not be consolidated, as this could result in dangerous mixing with incompatible dry chlorinating agents having a similar appearance.

CAUTION: If mishandled, improperly stored, or contaminated, dichlor products can become unstable and dangerous, as is the case in general with chlorinating agents. Fire, explosion and/or evolution of toxic gasses could result, depending on the nature and amount of the contaminant

Cal-hypo

Calcium hypochlorite has strong oxidizing properties — that means it readily yields oxygen or readily reacts to oxidize combustible materials, so you have to be careful with how you store and handle it.[1]

Store cal-hypo in a cool, dry, ventilated area where it cannot be contaminated by other chemicals such as acids or easily oxidizable materials

  • Do not put cal-hypo tablets in floaters or chlorinators that were used for trichlor or dichlor tablets
  • Do not mix calcium hypochlorite in solid form with other pool chemicals including other chlorinating agents.
  • Do not consolidate partially empty packages as this could result in dangerous mixing with incompatible dry chlorinating agents having a similar appearance.
  • Calcium hypochlorite can oxidize metals, which may produce contaminants that can stain pool and spa surfaces.

CalHypo can also be a fire hazard and is classified as a Class 3 Oxidizer by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). CalHypo will decompose, in a self-sustained reaction, if stored over 125°F (52°C) for an extended period of time.

CAUTION: If mishandled, improperly stored or contaminated, calcium hypochlorite products can become unstable and dangerous, as is the case in general with chlorinating agents. Fire, explosion and/or evolution of toxic gasses could result, depending on the nature and amount of the contaminant.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid should be stored outside. Even when in closed sealed containers the fumes from muriatic acid can rust metals in the room around it. If stored in a garage the vehicles and metal shelves can rust due to the muriatic acid fumes.

Personal protection equipment should be worn when handling muriatic acid. This can include safety googles, gloves, and an apron or old clothes.

We recommend minimizing the times acid is poured from container to container.

Calcium

When mixed with water calcium can become very hot. Calcium should not be stored where it can become wet.

Other Chemicals

Stabilizer, baking soda, algaecides, and other chemicals require no special safety precautions or storage. As with all chemicals, keep them out of reach of children.

If in doubt ask on the Forums.