Read Pool Chemical Labels!

In Blog, Chemistry, Maintenance Tips by Ed Miller

Please, red pool chemical labels!  It’s important to always understand what the chemicals you’re adding to your pool do. Read the labels carefully for dosing instructions and side effects.

Example – Pool Salt.

Always use 99.99% pure salt. Never use any salt that has additives. In some rare cases if you’re using water softener salt, it may have all kinds of additives that can stain your pool.

Read the labels to make sure you’re getting the product that is best for your equipment.

Example – Sodium Bicarbonate

You use sodium bicarbonate to raise the Total Alkalinity of your pool water (Baking soda). Often labeled on pool chemical packaging as “Alk Up” or “Alkalinity Increaser”. It’s usually 100% baking soda. Same as you buy from the grocery store, just labeled for pools with dosing instructions. What is often overlooked is that it will also increase the pH. If you use too much baking soda, it will increase your total alkalinity to a point where it will cause something known as “pH Lock” where the pH will be stuck because the alkalinity is too high. Read the labeling to determine how much to add to your pool.

When purchasing specialty pool chemicals, such as stain or metal removers, read those labels very carefully before adding them to your pool. They make cause issues if overused. These labels will also include detailed instructions and may mention things like “Will cause clouding”.

Do not “eyeball” pool chemicals and throw them into the pool. The labels will have dosage instructions that will include how to add them to the water. They may instruct that the chemical be broadcast across the surface, and others may advise it to be added to the skimmers. Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines on what chemicals are safe to use with your equipment! Most saltwater chlorine generators will require pure pool salt with no additives as an example. Erosion feeders may only be compatible with certain tabs.

It’s also important (and required in most facilities) to keep Safety Data Sheets (SDS) on hand for all chemicals. In addition to this, we recommend that an approved chemical list be maintained so every staff member knows what’s being added to the pool.

Knowing what’s going on in the pool water is very important to the safety of the swimmers and the health of the equipment.

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