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Pool Chemicals

Safe storage and handling tips

By Dave Huxtable

Chemicals are very important to the health of your swimming pool—and your family. Storing and handling these substances properly will ensure both your safety and the desired results for your swimming pool water.

Remember, while what follows will serve as an outline of proper storage and handling procedures for swimming pool chemicals, always be sure to follow the directions on the label of any product you are using and heed the instructions of a professional swimming pool dealer if you have any questions or concerns.

Types of pool chemicals

Swimming pool chemicals can be divided into three groups:

  • Sanitizers and oxidizers: These products protect bathers who use your pool by keeping your swimming pool water healthy and disease-free.
  • Balancers: These products protect your overall investment in your pool by protecting its surfaces and equipment.
  • Specialty chemicals: These products, known as ‘problem solvers,’ are designed to address special issues unique to your environment and swimming pool.

Each of these three groups includes products that present different levels of risk related to storage and handling. As a consumer, you might find it difficult to remember which chemicals require special handling. It is therefore important not to differentiate each product but to treat all swimming pool chemicals with the same high level of respect.

Pool chemical storage tips

The following directions and procedures can and should be used when storing all swimming pool chemicals.

  1. Store chemicals in a cool, dry, ventilated area.
  2. Store chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
  3. Replace and tighten all lids and caps on chemicals after use.
  4. Replace any damaged containers with new containers from your swimming pool professional. Only use containers specifically designed for each particular chemical; never store pool chemicals in an empty pail that previously held a different product.
  5. Store containers carefully, in a way that minimizes the chances they will fall over or spill (e.g. store on a solid flat surface, as opposed to rickety shelving).
  6. Always store any liquid products below powder products.
  7. Do not store swimming pool chemicals in direct contact with—or even in close proximity to—any other potentially volatile products such as gasoline, oil, fertilizer or pesticides.
  8. When a container is empty, rinse it out thoroughly in the swimming pool and recycle it at an appropriate facility. Do not reuse containers. (The only exceptions to this are Department of Transport (DOT) approved refillable liquid chlorine containers.) Dispose of containers according to manufacturer guidelines.
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