Proper Use and Safe Storage Of Pool and Spa Chemicals

It’s important to adhere to chemical manufactures’ recommended use, storing and disposing of chemicals and their containers.  These are very important from a safety point of view, as well as to preserve their effectiveness for the next pool season. 

Water and pool and spa chemicals don’t mix!

This may sound a little crazy, considering the chemicals we’re addressing here are for your pool water, but hear us out.  Any kind of moisture, due to humidity, rain, splash out, whatever its source, can make unused chemicals become hazardous.

A number of chemicals, especially those with oxidation* properties, can potentially be highly reactive and capable of generating high temperatures, as well as releasing toxic vapors if improperly handled or stored. Reactivity may be triggered by water introduction to chemicals, or by mixing pool chemicals with an incompatible material. Some pool chemicals are self-reactive over time, even without moisture addition or mixing with other materials, so be sure to check the shelf life of  the product.

* Chemicals that release chlorine are classified as oxidizers. Oxidizer chemicals include calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite and chlorinated isocyanurates.

Do’s and Don’ts of Chemical Safety

Adhere to chemical manufactures’ labels
Every chemical manufacturer has specific storing instructions, effectiveness or sell-by dates and other important information on their container labels.  Pay particular attention to storing with other chemicals like household cleaners and combustible items.  If for some reason you can’t read the storing instructions or if you’re not sure if your chemicals can be stored with other non-related items; don’t chance it.  Visit the manufacturer’s website or give them a call for best storing practices and shelf life.

Use it or lose it
Mind use by or expiration dates.  Some chemicals’ properties can degrade or alter over time.  This can render them completely useless and maybe even hazardous.  So when a chemical manufacture recommends a use by date, listen to them.  This is not a ploy to get you to buy more chemicals. You may be storing and dispensing completely useless chemicals into your pool.

Always keep chemicals in the original containers
It may be tempting to transfer chemicals to smaller containers for space saving – don’t.  Maintain the proper original packaging with important safety information readily available.

Never, never mix chemicals
Again, it may seem like a great space saver, but never mix chemicals – it could be a safety issue.  Just because the products end up in the same pool water, doesn’t mean they should be mixed in the same container. 

Don’t toss expired or unused chemicals in the trash
Every chemical manufacture will document proper disposal methods or include a number to call for directions on their labels.  Don’t pour them down the drain or dump them on your property.