Every swimming pool (and hot tub) owner should have a good understanding of pool chemicals, including everything from disinfectants that are used for cleaning, to sanitizers that are specially designed to control algae and bacteria. Pool chemicals are just that – chemicals - and they require respect when handling, dispensing, or storing. Most importantly, it’s better to be safe than sorry.Chlorine-based disinfectants are available as inorganic or organic, and in various compositions. They are not compatible when mixed, and could be quite dangerous. Where applicable, each one should be stored in separate and well-marked container, ensuring that no cross-contamination can occur. These types of pool chemicals will have very specific product storage instructions.
In general, swimming pool chemicals can be categorized as oxidizers or corrosives. If mishandled, or improperly stored, oxidizers can present a danger of fire or explosion. On the other hand, corrosive pool chemicals can potentially attack body tissue. Special attention should be paid to all these types of pool chemicals, and storage instructions should be followed to the letter.
Properly handled and safely managed, pool chemicals effectively do their job. But there is never a limit on safeguards. Pool chemicals should always be stored out of reach of children and pets. The containers should always be closed when stored. Scoops or measuring cups should be specific to each chemical, and never substituted between chemicals. Manufacturer-supplied is the best.
Where applicable, it’s highly recommended to wear protective clothing, gloves, and goggles when handling swimming pool chemicals. While dispensing, or storing away, pool chemicals should be kept away from other liquids. And it’s always good to wash hands well after handling. Indeed, the whole idea of proper storage is to ensure safety and security for everyone in the vicinity.
Clearly, many pool chemicals will have storage instructions direct from the manufacturer. But the basics are straightforward. Storage is always recommended in a cool, dry place, and well away from any direct sunlight. As well, pool chemicals should be stored in their original container. And very often, it’s recommended that the storage area be well ventilated to prevent fumes.
Additional guidelines for storing pool chemicals might sound simple, but are still important. For instance, oxidizers should not be stored near acid. As well, liquids should not be stored above any products that are powdered or solid. And as a general rule, pool chemicals should not be stacked, and should not be stored above head level. Needless to say, storage shelving must be secure.
For those who are storing pool chemicals in a shed or garage, these should not be in proximity to gasoline, paints, or other flammable materials. Above all, pool chemicals should not be exposed to heat or flame, and there should be absolutely NO smoking when handling containers. Overall, the storage (and disposal) of pool chemicals should always be according to manufacturer specs.
Proper storage of swimming pool chemicals is a primary responsibility for a pool owner. It’s not the fun part, but along with a good pool company, advice and assistance is never far away.