The end of every pool season brings along with it an age-old query: How do you store pool chemicals in the off-season? To get an answer to this question, and a few others, we interviewed our pool chemical experts.
- How long can you store pool chemicals before they lose effectiveness? It depends on the product as well as storage conditions. All chemicals should be used within two pool seasons; however, chlorine and bromine oxidizers and sanitizers are best consumed within one season, especially liquid chlorine or calcium hypochlorite.
- What’s the ideal environment for storing pool chemicals? A cool, dry, secure, and well-ventilated place. In order to prevent any unnecessary exposure to toxins, pool chemicals should be stored in an area that provides good ventilation to remove any toxic vapors, fumes, mists, or airborne dust that could be floating around. Storing pool chemicals in your garage is not a good idea unless they are in some sort of locked storage bin or cabinet. Many chemicals, especially oxidizers and strong acids, can corrode some metals, causing rust or other damage. Never store oxidizers near organic chemicals like gasoline, or in poorly ventilated areas that people enter.
- What are the most common mistakes people make when storing their pool chemicals?Not keeping them cool and dry is probably the biggest mistake. Allowing oxidizers to get wet can be dangerous. Also, allowing liquids to freeze can make the product unusable.
- Is it so bad to use expired products? Unless a product has separated, become badly discolored, or developed a foul odor, it will likely still work, just not as effectively as when fresh.
- Why should someone care how they store their products? Why not leave them outside? Many chemicals don’t react well to extreme temperatures on either end of the spectrum, which is what you risk when you store them outside. If you store your pool chemicals in a place warmer than 95 degrees Fahrenheit, expansion of liquids or the release of gases caused by high temperatures can cause containers to leak or spill. In some cases, it can cause dangerous conditions that could lead to fire or an explosion. If liquid chemicals are allowed to freeze, they could begin to separate and lose effectiveness or become unusable.
Hopefully these answers give you the information you need to store your pool chemicals safely and easily. If you have specific questions on how to store chemicals that this post didn’t address, reach out to our customer care team at 1-866-HTH-POOL.