With summer over, many people in colder climates are thinking about closing their pools for the year. We’ve written about how to close a pool for the winter, but it is also crucial to learn about how to store pool chemicals. These handy tips will help during both on and off seasons.
Safety and Swimming: How to Store Pool Chemicals
In the past, we’ve written about the difference between chlorine and saltwater pools. However, no matter what type of pool or hot tub you have, you’ll still need to deal with some chemicals. More importantly, you’ll need to know how to store pool chemicals.
The first tip is to keep them out of the yard. These chemicals, including chlorine, shock and more, can be poisonous if ingested. There is also a chance that they can irritate bare skin upon contact. For this reason, pool chemicals should be kept far away from curious kids. This means that it is important to clear the yard of any potentially hazardous chemicals.
As a general rule, a pool or hot tub owner will want to store chemicals in a dry, well-ventilated area. This area should also be cool. Some chemicals can react in the hot sun, so keeping them cool will always be the best bet. Excess heat can cause a reaction that could cause the chemicals to release potentially hazardous gases. Even sunlight can superheat the chemicals. Our recent article about injuries from superheated water trapped in a garden hose further shows how hot the blazing sun can burn. Don’t be fooled!
Shed vs. Garage
Even though our feature image today is a garage, this is generally not a great place to store pool chemicals. In a garage, there may not be proper ventilation. Gases can become trapped. That means you or your family could end up breathing them in whenever you park your car. Another danger of potential fumes and gas would be the metal corrosion that they can cause. Chlorine and other chemicals can damage your property and your health over time.
On the other hand, sheds are separate from the home and help to keep pool chemicals away from the elements. For this reason, a well-ventilated shed is the safer bet. If you have access to a shed, these small buildings are ideal. There is still a risk of corrosion, but extra steps can be taken to free the trapped gas in a storage shed.
Storing Chemicals Outdoors
We’ve mentioned that a shed is the best option, but what if you don’t have one? Plenty of folks don’t own a shed. In this case, pool chemicals may have to be stored outdoors. This is less than ideal, but still doable as long as the temperature is mild. Again, extreme heat can cause trouble. As for how to store pool chemicals outdoors, be sure to keep them covered and out of direct sunlight. Find a place where the chemicals will not be disturbed.
Handling an Emergency
Now you know how to store pool chemicals, but accidents can always happen. In case something does go wrong, it is best to know what to do in a potentially dangerous situation. Above all, follow the included safety instructions on the chemicals. Be sure to read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s handling instructions.
These are some good general rules, but every chemical is different. The proper rules for storing these chemicals can vary. Pay close attention to any marked instructions.
To better prepare for trouble, read up on emergency phone numbers and procedures ahead of time. Print out these instructions and store them near the chemicals. You’ll be glad they’re close at hand in case someone is accidentally exposed to these chemicals. Failure to do so could turn a dangerous situation into a fatal one.
Finally, be sure to contact Poison Control in case someone accidentally ingests any chemicals. You can find the number and further information on the official web page.