Manually Adding Chemicals to the Pool

In Safety Tips, Tech Talk by Steve DonohoeLeave a Comment


Chapter 9 of our Pool & Spa OperatorHandbook is all about adding chemicals to the swimming pool; using automated controllers/feeders or adding them manually.

This scoop will hold one pound of DE

Before you even approach a pool with chemicals, you need to know what each and every one  is going to do to the pool water balance.  And you need to know the potential hazards and what to do when an accident occurs; the clean up procedures after a spill; the first aid procedures … .  All this information can found on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each chemical —  which I know you have readily available.  Go to our MSDS article here.

When adding chemicals manually to the pool, a set of hard rules and precautions need to be followed.  First READ the instructions on the product label!  I know most pool operators/guys are “guys that don’t need instructions,” but you do need to read the label.  Next, make sure everyone is out of the pool.  Here are a few basic rules that must be followed:

    • NEVER add water to chemicals — ALWAYS add chemicals to water
    • NEVER mix chemicals (see what happens here when TriChlor and Cal Hypo are mixed together with a bit of water)
    • ALWAYS know how much water is in the pool to correctly dose it
    • NEVER use the same scoop for different chemicals
    • and there are a few others in the Handbook that we discuss in class

We also discuss a few “best practices” when manually adding chemicals:

    • add the chemicals right after you test, before you brush
    • make sure the main circulation pump is running
    • pour your acid slowly by walking around the deep end of the pool, away from the light
    • pour the bleach in the sallow end
    • and many others — with input from the seasoned pool guys

We discuss what chemicals are “broadcasted” (scattered over the pool surface area)  versus going directly into the skimmer. However —

NEVER put TRI-CHLOR tablets in the SKIMMER!

Some pool techs put tabs in the skimmer as a “short cut” instead of buying a floater or installing a tab feeder.  Tri-Chlor is VERY acidic and will produce an acid water bowl in the skimmer when the pump is not running.  This is very unsafe, dangerous and will cause damage to the equipment when the pump is turned on, which will move the acid bath through the pump, heater and plumbing.  Just imagine this….the previous day the pool guy put two 3″ tri-chlor tabs in the skimmer and the pump has been off for 18 hours. A child tries to retrieve a toy stuck in the skimmer basket by putting his hand in that very acidic water bowl.  He may even notice the tabs and start to play with them.   JUST DON’T DO IT, GUYS!!


A New Venue in Van Nuys

Steve and SCP Van Nuys Manager, Roger Quintana

Our CPO class this past Thurday and Friday, June 14-15, was a return the the SCP store in Van Nuys.  Our previous class there was a few years ago (April 2009) — and a lot has changed!   There is now a new National Pool Tile (NPT) show room upstairs. The counter space downstairs has doubled and new offices have been built.  Our class was held in a new conference room that was just finished up last month.  It’s on the ground floor, with easy access, so unloading and loading our classroom supplies and equipment was a breeze.Pictured here with Steve is SCP Van Nuys Branch Manager, Roger Quintana. Roger and all his crew were terrific hosts and made us feel very welcome.  Thank you Roger! And a special thank you to Frank and J.C. for running to get us all the little things that we needed.  And, lastly, a special thanks to Carlos for staying a bit late Friday night as we were finishing up.  See you guys again in August!

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