It has come time to use muriatic acid in your pool. Sounds simple, right? Well, you may be asking yourself one question: What is muriatic acid? I have to admit, for a long time I had no idea what it was and what it did. I left the chemicals up to my pool professionals and never worried about it. But there came a time when I decided to take responsibility for my own pool (and save a little money in the process).
That decision led to a lot of research into pool chemicals and their uses. I didn't gain enough knowledge to know what each chemical did at the microscopic level, but I did gain some insight into what the different chemicals do and specifically muriatic acid. So, what is muriatic acid?
What is Muriatic Acid?
In the simplest terms, muriatic acid is used to control the level of alkalinity in your pool. If you take care of your own pool, then you know that it can be a time-consuming job where you have to get the balance of chemicals exactly right. With a little time and practice, this balancing act can become easy and intuitive. One of the things you are always trying to balance in your pool is the pH level.
If your pH levels are too high or too low, this will lead to problems. When your pH level is too high, scaling can appear. This scaling can damage your pool and pool equipment. On the other hand, low pH levels can lead to acidic water which can corrode and also damage your pool and equipment. To solve your pH level problems, you use a variety of chemicals.
When the pH level in your pool is too high, there are a few acids which you can use to balance the levels again. The two most common are hydrochloric acid and muriatic acid.
Why Should I use Muriatic Acid?
If you leave your pH levels unchecked, not only can your pool become cloudy and scaled, but it can cause irritation to your swimmers. A pH level which is too low or too high can cause skin irritation. You want to protect the people in your pool along with the pool itself.
In our opinion, muriatic acid is the better choice over something labeled as hydrochloric acid. We found that it better balances your pool pH level and causes less irritation to your pool system and people in it. It is great at maintaining a pH balance in the pool.
Where Can I Buy Muriatic Acid?
You have two main options when it comes to buying your muriatic acid, you can go to a pool store, or you can buy online. There are advantages to both. If you are buying in a pool store, then you can utilize the knowledge of the staff. Not all acids are act equally, and it can be helpful to be able to describe your situation to a member of staff or even take a sample of water in with you. They can then recommend the best acid and dosage for your pool. You also get to see the product before you buy it.
If you have done your research and wanted to shop online, you can benefit from the reduced prices that you can usually get from shopping on the internet. You also have the added benefit that the product is often shipped directly to your home, meaning that you do not have to go out to get it. You can save time and money by shopping online.
How to Dispose of Muriatic Acid?
As with any chemical, you need to find a way to dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner; muriatic acid is no different. Would it astound you to know that 20 million tons of chemicals are produced each year? These chemicals need to be disposed of in a way which will not harm the environment or produce a health risk to people or animals.
Muriatic acid can be corrosive in its concentrated form. When it is diluted in your pool, it does not pose any danger to your pool or people in it (as long as you are using the correct dose). The concentrated form can also produce a mist of chemical which can be dangerous if it gets into your eyes or is ingested. We always recommend using safety gloves and goggles when you are handling the chemical.
If there comes a time when you need to dispose of the acid, then you should do so carefully. Follow our steps to ensure that you do not harm yourself, anyone else, or the environment when you are disposing of it:
- Protect yourself with chemically resistant clothing. Wear safety goggles, a safety mask, and gloves.
- Look for a well-ventilated area to dispose of the chemicals in.
- Ensure that there are no people around, especially children and pets.
- Do not dispose of the chemical near any heat sources or metals.
- Mix up a base mix to negate the acid. Mix one pound of bicarbonate of soda with lots of water.
- Slowly add your acid to this soda and water mix. Wait until the water stops fizzing. If it does not stop, then add more bicarbonate of soda.
- Use a water and bicarbonate of soda mix to neutralize any containers containing muriatic acid.
- You can now empty the solution into the sewer system.
Muriatic acid is a great acid for balancing the pH levels in your swimming pool, but you should always make sure to handle the chemical correctly and keep it stored where animals and children cannot get into it. Always use safety equipment when handling it and always dispose of the acid safely. If you are careful, then the acid is not going to pose a risk to you, anyone else, any animals, or the environment.