Virtually all grocery stores have bleach (sodium hypochlorite), baking soda , and borax. Household bleach (6%) at $2/gallon is no great bargain -- but it's a functional substitute for any chlorine compound, and easy to get when you are in a hurry.
One gallon of bleach is equal in chlorine content to 2/3 lb. of shock (calcium hypochlorite). Put another way, one gallon will add about 2 ppm chlorine to a 30,000 gallon pool.
And baking soda, at $0.40/lb. is a whole lot cheaper than "Alkalinity Increaser" for $1.10/lb. Both are 100% sodium bicarbonate.
Borax (20 Mule Team brand) is several dollars cheaper than a patented,
branded material also containing 100% sodium tetraborate and is a good
substitute for "PH-UP" -- especially in spas -- and is at least $0.50/lb.
Want to know more?
Tricky, tricky, tricky!
Pool chemical companies often like
to use tricky chemical names for their products, so you don't recognize
them. It even fools many dealers and pool builders -- I had some rather
nasty emails a few years ago from a dealer who genuinely believed his
'brand-name' "sodium acid carbonate" was better for your pool than plain
baking soda! Anyhow, here's a table of "aliases" used by pool dealers and
|Common name||Common 'pool' names||Usual chemical name||Alternate chemical names|
|Baking soda||Alkalinity increaser||sodium bicarbonate||sodium acid carbonate
sodium hydrogen carbonate
|Washing soda||pH UP||sodium carbonate||soda ash|
|Bleach||Liquid chlorine||sodium hypochlorite||sodium hypochlorite, 3%
sodium hypochlorite, 6%
sodium hypochlorite, 10%
sodium hypochlorite, 15%
|sodium tetraborate||sodium tetraborate pentahydrate
sodium tetraborate decahydrate
|Other pool chemicals|
|cyanuric acid||isocyanuric acid|
|calcium chloride||calcium chloride, anhydrous
calcium chloride, dihydrate
|pH Up||pH increaser
|sodium hydroxide||caustic soda|
|pH Down||pH decreaser
|sodium bisulfate||sodium acid sulfate|
Back OR Next Tip!
Copyright(c) PMB Webpages and Ben Powell, 1997-2011 All rights reserved