We all read labels. We read food labels, warning labels, advertising labels and chemical labels to name a few. I want to talk about pool and hot tub chemical labels to be specific. When reading chemical labels, at this point not the warning labels, but what is in the chemicals we use. They may even list similar ingredients or the same percentages. They are not all created equal. Depending on the manufacturer and where they are produced will greatly affect the chemical quality. In this blog I will give a few of my personal experiences. When buying chemicals, you want to be sure you are buying a quality product. How will you know the difference?
First don’t buy online, some of those companies, even if it seems to have a “well-known name,” they will usually have inferior products and that is why you get them delivered cheap. Stop buying them from big chain retail stores, home improvement stores and grocery stores. They are not pool professionals and throw whatever on the shelves.
Never buy liquid chlorine from those same places. Liquid does not have any stabilizers in them and will lose potency quickly. You won’t know how long those bottles have been on the shelves. Most pool professionals should be selling quality chemicals and you can feel confident in using them.
My experience has led me to believe you get what you pay for. Some examples of what I learned, 3” chlorine tabs, they look the same but are clearly not. We use quality tabs & chemicals made in the USA. Ours are pressed into shape, while inferior chlorine tabs can be pressed and bound together with animal fat and can cause issues in your equipment. They may not even dissolve properly.
Another example: I had a customer, she was new to us at the time, but she bought chlorine tabs from a large retail pool company (that’s now out of business). The chemicals were cheap, and they always discounted them at the end of year. She expressed there seemed to be a lot of sand at the bottom of her in-ground pool. I tested the water right after winter, during the opening. What I found amazed me, her chlorine was extremely high, so were her stabilizers. The inferior chemical had so much stabilizer – or cyanuric acid – in it, that it was etching the concrete in her pool. We needed to drain the entire pool, hose off the entire inside of her pool twice and refill. Her pool was damaged and cost about $2000 to clean.
You won’t save money in the long run; inferior chemical quality will eventually damage your pool and equipment. Do yourself a favor and do research and buy quality chemicals.