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  1. #1
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    Default Swimming pool chemicals and rust???

    G'day all,

    I've got a small garden shed which sits on a concrete block without any sealing around the walls - when it rains the floor in the shed gets wet, and seems to take ages to dry out. Inside the shed I've got a bunch of swimming pool chemicals, eg. chlorine, hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, soda ash, etc. Also in the shed are a bunch of garden tools, all going rusty much faster than normal.

    Can anyone tell me if the faster rusting is due to the moisture issue with the shed or the presence of pool chemicals (and is there any one more likely to be a problem with rust)?

    Appreciate any advice.
    Adam

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    Yes, it is likely to be a combination of the moisture & chemicals. I've a similar shed with no chemicals, and only cans left on the concrete floor got rust. But, in the workshop, I had some pool chemicals and the metal shelving near it started to rust.
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  4. #3
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    Even so-called "stainless" steel will rust in the presence of pool chemicals of high concentration.

    The plastic containers for the pool chemicals may not be UV stabilised, and they seldom have lids designed for drainage, so outdoor storage is iffy. A tent may be best outdoors, or a separate small dog house - preferably wood.

    Joe
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  5. #4
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    Much obliged for the responses.

    Just for interest, someone told me the soda ash was probably the culprit, so I did some research - seems its called sodium carbonate (NaHCO3) (not salt outright but is a derivative). The packaging carries all sorts of warnings about washing immediately if in contact with skin or eyes, and if swallowed induce vomiting and call a poisons centre.

    Funny.

    This stuff is what they put in sherbert to get it fizzy, and is also common in the cooking industry and in your toothpaste!

    And by the way, you can give a dog a spoonful if you want it to vomit (even stranger).

    Curiously,
    Adam

  6. #5
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    Default A message from your friendly neighbourhood scientist

    Sodium carbonate is Na2CO3, is used in cooking and washing situations. The safety warning is the chemical company covering it's butt. We buy in pure water for some tests that we do and you should read the safety warnings on the bottles.

    Hydrochloric acid produces vapours which will cause rust. Have some in a cupboard here in the lab at work and it has almost destroyed the hinges.

    So you have: strong acids - hydrochloric and phosphoric, strong bases - sodium carbonate and the concrete contains lime, plus moisture. These are all perfect for rust generation.

  7. #6
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    Hi all,
    I have a son who is in the swimming pool maintenance business.

    The pool tech's vehicles don't have a very long life I'm afraid - would hate to but one s/hand!!
    Cheers
    Baz

  8. #7
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    Just be glad your shed hasn't reached orbit - yet. A LOT of pool chemicals are very violent oxidizers of other substances, particularly common garden stuff. A number of people have been left with smoking craters instead of yard sheds when they stored pool chemicals in the same place as 2-stroke fuel or engine oil. Rubbers of all types make rocket fuel & sulfur - a common chemical in gardening - can make a light sensitive explosive when mixed with the wrong pool stuff.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsrlee View Post
    Rubbers of all types make rocket fuel & sulfur - a common chemical in gardening - can make a light sensitive explosive when mixed with the wrong pool stuff.
    Please feel free to elaborate ....
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
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