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Thread: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

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    Default Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Started winterizing my IG pool today. Grabbed a couple bottles of (what I thought) was Polyquat. Apparently one of the bottles was my "gizmo" from last season (just an old Polyquat bottle with real antifreeze in it that I leave in the skimmer).

    Sure enough, I got 1/4 of the bottle in before I realized what was up.

    Since Im closing it Im not too worried right now (no one will be using the pool), but when opening next year, what should I do? There was honestly not much put in the pool, but with a little one that will be swimming next year any amount worries me. I feel DUUUUUUMB right about now.

    -Chris

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    chem geek is offline PF Support Team Whibble Konker chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars chem geek 4 stars
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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    As long as you used propylene glycol as your antifreeze and not ethylene glycol, then I wouldn't worry about it. Propylene glycol is actually used in some foods, though it is in small quantities and is not something that is safe to drink "straight" (though I find that it's quite refreshing on the rocks with a twist of lemon -- just kidding).

    Richard

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    As long as you used propylene glycol as your antifreeze and not ethylene glycol, then I wouldn't worry about it. Propylene glycol is actually used in some foods, though it is in small quantities and is not something that is safe to drink "straight" (though I find that it's quite refreshing on the rocks with a twist of lemon -- just kidding).

    Richard
    Any easy way to tell if it was EG or not?

    I talked to a couple people that said its probably not a big deal either way, considering only about 6 or 7 oz ended up in the 22000 gallons of water. I was worried about EG as well, but Im not sure what type of antifreeze ended up in the pool.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisexv6 View Post
    Any easy way to tell if it was EG or not?
    Doesn't it say what the ingredients are somewhere in the bottle (perhaps in some fine print, or in an ingredient list)? Also, if this were EG it would give dire and drastic warnings that this is a poison. Only PG can be labelled as "non-toxic antifreeze". I don't know an easy way to tell the difference.

    And it is true that the amount you added was so small that it should not be a problem. First of all, you aren't drinking your pool water and secondly, even if your kids swallowed some pool water it would be extraordinarily diluted. So yes, you are probably safe.

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    Doesn't it say what the ingredients are somewhere in the bottle (perhaps in some fine print, or in an ingredient list)? Also, if this were EG it would give dire and drastic warnings that this is a poison. Only PG can be labelled as "non-toxic antifreeze". I don't know an easy way to tell the difference.

    And it is true that the amount you added was so small that it should not be a problem. First of all, you aren't drinking your pool water and secondly, even if your kids swallowed some pool water it would be extraordinarily diluted. So yes, you are probably safe.
    The antifreeze was actually in an algecide bottle (bad move, I know). I use an empty bottle filled with antifreeze as a "gizmo" in my skimmer, so the bottle absorbs any ice expansion instead of my skimmer. I grabbed the "algecide" bottle and stared pouring into my pool, quickly realizing what was wrong. So the bottle it came from wasnt antifreeze, therefore I dont know what type of AF it was.

    Does EG break down? I thought I read that it does actually break down in water over a period of time (like 4-5 weeks). Since winter up here in CT is a lot longer than that, I feel we're safe for next year.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Isn't the non-toxic stuff not florescent green/yellow - isn't it pink?

    (This might be stupid since I am in FL and don't even keep anti-freeze)
    Completed 8/21/06
    14,000 gallon 3'-6' concrete pool with Diamond Brite
    Spa with spillway
    250K BTU gas heater (for spa)
    SWCG - Aqua Rite
    Hayward Super II Pump - Cartridge filter

    See pictures here http://www.philsimmons.com/family/ga...mages&keyword=

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Chris, a fine point here, if you want to use a gallon jug for freeze protection - I recomend ~ 1/2 filling the jug with sand or gravel, to give it 'neutral boyancy'. Whether antifreeze is heavier than water, I don't know - but a floating jug does NO good for freeze protection.
    Luv & Luk, Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill libraries

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisexv6 View Post
    Does EG break down? I thought I read that it does actually break down in water over a period of time (like 4-5 weeks). Since winter up here in CT is a lot longer than that, I feel we're safe for next year.
    Antifreeze doesn't break down as quickly as you say (at least not in pure water). If it did, then mixing it with the water in your car's radiator would not last through an entire winter. Generally, antifreeze (either by itself or mixed with water) is supposed to be replaced every 2 years (some special types of antifreeze last up to 5 years, but not EG or PG). It does eventually breakdown into carbon dioxide and water.

    Since EG and PG are small organic compounds, they could very well be oxidized by chlorine (to carbon dioxide and water) and would very likely be oxidized by non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate, aka KMPS). So if you are REALLY concerned about this (and I don't think you need be), you can put in a shock dose of chlorine and/or add KMPS to ensure that you've destroyed all the organics in your pool, including any EG or PG in your pool. The only reason I bring up KMPS is that it oxidizes organics better than chlorine (whereas chlorine combines readily with ammonia, it combines more slowly with various organic compounds, depending on the specific organic, whether it has nitrogen sites which EG and PG do not, etc.). Of course, the chlorine will have all winter to oxidize the EG or PG so it might very well do the trick without any need for KMPS. I'm just giving you options depending on your level of concern.

    Richard
    Last edited by chem geek; 09-28-2006 at 07:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    Quote Originally Posted by waste View Post
    Chris, a fine point here, if you want to use a gallon jug for freeze protection - I recomend ~ 1/2 filling the jug with sand or gravel, to give it 'neutral boyancy'. Whether antifreeze is heavier than water, I don't know - but a floating jug does NO good for freeze protection.
    I may be totally off base here, but I don't think the antifreeze is for use in the general pool water volume but rather only for putting into the pipes. Earlier in another post I made this incorrect assumption and pointed out the incredible amount of antifreeze required to keep a pool volume from freezing, until it was pointed out to me that the antifreeze is only to prevent bursting the pipes, not to prevent ice in the pool.

    Richard

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    Default Re: Big oops.....non-pool antifreeze in water :(

    P.S. to Chris:

    Apparently there are quite a few users of this forum who live in areas where freezing is an issue and put antifreeze into their pipes. Clearly when they start up again in the spring, they flush this antifreeze into their pool water (at least for the return pipes from the pump/filter to the pool -- the drain/skimmer pipes could be flushed to waste, I suppose). I don't think anyone has had any problems with such antifreeze, but it is also probably true that they only use PG and not EG.

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