12 May, 2010

Buying Generic, I See

Here's to generic goods. Remember when generic beer was all the rage? Whatever kind of swill they packaged came in a plain white can with a big black bar code and little else on it.

Well, the same can be said here for pool chlorine. It doesn't get much more generic than this.
Chinese Chlorine
It comes in a 45 Kg (99 lbs) bucket. It's about 70% available chlorine (calcium hypochlorite), just like the name brand pool chemicals. The big difference is the name brands sell for about $175.00 US, for 50 pounds in the US. This stuff sells here in Belize for about $130.00 US, for 100 pounds. Can you say major savings? Sure. I knew you could.

Tanya, from the Don Quixote in Consejo Shores turned me on to this, only she was traveling in to Prosser's in Belize City to get it. I was able to get Prosser's to ship it up here to the Corozal Prosser's with no extra shipping charge.

This stuff is called locally "Chinese Chlorine", as I'm sure that's where it's made. It's first imported to the US, and then exported to Belize.
All the Labeling That's Needed
The UN number on the label comes from and is assigned by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

UN 2880 - 5.1 - The UN 2880 means it's a hazardous chemical, Calcium hypochlorite, hydrated or Calcium hypochlorite, hydrated mixtures, with not less than 5.5 percent but not more than 10 percent water, and the 5.1 is the class number. In this case, it means it's an Oxidizing Agent, and probably means other stuff too, but that was all I was able to find.

Thanks to an alert Commenter (Dennis), you can find a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on calcium hypochlorite here: ( It will provide you with more information than you could possibly want.

Dennis was also able to find some information online about fires in [ship's] cargo holds involving large quantities. Dennis's tip is that it's best to keep calcium hypochlorite stored separately from other combustible materials.

Enjoy your pools folks, but don't forget to stay safe in and around your pool.


Anonymous said...

We hope to install a pool as well once we are settled. So a source for large, affordable quantities of pool supplies is a plus.

An MSDS sheet for the calcium hypochlorite can be found at:

There was also some info online about fires in cargo holds involving large quantities. So best to keep separated from combustible materials.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for the info. I'm going to copy the MSDS link into the posting body itself and the note about separation.

We've found a pool not only nice, but a necessity here. It makes each warm day (they're so few, you know) rather pleasant.