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Honesty in Water Chemistry Testing

Water chemistry readings are only as accurate as your test kit. And the history of that pool's water chemistry is only as accurate as your honesty (and diligence) when recording test results. In this article, we'll outline five rules for testing water chemistry.

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Pool Chemistry During the Winter

This article aims to shed light on what really goes in a pool that is winterized. When the temperature drops, chemistry changes. Pools must be treated differently in the winter than they are in the summer, You can read our primary article about Proactive Pool Winterization here.

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What is Alkalinity?

Total Alkalinity (TA) often gets confused with pH and words like alkali and alkaline. This topic is widely misunderstood in the pool industry. Most of us know how to test for TA, but may not know what it actually is, what it does, and why it's important.

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How to add calcium chloride to a swimming pool

How should we add calcium chloride to a swimming pool? How can we make sure we're handling it safely, and properly, to avoid unintended consequences? Adding calcium is not as simple as it sounds...you don't just throw it in the pool. Calcium chloride doesn't dissolve the same way as dry acid, sodium bicarb or a non-chlorine shock; calcium chloride gives off a lot of heat. Like any other dry chemical, however, calcium chloride should be pre-dissolved in a bucket prior to adding to the pool. Let's explain.

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ORP and LSI: The Future of Water Chemistry

Way back in 1984 I founded my service and repair company, The Pool Surgeon. I had no idea what ORP and LSI abbreviations meant, let alone their definitions. To be completely honest with you, I am not certain I was any better informed in the first 25 years of my pool career. As ashamed as I am to admit it, I'm admitting it because it's the truth.

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Calcium: The Most Misunderstood Chemistry in the Pool Business

Calcium hardness has a bad reputation, and that reputation is undeserved. When people see calcium scale or plaster problems that are white in color, they immediately assume it's calcium's fault. In reality, calcium is actually your best friend for water balance, as it is remarkably stable, and able to help you keep your pool in LSI balance year-round.

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Different Types of Phosphates

What kinds of phosphates might be in a swimming pool? There are several variations, and this article will outline some of them. Mainly, we want to illustrate that some phosphate compounds will not show up on an orthophosphate test kit.

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Avoid Instant Gratification

We live in a world of instant gratification

Delayed gratification doesn't sell. In an effort to get ahead, tech companies (social media platforms, in particular) are in a race to feed our instant gratification appetites. Want that item? Get online and order it, it will arrive in just a few days. Wait, no, order it directly from the app.  Wait, even better, tell Siri, Alexa or "Ok Google" to order it for you! Ahh, yes, progress.

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Heavy Metals: Oxidation and Metal Staining

It's your one-way ticket to midnight. Call it heavy metal.
Oh wait, we're talking about dissolved metals in water. Just uhh...disregard that Sammy Hagar reference. Sorry.

In this article we will be discussing metals in swimming pools. How they interact with other things in water like chlorine, and also how to prevent issues like stains. We will cover oxidation, sequestration and chelation, and attempt to simplify these terms.

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Before Firing a Pool Technician, Read This

Pool owners can get frustrated with pool service techs when the water doesn't look good, or problems occur. It is understandable, and maybe the service tech is at fault...but then again, maybe they are not. Know the facts of the problems before pointing fingers. Otherwise, you're just stuck with the problem.

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Understanding Breakpoint Chlorination

Breakpoint chlorination is a key concept in pool chemistry. In May 2017, we published a two-part article about pool sanitizers. In part one we compared different chlorine types, and their pros and cons. This article dives deeper into the science of chlorination. We explore the difference between breakpoint chlorination and hyperchlorination (shocking).

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