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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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What is Carbonate Alkalinity?

The LSI calls for the carbonate alkalinity of pool water...but this is a confusing term. Pool chemistry test kits only measure total alkalinity. So what is carbonate alkalinity? And how is it different than total alkalinity? As we have learned, semantics really do matter for this topic.

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How Swimming Pool Enzymes Work

Enzymes are made up of proteins and amino acids, and they catalyze certain chemical reactions. Our bodies contain countless types of enzymes that help us process food and other things. Pool enzymes are made to break down and digest non-living organics, which makes water cleaner, and chemicals more efficient.

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Calcium Crystals vs. Scale

NOTE: This article has been revised from its original version, due to learning more from laboratory results. We still have more unanswered questions about crystals than we have answers. Why do they harden? How many forms are there (we know of at least 3)? Why are some crystals easy to clean up, and others stubborn? What common denominators are involved, beyond cold water and lack of calcium hardness?

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Pool Filter Channeling

Seasoned pool operators know the triad of great pool water: filtration, circulation and chemistry. Without effective filtration, there will be problems... and filter channeling undermines filtration.

When sand filters become overloaded or otherwise compromised, water must still find its way through the filter. The water pressure can eventually force its way around the sand (or a channel through it), creating a new path of least resistance for water to travel. Filter channeling is a problem that almost guarantees cloudy pool water, as the channel itself is like a highway for larger particles to travel and bypass the filter media.

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