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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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Understanding Heavy Metal Oxidation and Staining

This article discusses dissolved metals in swimming pool water, and how they impact water chemistry. For instance, when metals are oxidized, what do they do? We will cover oxidation, staining, sequestration and chelation, and more.

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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 an important concept in pool chemistry. Let's explore what it means and the difference between breakpoint chlorination and superchlorination (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 (TA). So what is Carbonate Alkalinity? And how is it different from TA?

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How Swimming Pool Enzymes Work

Enzymes are proteins and amino acids that catalyze certain chemical reactions. Swimming pool enzymes like CV-600 are made to break down and remove non-living organics and oils, which helps reduce chlorine demand and clarify the water.

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Calcium Crystals vs. Scale

If you have ever opened a winterized swimming pool in the spring and found calcification on the walls and floor, it is most likely not scale. The odds are it's actually calcite crystals in your pool. This article will explain the differences between scale and crystals, as well as how to treat and prevent the crystals from coming back.

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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