Many people think the Orenda Startup™ is basically a "Calcium Startup". But that's incorrect, and we want to set the record straight. The Orenda Startup™ is an LSI startup.
Bather waste. Non-Living Organics. Body Butter. Grease and oils. Whatever you want to call the organic waste products that contaminate swimming pools, managing them is the second of Orenda's Four Pillars. So what do we know about non-living organics? We know that swimmers and animals that use the pool leave behind oils and other carbon-based waste, and chlorine will try to oxidize these contaminants. Unfortunately, oxidation is not chlorine's specialty. Chlorine–or more specifically, the strong form of chlorine in water, Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl)–is primarily a sanitizer and disinfectant.
LSI Balance and Calcium Management is the first of Orenda's Four Pillars. This is arguably the most important of the Four Pillars because it is about understanding water and how it behaves. This article aims to simplify chemistry, so it can be more easily understood. If you are a chemist (who is not already familiar with this subject) and you would like to get more in depth on the science of this topic, this is one of our primary sources. We will link to other external sources in this article as well. So let's get into it.
What if range chemistry is the wrong thing to focus on when managing water? What if the ranges do not always apply, like in the winter? Theoretically, the textbook ranges for chemistry are ideal. But in reality, that's not always the case. In this article we will explain why we prioritize the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) first, and range chemistry after that.
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.
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.
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.
The vast majority of damage done to a pool occurs during the winter, or initial filling/startup. And not just damage to the the pool plaster, but pool equipment can be corroded too. Etching and corrosion are more likely to happen in cold water than warm. This article will explain, with the help of the Orenda App's LSI Calculator. It's all about the LSI.
The Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) is a cornerstone of the Orenda program. The LSI is the unbiased measurement of water balance, as defined by calcium carbonate saturation. It determines if our water is aggressive/corrosive (low LSI), balanced, or scale-forming (high LSI). It sounds simple enough, but let's dive in and show you just how much it matters to other aspects of water chemistry.
Pool builders, plaster applicators, and service techs know that a pool startup can be a real pain. Plaster dust is just the tip of the iceberg. For residential pools especially, most pools have water filling them within hours of finishing the plaster. That means the tap water and its chemistry is immensely important in the curing process (hydration) of new pool plaster.
Carbonate Scale is a buildup of hardened calcium carbonate (CaCO3) on pool surfaces or equipment. Scale can be a big problem for a pool and its plumbing system (and other water systems besides pools, like fountains). Like most of our articles on the Orenda blog, this article is meant to simplify chemistry so that the chemistry can be better understood . If you want more detailed information, just click the links to our sources to read more.