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General Categories Available below
AcidChemicals such as muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate used to lower pH or alkalinity.
Acid DemandA measure of the amount of acid required to reduce pH to a predetermined level. This can be accomplished by use of an acid titration procedure (Acid Demand Test)
AlgaeMicroscopic aquatic plant life which can grow on pool surfaces or float freely in the water though harmless to swimmers the presence of algae discolors the water and indicates improper sanitization. Black algae which grows on pool walls and floor can actually crack plaster finish.
AlgaecideA chemical used to kill existing algae or prevent the growth of algae.
AlkalinitySee Total Alkalinity.
BacteriaVery small organisms continuously entering the water via swimmers, dust, etc. Without proper sanitization pools and spas are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, many of which can cause disease or infection.
Balanced WaterWater that is neither corrosive nor scaling (in relation to pH, total alkalinity, calcium harness, and temperature factors). The Langelier Index for perfectly balanced water equals zero.
BaseA chemical which raises pH when added to the water, like sodium carbonate or caustic soda.
Base DemandA measure of the amount of alkali material required to raise pH to a predetermined level. This can be accomplished by use of a base filtration procedure (Base Demand Test).
Bather LoadThe number of individuals using a pool or spa in a 24 hour period and the pool and spas principal source of bacterial and organic contamination.
Break Point ChlorinationThe process of shocking the water with significant quantities of chlorine to oxidize all contaminants and organic wastes and leave all remaining chlorine as free chlorine.
BromineChemical sanitizer that kills bacteria and algae.
BufferChemical that resists pH change, e.g. sodium bicarbonate
Calcium HardnessA measure of the calcium salts dissolved in water.
Caustic SodaAlso known as sodium hydroxide and is used to raise pH.
ChloraminesA group of chlorine ammonia compounds formed when chlorine combines with organic wastes in the water. Chloramines are not effective as sanitizers and are responsible for eye and skin irritation as well as strong chlorine odors (also known as Combined Chlorine).
ChlorineChemical sanitizer that kills bacteria and algae.
Chlorine, CombinedThe reaction product of chlorine with ammonia or other pollutants, also known as chloramines.
Chlorine DemandAmount of chlorine required to react on various water impurities before a residual is obtained.
Chlorine, FreeChlorine available to kill bacteria or algae. The amount of chlorine available for sanitization after the chlorine demand has been met. Also known as chlorine residual.
ConditionerSee Cyanuric Acid
CorrosionThe destruction of metal surfaces mostly due to low pH (below 7.0) and or low alkalinity.
Cyanuric AcidChemical used to prevent the decomposition of chlorine by ultraviolet (UV) light.
DisinfectTo kill and inhibit growth of harmful bacterial and viruses in pool and spa water.
Dry AcidA granular chemical used to lower pH and or total alkalinity.
Langelier IndexA mathematically derived factor obtained from the values of calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and pH at a given temperature. A Langelier index of zero indicates perfect water balance (i.e.., neither corroding nor scaling).
Magnesium HardnessA measure of the magnesium salts dissolved in water - not a factor in water balance.
Muriatic AcidAn acid used to reduce pH and alkalinity. Also used to remove stain and scale.
Non Chlorine ShockAn oxygen based shocking compound. Non Chlorine shock is fast dissolving so it allows swimming just 15 minutes after use.
Organic WastesWastes such as saliva, urine, perspiration and sun tan oils which swimmers introduce into the pool or spa. Most organic wastes will not filter out and must be removed by shocking/oxidizing.
OTOTest Regent used to test bromine and chlorine in pool and spa water.
OxidizingThe process of breaking down organic wastes into simpler elemental forms or bi products. Also used to separate combined chlorine and convert it into free chlorine.
pHA measure of the acidity of water. The pH scale runs fro 0 to 14 with 7 being the mid point or neutral.. A pH of less than 7 is on the acid side of the scale with 0 as the point of greatest acid activity. A pH of more than 7 is on the basic (alkaline) side of the scale with 14 as the point of greatest basic activity.
pH of SaturationThe ideal pH for perfect water balance in relation to a particular total alkalinity level and a particular calcium hardness level, at a particular temperature. The pH where the Langelier Index equals zero.
Phenol RedChemical reagent used for testing pH in the range of 6.8 - 8.4.
ppmAbbreviation for parts per million.
SanitizerA chemical which disinfects (kills bacteria), kills algae and oxidizes organic matter.
Saturation IndexSee Langelier's Index
ScaleCrust of calcium carbonate, the result of unbalanced pool water. Hard insoluble minerals deposited (usually calcium bicarbonate) which forms on pool and spa surfaces and clog filters, heaters and pumps. Scale is caused by high calcium hardness and/or high pH. The regular use of stain prevention chemicals can prevent scale.
ShockAlso known as superchlorination or break point chlorination. Ridding a pool of organic waste through oxidization by the addition of significant quantities of a sanitizer.
Soda AshChemical used to raise pH and total alkalinity (sodium carbonate)
Sodium BicarbonateCommonly used to increase alkalinity of water and stabilize pH.
Sodium BisulfateChemical used to lower pH and total alkalinity (dry acid).
Sodium HydroxideAlso known as caustic soda, A by-product chlorine generation and often used to raise pH.
StabilizerSee Cyanuric Acid
SuperchlorinationApplication of large dosages of chlorine to destroy buildup of undesirable compounds in water.
TitrationA method of testing by adding a reagent of known strength to a water sample until a specific color change indicates the completion of the reaction.
Total AlkalinityA measure of the acid-neutralizing capacity of water which indicates its buffering ability, i.e. measure of its resistance to a change in pH. Generally, the higher the total alkalinity, the greater the resistance to pH change.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)The accumulated total of all solids that might be dissolved in water.
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