I Need a Glossary of Terms

Chlorinating, maintaining the right chlorine levels,
chlorine problems. Dichlor, trichlor, cal hypo, bleach,
granules, chlorine pucks and chlorine sticks.

I Need a Glossary of Terms

Postby Johnson » Mon 30 Jul, 2007 16:34

There are a lot of terms thrown around for different uses of chlorine: shock levels, sanitizer levels, chlorine levels, CYA levels, etc.
Can someone put all this into layman terms.

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Postby pucklordofchoas » Mon 30 Jul, 2007 16:39

here is somethins we give out in my hot tub store hope it helps

Glossary of Terms

ACID - A sour chemical substance containing hydrogen with the ability to dissolve metals, neutralize alkaline materials and combine with bases to form salts. Acid is used to lower (decrease) pH and total alkalinity of swimming pool and spa water. Examples are muriatic acid (hydrochloric) and dry acid (sodium bisulfate).
AIRLOCK - When air gets trapped in the lines of your spas jet pumps or 24 hour circulation pump.

ALKALINITY - The total alkalinity is a measure of bicarbonate alkalinity, which should be between 80 ppm and 120 ppm. When the total alkalinity (TA) is within this range, it prevents rapid pH changes and stabilizes the pH level.

ALGAE – A Microscopic plant-like organisms that contain chlorophyll. Algae are nourished by carbon dioxide (CO2) and use sunlight to carry out photosynthesis. It is introduced by rain or wind and grows in colonies producing nuisance masses. Algae are not disease causing, but can harbor bacteria, and it is slippery. There are 21,000 known species of algae. The most common pool types are black, blue-green, green and mustard (yellow or drawn). Pink or red-colored algae-like organisms exist but are bacteria and not algae. Maintaining proper sanitizer levels, shocking and super chlorination will help prevent its occurrence.

ALGAECIDE - A natural or synthetic chemical designed to kill, destroy or control algae.

BACTERIA - Single-celled microorganisms of various forms, some of which are undesirable or potentially disease-causing. Chlorine, bromine or other sanitizing or disinfecting agents controls bacteria.

BAKING SODA - Chemically called sodium bicarbonate. It is white powder used to raise the total alkalinity of pool or spa water without having much effect on pH.

BALANCED WATER - The correct ratio of mineral content and pH level that prevent the water from being corrosive or scale forming.

BROMIDE - A common term for a bromide salt used to supply bromide ions to the water so they may be oxidized or changed into hypobromous acid, the killing form of bromine. Used as a disinfectant.

BROMAMINES - By-products formed when bromine reacts with swimmer waste (perspiration or urine), nitrogen or fertilizer. Bromamines are active disinfectants and do not smell, although high levels are body irritants. Superchlorination or shock treating removes Bromamines.
BUFFER - A substance or compound that stabilizes the pH value of a solution by raising total alkalinity. It is also the water's resistance to change in pH.

CALCIUM CARBONATE - Crystalline compounds formed in swimming pool and spa water when the calcium, pH and total alkalinity levels are too high. Once formed, the crystals adhere to the plumbing, equipment, pool walls and bottom. These crystals are better known as scale.

CALCIUM CHLORIDE - A soluble white salt used to raise the calcium or
total hardness level in the pool or spa.

CALCIUM HARDNESS - The level of calcium in your water. The less calcium in your water the “softer” it is, the more calcium, the “harder” it is. Very hard water can cause scale formation on the inside of your spa. Very soft water can cause damage by leeching minerals from the metal components in your tub (such as your heater).

CARTRIDGE FILTER - A pool or spa water filter that uses a replaceable porous element made of paper or polyester.

CHLORAMINES – Chloramines are formed by the reaction of free chlorine with organic substances. The lower the concentration of chloramines the better, because chloramines, compared to free chlorine, are less effective as a sanitizer and more irritating to the eyes of swimmers. When swimmers complain of eye irritation from "too much chlorine" in a pool, the problem is typically a high level of chloramines, caused by too little chlorine in relation to the amount of organic matter. Pool test kits designed for use by homeowners are sensitive to both free chlorine and chloramines, which can be misleading. You must test for Free Chlorine (Chlorine available to sanitize), Combined Chlorine and Total Chlorine (this reading will include the chloramines). Ideally, Total Chlorine should be the same as the Free Chlorine. To get the Combined Chlorine result, you need the difference between Free Chlorine and Total Chlorine.

CHLORINE – A water sanitizer, it is sold in many varieties determined by the additives manufacturers have included to make it safer and more effective.

CHLORINE NEUTRALIZER - A chemical used to make chlorine harmless. Used in test kits to counteract the bleaching effect of the chlorine or bromine in order to increase the accuracy of pool water tests. Sold as chlorine and bromine neutralizer, it is used to destroy excessive amounts of chlorine or bromine, so the high levels will not affect swimmers.

CLARITY - The degree of transparency of the water.

CORROSION - The etching, pitting or eating away of the pool or spa or equipment. Caused by improper water balance, misuse of acid or acidic products or from soft water.

CYANURIC ACID - Also called condition and stabilizer - Chemically, conditioner is cyanuric acid. It protects chlorine in the water from being destroyed by sunlight. Minimum level is 10 ppm. Too much does not slow down chlorine activity or effectiveness. Does not protect bromine from sunlight.

DEFOAMER - A chemical added to the water to make the suds or foam go away. These products do not remove the source of the foaming, they simply temporarily change the surface tension of the water. Most often, the water must be drained and refilled to remove the soaps, oils and other causes of foaming. Shocking and super chlorination may help prevent it. Low Alkalinity and soft water can also cause foaming. Adjusting these to the proper levels will reduce or eliminate foaming.
DICHLOR - The common name for sodium dichlor. A fast- dissolving chlorine compound containing chlorine and cyanuric acid (stabilizer or conditioner). It has a neutral pH and is quick-dissolving, so it can be used for regular chlorination or super chlorination.

DISSOLVED SOLIDS - Also called TDS or total dissolved solids - A measure of the total amount of dissolved matter in water. Examples are calcium, magnesium, carbonates, bicarbonates, sodium, chlorides and metals. High levels can cause corrosion, colored water or salty taste. Maximum level is usually 2500 ppm for pools. Maximum level for spas is 1800 to 2000.
FOAM - A froth of bubbles on the surface of the water. Usually comes from soap, oil, deodorant, hair spray, suntan oil, etc., that is shed into the water as swimmers enter. This can also be cause by soft water and low alkalinity.

GROUND-FAULT CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER - Also called a GFI or GFCI - A device intended to protect people. It interrupts (de-energizes) the electrical circuit whenever it detects the presence of excess electrical current going to ground (usually 1/40th of a second and 5/1000th of an ampere).

HYDROGEN - The lightest chemical element. A component of water and a frequent product of many chemical reactions. pH is a measure of hydrogen in its ionic form in water.

HYPOCHLORITE - The name given to a family of chlorine- containing compounds, including calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite and lithium hypochlorite, that are used as disinfectants and sanitizers in pool and spa water.

LITHIUM HYPOCHLORITE - A dry, granular chlorinating compound with available chlorine content of 35%. It is rapid-dissolving and can be used to super chlorinate vinyl-liner pools, painted pools or fiberglass pools as well as spas and hot tubs. This type of chlorine does not leave chloramines behind in the water.

NITROGEN - A gas that causes algae to bloom and disables chlorine. It is brought into the water each time it rains. Maintaining proper chlorine levels will prevent nitrogen from becoming a problem. Super chlorination will remove nitrogen and its related compounds.

NON-CHLORINE SHOCK - A term given to a class of chemical compounds that are used to oxidize or shock the water (destroy ammonia, nitrogen and swimmer waste) and reactivate bromine. They contain no chlorine or bromine and do not kill living organisms. Swimmers may re-enter the water in only 15 minutes after adding a non-chlorine shock.

ORGANIC WASTE - Also called swimmer or bather waste - All of the soap, deodorant, suntan lotion, lipstick, makeup, cologne, body oils, sweat, spit, urine, etc., brought into the water. They also form chloramines, which are foul-smelling and body irritants. Requires large amounts of chlorine or non-chlorine shock to destroy.

OXIDATION - To rid the water of ammonia, nitrogen compounds and swimmer waste (organic compounds). These organic compounds disable chlorine, are body irritants and have a foul smell. Removal is accomplished by super chlorination or by shock treating with a non-chlorine oxidizer.

OXIDIZER - A non-chlorine shocking compound that removes or destroys built-up contaminants and chloramines in pool water without raining chlorine levels as required when "super chlorinating."

OZONATOR - A gaseous molecule comprised of 3 atoms of oxygen. It is generated on site from air or oxygen and used for oxidation of water contaminants.
pH - A term used to indicate the level of acidity or alkalinity of pool water. Too low of pH causes etched plaster, metal corrosion and eye irritation. Too high of pH causes scale formation, poor chlorine efficiency and eye irritation. The ideal range for pH in swimming pools is 7.4 to 7.6.

SHOCK TREAT- The practice of adding significant amounts of an oxidizing chemical (usually non-chlorine oxidizers, such as sodium persulfate or potassium peroxymonosulfate) to the water to destroy ammonia and nitrogen compounds or swimmer waste.

SUPERCHLORINATION - The practice of adding an extra large dose (5 to 10 ppm) of chlorine to the water to destroy ammonia, nitrogen and swimmer waste, which can build up in the water. This level of chlorine is required to destroy all of the combined chlorine in the water, which is called breakpoint chlorination.

TEST KIT - An apparatus or device used to monitor specific chemical residuals, levels, constituents or demands in pool or spa water. Kits usually contain reagents, vials, titrants, color comparators and other materials needed to perform tests. The most common pool and spa water tests are: pH, total alkalinity, free available chlorine, water hardness, cyanuric acid, iron and copper.

TEST STRIPS - Small plastic strips with pads attached that have been impregnated with reagents that can be used to test pool water for residuals, levels, constituents or demands. The strips are usually dipped in the water, and the resulting colors of the pads are compared to a standard set of colors to determine concentration.
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Postby Backglass » Tue 31 Jul, 2007 07:53

pucklordofchoas wrote:CYANURIC ACID - Also called condition and stabilizer - Chemically, conditioner is cyanuric acid. It protects chlorine in the water from being destroyed by sunlight. Minimum level is 10 ppm. Too much does not slow down chlorine activity or effectiveness. Does not protect bromine from sunlight.

This is a great list, but the highlighted part above is blatantly false.
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