Swimming Pool Chemical Balance Chart

swimming pool chemical balance chart
There are three things needed in order for galvanic corrosion to occur:
1. Electrochemically dissimilar metals must be present
2. These metals must be in electrical contact, and
3. The metals must be exposed to an electrolyte (salt in solution)
In a swimming pool all three of these exist due to the high TDS from the salt content of the water. The electrochemical cells in most chlorine generators are made of titanium which is listed on the Galvanic Corrosion Chart as a nobler metal. Most pools contain some copper in the system as well in the heat exchanger or in any brass fittings or pipe that may be in the system. Copper is a less noble metal than titanium and thus it corrodes as a result of the electrolysis in the high salt solution. This leaves black stains and debris in the pool. Copper is also rendered insoluble in the water. Copper in the water will appear as a green translucent color.
The simple solution to solve this problem is to find another less noble metal to use as a sacrificial anode that corrodes but doesn’t cause staining. When differing metals are added to salt water one metal acts as a cathode this is the nobler of the two. Titanium would be one example of a more cathodic or noble metal. The other metal may be more anodic or less noble. An example of this would be copper.
Galvanic corrosion occurs because when these two metals are in salt water with an electrical current the weaker less noble metal (copper) will corrode faster than normal. Also the stronger more noble metal (titanium) will corrode much slower than normal. It has been found in various marine industries that the addition of zinc in these types of systems prevents the corrosion of copper and stops the staining.
Zinc is very low on the galvanic chart and is one of the most anodic metals found. In salt chlorine pools zinc can be added as a solid weight into the skimmer or attached in the circulation system. This slows or stops the corrosion of copper. If the water is discolored from copper it is advised to use a metal removal product along with the zinc to remove the current discoloration and prevent reoccurrence. Most metal products on the market tend to be phosphate based and this too can cause problems in a salt chlorine generator. When selecting a metal product use a phosphate free product.
What about purple haze?
Another mystery in both salt generator and regular pools is the occurrence of a strange purple coloring and debris. This is due to high levels of cyanuric acid and insoluble copper in the water. If pH and alkalinity go low than copper cyanurate is formed leaving a purple residue along the water line and around lights and steps. The solution here is to lower cyanuric acid down to 35ppm to 50ppm and adjust up the alkalinity and pH. Also, the addition of zinc will help keep copper from corroding into the water.
These simple methods should help clear the mystery and remove the stains.


Terry Arko has more than 30 years of experience in the swimming pool and spa industry, working in service, repair, retail sales, chemical manufacturing, customer service, sales and product development. He is also a Certified Pool Operator and CPO Instructor through the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Arko is currently the recreational product specialist for SeaKlear Pool and Spa Products, a subsidiary of Halosource Inc., a clean water technology company based in Bothell, Wash. He can be reached via e-mail at tarko@seaklear.com.">Mystery Stains in Salt Generator Pools<br />By Terry Arko<br />Salt chlorine pools have become quite popular for their convenience. There are no hazardous chemicals on site, water is sanitized and oxidized automatically. There are little to no chloramines. Many users of salt generators claim softer feeling water with less chemical odor and no dry or irritated skin.<br />Along with the report of these benefits, some have also reported some strange phenomena as well. These include things like discolored water, strange stains throughout the pool that are hard to remove and prevent. Stains appearing in salt pools include:<br />• Black flecks on pool bottom<br />• Black staining on ladders and light rings<br />• Reoccurring stains and discoloration on light rings around steps or rails and discolored water.<br />• Purple haze and debris in pool water<br />These stains seem to be a mystery, however in salt pools with high TDS they are due to a simple chemical reaction known as Galvanic Corrosion. To understand this electro chemical reaction a simple understanding of the technology of chlorine generators is first needed.<br />Chlorine generators work using a process known as electrolysis. In nature chlorine is found primarily in the chloride ion, which is a component of salt found in the earth or the oceans. Electrolysis is the means of generating chemical products from their native state. A salt generator works by passing electricity through a solution of sodium chloride to produce chlorine as a disinfectant or sanitizer.<br />The most popularly used chlorine generators are the in-line type. In these systems salt water is circulated over electrochemical cells. The cells convert the sodium chloride to free available chlorine. The cells used in these systems are typically made of titanium. Though it may seem new the technology of splitting molecules via electrolysis goes back all the way to the 1700s.<br />History of electrolysis<br />• 1789 - First use of electricity to separate compounds- electrolysis<br />• 1800 - First device to generate chlorine using electricity developed by Cruickshank<br />• 1830 - Faraday used brine (salt water) to produce chlorine gas (this occurs at the anode positive electrode cell) hydrogen gas and sodium hydroxide were also produced (at the cathode negative electrode cell)<br />How galvanic corrosion occurs in swimming pools:<br />Galvanic corrosion occurs when dissimilar metals exist in a high TDS solution such as a salt generator pool. Some metals are nobler and more cathodic meaning positive currents flow from these and they tend to steal electrons from the less noble anodic or negative metals.<br />A Galvanic Corrosion Chart is used in industries that work with fluids and metals such as cooling towers. The Galvanic Corrosion Chart shows that the There are three things needed in order for galvanic corrosion to occur:
1. Electrochemically dissimilar metals must be present
2. These metals must be in electrical contact, and
3. The metals must be exposed to an electrolyte (salt in solution)
In a swimming pool all three of these exist due to the high TDS from the salt content of the water. The electrochemical cells in most chlorine generators are made of titanium which is listed on the Galvanic Corrosion Chart as a nobler metal. Most pools contain some copper in the system as well in the heat exchanger or in any brass fittings or pipe that may be in the system. Copper is a less noble metal than titanium and thus it corrodes as a result of the electrolysis in the high salt solution. This leaves black stains and debris in the pool. Copper is also rendered insoluble in the water. Copper in the water will appear as a green translucent color.
The simple solution to solve this problem is to find another less noble metal to use as a sacrificial anode that corrodes but doesn’t cause staining. When differing metals are added to salt water one metal acts as a cathode this is the nobler of the two. Titanium would be one example of a more cathodic or noble metal. The other metal may be more anodic or less noble. An example of this would be copper.
Galvanic corrosion occurs because when these two metals are in salt water with an electrical current the weaker less noble metal (copper) will corrode faster than normal. Also the stronger more noble metal (titanium) will corrode much slower than normal. It has been found in various marine industries that the addition of zinc in these types of systems prevents the corrosion of copper and stops the staining.
Zinc is very low on the galvanic chart and is one of the most anodic metals found. In salt chlorine pools zinc can be added as a solid weight into the skimmer or attached in the circulation system. This slows or stops the corrosion of copper. If the water is discolored from copper it is advised to use a metal removal product along with the zinc to remove the current discoloration and prevent reoccurrence. Most metal products on the market tend to be phosphate based and this too can cause problems in a salt chlorine generator. When selecting a metal product use a phosphate free product.
What about purple haze?
Another mystery in both salt generator and regular pools is the occurrence of a strange purple coloring and debris. This is due to high levels of cyanuric acid and insoluble copper in the water. If pH and alkalinity go low than copper cyanurate is formed leaving a purple residue along the water line and around lights and steps. The solution here is to lower cyanuric acid down to 35ppm to 50ppm and adjust up the alkalinity and pH. Also, the addition of zinc will help keep copper from corroding into the water.
These simple methods should help clear the mystery and remove the stains.


Terry Arko has more than 30 years of experience in the swimming pool and spa industry, working in service, repair, retail sales, chemical manufacturing, customer service, sales and product development. He is also a Certified Pool Operator and CPO Instructor through the National Swimming Pool Foundation. Arko is currently the recreational product specialist for SeaKlear Pool and Spa Products, a subsidiary of Halosource Inc., a clean water technology company based in Bothell, Wash. He can be reached via e-mail at tarko@seaklear.com." src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/-g0ACou23wH8/UlYrGBSdNCI/AAAAAAAAAXg/YJPrBxfz12g/images%252520%2525281%252529.jpg" width="100" height="100" />
New post (Chemical vs. Natural Swimming Pools) has been published on http://gd.is/fW3qTn<br />Natural swimming pools or living spas are much more common throughout Europe, but are increasingly becoming more popular in the United States. Now that the spring weather is beginning to surface, it’s time for Eco Brooklyn to open up our Living Pool for the swimming season. So how does this compare to tradition swimming pool maintenance? Like our design philosophy, Eco Brooklyn’s swimming hole should blend low energy costs with little to no waste or hazardous chemicals.<br />Here is a simple diagram from Inspiration Green that depicts exactly how natural swimming pools function.<br />Natural Filtration<br /><br />The first step in opening our natural spa is to turn on the tiny 100 watt water pump that feeds the soiled plants, bacteria, and critters that filter the pool’s water.<br />Next we turn on a very small aeration pump which enriches the water with oxygen, to encourage more plant growth and aerobic bacteria function.<br />Lastly Eco Brooklyn interns get to spend the morning scooping up algae that has accumulated over the winter. Adding some barley straw is also helpful in controlling algae by producing lignin, which is then converted to hydrogen peroxide in the presence of sunlight.<br /><br />So how does opening a chemically intensive pool compare?<br />Step one is controlling the pH by keeping it at 7.0 or slightly below. If the pH is above 7.5 the chlorine is only about 10% effective. In most cases this involves the addition muriatic acid.<br />Step two is to check the alkalinity, which should be between 80-140 ppm. Alkalinity is a measure of the water’s resistance to a change in pH. An improper balance of pH and alkalinity can reduce the effect of sanitation, cause cloudiness, and/ or deteriorate the concrete or siding.<br />Step three involves determining your Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and Calcium Hardness. Both of these measurements will affect how corrosive the water is and often requires draining the pool.<br />Step four is backwashing the filter for cleaning when the gauge moves from 8-10 psi away from clean.<br />Step five comprises of cleaning the skimmer basket and scrubbing the walls of the pool weekly to prevent plaque build-up.<br />Lastly, running the filter and vacuum skimmer, often for a couple hours a day, for proper water sanitation is essential.<br />Considering the immense construction costs, the harsh chemicals additives, high energy pumps, and the endless hours of labor to produce and maintain a traditional swimming pool, it’s no wonder the Natural Pool phenomenon is catching on in America. The aquatic ecosystems are almost completely self-sustaining, and after the initial cost of construction you are basically done with the expenditure.


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