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BREAKPOINT CHLORINATION: When you shock your pool, the goal is to reach a high enough level of free-chlorine, measured in ppm, to break apart molecular bonds; specifically the combined chlorine molecules. When breakpoint is reached with sufficient additions of chlorine, everything in the pool is oxidized.
BROMAMINES: A combined bromine - ammonia molecule. Unlike chloramines, which are strong smelling and offer no sanitizing properties, bromamine compounds continue to sanitize.
BROMINE: A member of the halogen group of elements. Commonly used as a sanitizer in spas because of its resistance to hot water and rapid pH fluctuations.
BTU: British Thermal Unit. A unit of measurement for the use of gas by a gas appliance. Pool heaters are rated by their consumption.
BUFFER: A base such as Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), added to your pool will increase alkalinity which increases the buffering caSpacity of the pool; your pool's resistance to pH change.
BUFFERING CAPACITY: The ability of the pool to resist changes in pH, which prevents water balance. The buffering capacity is given by the alkalinity, a close cousin to pH. If your pH bounces, or resumes previous levels soon after adjustment your buffering capacity is too low. Check your total alkalinity.
CALCIUM: Calcium is a soft grey alkaline earth metal.
CALCIUM CARBONATE: Known as scale, crystalline deposits of calcium may form on your pool surfaces, equipment, or even line your pipes like cholesterol in your arteries. Properly balanced water can prevent this.
CALCIUM CHLORIDE: The flaked calcium salt used to raise levels of Calcium Hardness in your pool water. Also good for snow melting.
CALCIUM HARDNESS: The level of the mineral calcium dissolved in pool water. Determined by a titration test.
CAPACITY: The total number of gallons of pool water your pool contains (gallonage).
CAPACITOR: The Capacitor is the battery for your pool motor. It provides the energy needed while starting, to reach 3450 rpm quickly. Replace your capacitor when the shaft can be spun freely with a wrench or by hand, and when powering the motor, you hear a 'buzz' or a 'hum' from the motor, but no impeller movement. Replace your old capacitor with an exact match to the 'MFD' number on the new capacitor.
CARBON DIOXIDE: A gas, which when present in the water, provides necessary food for the growth of algae.
CARBONATE: Primary in the make up of total alkalinity and TDS.
CARCINOGEN: Any substance, radionuclide or radiation which is an agent directly involved in the promotion of cancer or in the facilitation of its propagation
CARTRIDGE: One type of filtration. A fliter cartridge is a pleated, porous element which water is passed through.
CATION: A positively-charged ion, which has fewer electrons than protons, due to its attraction to cathodes.
CAVITATION: A general term used to describe the behavior of voids or bubbles in a liquid. Cavitation is usually divided into two classes of behavior: inertial (or transient) cavitation and non-inertial cavitation. Inertial cavitation is the process where a void or bubble in a liquid rapidly collapses, producing a shock wave. Such cavitation often occurs in pumps and impellers Non-inertial cavitation is the process where a bubble in a fluid is forced to oscillate in size or shape due to some form of energy input, such as an acoustic field. Such cavitation can be observed in pumps.
CHANNELED SAND: When water has worked open "holes" in the sand and is streaming right through (without really going through the sand).
CHECK VALVE: A valve that allows water to flow in only one direction.
CHITIN: A naturally occurring polymer found in the shells of crabs and lobsters. Contained in the product "Sea-Klear." Chitin acts as a coagulant and flocculent for oils, metals, and organic materials.
CHELATOR: A chelating agent is a water soluble molecule that can bond tightly with metal ions, keeping them from coming out of suspension and depositing their stains and scale onto pool surfaces and equipment. Similar to sequestering agents, chelators are found in such products as "Resist" and "Sea-Klear."