Put on your science cap for a moment and be prepared to be blown away by the performance of the humble ingredients of hth. Humble does not mean less potent, make no mistake. In its elemental form, Chlorine is so poisonous, it could be used as a WMD (weapon of mass destruction). Nature takes the lead though, in rendering it harmless by attaching other elements, which turn it into various salts. After all, plain old table salt is nothing but sodium chloride.
Be herewith introduced as to what hth is, it’s make-up and its marvels.
First, a quick science lesson – we all need help unless you know the low down of Chloride, chlorate, hypochlorite? Thought so. Bottom line, the “-ide” suffix in a two-word chemical name refers to the second element being is in its simplest form (without extra elements attached). So, calcium chloride, for example, is one calcium ion, bound to two chlorine ions. Now that that’s sorted, let’s get familiar with the five pole players in the hth family.
1)Calcium Hypochlorite (Ca(ClO)²)
The key active ingredient in hth’s chlorinating granules, calcium hypochlorite is the Grim Reaper of fungi, algae, slime, bacteria, and other swimming pool nasties. It kills through oxidation, which disrupts the cellular processes of microorganisms.
2)Calcium Chloride (CaCl²)
We now know the make-up of calcium chloride but here, it’s a by-product of calcium hypochlorite production. It is also sold separately for regulating the hardness of pool water.
3)Calcium Carbonate (CaCO³) a.k.a. Limestone
Another by-product of hypochlorite manufacturing, this mostly insoluble substance in hth, adds needed alkalinity to the pool. But if the pH does hike up too high, the CaCO³ precipitates out of solution, so the water gets cloudy due to the tiny limestone particles. To clear things up, adjust the pH by adding 14 % hydrochloric acid.
4)Calcium Chlorate (Ca(CIO3)2)
Yet another chemical by-product. In a sunny swimming pool, its presence in hth will break down into free-floating ions, which form calcium chloride or it hooks up with random sodium ions to become… a bomb? No. Just humble sodium chloride once again.
5)Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate (MgS04) a.k.a. Epsom Salts
The hth product has this added element to reduce the risk of combustion during transport and storage. (Hypochlorite of itself, doesn’t burn, but heat causes it to release lots of fire boosting oxygen.) “Hepta-hydrate” state in hth essentially means that seven water molecules are attached to each MgS04 node. A certain Richard Mullins, who figured out this safety trick, speculates that those water bonds absorb the heat before the hypochlorite does, so less O2 is generated from which a fire could feed. A good thing, right? No pool party should end in flames!
So, here’s the thing, The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) champions products in their safest form. It states:
“Liquids are safer than gases, granules are safer than liquids and briquettes are safer than granules”.
What is hth, if not the perfect solution and the best possible formulation, from granule formulation to briquettes, to keep your pool water safely sanitised.
Come and chat to the cool pool dudes at Pool, Spa and Filtration Supplies for more information.