Quick Definition:

Reagents are chemicals found in test kits used to test swimming pool water and designed to result in a chemical reaction, exposing the levels of chemicals and water balance levels in the pool water.

What is a Reagent for swimming pools?

A reagent is can be considered as any chemical compound added to a system to induce a chemical reaction.  A reagent can also be added to a chemical compound to see if a chemical reaction will occur, called a reactant.  An indicator is another type of reagent, added simply to measure the outcome of a chemical reaction.  A reactant can also be called an agent, although a reactant is more specific in that a reagent is consumed during the reaction process, whereas an agent may or may not be used up.

Reagents are commonly used in swimming pool treatment, often included in test kits as liquids in bottles or powders in canisters.  Reagents are used most often to test various water balance levels, such as pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and total dissolved solids, plus other sanitizing chemical levels such as chlorine and bromine.  Typical reagents swimming pool owners should be aware of are phenol red, acid-demand, and base demand.

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