Quick Definition:

A chelating agent is a chemical compound designed to combine with other substances, either to bring the targeted substance out of solution or make the substance chemically nonreactive.

What is a swimming pool Chelating Agent?

A chelating agent, also known as a complexing agent, is a chemical compound that reacts with targeted elements to form more stable complex molecules.  The chelating agent’s collection ability allows soluble molecules, such as calcium and magnesium salts, to precipitate in water with inorganic ions from the chelating agent, effectively preventing the targeted elements from interacting with other elements.

The application of a chelating agent in swimming pools is to control metal ion activity in the pool water through precipitation of the soluble salts to avoid over accumulation in water.  Adding a chelating agent will accumulate the excess calcium and similar minerals, preventing the extra calcium from forming calcium carbonate scale on pool walls and equipment surfaces.  The other main application of a chelating agent in pool water is for water softening, as excessively hard water is unsuitable for swimming pools.

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