Quick Definition:

Precipitates are materials free-floating in swimming pool water, often the result of sudden changes in water chemistry, and can result in cloudy pool water.

What is Precipitate in swimming pools?

Precipitate, also called precipitation, occurs when a solid substance is formed during a chemical reaction of substances or solutions in their liquid state.  Precipitate can also be produced as a byproduct of chemical processes in solid form, by means of diffusion.

Precipitate naturally occurs when the solubility of a compound is greater than its concentration, such as combining different solvents or altering their usual temperature.  This excess material cannot be held in-solution by the containing liquid, and any extra material is then considered out-of-solution.

Precipitates in swimming pools are a common issue among owners, mostly coming from minerals like calcium and magnesium that are in suspension.  The result is cloudy, murky swimming pool water, with extreme precipitate floating and sinking to the bottom in flakes.  Metal precipitates such as copper can result from unbalanced water, turning the water a green-blue hue, and eventually can form stains on pool surfaces.

Proper swimming pool water balance is essential to avoid precipitates from forming in pool water, and preventing problems like water scale, corrosion, and staining.


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