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Langelier-Saturation Index
Ryznar Stability Index

Useful in Preventing Scaling and Corrosion.
 
The Pool and Spa Informational Website
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Determining the Scaling or Corrosive Tendencies of Water.
 

 
 

Please click the Pool Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the Spa Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Spa Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Spa Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Spa Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. 

 
Magnetic water conditioner for pools and spas. ColorQ PRO 11 digital water analyzer. WaterLing SpinTouch Lab, for pools and spas.
Sacrificial Zinc Anode, for Pools and Spas. Salt Chlorine Generator, for all types of pools.
NUVO Ultraviolet Sterizers for Residential Pools. Control of the Langelier or Saturation Index always starts with a reliable water analysis.  The #2067 ColorQ PRO-9-Plus performs 9 test factors and a copy of the Saturation Index Calculator.  The #2058 ColorQ PRO 11 also includes the biguanide and hydrogen peroxide  tests.  Get the tester that's right. MetalTrap 1-Micron Pre-Filter

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How to calculate the Langelier or Ryznar Stability Indexes? The Langelier or Saturation Index and the Ryznar Stability Index use slightly different approaches to solve and prevent problems, associated with pool and spa water corrosion and scaling.  In some instances, source water can be so high in calcium hardness, that is presents a challenge to avoid scale formation, on the underwater surfaces.  Theses Indexes are intended to help deal with these problems.  If problems arise, refer to the Pool Problems Page or Spa Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords or catch phrases below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

Calculating Pool and Spa Volumes

Unsure About Pool or Spa Interior Surface Areas?

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LANGELIER or SATURATION INDEX

The Langelier or Saturation Index is useful in determining the corrosive or scale-forming tendencies of pool or spa water. In order to calculate this Index, it is necessary to have the following information:

  • pH Obtained by testing the pool or spa water
     
  • TF Temperature Factor - using the chart below, look up the actual pool or spa water temperature at the time of sampling, in order to obtain the appropriate TF value.
     
  • CF Calcium Hardness Factor - determine the PPM of calcium hardness (CH) in the water sample. Using the chart below, use the appropriate calcium hardness (CH) reading, in order to obtain the appropriate CF value.
     
  • AF Total Alkalinity Factor - determine the PPM of total alkalinity (TA) in the water sample. Using the chart below, use the appropriate total alkalinity (TA) reading, in order to obtain the appropriate AF value.

The ideal range for the Langelier or Saturation Index is -0.3 to +0.3. Test values more negative than -0.3 (i.e., -0.6) are considered corrosive and steps should be taken to adjust the pH, total alkalinity or calcium hardness, in order to avoid the effects of corrosion. Test values higher than +0.3 (i.e., +0.6) are indicative of scale-forming tendencies and steps should be taken to adjust the pH, total alkalinity or calcium hardness, in order to avoid scale formation and cloudiness.

The following formula is used to calculate the Langelier/Saturation Index:

 Langelier Index =  pH  + Tf + Cf + Af - 12.1*

 * 12.1 (TDSf) is a constant used in the calculation of the Langelier/Saturation Index
 

Langelier-Saturation Index Graphic Chart
LANGELIER INDEX CONVERSION CHART
TF CF AF
TempF / C TF CH PPM CF TA PPM AF
32F / 0C 0.0 5 0.3 5 0.7
37F / 3C 0.1 25 1.0 25 1.4
46F / 8C 0.2 50 1.3 50 1.7
53F / 12C 0.3 75 1.5 75 1.9
60F / 16C 0.4 100 1.6 100 2.0
66F / 19C 0.5 150 1.8 150 2.2
76F / 24C 0.6 200 1.9 200 2.3
84F / 29C 0.7 300 2.1 300 2.5
94F / 34C 0.8 400 2.2 400 2.6
105F / 41C 0.9 800 2.5 800 2.9
128F / 53C 1.0 1000 2.6 1000 3.0
The following example illustrates how the Langelier/Saturation Index is calculated:

The actual pH = 7.4
The actual water temperature = 78F or 25C : from the chart use TF = 0.6
The actual calcium hardness (CH) = 198 PPM ; from the chart use CF = 1.9
The actual total alkalinity (TA) = 97 PPM : from the chart use AF = 2.0

* 12.1 is a constant used in the calculation of the Langelier/Saturation Index

Langelier Index =  pH  +  TF  + CF + AF - 12.1*

Langelier Index = 7.4 + 0.6 + 1.9 + 2.0 - 12.1* = - 0.2 (from above data)
Results: -0.2 is in the ideal range of -0.3 to +0.3
 
LANGELIER INDEX CORRECTIONS

The Langelier Index is a tool that is most frequently used by knowledgeable pool and spa professionals. For the typical pool or spa owner, that maintains the water balance, within or close to the recommended ranges for pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness, the Langelier Index should not be a concern, inasmuch as it will fall within the ideal range of -0.3 to +0.3.  In those instances where the pool or spa water chemistry is substantially out or balance or problems are in evidence, the Langelier Index can give insight into the proper course of corrective treatment.

Low Langelier Indexes can be raised, to within -0.3 to +0.3, by adjusting the pH to 7.2 to 7.6, the total alkalinity to 80 to 120 PPM and the calcium hardness to 150 to 200 PPM for a masonry pool or spa or 80 to 200 PPM for a vinyl or fiberglass unit. A low Langelier Index can result in corrosion, bather irritation and discomfort.

High Langelier Indexes can be lowered, to within -0.3 to +0.3, by adjusting the pH to 7.2 to 7.6, the total alkalinity to 80 to 120 PPM and the calcium hardness to 150 to 200 PPM. While it is always possible to lower the pH, it is not as simple with the total alkalinity or calcium hardness. Lowering the total alkalinity usually lowers the pH as well. Lowering the calcium hardness is not always possible, given the fact that some pools are filled with hard water. In those situations, where the calcium level is high, attention should be paid to lowering the pH and/or total alkalinity as a means of improving the Langelier Index. A high Langelier Index can lead to scale formation, cloudy water, filtration problems, heater problems, loss of chlorine efficiency and bather discomfort.

It is not always possible to get the pH and total alkalinity in range, due to the nature of the dissolved minerals. pH is always more important!

To more correctly determine the total alkalinity, deduct 30% of the cyanuric acid reading from the total alkalinity test result.

Pool water chemistry is where the path to proper water quality, clarity and sanitation starts.  Water testing provides the basis for determining which chemicals are required to correct and optimize chemical concentrations. The proper maintenance of the pool water is an ongoing responsibility and not something to be taken for granted. Having the right water testing equipment will make the task easier, save money on chemicals and help avoid problems. Become better informed and take charge of your own water quality!
 

Are you experiencing corrosion of metal components?
in-Line Sacrificial Anode

This in-line, zinc anode is already installed, inside a PVC T-shaped fitting, and is ready for an easy 3-step installation. Once this sacrificial anode is installed, it will be sacrificed (dissolved), in place of other metals. That is how it acts to protect your important pool or spa equipment.

  Easy in-line installation, with 2-inch PVC Pipe.
  Protects your heating elements, heat exchangers and other pool or spa equipment.
  An affordable way to help protect your equipment.
  Easy to replace, after it is exhausted.
  Especially useful in High TDS pool and spa situations.
  Don't risk your equipment, install a sacrificial anode.
For compete product and ordering information, about the In-Line Anode, click here.
 
RYZNAR STABILITY INDEX

An article appeared in the 8/12/11 issue of Pool and Spa News about the Ryznar Index. This index is favored, by some heater and equipment manufacturers, because it affords greater protection against corrosion, than does the more familiar Langelier Index. It favors higher calcium hardness levels and/or higher pH levels. While this will lessen the possible the corrosive effects of softer, lower pH water, it comes at a price. It boosts the calcium hardness to a point, where scale begins to form, which actually helps protect the equipment, from corrosion. However, as scale forms in the heater, it reduces the efficiency, by acting as an insulator. In a filter, it acts to cement the filter media, reducing the effectiveness of the filter.  In areas of the southwest, the water is already too hard, right out of the tap and it is challenging to main a clear pool, without excessive scaling.  If you wish to help protect your heater and maintain the warranty, you might do one of the following.  The Ryznar function as a scale monitoring index.

POOLS WITH LOWER TDS AND NOT USING A SALT CHLORINE GENERATOR: maintain the pH at 7.6-7.8, TA at 120-150 PPM and the calcium hardness at 250-400 PPM. This will leave you on the positive side of the Langelier Index.

POOLS WITH A SALT CHLORINE GENERATOR AND LOWER TDS:  maintain the pH at 7-6.7.8, the TA at 120-150 (if possible) and the calcium hardness at 250-400 PPM. If the TA is under 120, keep the calcium hardness closer to 400 PPM. This will leave you on the positive side of the Langelier Index.

POOLS WITH HIGH TDS AND NOT USING A SALT CHLORINE GENERATOR: this usually means that the calcium hardness is higher than 400 PPM - even 800 PPM.. Maintain the pH at 7.2-7,4, TA at 80--120 PPM. This will leave you on the positive side of the Langelier Index. Never use calcium hypochlorite.

POOLS WITH A SALT CHLORINE GENERATOR AND HIGH TDS: this usually means that the calcium hardness is higher than 400 PPM - even 800 PPM.. Maintain the pH at 7.2-7.8 and the TA at 80--120 PPM (if possible). This will leave you on the positive. high-end side of the Langelier Index. Never use calcium hypochlorite.

The information is provided as a guide only and you should check into any special requirements, that your equipment manufacturer might have.

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