The pH is the alkaline or acid level of the solution, where a value of 7 is neutral, below is acidic, and above 7 is alkaline. pH values are logarithmic, so brine with a pH of 10 is ten times more alkaline than with a pH of 9, and 100 times that of brine with a pH of 8. The pH of untreaterd calcium chloride is very alkaline, which can cause accelerated corrosion of your steel components. The pH can be adjusted as required, by using either caustic soda or carbon dioxide, but using either caustic soda or carbon dioxide, but you are advised to seek further advice and use extreme coution. In this example, th erust inhibitor that is recommended to be added will slightly increase the pH, so no further acton of required.
Sometimes brine samples show traces of ammonia. This is usually due to a chiller tube failure and definetely cause for concern. If the brine results show ammonia, it is recommended theat another test be done for ammonia only at the same laboratory to see if the level has increased or stayed the same. If the levels have increased, the chiller should be repaired or replaced immediately. If the level has stayed the same or decreased, this woiuld indicate residual ammonia in th ebrine charge which will dissipate through the expansion tank over time.
There are other possible causes for ammonia in the brine. If the brine was too acidic, then ammonia may have been added to raise the pH. This is not standard practice and not recommended, but it does happen on occasion. Also, many rinks have already replacced their chiller, so ammonia in the brine could be attributed to a failure of the original chiller. Having past brine analysis reports available for comparison can help lead to a quick diagnosis and provent a lot fo anxiety.
Although often ignored, maintaining the proper level of rust inhibitor is important to prolong the life of carbon steel components. Sodium dichromate (or chromate) used to be pre-mixed with calcium chloride flake as a rust inhibitor, but after it was discovered to be a carcinogen (cancer-causing), most chemical companies stopped including this with the flake. Products containent chromate are no longer sold or recommended by CIMCO Refrigeration. Because most rinks used chromate in the past, this test iis still done as a check to see if levels have decreased to the point where other additives are required.