What ARE Enzymes Anyway?
You hear this word a lot these days. But what ARE enzymes and WHY are they so IMPORTANT? WHY should you use them in your hot tub, swimming pool and swim spa? Let’s dive into that topic today. It’s a little complicated.
Enzymes are known as BIOLOGICAL CATALYSTS. This means they SPEED UP chemical reactions without being used up. The energy needed for activation is lowered which in turn, allow particles to have enough energy to react. Furthermore, enzymes are PROTEINS and work by the active site attaching itself to substrate molecules in which molecules join together to form larger ones.
Substrates bind with the enzyme due to the shape of the active site being complementary to the substrate. The active site and substrate are specific shapes which fit together, this is known as the “lock and key” theory.
The Baseball Example
Hang on! Don’t let your eyes glaze over just yet. Let’s try to think of a baseball game without the baseball as an example. Players are present and dressed and the field looks beautiful! The stands are full of spectators and the sky above is clear and blue with no threat of a rain out. Additionally, the national anthem has just finished playing but there’s a problem. There’s no BASEBALL present! Mmm ….
Comparatively, that baseball is the ENZYME of the game. No matter how good things look, without that baseball (or with that ENZYME) nothing happens. That’s right, NOTHING happens!
What Enzymes Do
It’s important to know that there are more that 5000 known enzymes. When naming the different enzymes, one typically uses the ending “ase”. However, in most cases, the name of the enzyme will reveal its function. For example, an enzyme that breaks down lipids is called Lipase. An enzyme that breaks down proteins is called Protease.
Enzymes are named according to the reaction they catalyze. Any substance an enzyme acts upon is called a substrate. So, 5000 enzymes do 5000 different works!
Enzymes for Pool & Spa
By the same token, a diverse blend of broad spectrum enzymes are used for pool and spa treatments. (That's OUR Waters Choice enzyme product!) This ensures that all the different oils and organics in the water are broken down before they can cause problems.
In the pool and spa environment, enzymes are breaking down organics, which become food for “good bacteria”. The good bacteria then take over and leave no room for bad bacteria.
Contrary to popular belief, enzymes are NOT alive.
Furthermore, enzymes operate as helpful tools that catalyze (speed up) chemical reactions between bacteria and soils, making the bacteria more efficient.
Enzymes Break Down Waste
Enzymes work to break down complex waste particles into smaller pieces that bacteria can more easily consume. These smaller particles – organic wastes, urine, oils, etc. – become “food” for bacteria to digest and break down into two basic compounds – carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).
The reactions that occur accelerate exponentially – over a million-fold – once the substrates bind to the active site of the enzyme. The chemical reactions result in a new product or molecule that then separate from the enzyme, which goes on to catalyze other reactions.
Uniquely, the number of enzymes found in the world are overwhelming and each one has a specific function. This is called enzyme specificity. Each enzyme acts upon a specific substance and changes it into another substance, either chemically or as a type of by product, yet remains unchanged itself.
Moreover, enzymes regulate tens of thousands of biochemical functions including those responsible for building, detoxifying, and healing. Without enzymes, seeds would not sprout, fruit wouldn’t ripen, leaves wouldn’t change color and life would not exist. They are essential for life, for growth, and for breaking things down like waste and decay.
Enzymes for Pool & Spa Are Amazing!
As a matter of fact, enzymes function extremely well at creating a healthy environment in your pool and spa water.
Without them, you would need to rely on heavy amounts of harsh chemicals to “kill” everything in your water. In addition to that, those chemicals build up in the water over a short amount of time. Requiring that you add other chemicals to get rid of the accumulation of chemical build up.
Sadly, this is only effective for so long before you need to start over with fresh water.
Believe it or not, you would need to drain and clean your hot tub every 3 months if you’re using traditional chemicals.
Fewer Chemicals and EASY Water Maintenance
It’s important to realize that when you use enzymes in your pool and spa water, you’re able to use FEWER CHEMICALS. In addition, you’re able to keep your water FRESH and HEALTHY for about a YEAR before you need to refill with new water.
As a result, your water maintenance routine becomes extremely EASY when using ENZYMES. The typical routine has you adding enzymes once a month and then cleaning filters and checking pH twice a month. That’s it, simple.
On the positive side, by using enzymes, the work typically required of you is cut in HALF! Thank you enzymes!
Want to read more? Check out these additional blog posts:
Will Enzymes Work With Salt Generators?
Enzymes Are Not Alike ... Which One Is Right For You?
Common Pool Maintenance Mistakes
If you’re interested I finding out more about our amazing pool and spa enzyme treatments, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. Also, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on all of our social media platforms.
Sources: enzyme-facts.com encyclopedia.com sciencing.com renewlife.com scribd.com