Balance equations "by inspection"
HINT #1: The order in which the following steps are performed is important. While shortcuts are possible, (and you will learn about one), following these steps in order is the best way to be sure you are correct.
HINT #2: Except for step #1, ONLY change coefficients to balance equations.
The 7 steps are:
- Check for diatomic molecules.
(When by themselves in an equation, they MUST have a subscript of 2.)
- Balance the metals (except Hydrogen).
- Balance the nonmetals (except Oxygen).
- Balance oxygen.
- Balance hydrogen.
- Recount all atoms.
The equation should now be balanced after step #5, but recount all atoms to be sure. This is the step in which you will find any mistakes.
- Reduce coefficients (if needed).
ALL coefficients must be reducable before you can reduce. An equation is not properly balanced if the coefficients are not written in their lowest whole-number ratio.