19/06/2013Swimming Pool Terms & Definitions

AIR BLEEDER ASSEMBLY: It is located on the top of the filter and sometimes accompanied by a pressure gauge. The bleeder is opened to let out air trapped in the filter.

AIR-RELIEF VALVE: A manually operated plastic or brass valve is located at the top part of a filter tank. It relieves the pressure that is inside the filter and removes the air inside the filter. This process is referred to as bleeding the filter.

ALGAE: These are microscopic plant-like living organisms that contain chlorophyll. They use sunlight and CO2 (carbon dioxide) to make their own food through a process called photosynthesis. Algae can be carried by wind or rain, and grows in colonies. There are about a 1000 known species of algae, some which support bacteria. Most species are found in pools and appear green, black, or yello.

ALGAECIDES: A chemical compound designed to control, prevent and kill algae.

AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANER: A maintenance system for pools that agitates debris automatically from the pool interior.

ALGAESTAT: While an algaecide kills algae, an algaestat prevents its genesis and growth.

BACKFILL: This is the repositioning of the soil after the pool has been constructed.

BACKFLOW: The backing-up of water through pipes in the direction opposite to normal water flow.

BACKWASH: A process where filters are cleaned thoroughly by reversing the flow of water through them with the dirt water and rinse water going to waste.

BALANCERS: The chemical compound which is designed to prevent any corrosion and staining by balancing of the pH total alkalinity and the calcium hardness in the pool water.

BLOWER: Plumbed into the spa return line; air is injected to produce a hydrotherapy and fun bubble in the spa.

BOOSTER PUMP: Secondary pump used to power an automatic pool cleaner.

BROMIDE: Salt used to supply bromide ions to water so that they may be oxidized or that they may be changed into hypobromous acid. Also used as a disinfecting agent.

BROMINE: Chemical compound containing bromine, used as a disinfectant for destroying algae and bacteria in places like swimming pools. Bromine is available in different shapes and sizes, such as a tablet, granular salt or as a sodium salt.

BTU: Abbreviation for British Thermal Unit, which is the necessary amount of heat to raise 1 lb. of water.

CIRCULATION SYSTEM: Circuit of plumbing that continuously carries water out of a pool and through the pump and filter before it returns it to the pool.

CENTRIFUGAL PUMP: Pump consisting of an impeller fixed to the rotating shaft that’s enclosed within a casing with an inlet and discharge connection. Pressure is created by the rotating impeller in the water by the velocity from the centrifugal force.

CHECK VALVE: It’s a mechanical device inside a pipe that allows water flow or air flow in only one direction.

CHEMICAL FEEDER: Dispenses chemicals in pools or hot tub water at predetermined rate. Some dispense bromine or chlorine and others dispense chemicals adjusting PH.

CHLORINE GENERATOR: This device is able to create its own sanitizer for the pool.

CHLORINE NEUTRALIZER: A chemical used in test kits to reduce the bleaching effects of bromine and chlorine so as to increase the accuracy of tests in the pool waters. It is sold as bromine and chlorine and neutralizer and it is used to destroy excess amounts of bromine or chlorine to ensure that the high levels do not affect the swimmers.

CHLORINE: Term used to describe all other types of chlorine compounds which are used as a disinfectants in swimming pools and in hot tub water or for killing, destroying or controlling bacterias and algae. Chlorine also oxidizes nitrogen and ammonia which are compounds caused by swimmers.

COPING: Cap or top lip on the hot tub or pool wall which provides a finished edge all around the spa or pool. Coping can be cast in place, formed or prefabricated of extruded aluminium. It also may be part of the system securing a vinyl liner on top of the pool wall.

CORROSION: Decomposition of materials like metal or plastic caused by misuse of acid, improper water balance, or from the soft water.

COVER, SOLAR: This is a cover that raises water temperatures by absorbing and transmitting solar radiation, meaning that it reduces the evaporation and also prevents any debris getting into the water.

D.E.: Diatomaceous Earth, a porous substance that is used in some types of pool filters.

DIVERTER VALVE: Used on spa/pool combinations to allow use of the hot tubs and finally switch the flow back into to the pool.

DRAIN: A fitting is installed on the suction side of the pump in spas, pools and hot tubs, generally located in the deepest part of the water. These fittings suction water from the main body of the pool and pump it into the filtration and circulation system.

FIBERGLASS: Filaments of glass that are available in mat or rope form. When fiberglass is used in a process with polyester, resins, hardeners, and catalysts can be molded or formed or in the pools and spas.

FILTER: A device that removes suspended or dissolved elements from water by recirculating it through a filter medium. The three common types of filters that are used in pools and also in spas are cartridge, D.E., and sand.

FILTRATION RATE: The rate at which water is traveling through the filter as filtration is in progress.

FLOW RATE: Quantity of water flowing past a designated point and within a specified time, such as the number of gallons of water that are flowing past a point in 1 minute.

GUNITE: Mixture of sand and cement sprayed to contoured and the supported surfaces to build a pool. Gunite is then mixed and pumped to the site dry and then water is added at the point of application. Plaster is applied over the gunite.

GUTTER: A trough meant for overflowing water at the edge of the pool.

HAND SKIMMER: A net connected to a long, handheld pool that is used to skim and catch debris floating on the pool surface.

HEAT EXCHANGER: A device located inside the heater that allows the transfer of heat to water from the heater. This is normally a series of metallic pipes or tubes with fins that are located just above the flames.

HEATER: A fossil-fueled, solar or electric device used to heat the pool water.

LINER: A vinyl membrane which acts as the container to support or contain the water in other various types of pools.

MAIN DRAIN: A fitting is installed on the suction side of the pump in spas, pools and hot tubs, generally located in the deepest part of the water. These fittings suction water from the main body of the pool and pump it into the filtration and circulation system.

NEUTRALIZER: A chemical used to neutralize bromine or chlorine. This chemical is used in test kits to mostly counteract the bleaching effect of the bromine or chlorine in order to raise the accuracy of the pool water tests. Sold as bromine and chlorine neutralizer, it is used for destroying excessive amounts of bromine and chlorine so that the high levels will not affect swimmers.

OXIDIZER: A non-chlorine compound that removes or that destroys built-up contaminants and any chloramines in pool water by not raising chlorine levels.

POOL COVER, (HARD-TOP): It’s a cover used on spas, pools and hot tubs which rests on the lip of the hot tub or pool deck. Used as a barrier for bathers and swimmers for thermal protection and maintenance.

PUMP: Mechanical device usually powered by an electric motor, that causes pressure and hydraulic flow for the purpose of water filtration, heating and also circulation of water to the pool and hot tub.

PUMP CAPACITY: Volume of liquid that a pump is capable of moving at a specified period of time.

PUMP CURVE: A graph which represents a pump’s water capacity flow capacity different given resistances.

pH: Indicates the level of alkalinity or acidity of water on scales ranging from 0-15. Low pH can cause metal corrosion, etched plaster, and eye irritation, while high pH causes chlorine inefficiency, scale formation, and eye irritation. 7.4 to 7.6 is the ideal pH range for swimming pools.

SANITIZERS: Chemical compound designed to kill algae, bacteria and other living organisms. It also protects water from the effects of direct sunlight.

SHOCK TREATMENT: The process of adding significant amounts of an oxidizing chemical to the water so as to destroy nitrogen, ammonia and nitrogen compounds which are caused by the environment, swimmers and weather.

SKIMMER: A device which is installed through the walls of a hot tub or pool and that is connected to the suction line of the pump which draws water and floating debris from the surface of the water without causing so much flow restriction.

SKIMMER BASKET: A removable, strainer or slotted basket which is placed in the skimmer on the suction side of the pump and which is designed to trap any floating debris in water flow from the surface without causing restrictions in the flow.

SOLAR COVER: A cover which, when placed on the surface of the water in a hot tub or pool raises the water temperature by transmission and absorption of the solar radiation, thus reducing evaporation and preventing any debris from entering into the water.

TEST KIT: A device used to monitor certain chemical levels, residuals, demand or constituents in your hot tub water or pool. The common hot tub and pool water tests are: copper, hardness of water, cyanuric acid, pH, chlorine, and alkalinity.

TEST STRIPS: Small plastic strips that have pads attached to them and that have been impregnated with reagents which can be used for testing pool water for demand, levels, residuals or constituents.These strips are usually dipped into water and the resulting colors are compared to a set of colors which determine concentration.

TURBIDITY: This is the cloudy condition of the water due to the availability of extremely fine particles in suspension which cannot be trapped by the filter for they are too small. By adding a clarifier, such as alum or an organic polymer will coagulate particles and make the filter more efficient in filtering.

VACUUM: Devices which use suction to collect dirt from the bottoms and sides of a spa or pool. Pool vacuums must only be operated by a person and debris from the filter is collected.

VINYL LINER: The vinyl membrane which acts as a container to contain or hold the pool water.

WATER CLARIFIER: Also known as flocculent or coagulant .This is a chemical compound used for gathering or to precipitate particles suspended so they may be removed by filtration or vacuuming. There are two types of water clarifiers; the inorganic salts of aluminum and of other metals or water soluble organic polyelectrolytes.

WEIR: Small floating “door” that is on the side of the skimmer which faces the water over which water flows while on its way to the skimmer.The weir adjusts automatically to small changes in the water level to ensure there is a continuous water flow to the skimmer. It also prevents any debris from floating back in the pool after the pump has shut off. Also known as a skimmer weir.

Swimming Pool Terms & Definitions was last modified: October 7th, 2016 by admin