Glossary of Pool Terminology

Dale KreviazukResources

Acid: Used in swimming pool water to treat to lower the ph or lower the total alkalinity levels

Algae: With many forms of algae in existence, the most common pool algae we have in Manitoba is green algae. It is a living organism and feeds off nitrogen in your swimming pool water.

Algaecide: Algaecide is a pool chemical used to kill algae.

Coping: Pool coping is a decorative edging that is usually

Concrete: Main ingredients mixture of Portland Cement (the binder), aggregates (sand, rock), and water. Concrete is very hard and has a long usable service life. Concrete weathers very well and does not fade. It is usually reinforced with steel rebar. It cures through a chemical reaction that is very complex yet simple to understand- It turns from a liquid into a hard solid.

Clay: Clay is formed from clay minerals and is very stable and resists penetration of water.

Backwash: Back washing is performed on your sand pool filter by reversing the flow of water to clean out the filtering sand. The dirty water is then discharged out a different port that usually drains to a sewer or ditch.

Backfill: Pools are back filled with sand which is considered an non shrinkable fill.

Ball Valve: Ball valves are used on pool plumbing to control the flow of water through different pipes. The handle on top of the valve controls the “ball” inside the valve which controls the flow of the water. Turning the handle 90 degrees either shut off the valve or opens up the valve.

Basic: Basic solutions are high in ph and are used to raise the ph of your pool water if it is acidic

Bromine: A pool water sanitizer commonly used if swimmers are allergic to chlorine and also used in spas.

Calcium: A very common metal that is commonly found in well water. Calcium seen on pool liners is actually the white oxide from exposure to the air.

Calcium Hardness: The amount of calcium dissolved into your pool water.

Cartridge Filter: A element type filter used to filter pool water. The filters are replaceable and it filters finer than a sand filter. The filter do not get back washed but cleaned instead.

Check Valve: A one way valve which prevents back flow. Commonly used before chlorine feeders or when your pool equipment is installed below the level of your pool. This prevents water from draining back down a pipe.

Chlormines: Dead chlorine than has combined with organic matter to form chloramines. Chloramines are the distinct chlorine smell and can make your eyes red from opening them under the water.

Chlorine: Most common pool sanitizer and an element on the periodic table. Chlorine in its purest form is colourless. Chlorine is available in a gas form (not very common for pools anymore), liquid form, granular form, and a solid puck form which is used to dispense it. The chlorine puck have other additives other than chlorine which aid in slow dissolution.

Chlorine Generator: Also known as a salt cell. Chlorine generators create chlorine from passing the pools salt water past charged plates.

Circulation: An important part of your pool water turnover rate.

Conduit: Pipe used to carry electrical wires though. The conduit protects the wires from damage. Conduit can be used under the ground or above ground. Conduit is typically made from CPVC or steel.

Coping: An edging for your pool that finishes off the transition between your pools vertical wall and horizontal concrete deck. Coping can be made from concrete, PVC, or aluminum.

Copper: Works like algaecide to kill algae in your pool water.

Corrosion: Caused from low ph in your pool water. Corrosion can attack copper, steel, and any other metal that you pool water comes in contact with.

Cover: Safety covers are for winter time and are made from a mesh material. Solar covers are used in the summer time to slow evaporation and use the suns energy to heat your pool

Drain: There are drains that have plugs on them for your pool equipment. They get removed for winter time so that the frozen water does not break your pump or filter from expansion. Your pool may also have a main drain at the bottom. This can be used to drain your pool as well as pull water from the bottom of your pool for circulation.

Effluent: The pressure side of your pool plumbing. Basically all the pipes after your pump.

Efficiency: The measure of input vs output. Your pool pump efficiency would be a measure of the amount of energy consumed vs the amount of water flow it is pumping.

Filter: A sand or cartridge tank used to clean your pool water. Your pool filter will trap foreign particles and then every so often your filter will get back washed or cleaned.

Flocculent: A chemical used to attach to suspended solids in your pool water and bring them down to the bottom. The combined solid is then vacuumed off your pool liner.

Flow Rate: The measurement of the volume of water that travels past a certain point. Pool pumps typically have a flow rating.

Gate Valve: A valve that has a gate that slides up and down to control the flow of water through the pipes in your pool.

Gasket: A seal used to keep pool water from leaking out of you pool equipment.

Grout: A cement mixture used to level and set rocks and stones.

Halogen: Halogen lights are typical of older style pool lights.

Heater: Gas heater used to heat your pool.

Heat Pump: Powered by electricity and works as a reverse air conditioner to heat your pool. Heat pumps pull heat from the humid summer air in Winnipeg. Heat pumps are also very efficient way of heating your pool.

Horse Power: Hp is a rating of the power that your pool pump has.

Impeller: Impellers are used inside your pool pump to move the pool water through the filter and circulate your pool.

Influent: The suction side of your pool plumbing. The water coming into your pool pump.

Iron: Element that is often found in well water. Water with iron will create rust and can attach to your pool liner.

Ladder Bumpers: Used to cap the end of the open ends of pool ladder tubing. Without bumpers your pool liner would get cut. The sharp end of the ladder acts as a cookie cutter.

Mechanical Seal: The seal in your pool pump that rotates under pressure without leakage.

Motor: Powers your pool pump.

Muriatic Acid: Used to remove minerals from pool water. Typically used to raise the pool ph as well as treat well water for hardness.

Nitrogen: Found in your pool and caused from organic matter. When combined with chlorine creates chloramines.

Non Chlorine Shock: Used to shock your pool water.

O-Ring: Used to create seals on your pump, filter and heater.

Ozone: Oxygen pool sanitizer.

Ph: Measurement of acid or alkaline. A scale of 0-14 is used, with below 7 being acidic, above 7 being basic, and 7 is neutral. The optimal ph level for your pool is between 7.2 -7.6

Pressure Test: A test performed by qualified pool technicians to determine leaks in your pools underground plumbing.

Pressure Gauge: A gauge that indicated the pressure in PSI (pounds per sq inch) of the water inside a pipe, filter, or any pressurized vessel.

PPM: Parts per million. A unit of measure used when comparing the amount of chemical or element in water.

Pressure Side: All the plumbing after the pump and up to the pool.

Pressure Switch: Commonly found on gas heaters. They are used to tell the heater if it has sufficient water flow for it to safely fire without overheating.

Pump: All pools have a pump to circulate the water and force it through the filter.

Pump Strainer Basket: Used to catch leaves and debris before the water enters the impeller.

PVC: Polyvinyl chloride. A plastic used in may pool parts. It can be hard or pliable depending on the amount of plasticizers added.

Residual: Amount of chemical left over after the initial reaction.

Sand Filter: The most common of pool filters where the water is forced through a sand media which removes particles from the water.

Sanitizer: Chlorine or bromine which are both used to kill everything living in water.

Scale: Minerals which migrate out of the water and attach to pool walls, liner, and coping. Excess calcium is commonly the culprit of scaling.

Skimmer: The intake on the pools plumbing system. It also serves as a means to skim the pool water of leaves and debris.

Skimmer Basket: The skimmed leaves and debris end up in the skimmer basket. This should be cleaned weekly or more often in the fall of on windy days.

Shock: A super chlorinated stage where the amount of sanitizer is enough to overcome the amount of chlorine the chloramines are consuming.

Solar System: Used to heat pool water through harnessing the suns radiant heat.

Stabilizer: An acid used to condition the water so that your chlorine will not evaporate off quickly.

Strainer Basket: The basket in your skimmer used to collect leaves and debris.

Suction Side: All of the plumbing on front of the pump. Usually the skimmer and main drain lines are the only suction side pipe.

TDS: Total dissolved solids.

Total Alkalinity: The stability of your pool waters ability to change ph levels.

Trowel: Used to smoothen concrete and pool floors.

Ultraviolet Light: A UV light at a certain wave length kills everything living in water.

Vacuum: Used to clean your pool liner.

Valve: Used to control the flow of water in pool pipes.

Venturi: Increasing velocity and lowing pressure through water forcing through a small hole.

Vinyl Liner: Used in Manitoba and Winnipeg to line the inside of your swimming pool and they are made of flexible PVC which allows the ground to shift without loss of pool water through cracks.

Weir: The flapper in your pool skimmer used to increase the velocity of the water traveling into the skimmer which increase the skimming action. It also breaks up vortex’s.