c Everything You Need to Know About Your Pool | Klein Pool Care in Houston, TX
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Glossary of Pool Knowledge

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
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A

AIR-RELIEF VALVE:
A manually-operated brass or plastic valve located at the top of a filter tank for relieving the pressure inside the filter and removing the air inside the filter (bleeding the filter). Also known as a pressure-relief valve.

ALGAE:
Microscopic plant-like organisms that contain chlorophyll. Algae is nourished by carbon dioxide (CO2) and use sunlight to carry out photosynthesis. It can be introduced by rain or wind and grows in colonies, producing nuisance masses. Algae can harbor bacteria and can be slippery. There are thousands of known species of algae. The most common types of algae found in pools are black, blue-green, green and mustard (yellow or drawn).

ALGAECIDES:
Chemical compounds designed to kill, prevent and control algae.

AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANER:
A pool maintenance system that will agitate and/or vacuum debris from the pool interior automatically.

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B

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

BACKWASH:
The process of thoroughly cleaning the filter by reversing the flow of water through it with the dirt and rinse water going to waste.

BALANCERS:
Chemical compound designed to prevent corrosion and staining by balancing the pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness in pool water.

BROMIDE:
A common term for a bromide salt used to supply bromide ions to the water so they may be oxidized or changed into hypobromous acid, the killing form of bromine. Used as a disinfectant.

BROMINE:
A common name for a chemical compound containing bromine that is used as a disinfectant to destroy bacteria and algae in swimming pools and spas. Available as a tablet or as sodium bromide, a granular salt.

BTU:
Abbreviation for British Thermal Unit. The amount of heat necessary to raise 1 lb. of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.

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C

CHLORINE COMBINED:
That portion of total available chlorine left over when free available is subtracted. The measure of chlorine which has already attached itself to other molecules or organisms. Most of this is made up of chloramines.

CHLORINE TOTAL AVAILABLE:
The sum of combined and free chlorine levels. With a DPD test kit, one determines free available level, then total available. The difference, if any, is the level of combined chlorine.

CHLORINE GENERATOR:
A miniature chlorine factory. This device creates its own sanitizer for your pool.

CHLORINATOR:
Devices which allow for the safe controlled introduction of chlorine into the water.

CHLORINE DEMAND:
The quantity of free available chlorine removed during the process of sanitizing. The amount of organic and non-organic material contained in the water will demand a certain level of oxidizer to be destroyed.

CLARIFIER:
A clarifier is a chemical used as a coagulant of suspended micro particles. It helps the filter by clumping smaller particles into filterable sizes.

CLARIFIER:
Similar to aluminum sulfate, this chemical provides a coagulating and flocculent function in water. Used mainly in ponds, a large amount of copper sulfate would stain a swimming pool.

COPPER SULFATE:
A clarifier is a chemical used as a coagulant of suspended micro particles. It helps the filter by clumping smaller particles into filterable sizes.

CONDITIONER:
Also called Cyanuric Acid (CYA) or a stabilizer, this chemical provides a shield from the sun around the chlorine molecule, extending the efficacy; saving you money.

CYANURIC ACID:
A granular chemical added to the pool water which provides a shield to chlorine for protection from UV radiation, which disrupts the molecule, destroying its sanitizing ability.

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D

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH:
The filtering medium of the DE filter, this dry powder is the fossilized remains of the ancient plankton; diatom.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH FILTER:
A filter tank containing fabric covered grids which hold the DE powder up against the flow of the water.

DICHLORO-S-TRIAZINETRIONE:
A chemical compound. It is an oxidizer, bacteriocide, algicide, and cleaning agent that reacts with water to form hypochlorous acid, which is related to bleach.

DISINFECTANT::
Chemicals or processes which work to destroy vegetative forms of microorganisms and other contaminants. Examples are chlorine, bromine, Soft-Swim, and ionizers; also included are copper and silver algaecides.

DIVERTER VALVE:
Used in a twin port skimmer, a diverter allows the operator to manipulate the amount of flow from the main drain and skimmer to the pump.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH FILTER:
A filter tank containing fabric covered grids which hold the DE powder up against the flow of the water.

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E

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F

FILTER:
A device used to remove particles suspended in the water by pumping water through a porous substance or material.

FILTER ELEMENT:
A device inside a filter tank designed to entrap solids and direct water through a manifold system to exit the filter. Cartridge filter elements and DE filter grids are two examples.

FILTER MEDIUM:
A finely graded material such as sand, diatomaceous earth, polyester fabric, or anthracite coal that removes suspended particles from water passing through it.

FILTER PUMP:
The device that pulls water from the pool and pushes it through the filter on its way back to the pool.

FILTRATION RATE:
The rate of water pumped through a filter, in gallons per minute (gpm).

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G

GASKET:
A gasket is a mechanical seal that fills the space between two objects, generally to prevent leakage between the two objects while under compression. Gaskets are commonly produced by cutting from sheet materials, such as gasket paper, rubber, silicone, metal, or a plastic polymer.

GROUT:
A construction material used to embed rebars in masonry walls, connect sections of pre-cast concrete, fill voids, and seal joints (like those between tiles). Grout is generally composed of a mixture of water, cement, sand and sometimes color tint which is applied as a thick liquid and hardens over time, much like mortar.

GUNITE:
A dry mixture of cement and sand mixed with water at the “gun”; hence the name. A gunite operator “shoots” the pool’s rough shape, while finishers trowel after.

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H

HARD WATER:
That water which is high in calcium hardness and other salts which, as such, resists soap being lathered.

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I

IMPELLER:
The rotating vanes of a centrifugal pump; its action creates the flow of water. The impeller is shaft driven by an electric motor.

INFLUENT:
The water coming into and up to the impeller from the suction lines. These pipes are under vacuum pressure.

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J

JANDY VALVE:
A brand name of a three way valve, which has simplified pool plumbing.

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K

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L

LATERALS:
Elongated, capped plastic nipples at the bottom of a sand filter which are slotted to allow for water passage while keeping the sand in the filter tank.

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M

MOTOR:
A machine for converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. Your motor is known as the dry end of the filter pump. It drives the impeller, which moves the water.

MULTIPORT VALVE:
A 4 or 6 position valve combining the functionality of several valves into one unit, revolutionizing pool plumbing. The six common functions are described below:

  1. FILTER: Keep it here 99%, except when backwashing, rinsing or wasting. RINSE: Use this setting for 20 seconds after backwashing to rinse tank. RECIRCULATE: Use this if the filter’s broken; at least you’re circulating. BACKWASH: Use this setting to reverse the flow in the filter and send water out of the waste line. Make sure valves are open or hose is rolled out. CLOSED: Put here to close off flow from the pool, usually to work on the equipment. Do not operate pump with valve in closed position
  2. WASTE/DRAIN: Another filter bypass setting, but this setting sends the water out of the waste pipe (hose), instead of returning it to the pool. This setting is used to lower pool water level or to vacuum to waste.

MURIATIC ACID:
The liquid dilution of Hydrochloric Acid used to lower pH and alkalinity, and to remove mineral stains and scale. Extremely caustic and corrosive.

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N

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O

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P

pH:
The scale of relative acidity or alkalinity, expressed in logarithmic numbers from 0 – 14, with 7.0 being neutral. What’s really being measured is the hydrogen ion concentration. Some would say pH stands for Power of Hydrogen.

PLASTER:
A common type of interior finish applied over the concrete shell of an in-ground swimming pool.

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Q

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R

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S

SAND FILTER:
A filter tank, usually fiberglass or ABS plastic, filled with sand and gravel. The pump diffuses water over the top of the sand bed, and forces it through the sand and into the laterals on the bottom.

SANITIZER:
A chemical agent used to remove unwanted contaminants.

SCALE:
Usually whitish in color, scale forms on pool surfaces and equipment when mineral salts are forced out of solution. A scaling condition is one in which calcium hardness, pH and/or alkalinity levels are out of balance.

SEQUESTERING AGENT:
A sequestering agent ties-up minerals tightly in solution, preventing their precipitation, which colors the water and/or stains the pool. Synonymous to chelators, these are commonly called stain & scale chemicals.

SKIMMER:
A surface skimmer is a plumbing fitting set at water level, containing a weir mechanism and a debris basket. The skimmer is part of the suction side circulation system.

SKIMMER BASKET:
Beneath the lid, the basket strains debris, as the first line of defense in filtering the water.

SKIMMER NET:
Attached to a telescopic pole, a leaf rake is a very useful tool in keeping the pool clean. Also called a skimmer net are the flat, “dip and flip” nets, which aren’t so useful.

SHOCK:
As a noun it loosely describes the products used in shocking, such as hypochlorites, potassium permonysulfate or hydrogen peroxide. As a verb it describes the act of bringing the sanitizer level up so high that breakpoint chlorination is reached. When breakpoint is reached, a “shock” or perhaps a “lightning bolt” is a better analogy, is sent through the water, tearing apart molecules and slashing through cell walls. It’s the ultimate purification.

SHOTCRETE:
A different type of application of the concrete and sand mix which is used to “shoot the shell”. Gunite is pumped dry and mixed with water at the gun, whereas shotcrete is pumped wet.

SODA ASH:
A base, used to counteract an acidic condition by raising pH.

SODIUM BICARBONATE:(baking soda)
Another base, however its properties will increase alkalinity more than pH. Used to raise Total Alkalinity levels.

SODIUM BISULFATE:
A granular form of acid, used to counteract a scaling condition by lowering pH and/or alkalinity.

SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE:
Liquid chlorine used in pools, identical yet stronger than Clorox bleach.

SODIUM TETRABORATE:
New technology that renders algae incapable of processing carbon dioxide, which they need to live.

SODIUM DICHLOR:
A granular form of chlorine that is stabilized with cyanuric acid. Used for shocking and super-chlorination.

SOFT WATER:
Water that has low calcium and/or magnesium content. Soap lathers easily in soft water.

STABILIZER:
Stabilizers, also called conditioners, can be added directly to your pool to extend your chlorine efficacy. Cyanuric acid is already added to certain “stabilized” products such as Trichlor tablets and Sodium Dichlor.

STANDPIPE:
Vertical pipe that carries water from the hub and lateral assembly to or from the multiport valve on a top mount sand filter.

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T

TOTAL ALKALINITY:
The ability of the pool water to resist changes in pH. The “buffering” capacity of the water. Additions of Sodium Bicarbonate will increase the levels, expressed in ppm.

TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS (TDS):
A measure of everything that has ever dissolved in the water; all the matter that is in solution. High TDS levels can oversaturated your water, causing all sorts of reactions..

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U

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V

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X

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Y

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Z

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