Glossary of Pool Care Terms

Glossary of Pool Care Terms

This glossary is a tool for getting acquainted with a variety of pool-related terms. You will be better able to maintain your pool with a basic understanding of the words below. Either browse around or search for a particular word:
  • ALGAE

    Microscopic plants capable that grow in or around water.

  • ALGICIDES

    Products that prevent or control algae growth.

  • BACTERIA

    Microscopic organisms, some of which are harmful to bathers.

  • BALANCED WATER

    The proper ratio of mineral content and pH that prevents pool water from being corrosive or scale-forming.

  • BROMINE

    A halogen element alternatively used as a sanitizer for pools.

  • CALCIUM HARDNESS (CH)

    The amount of dissolved calcium in water. Ideal range 175 – 275 ppm depending on surface type.

  • CHLORINE

    A halogen element, compounds of which are widely used in pool water sanitation.

  • CHLORAMINES

    Irritating compounds formed by the combination of nitrogenous compounds and free chlorine. Nitrogenous compounds are introduced into the water by urine, perspiration, cosmetics, suntan oils, etc.

  • CHLORINATOR

    A device that dispenses chlorinating compounds into pool water in a controlled, gradual manner.

  • CHLORINE DEMAND

    The amount of chlorine addition required before a free chlorine residual can be maintained.

  • CHLORINE GENERATOR

    On site device that converts salt (sodium chloride) into free chlorine (hypochlorous acid) through the process of electrolysis.

  • CHLORINE RESIDUAL

    The amount of chlorine left to kill new bacteria entering the pool.  Also, the amount of chlorine left after chlorine demand has been satisfied.

  • COMBINED CHLORINE (CHLORAMINE)

    Chlorine-ammonia compounds that can cause chlorine odor and eye irritation.  This compound is a poor sanitizer for pool water applications.

  • DRY ACID

    Product used to lower pH and total alkalinity; preferred over muriatic acid (HCl) for handling, storage and safety issues. BioGuard Lo’ N Slo®.

  • FREE (AVAILABLE) CHLORINE

    Chlorine in a form capable of bacteria and algae destruction. Preferred range: 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.

  • OXIDIZE

    (see SHOCK TREATMENT)

  • PH

    A way to measure the acidity or basicity of water. Ideal range 7.4 – 7.6.

  • PPM

    Parts Per Million, a measurement for chemical concentration.

  • REAGENT

    Tablets, powder or liquid material for use in water testing.

  • SCALE

    Coarse calcium deposits on swimming pool wall, floors and circulation plumbing.

  • SATURATION INDEX

    A value based on water temperature, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and pH. The value predicts the tendency of pool water to be corrosive, neutral or scale-forming.

  • SHOCK TREATMENT

    Adding an oxidizing compound to the pool water to chemically break up (oxidize) contaminants such as suntan oils, cosmetics, perspiration and chloramines.

  • STABILIZED CHLORINATING PRODUCTS

    Form of chlorine used to sanitize pool water. Favored for its economy and ability to remain active in strong sunlight.

  • STABILIZER

    Cyanuric acid; a compound that prevents the dissipation of chlorine residuals by sunlight. BioGuard® Stabilizer 100™.

  • SUPERCHLORINATION

    Adding enough chlorine to reach 10 ppm free chlorine residual.

  • TOTAL ALKALINITY (TA)

    The amount of the alkaline components in water. TA acts as a buffer against rapid pH fluctuation. Ideal range 125-150 ppm.

  • UNDESIRABLE COMPOUNDS

    Substances introduced in the water by people or the environment that interfere with ideal pool conditions.