At Casey’s Pools, we’re all about ensuring you have a smooth and enjoyable experience as you embark on the exciting journey of building your dream pool. We understand that the process can be a bit overwhelming, especially with all the technical jargon thrown around. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide. Whether you’re just starting to explore the idea of adding a pool to your backyard oasis or you’re already in the deep end of planning and construction, this glossary will help demystify the process. Our goal is for you to feel informed and confident, not just during the building phase but also in maintaining your pool for years of fun and relaxation. Let’s dive into the deep end of pool terminology together, ensuring you have all the knowledge you need for a splashing good time!
An acid wash is a cleaning process for in-ground pool surfaces, particularly those made of plaster, pebble, or exposed aggregate. This process involves using a diluted solution of muriatic acid to remove a thin layer of the pool’s surface, effectively eliminating stubborn stains, algae blooms, and calcium deposits. Acid washing can significantly improve the appearance of a pool’s interior, making it look brighter and cleaner. However, because it involves the use of harsh chemicals and removes a layer of the pool material, it should be performed sparingly and by professionals to avoid damaging the pool’s structure.
Algae are simple, plant-like organisms that can grow in swimming pools, producing unsightly colors and potentially hazardous swimming conditions. Algae growth in pools can range from green, yellow, black, to pink, and it thrives in warm, stagnant water with an imbalance of chemicals. Regular pool maintenance, including proper chlorination and pH balance, is essential to prevent algae growth. Regular use of algaecide, as part of a comprehensive pool maintenance routine, can help keep pool water clear, clean, and free of unsightly and potentially hazardous algae blooms.
Alkalinity, often referred to as total alkalinity, measures the concentration of alkaline substances in pool water. It acts as a buffer for the pH level, helping to stabilize it against rapid changes. Maintaining the correct alkalinity level is crucial for pool health, as it affects water balance and the effectiveness of sanitizers. The ideal range for total alkalinity in swimming pools is typically between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm).
Automatic Pool Cleaner
An automatic pool cleaner is a device designed to collect debris and dirt from swimming pools with minimal human intervention. There are three main types: suction-side, pressure-side, and robotic cleaners. Suction-side cleaners attach to the pool’s filtration system, pressure-side cleaners use water pressure to move around the pool, and robotic cleaners are self-contained units that move independently. These devices help maintain a clean pool and reduce the need for manual cleaning.
Backwashing is a cleaning process for the pool’s filtration system, specifically for sand or diatomaceous earth (DE) filters. It reverses the flow of water through the filter, flushing out accumulated debris and dirty water to waste. Backwashing is an essential maintenance task that keeps the filtration system working efficiently, but it should be done sparingly to avoid wasting water and chemicals.
Balancers are chemicals used to maintain the correct balance of pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness in pool water. This balance is crucial for ensuring that the water is safe for swimming, protecting the pool’s surfaces and equipment, and optimizing the effectiveness of sanitizers. Common balancers include pH increasers and decreasers, alkalinity increasers, and calcium hardness increasers.
Bromine is a chemical sanitizer used to keep pool water clean and free from bacteria and viruses, similar to chlorine. It is particularly effective in hot water environments, such as spas and hot tubs, because it remains stable at higher temperatures. Bromine is a good alternative for those sensitive to chlorine, as it tends to produce less odor and irritation.
Calcium hardness refers to the amount of dissolved calcium in the pool water. It is an essential aspect of water balance, as low calcium levels can cause water to become corrosive, leading to damage to the pool surfaces and equipment. Conversely, too high calcium levels can lead to scale formation on the pool surfaces and in the filtration system. The ideal calcium hardness level varies depending on the pool surface material but is generally recommended to be between 200 and 400 ppm.
A cartridge filter is a type of pool filtration system that uses a replaceable, porous cartridge to trap debris and particles as water passes through. These filters are known for their ease of maintenance and ability to filter out smaller particles than sand filters. Cartridge filters are cleaned by removing and rinsing the cartridge, and they do not require backwashing.
Chlorine is the most common chemical used for sanitizing and disinfecting swimming pool water. It kills bacteria, algae, and other harmful organisms, ensuring the pool is safe for swimming. Chlorine is available in various forms, including liquid, tablet, granular, and gas. Maintaining the correct chlorine level is critical for pool health and requires regular testing and adjustment.
Coping is the material or cap that tops the pool wall, separating the pool structure from the surrounding deck or surface area. It serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose, providing a finished look and preventing water from seeping behind the pool walls. Coping materials can include concrete, stone, tile, or composite materials and can vary in style to complement the pool design.
The deck refers to the area surrounding the swimming pool. It provides a stable, slip-resistant surface for walking and lounging and contributes to the overall aesthetics of the pool area. Decks can be made from various materials, including concrete, pavers, wood, or composite decking, each offering different looks and maintenance requirements.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filter
A DE filter uses diatomaceous earth as the filter medium. DE is a natural, porous substance made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. DE filters can trap very fine particles, making them one of the most efficient filtration systems available for swimming pools. Like sand filters, DE filters require backwashing for cleaning, and the DE medium must be replenished periodically.