L I M I N I O I P I Q I R I S I Sta I T I U I V I Vol I W I Z
ACID: A substance that has a pH less than 7. It can be used in liquid (muriatic acid) or dry granular (sodium bisulfate) form to lower the pool water's pH (toward a more acidic condition) or to lower total alkalinity levels. Acid is corrosive, neutralizes alkalis, and dissolves some metals. Can also be used to clean an empty pool (acid washing).
ACID DEMAND: The amount of acid required to lower pH and alkalinity to appropriate levels. A titration test can be used to determine proper amounts of acid (or pH decreaser) to reach correct levels. For example, to lower pH from 8.0 to 7.6, your pool may "demand" 2qts. of acid.
ACID WASH: Also known as drain & clean, is the purposeful stripping of a tiny layer of plaster, exposing fresh plaster beneath. Usually required when unusually high amount of algae is covering the pool.
AIR BLEEDER ASSEMBLY: Located on the top of the filter and sometimes accompanied by a pressure gauge, the bleeder is opened to release air trapped in the filter.
ALGAE: An aquatic plant that includes seaweeds and many single-celled forms. There are over 20,000 species known to exist. Algae may form on your pool surfaces or it may bloom in suspension. We typically know algae to be green but it may also be yellow (mustard algae), black, blue-green, or any shade in between. It may form separate spots or seem to grow in sheets. Pink algae is not algae at all but a form of bacteria. Algae are living breathing organisms that need warmth, sunlight, and CO² to thrive. Click here to learn more about algae and how it affects your pool.
ALGAECIDE: A chemical that controls, kills and prevents algae growth. Algaecides perform best as a backup to a routine sanitation program. They also help to kill airborne spores as they blow into the pool. A variety of algae treatment products are available including copper and silver compounds, poly-quat compounds, chlorine enhancers, and herbicides.
ALGAESTAT: A chemical that retards and prevents algae's genesis and growth.
ALKALINE: Alkalis are compounds with a pH greater than 7 that dissolve in water. Alkaline is commonly used as a synonym for base, especially for soluble bases. It is the opposite of acid.
ALKALINITY: The amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water, measured in "parts per million" (ppm) of Total Alkalinity.
ALUMINUM: A silvery white and ductile member of the boron group of chemical elements. It is found in pool water as a natural forming mineral or as a by-product of corrosive water. Aluminum is known to cause discoloration or a cloudy appearance.
ALUMINUM SULFATE: This product is used as a flocculent which attracts suspended particles in the water together and sinks everything to the bottom. After everything has sunk to the bottom, it can then be vacuumed to waste. Aluminum sulfate is also commonly known as Alum. A small amount of alum can also be used as a sand filter additive.
ANION: A negatively charged ion, which has more electrons in its electron shells than it has protons in its nuclei, is known as an anion due to its attraction to anodes in electrolysis.
AUTOMATIC POOL CLEANER: A device which vacuums debris from the walls and floor of the pool. There are suction side, pressure side, and robotic cleaners available.
BACKFILL: The repositioning of the soil around the pool after construction of a pool has been completed.
BACKWASH: The process of thoroughly cleaning the filter medium and/or elements by reversing the flow of water through the filter to waste as to remove solids from the filter.
BACTERIA: Tiny one-celled organisms that break down organic matter. Not all bacterial is harmful, but some are pathogens, which can cause infectious diseases.
BACTERICIDE:A chemical that kills bacteria. Chlorine is a bactericide and germicide. Silver algaecides are actually more bactericide, and are useful on pink "algae."
BALANCED WATER: Balanced water is the result when all of your chemical parameters are where they should be and thus balance each other. Balanced water is neither corrosive or scaling. The key components of water balance are pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Temperature; as measured using the Langelier Index of water balance.
BALL VALVE: A valve with a hollowed out ball inside which can be turned with an external handle to decrease or increase water flow.
BASE: Those chemicals of alkaline nature which will counteract the pH of an acid eventually neutralizing at 7.0. Common bases used around the pool would include Soda Ash, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Carbonate, and Sodium Sesquicarbonate.
BASE DEMAND: The amount of required base (pH increaser) to reach correct levels. For example, to raise pH from 7.2 - 7.6, your water may need 2 cups of soda ash. A titration test can be used to determine proper amounts.
BIGUANIDES: The name for a certain class of sanitizers using polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) as the main ingredient. They are the only non-halogen (does not contain fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, or astatine) sanitizer available for pool and spa use. Splashes, Soft Swim, Revacil, and Baquacil are manufacturers of this technology.
BICARBONATE: An intermediate form in the deprotonation of carbonic acid. It is the major form of alkalinity and in excessive amounts, it is known to cause scale formation if in conjunction with calcium. It a base used to increase alkalinity.
BLOWER: An electrical device that is plumbed into the spa return line. It injects a rush of air to produce bubbles and a hydrotherapy effect in the spa, hot tub, or whirl-pool.
BOOSTER PUMP: Secondary to the filter pump, a booster pump is used to power some automatic pool cleaners such as Polaris or Letro. It is used to maintain or increase pressure or flow.