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:
Microscopic plants capable that grow in or around water.
Products that prevent or control algae growth.
Microscopic organisms, some of which are harmful to bathers.
The proper ratio of mineral content and pH that prevents pool water from being corrosive or scale-forming.
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.
A halogen element, compounds of which are widely used in pool water sanitation.
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.
A device that dispenses chlorinating compounds into pool water in a controlled, gradual manner.
The amount of chlorine addition required before a free chlorine residual can be maintained.
On site device that converts salt (sodium chloride) into free chlorine (hypochlorous acid) through the process of electrolysis.
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.
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.
(see Shock Treatment)
A way to measure the acidity or basicity of water. Ideal range 7.4 - 7.6.
Parts Per Million, a measurement for chemical concentration.
Tablets, powder or liquid material for use in water testing.
Coarse calcium deposits on swimming pool wall, floors and circulation plumbing.
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.
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.
Cyanuric acid; a compound that prevents the dissipation of chlorine residuals by sunlight. BioGuard® Stabilizer 100™.
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.
Substances introduced in the water by people or the environment that interfere with ideal pool conditions.