Swimming Pool Vocabulary - You Need to Know These Terms

by Pool Builders on 10-14-2009 in Articles

If you've just installed a new pool, chances are good that your head is spinning with what seems like a new language's worth of words for equipment, chemicals and procedures. If you find yourself in this situation, or if your attempts at research are turning up lots of unfamiliar pool terminology, here are a few basic pool maintenance terms to get you started. The lexicon of specialized pool vocabulary can be divided into two major classifications-the equipment needed to keep your pool maintained, and the chemicals used to keep your water sparkling clear.

Every pool needs a filter which must be kept in working order. Broadly speaking, there are two methods for treating your pool's water, which will impact your choice in filters and the maintenance procedures used. The most common are chlorine systems which, as their name implies, use chlorine to keep the water clean and clear. Chlorine systems are more common and less expensive, though chlorine can have harsh effects on the skin, clothing and equipment.

Salt systems are less common and more expensive to start, but as the salt generates chlorine and is less expensive, they'll save money in the long run. Salt is less harsh, thus minimizing wear on your equipment and body. Salt is also more natural and has less of an environmental impact.

Whichever system you use will have various parts that require regular maintenance and repair. Water is run through a filter system, consisting of both a case and cartridge. Both require regular maintenance and the cartridge should be cleaned regularly as it is responsible for removing impurities and debris. You'll also need to regularly prime the pump, ensuring that water flows through and is unobstructed.

Finally, you'll often hear of people purchasing Sharks, Barracudas or other dangerous-sounding systems. These people aren't engaging in extreme sports, but are instead purchasing automatic cleaners that move through their pools, vacuuming up loose debris and moving it into the filter more quickly. While circulation of pool water helps with this process, some debris is not reachable via the currents, particularly anything stuck to the pool's inner lining. Another broad category of pool terminology involves the required chemical procedures. Before taking any steps that might damage your pool or place your health at risk, a water test should be performed. The chemical content of your pool is a delicate balance, one that can be easily disrupted by an influx of unneeded chemicals.

One common pool maintenance step is the chemical shock, which should be performed weekly in many circumstances, or more often during periods of heavy rain or use. This procedure involves removing the used-up chlorine from your pool and replacing it with a new supply. By removing this bi-product, you'll lessen the wear on your filter cartridges and increase their lifespan. Maintaining your pool is a challenge, particularly for new owners unfamiliar with the dizzying array of terms and potential pitfalls. Until this becomes more familiar ground, it may make sense to invest in quality pool services to keep your pool pristine. Even when you are more familiar with the subject, the peace of mind of having trained professionals maintaining your pool is likely worth the investment. After all, your pool should remain a source of relaxation and fun, not one of constant stress and worry.

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