Are you new to the world of swimming pools and find yourself slightly baffled by the technical lingo? You are not alone. From pool construction to maintenance, there are a number of terms that can leave you scratching your head. Metropolitan Pools would like to dive into some of the common pool terms and decode them for the everyday pool owner or enthusiast.
What Does Alkalinity & Other Pool Terms Mean?
Alkalinity: Alkalinity refers to the ability of the pool water to neutralize acid. It is an important factor in maintaining the pH balance of your pool. Think of it as a buffer that helps prevent dramatic swings in pH levels.
pH Levels: Speaking of pH, this term is a measure of how acidic or alkaline your pool water is. The scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. The ideal pool water pH is slightly alkaline, between 7.2 and 7.8, ensuring comfort and safety for swimmers and helping chlorine work effectively.
Chlorine: Chlorine is the most common chemical used to sanitize pools. It eliminates bacteria and algae, ensuring the water is safe for swimming. It comes in various forms, including liquid, granular, and tablet.
Shocking the Pool: This does not mean surprising your pool! Shocking refers to the process of adding a large dose of chlorine or other chemicals to the pool water. This is done to break down chloramines which is combined with chlorine and other contaminants, restoring chlorine’s effectiveness.
Cyanuric Acid: Also known as pool stabilizer, cyanuric acid helps protect chlorine from being quickly degraded by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It is essential for outdoor pools but should be used carefully, as too much can reduce chlorine’s sanitizing effectiveness.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): This term refers to the total amount of dissolved substances in the water, including minerals, salts, and metals. High TDS levels can affect water clarity, taste, and chemical effectiveness.
Skimmer: The skimmer is a part of the pool’s filtration system. It is a device that removes debris like leaves, bugs, and dirt from the surface of the water, preventing them from sinking and becoming harder to remove.
Backwashing: This is the process of cleaning your pool’s filter by reversing the flow of water to flush out trapped dirt and debris. It is an essential maintenance task for keeping your filter functioning effectively.
Coping: Coping is the material used to cap the pool shell wall. It is both a functional and decorative element, providing a non-slip surface and enhancing the pool’s aesthetic appeal.
Gunite: Gunite is a common material used in constructing inground pools. It is a mixture of cement, sand, and water that’s sprayed over a reinforced framework to create a strong, durable pool structure.
Salt Chlorinator: This device converts salt into chlorine, providing an alternative to traditional chlorine sanitation. It is popular in many pools for its ability to produce softer feeling water and less harsh chlorine.
Main Drain: The main drain is not primarily for draining the pool. Instead, it circulates water, drawing it from the bottom to ensure even chemical distribution and temperature.
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Understanding these terms is the first step in becoming more confident in your pool ownership and maintenance journey. Remember, having a pool should be about relaxation and enjoyment. With a bit of knowledge about the basics, you are well on your way to ensuring your pool remains at that perfect backyard retreat. For pool services and more, contact Metropolitan Pools today.