Glossary of Terms

Alkalinity: The amount of bicarbonate carbonate, or hydrogen compounds present in a water solution. A measure of the pH buffering capacity of water.
Available Chlorine: Chlorine, both free and combined, that is available to some degree against bacteria in a pool.
Backwash: the process of cleaning a pool filter by reversing the flow of water through it.
Calcium Hypochlorite: A compound of chlorine and calcium used in white granular or tablet form as a bactericide in pools.
Filter Cycle or Run: The time of pool filter operation between backwash procedures.
Free Chlorine: Amount of available chlorine remaining in pool water after the chlorine demand has been satisfied.
Hardness of Water: Refers to the quantity of dissolved minerals, chiefly calcium and magnesium compounds that may be deposited as scale in pipes, pools and heaters.
Hypochlorinator: A chemical feeder through which liquid solutions of chlorine bearing chemicals are fed into the pool water at a controlled rate.
Muriatic Acid: A dilute solution of hydrochloric acid.
pH: A measure of the degree of acidity or alkalinity a solution possesses. A pH below 7.0 is considered acid. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline or basic. pH equal to 7.0 is neutral.
P.P.M: Parts per million. Calculated in weight units.
PSI: Pounds per square inch. A unit of measure for pressure.
Pump Strainer: A device installed on the pool pump suction side that contains a removable basket designed to protect the pump from debris in water. Also called a hair and lint strainer.
Scale: Calcium carbonate deposits that can be found in the pool filter, heater, or on the pool wall. Caused by excess water hardness.
Skimmer: A devise other than an overflow gutter for continuous removal of surface water and floating debris from a pool to the filter.
Soda Ash: Sodium carbonate used to raise pH and increase total alkalinity in pool water. Also used to neutralize acid resulting from the use of chlorine gas.
Sodium Bicarbonate: A chemical used to raise the total alkalinity content of a pool with little change in pH.
Sodium Bisulfate: A dry white powder that produces an acid solution when dissolved in water. Used to lower pH.
Sodium Hypochlorite: A liquid containing 12% to 15% available chlorine. One of the most commonly used products for chlorination. Produces hypochlorous acid when added to pool water.
Superchlorination: The practice of adding 3 to 5 times the normal chlorine dose to destroy algae or prevent problems after heavy bather loads or severe rains. Also known as breakpoint chlorination.
Total Alkalinity: Measured as calcium bicarbonate. Acts as a buffer or stabilizer for pH.
Turbidity: The degree to which suspended particles in pool water obscure visibility.
Turnover Rate: The time required to recirculate the pool water volume through the water treatment system.   

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