If you’re thinking about building a swimming pool, or even if you already have one in your back yard, understanding some of the terms used in the swimming pool industry can be helpful. Often new pool owners feel a disadvantage when it comes to understanding how the pool operates or the terminology used by pool professionals. This explanation will help pool owners and those considering a new pool to understand some of the industry terms.
Pump & Water Supply
The heart of a pool is the pool pump which circulates the water in the pool. Its job is to take all of the water in the pool and run it through the filter at least once a day. Residential swimming pools are generally designed to turn over the water in about 6-8 hours per day. At the front of the pump is a pump strainer basket, which prevents solid debris from entering and clogging the pump.
Water is sucked from the pool pump by a skimmer and the main drain. The skimmer is located at the top edge of the pool and has a bobbing plastic door that traps any debris in the skimmer. The debris is them captured in the basket located under the deck lid. The main drains are located at the bottom of the pool. The purpose is to provide water to the pump from the bottom of the pool.
The main drain, skimmer and wall vacuum fitting are suction lines, meaning the suck the water from the pool and carry it to the pump. The water is then sent back to the pool once it has passed through the pump, filter and heater.
When the pool pump runs, it pulls water from the skimmer and main drain. The water is then pushed through the pool filter to remove fine debris, such as sand and organic material. Once the water goes through the filter, it returns to the pool. There are three types of pool filters: sand, cartridge and DE and your pool contractor can help you decide which type is best for your pool usage.
Pool and spa water must be chemically balanced and sanitized to keep it clear and free of germs and bacteria. It must also be treated to keep it from forming scales on the walls of the pool or spa as scale-forming water will deposit calcium over the entire finish of the pool, causing roughness and discoloration.
Water balance involves maintaining a proper pH, total alkalinity and total hardness. A pool contractor can check your pool weekly or monthly to ensure it is properly balanced. Some pool stores will also test your water if you bring a sample and give you suggestions on how to treat the water to bring it back into balance.