Swimming Pool Terms and Definitions

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Pool terms can be confusing and overwhelming for a new swimming pool owner. Whether you’re considering adding a pool to your home, or if you’ve purchased a home that already has a pool, it’s important to understand all related terms and definitions. Knowing these terms helps you better understand how to take care of your swimming pool.

Swimming Pool Descriptive Terms

There are many types of swimming pools. These swimming pool terms describe features about your pool. Your particular pool may have some of these features.

Aggregate is a mix of colored plaster along with decorative particles such as tumbled stones, quartz, glass, or marble. This contributes to the overall appearance and texture of permanent swimming pools. Aggregates are generally darker and shinier while wet and some require polishing to smooth sharp edges after installation.

A black-bottom pool creates a natural look, similar to a pond. It provides the pool with a reflective surface to mirror the surrounding architecture, sky, and vegetation.

Some pools feature a custom mosaic design, or a pattern made of tile, glass, or stone. These custom designs provide a unique look and is often located at the focal point of the swimming pool.

Fiber-optic lighting is a common option for underwater lighting.

Some swimming pools contain a grotto to provide a natural appearance. These typically include underwater benches as well as lighting. They can be created with natural boulders, but in most cases they are built with artificial rock.

An infinity edge is when one side of the pool is slightly lower than the others. This allows the water to spill over the lower side, creating an illusion that there is no wall. The water actually falls into a basin before being circulated back into the pool.

A lap pool is a narrow pool specifically for lap swimming. This type of swimming pool is a great fit for narrow areas where larger pools may not fit.

Swimming Pool Terms Used to Describe the Area around the Pool

There are also a number of swimming pool terms used to describe the area surrounding the swimming pool.

A cantilevered deck is a pool deck overlapping the edge of the pool. It usually consists of wooden deck boards or stamped concrete. It’s also a popular option to conceal automatic pool cover tracks.

Stone pavers are often used around the swimming pool to create a decorative area and prohibit weed growth. These are precut pieces of stone that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Swimming Pool Structure Terms

Swimming pools come with a variety of options when it comes to their function. These pool terms focus on the specific structure and function of these terms.

Air-Relieve Valve is a manual valve on the top of the filter tank. Also known as a pressure-relief valve, it relieves pressure inside the filter.

Automatic Pool Cleaner is a pool maintenance system which vacuums debris and dirt from the pool’s interior. There are a variety of pool cleaners available on the market with various features.

The drain is the plumbing fitting installed on the suction side of the swimming pool pump. It is located in the deepest section of the pool and aids with circulation and filtration.

Diverter valves are plumbing fittings that redirect water flow.

Gunite is a mixture of sand and cement which is sprayed on to supported surfaces to build a swimming pool.

A skimmer is a device built into the wall of the pool. It’s connected to the pump’s suction line and pulls in water to trap contaminants in the skimmer basket before they reach the pump or filter.

A vinyl liner is a vinyl membrane which holds the water in certain types of swimming pools.

Swimming Pool Care Terms

There are also a large number of swimming pool terms that focus on the care and maintenance of your swimming pool. These are terms you should become familiar with to ensure your pool is properly cared for.

Algae are microscopic organisms fueled by carbon dioxide and sunlight. It does not cause disease itself, but it does provide an ideal environment for bacteria. It’s important that you prevent the buildup of algae in your pool using Algaecide. You can also prevent the growth of algae using Algaestat.

Alkalinity is the measure of the water’s ability to resist pH changes. A base called Alkali increases the alkalinity of your pool. These include Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Hydroxide, and Sodium Bicarbonate.

A balanced pH level refers to the safe range of pH within your pool. The term indicates the level of alkalinity or acidity of the water. It measures the positive Hydrogen ions in the pool water. The ideal pH range is between 7.0 and 7.6.

Skimming is the process of using a skimmer device or a skimmer net to remove pollutants from the water.

Swimming Pool Chemical Terms

Acid is a chemical that contains hydrogen and lowers the pH of swimming pool water. The amount of acid needed to balance your pool’s pH is called Acid Demand and is determined with an Acid Demand Test.

Aluminum Sulfate, also called Alum, cleans pool water. It does this by attracting particles suspended in the water and causing them to sink to the bottom of the pool where it can be vacuumed.

Ammonia is the result of sweat or urine. When introduced to the pool and combined with chlorine it forms foul smelling chloramines. These chloramines are harmful to a swimmer’s health.

Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to a swimming pool in order to disinfect water and destroy harmful bacteria.

Balancers are chemicals designed to prevent both corrosion and staining.

Bromide and bromine are common swimming pool disinfectants. These work to destroy algae and bacteria.

A neutralizer is a chemical that makes chlorine harmless by deactivating or destroying the chlorine or bromine.

A chemical feeder is a device which dispenses chemicals into the swimming pool at a set rate. This can distribute chlorine, bromine, or other pH balancing chemicals.

Caring for Your Swimming Pool

As you can see there are several terms when it comes to the construction, care, and maintenance of your swimming pool. Swimming pools are delicate and require attention and care. By taking care of your pool you’re creating a safe and enjoyable environment for you and your family.

Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance can help you keep your swimming pool in ideal condition.

Call Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance at (214) 995-3556 for more information on swimming pool terms.

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Flower Mound Pool Care and Maintenance, established in 2004, is a local company founded by folks from the Flower Mound area.


We proudly service Argyle, Carrollton, Coppell, Corinth, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lake Dallas, Lantana, Lewisville, Plano, McKinney and Frisco.