9102 Sweetbrush Dr, Houston, TX 77064
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29 Sep 2023  /  by Aqua Blue Custom Pools   /   0 Comments

Pool Glossary Terms - A to Z

Pool Construction – Houston Pool Glossary (A to, Z) Cypress, Katy, Magnolia, The Heights. (832) 912-7665


  1. Acid – 1) pH level in pool water – corrosiveness 2) Chemical solution for pool water adjustments.
  2. Air Relief Valve: A small valve on top of the pool filter releases air after the pump is switched on.
  3. Algae: Plant organism that thrives in inadequately sanitized pools. Types: blue-green or black, mustard yellow, pink slime. Algae brush – Metal brush to remove algae spores and allow chlorine to kill them.
  4. Algaecide – Surrounds algae cells, making them vulnerable to chlorine. Alkalinity – Also known as Total Alkalinity – important for pH balance and preventing extreme chemical issues.
  5. Alkalinity increaser – Boosts total alkalinity—Sodium Bicarbonate – baking soda.
  6. Automatic controller – Computerized device for automatic equipment control.
  7. Automatic Pool Cleaner – Self-operating vacuum for pool cleaning, e.g., Pentair Legend Cleaner.


  1. Backwash – Reverse water flow in the pool filter for cleaning.
  2. Backwash Valve – Filter cleaning mode valve.
  3. Balance – Proper chemical levels for pool health.
  4. Beam – Upper wall section of a gunite pool or spa.
  5. Blower – Spa jet air pressure unit.
  6. Bromines – Bacteria-killing spa chemical.
  7. Bromine – Sanitizing chemical for hot tubs.


  1. Calcium  Carbonate: Prevent calcium scale and rough deposits on surfaces.
  2. Calcium Hardness – Control mineral levels in pool water.
  3. Calcium hypochlorite: Use chlorine shock.
  4. Cantilever Edge: Extend the pool deck beyond the pool edge.
  5. Cartridge Filter: Clean with a hose six to ten times per year.
  6. Chloramine: Remove bacteria and organic waste.
  7. Chlorine: Choose the appropriate strength to sanitize.
  8. Chlorinator: Automatically treat water with chlorine tablets.
  9. Clarifier – Aid primary filter in catching small particles.
  10. Coping – Use various materials to cover the pool edge.
  11. Copper – Prevent staining with blue or aqua spots.
  12. Corrosive – Avoid acidic water to protect pool parts.
  13. Cyanuric acid: Helps chlorine last longer in sunlight.


  1. Deck: This term refers to the patio attached to the pool itself. Common materials for decks include brushed concrete, spray rate, cool deck, sundeck, flagstone, and pea gravel. The deck usually makes up 20-30% of a pool budget.
  2. DE Filter: A filtration system that uses diatomaceous earth, a fine powder, to remove
    contaminants from the water. Backwashing is required once a month, which involves adjusting
    the valves. DE powder is affordable but needs to be replaced after each backwashing.
  3. Diverter valve – A plumbing component used to change the direction of water flow.
  4. Dry acid: A dry form of acid that can be distributed throughout the pool to lower pH and Total Alkalinity.
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Float Valve – A valve located at the base of a skimmer to regulate water flow effectively.


  1. Gas Heater – Reliable and efficient spa and pool heating solution powered by propane or natural gas, making it an essential but costly piece of equipment.
  2. Gate Valve – Easily controlled valve capable of opening and closing a gate internally.
  3. Grid: Filter element referred to as a grid or grid filter that utilizes a DE powder coating to capture particles in the water efficiently.
  4. Gunite – Versatile concrete material applied through spraying to construct the pool shell and various additional features like slides, waterfalls, and pads.


  1. Head Pressure – The pH level in your pool water and a liquid used for water chemistry corrections.
  2. Heater – Equipment for heating pool and spa water.
  3. Hypochlorous Acid: Chlorine that kills bacteria.


  1. In-Floor Cleaning System: Pop-up jets on the pool floor that remove settled debris.
  2. Inlet: A PVC fitting that returns water from the equipment pad.
  3. Ion Generating System: A sanitizing system that uses copper and silver ions. Requires chlorine shock.
  4. Iron: A metal that can cause brown or rust stains in pool water.


  1. Lap Pool – A narrow, deep pool designed for swimming laps to promote fitness and endurance.
  2. Lateral – A system of small, perforated pipes placed at the base of a sand filter to optimize water flow and filtration.
  3. Leaf net – A deep, attached net on a pole used to skim the water’s surface and remove leaves and debris.
  4. Leaf rake: A metal brush that removes algae and other contaminants from the pool’s surfaces.


  1. Main Drain: The grate at the bottom of a pool or spa allows water to be drained or circulated. It is recommended to have a dual drain system or an anti-vortex system to prevent entrapment.
  2. Modular Media – An efficient and high-capacity cartridge filter cleaning pool water.
  3. Muriatic acid – A diluted form of hydrochloric acid commonly used to lower the pH level of pool water.


Non-chlorine shock: A shock treatment that does not contain chlorine but is still effective in oxidizing organic waste.


  1. O ring – A rubber ring used to create a tight seal on pool equipment, such as the main circulation pump’s see-through lid.
  2. Oxidation – Breaking down and eliminating ammonia compounds, nitrogen compounds, and swimmer waste in the pool water. Chlorine or non-chlorine shocks can be used for this purpose.
  3. Ozone is a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms that oxidize and sanitize pool water. When used for pool sanitation, it is referred to as an ozonator.


  1. pH – The measure of acidity or basicity in pool or spa water. It is a crucial factor in maintaining proper pool water chemistry.
  2. Plaster: A cement coating that seals the gunite pool shell. The color of the application determines the appearance of the water. Different colors result in various shades of blue or green.
  3. Prime: A process used to ensure a pump runs smoothly. It involves filling the pump with water to prevent damage from running it dry.
  4. Psi – Abbreviation for pounds per square inch, a unit of pressure.
  5. Pole – A versatile maintenance tool with extendable length and attachment holes. It is used with brushes, vacuum heads, leaf nets, or rakes.
  6. Pressure gauge: A gauge on the filter indicates when it needs to be cleaned by measuring the pressure.
  7. Pump: Located on the central equipment pad, the pump circulates water between the pool and the equipment.
  8. Pump basket – A basket located at the front of the pump, often under a clear lid. It catches debris and should be emptied regularly, typically once weekly or more.


Reagent – A chemical used in test kits to analyze water chemistry.


  1. Salt System: A system that uses electricity to disinfect water with chemicals extracted from salt.
  2. Sand Filter: Filtration system that removes contaminants by forcing the water through a vessel of sand. These require monthly backwashing and do not require replacement chemicals.
  3. Sanitizer – A chemical used to sanitize pools, kill bacteria, and oxidize organic waste material.
  4. Sequester – In water chemistry, used to bind metals and scale products before they adhere to surfaces.
  5. Shock – Adding extra chlorine to burn out waste. It helps reactivate combined chlorine, kills bacteria, and increases residual chlorine, which can cause unusual odors in the water.
  6. Sight Glass: Clear window that allows you to see pool water while backwashing. After
    backwashing, the water should be clear and free of any murky color.
  7. Skimmer – Hole on the side of the pool at water level. It contains a basket with a suction line to
    skim debris before it falls into the pool.
  8. Skimmer Weir: Flap over the skimmer that opens to the pool. It prevents skimmed items from floating back into the pool.
  9. Soda ash – Chemical used to raise pH levels, known as sodium bicarbonate.
  10. Sodium dichlor – Granular form of chlorine.
  11. Sodium hypochlorite – Liquid chlorine.
  12. Sports Pool – Pool designed for games like volleyball, basketball, or water polo. Usually three to four feet deep at the ends and four and a half to five feet deep in the middle.
  13. Spa – A vessel that holds hot water for soaking. Usually, it is an integral part of a gunite pool, with multiple jets and the same circulation system as the pool. Hot tubs typically refer to wooden vessels, and Jacuzzi is a brand of spa equipment.
  14. Sweeper System: A device that uses water pressure or suction to remove debris from the floor and walls of a pool.
  15. Swim Spa – A smaller pool, usually around eight feet by twelve feet. It has a large jet that generates a current to swim against.


  1. TDS test: Measure total dissolved solids in pool water for saturation levels.
  2. Trichlor tablets: Chlorine tablets are used to sanitize pool water.
  3. Tile – Material lining the inside vertical rim of the pool and spa at the waterline. It can be ceramic, porcelain, flagstone, or marble. A non-porous surface is recommended to prevent contamination.


Vac head – Attachment for pool pole used for manual pool vacuuming and typically connected to the skimmer or suction line.
About Us

Aqua Blue Custom Pools is an inground swimming pool contractor located in Houston, TX. We specialize in creating custom pools and outdoor living spaces that are shaped around our customer's lifestyles.