WaterWorks Pools, Hot Tubs & More Inc.

19085 Eureka Road, Southgate, Michigan 48195 | Phone: 734.284.3885 | www.waterworks-pools.com


Swimming Pool Supplies, Swimming pool equipment, Aboveground and Inground Swimming Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, Chemicals and More.

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Pool Terms 

This glossary is a tool for getting acquainted with a variety of pool-related terms. You will be better able to maintain your pool with a basic understanding of the words below. Either browse around or search for a particular word:


AlgaeChlorine DemandReagent
AlgicidesChlorine GeneratorScale
BacteriaChlorine ResidualSaturation Index
Balanced WaterCombined Chlorine (Chloramine)Shock Treatment
BromineDry AcidStabilized Chlorinating Products
Calcium Hardness (CH)Free (Available) ChlorineStabilizer
ChloraminespHTotal Alkalinity (TA)
ChlorinatorppmUndesirable Compounds



Microscopic plants capable of rapid reproduction.



Products that prevent or control algae growth.



Microscopic organisms, some of which are harmful to bathers.


Balanced Water

The proper ratio of mineral content and pH that prevents pool water from being corrosive or scale-forming.



A halogen element alternatively used as a sanitizer for pools.


Calcium Hardness (CH)

The amount of dissolved calcium in water. Ideal range 175 - 275 ppm depending on surface type.



A halogen element, compounds of which are widely used in pool water sanitation.



Irritating compounds formed by the combination of nitrogenous compounds and free chlorine. Nitrogenous compounds are introduced into the water by urine, perspiration, cosmetics, suntan oils, etc.



A device that dispenses chlorine tablets into pool water in a controlled, gradual manner.


Chlorine Demand

The amount of a free available chlorine residual needed to destroy organic contaminants and establish a stable residual for effective sanitation.


Chlorine Generator

On site device that converts salt (sodium chloride) into free chlorine (hypochlorous acid) through the process of electrolysis.


Chlorine Residual

The amount of total chlorine in pool water.


Combined Chlorine (Chloramine)

Chlorine which is bonded to other compounds.


Dry Acid

Product used to lower pH and total alkalinity; preferred over muriatic acid (HCl) for handling, storage and safety issues. BioGuard Lo' N Slo®.


Free (Available) Chlorine

Chlorine in a form capable of bacteria and algae destruction. Preferred range: 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.



(see Shock Treatment)



A measurement that indicates the acidity or alkalinity of pool water.  On a scale of 0 to 14, 7.0 is neutral.  Values below 7.0 are acidic, while values above 7.0 are basic.  The recommended range for pool water is 7.4 to 7.6.



Parts Per Million, a measurement for chemical concentration.



Tablets, powder or liquid material for use in water testing.



Coarse calcium or silicate deposits on swimming pool wall, floors and circulation plumbing, especially in heat exchangers.


Saturation Index

A value based on water temperature, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and pH. The value predicts the tendency of pool water to be corrosive, neutral or scale-forming.


Shock Treatment

Adding an oxidizing compound to the pool water to chemically break up (oxidize) contaminants such as suntan oils, cosmetics, perspiration and chloramines.


Stabilized Chlorinating Products

Form of chlorine used to sanitize pool water. Favored for its economy and ability to remain active in strong sunlight.



Cyanuric acid; a compound that prevents the dissipation of chlorine residuals by sunlight. BioGuard® Stabilizer 100™.



Adding enough chlorine (3 to 5 times usual dose) to destroy chlorine demand compounds and combined chlorine.


Total Alkalinity (TA)

A measure of the ability of water to resist changes in pH (Ideal range 125 – 150 ppm).


Undesirable Compounds

Substances introduced in the water by people or the environment that interfere with ideal pool conditions.


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