Aqua Safe - Water Filters and Water Purifier Systems - Australia

Aqua Safe Water Filters Australia

Aqua Safe - Water Filters and Filtration Systems
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Swimming Pool Glossary Terms

Acid

A liquid (hydrochloric acid) or dry granular (sodium bisulphate) substance able to dissolve metals and other organic substances. It is used to lower a swimming pool or spa pH or alkalinity level.

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Acid Demand

The amount of acid required to bring the pH or Alkalinity down to the required level as determined by titration or acid demand test.

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Air Bleed Assembly

A device located at the top of some filters to release air entrapped in the filter.

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Air Blower

An electric pump used to push air through holes in the wall, floor and jets of a spa.

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Algae

A microscopic plant like organism that requires sunlight and carbon dioxide to grow and multiply. They are generally introduced into pool by rain or wind and grow in colonies or blooms. There are approximately 21,000 different species of algae and although they are not known to cause disease they can harbour bacteria. The most common types in pools are black, green, blue-green and mustard. If left unchecked they can damage pools. Maintaining correct sanitizer levels will prevent their occurance.

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Algaecide

A natural product or synthetic chemical used to kill or destroy algae. They range from copper and silver to chlorine enhancers and herbicides.

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Alkali

A product used to raise pH or alkalinity also known as a base. It is the opposite of an acid.

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Alkalinity

This is also termed total alkalinity and is a measure of the pH buffering capacity of the water. It inhibits the pools ability to make rapid or quick pH changes. This is an important part of water balance. It is usually measured in parts per million (ppm) and indicates the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water.

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Alum

Is the shortend term for aluminium sulphate and is used as a floculant to drop suspended particles to the pool floor where they can be vacuumed to waste. This is often used in green or cloudy pools.

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Ammonia

A colourless gas with a strong smell that is soluble in water. Often caused by the decomposition of perspiration or urine lending to the formation of chloromines.

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Anion

A negatively charged ion that is attracted to anodes.

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Absorbic Acid

A chemical compound which occurs in fruits and vegetables and used to remove stains from fiberglass and vinyl lined pools.

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Automatic Pool Cleaner

A device requiring little to no human effort and designed to vacuum or remove debris from the walls and floor of the pool.

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Available Chlorine

Also known as residual chlorine is the amount of free and combined chlorine available to sanitise the pool water.

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Backwash

The process used to clean a sand filter where the flow of water is reversed through the filter washing out the dirt collected during filtration. This water then goes to waste or drain.

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Bacteria

A single celled micro-organism ranging in size from 0.2 to >20 microns some are disease causing with all types destroyed by chlorine, bromine or similar sanitisers.

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Bactericide

A chemical compound designed to kill bacteria.

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Balanced Water

A term used to described pool water that has the correct levels of pH, chlorine, total alkalinity and calcium hardness.

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Ball Valve

A shut off valve consisting of an internal hollow ball inside a valve body with an external handle. When the handle is turned 90º the valve opens or closes.

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Bicarbonate

A granular product used to raise the pH or total alkalinity of water.

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Blower

An electric air pump used to push air through holes in the wall, floor and jets of a spa.

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Boost Pump

A secondary/additional pump to the main filtration pump and used to provide extra pressure or flow to some automatic pool cleaners.

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Bromamines

Are the by-products formed and when bromine reacts with organic waste such as perspiration or urine. High levels can irritate swimmers although they do not smell and can be removed by superchlorination or shock treatments.

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Bromine

An alternative sanitizer to chlorine used mainly in spas and water features. Not very popular in pools. Available in tablet form for use in floating and fixed dispensers.

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Buffer

A product used in pools to minimize large pH changes or swings. Designed to stabilize the pH values of the water. This buffer or buffering capacity is measured by Total Alkalinity.

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Buffering Capacity

The ability of the pool to resist large or sudden pH changes. These large or sudden changes make it difficult to maintain the water balance.

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Calcium

A natural soft grey powder or rock with an alkaline pH.

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Calcium Carbonate

A scale forming mineral that when present at high levels in the water can adhere to pool walls, floor and equipment. This mainly comes about when the calcium, pH and total alkalinity levels are too high.

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Calcium Chloride

A granular or flaked salt used to raise the calcium hardness levels in a pool.

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Calcium Hardness

The calcium content of the water. This is not the same as total hardness. If the calcium hardness is low the water is out of balance and will try and rebalance itself by obtaining calcium from pool grout, concrete, etc, resulting in damage. If the calcium hardness is too high scale will be formed on pool surfaces and equipment.

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Calcium Hypochlorite

A white granular chlorine and calcium compound used as a pool or spa sanitizer. It is also available in tablet form and usually contains 65-75% available chlorine.

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Carbon dioxide

A heavy atmospheric gas which is necessary for plant growth but is dangerous to humans and animals if inhaled.

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Carcinogen

Any substance or environmental effect which causes or propagates cancer.

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Cartridge

A replacement porous pleated filter element made of paper or polyester. Water passes through the element trapping particles greater than the rated size of the elements filtration level ie 20 microns.

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Cartridge Filter

A water filter that uses a replaceable, washable filter element to reduce suspended particles in the water.

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Cation

A positively charged ion which has less electrons than protons.

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Check Valve

A mechanical one-way flow device that permits the flow of water or air in one direction only.

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Chelate

The process of bonding a chemical molecule with metal ions preventing them from falling out of suspension and staining pool surfaces and equipment. Also known as chelating or sequestering agents eg chelated copper algaecides.

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Chemical Feeder

A device that dispenses chemicals into the pool or spa at a pre-determined rate. The chemicals can be tablet, granular or liquid eg chlorine, bromine or acid.

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Chloramines

A strong smelling compound formed in pools by a reaction between chlorine and nitrogen or ammonia found in perspiration and urine. Chloramine is also used as a disinfectant or sanitizer in drinking water supplies. It can be removed from pools by superchlorination or shock treatment.

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Chlorinator

An electrical/mechanical device used to generate chlorine from sodium chloride (salt) solution at a controlled rate. Used extensively in Australia and growing in popularity overseas.

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Chlorine

A disinfectant or sanitizer used extensively in the pool and spa industry and the drinking water treatment industry to kill bacteria, viruses, algae and other organisms as well as oxidise organic matter and compounds such as ammonia, nitrogen, etc. It is available in a gas, liquid, granular or tablet form and reacts when added to water in the right quantity to make it safe for human consumption.

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Comine Chlorine

Combined chlorine or chloramines are a strong smelling by-product of chlorine. If there is too much organic matter in the pool particularly perspiration or urine the chlorine will change form and combine with these organics to create chloramines or combined chlorine. Combined chlorine = Total chlorine – Free chlorine with levels ideally kept as low as possible in the pool or spa (less than 0.2 ppm). If not chlorine levels will need to be increased or a super chlorination maybe required.

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Chlorine Deman

The amount of chlorine required to oxidise the organic matter (bacteria, algae, micro-organisms, leaves, ammonia, nitrogen, etc) present in the pool or spa.

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Chlorine Enhancer

A chemical compound normally used in conjunction with chlorine to increase the performance for killing algae.

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Chlorine Lock

This occurs when the level of cyanuric acid/stabilizer is too high in the water causing the chlorine to be locked up or unavailable for sanitizing.

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Chlorine Residual

The amount of chlorine left in the water of the pool or spa after all of the organic matter has been oxidised.

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Circulate/Circulation System

A pipework or plumbing system that carries water in a continuously circular sequence ie from the pool to the pump, to the filter and back to the pool then to the pump etc.

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Clarifier

A chemical or compound eg Alum used to co-agulate suspended particles in the water dropping them to the floor of the pool where they can be vacuumed or clumping them together so they can be filtered out. This gives the water greater clarity and a cleaner look. An Enviro Pool Stick can also be used to clarify the water doing the same job without the addition of chemicals while working 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

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Clarify

How clear or transparent the water is.

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Contaminants

Small particles, micro-organisms, bacteria, algae and other organic matter which reduce the clarity and quality of the water.

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Coping

The cap, top lip or finishing edge around a pool or spa. It can be made from tiles, pavers, concrete, brick, extruded aluminium or rigid vinyl. It can also be part of the system that secures vinyl liners to the top of the pool wall.

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Copper

An element found in soils that is a natural algaeside. It is also used in non-chlorinated pool systems. High levels of copper can cause green water or deposits of green material on pool walls and equipment. Corrosion in copper pipework (if used) caused by improper water balance or the use of Tri-chlor tablets in the skimmer box can also cause these problems. Maximum suggested level of copper is 0.2 ppm.

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Copper Algaecide/Sulphate

A chemical compound containing copper that flocculates and kills algae. Copper sulphate was used in the past, newer copper based algaecides are chelated preventing them from staining pool surfaces.

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Conditioner

Also known as cyanuric acid or stabilizer. This chemical is added to the pool to protect the chlorine from being burned off by the sun. This helps maintain a free chlorine residual throughout the day however high levels reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

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Corrosion

Degradation etching, pitting or rust of pool equipment or surfaces caused by improper water balance, acid or alkaline chemicals or salt.

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Cover

Pool covers can be constructed of many different materials. Hand covers are attached to the pool edges to protect against debris and people falling in. Soft covers generally float on the surface warming the pool, keeping out debris and preventing water and chemical evaporation. They are also known as solar or thermal blankets. Mesh covers are also used to protect the pool from debris and people falling in while allowing rainfall to pass through.

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Cyanuric Acid

Also known as pool conditioner or stabilizer. This chemical is added to the pool to protect the chlorine from being burned off by the sun. This helps maintain a free chlorine residual throughout the day however high levels reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

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Diatomaceous Earth Filter

Also known as Diatomite filter, DE filter or Fuller’s Earth filter. This filter is based on the use of Diatomaceous earth which is a very fine powder made from the fossilized remains of ancient plankton called Diatom. This powder is added to water to form a slurry before being coated on a nylon or dacron cloth creating the media to filter the water.

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Dichlor

This is the common name for sodium dichlor. This quick dissolving chemical compound is a combination of chlorine and cyanuric acid, has a balanced pH and is used to sanitise swimming pools.

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Disinfectant

A chemical or process used to kill living organisms both disease causing (pathogenic) and non-pathogenic. Products types include; chlorine, bromine, copper, silver.

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Dissolved Solids

Also known as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is a measure of the total amount of dissolved matter in the water. This matter can be minerals such as calcium, magnesium, salt and metals such as copper, silver, aluminium, etc. Salt water pools should not exceed 8,000 ppm while chlorine pools should not exceed 2,500.

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Diverter Valve

A plumbing valve used to change the direction or divert the flow of water from the main drain and skimmer box to the pump or from the pool and spa to the pump.

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DPD

A method (using tablets) of testing Total and Free chlorine and bromine levels in water.

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Drain

A plumbing fitting installed in the floor of the deepest part of the pool or spa. It is connected to the suction of the pump and used for circulation and filtration although it can also be used to drain the pool.

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Dry Acid

A granular form of acid known as sodium bisulphate. It produces acid when added to water and is used for lowering pH and total alkalinity. It is also safer to use than hydrochloric acid.

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Electrolysis

The movement of an electric current through a water solution resulting in decomposition of metals and other inorganic compounds. Electrolysis is used by salt water chlorinators to produce chlorine from salt water. The process is also used in non-chlorinated pools with copper and silver cathodes and anodes. Electrolysis also describes an electrochemical reaction which causes dissimilar metals in a pool or spa to break down causing a black stain or discharge. This is usually caused by an improper electrical grounding of pool equipment or lights.

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Fibreglass

Very fine filaments of glass that are woven into a mat. This mat is then used in a process with resins, catalysts and hardeners to form or be moulded into pools, spas and other products.

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Filter

A device or piece of equipment used to remove suspended material and particles from the water. This is done by a filter medium, element or cartridge. The 3 main filters used for pool and spa water are sand, cartridge/element or diatomaceous earth.

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Filter Aid

A chemical compound added to the water to assist the filter in removing more and finer contaminants eg Alum, Water Clarifiers and Diatomaceous Earth.

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Filter Element/Cartridge

A device inside a filter housing that is designed to trap and hold suspended materials and particles while letting water pass through. The element is then either cleaned or replaced.

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Filter Area

The total surface area of the filter medium that is exposed to the flow of water. This value is usually expressed in square metres or square feet.

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Filter Cycle

The amount of time (in hours) the filter runs for before it needs to be backwashed. It also refers to the amount of time the filter runs for each day.

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Filter Medium

A graded gravel, sand or carbon material used in a tank to trap and hold suspended particles while letting water pass through. This material or media does a similar job to that of a filter element or cartridge.

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Filter Powder

The common name for Diatomaceous Earth (DE) used in DE filters.

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Filtration Rate

The rate at which the water travels through the filter expressed in litres per minute per square metre of filter area or gallons/minute/square foot of filter area.

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Flocculant

A chemical or compound ie alum used to co-agulate or combine suspended particles in the water so they sink to the bottom of the pool where they can be vacuumed to waste.

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Flow Rate

The volume of water pumped through the system over a given period of time ie litres per minute, gallons per minute.

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Foaming

Froth or bubbles on the surface of the water usually in spas or hot tubs. This usually comes from soap or high TDS levels caused by body oils, suntan lotions, etc.

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Free Chlorine

The amount of chlorine in the water that is available to sanitise or disinfect the water. It is also known as residual or available chlorine.

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Gasket

A mechanical seal made from rubber, plastic, metal, paper, cork or silicone designed to fit between two objects or surfaces to seal them and stop them from leaking.

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Grout

A mixture of sand, cement and water applied as a thick liquid between tiles, pavers and concrete to fill voids and seal joints. This thick liquid then hardens over time.

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Hard Water

Water that has high levels of calcium, magnesium and other salts that then bind together and deposit on equipment and pool surfaces causing damage and appearance problems.

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Hot Tub

Similar to a spa although usually made of wood, circular in shape, filled with heated, circulated water.

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Horsepower

The unit of power still used in the USA but discontinued in many other parts of the world where the metric unit of power used is kilowatts. 1 horsepower = 0.746 kilowatts.

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Hydrochloric Acid

A strong acid used in pools to lower the pH or Total Alkalinity. It is also known as muriatic acid and used in cleaning concrete and other surfaces. It is normally 31-33% hydrochloric acid.

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Hydrogen Peroxide

A clear liquid used as a sanitizer, bleach or oxidiser in pools and spas. It can also be used to de-chlorinate pools and spas.

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Hypochlorite

The name given to a group of products containing chlorine. The granular forms are calcium and lithium hypochlorite. The liquid type is sodium hypochlorite. They are all used as sanitisers or disinfectants in pools and spas.

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Hydrostatic Pressure

The upward water pressure created beneath a pool shell by the existence of a high water table. This water pressure will push the pool out of the ground if the pool is emptied.

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Hydrostatic Relief Valve

A plumbing valve installed in the floor of the pool designed to open if the hydrostatic (ground water pressure) pressure around the outside of the pool is greater than the pressure inside the pool, thereby allowing groundwater into the pool and stopping the pool shell from being pushed up out of the ground.

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Impeller

The rotating curved blades of a centrifugal pump (pool pump) that move the water and create flow.

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Inlet

The point or location where water enters a piece of equipment or system.

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ION

Part of an electrolyte (liquid) which moves to one or other electrode in electrolysis. Cations move to the cathode, anions move to the anode.

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Ionizer

A device installed in the pool filter return line through which water flows and collects charged metal ions. These ions are released through electrolysis of materials such as copper and silver. This technology is used instead of chlorine based systems to sanitise and maintain swimming pools. It works by passing a low voltage DC current through a set of metallic electrodes ie copper and silver placed inline within the device.

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Iron

A metal element present in some water used to fill pools. It can cause the water to be brown or green coloured and stain pool equipment or surfaces. The problem if present can be controlled by a sequestering or chelating agent.

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Isocyanuric Acid

Also known as stabilizer or sunscreen. This chemical is added to the pool to protect the chlorine from being burned off by the sun. This helps maintain a free chlorine residual throughout the day however high levels reduce the effectiveness of chlorine.

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Langelier Index

Also known as the Langelier Saturation/Stability Index was developed by Wilfred Langelier in 1936. It can be used to determine water balance by calculating the pH, Total Alkalinity, calcium hardness and water temperature to derive assigned values. These values are then applied to the following formula to determine an index value.


LSI = pH + TF + CF + AF – 12.1


The Langelier Index is generally used to predict the calcium carbonate stability of the water indicating whether it is corrosive in equilibrium or likely to cause scaling.

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Laterals

Short pieces of PVC or poly pipe (slotted or with strainers attached) installed in the bottom of a sand filter to collect the filtered water while keeping the sand in the tank.

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Liquid Chlorine

Another name for sodium hypochlorite. This liquid chlorine has a pH of 12.5 to 13.0 with approximately 12% of available chlorine when packed. This percentage decreases as the chlorine ages. It is best to purchase from suppliers who do not store the product for long. After 2-3 months storage the free chlorine level could be 8-9%.

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Lithium Hypochlorite

A dry granular chlorine compound with 35% available chlorine. It dissolves easily and has a pH of 10.7. Suitable for chlorination and super chlorination but should not be used for floating chlorine dispensers.

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Magnesium

A metallic silver/white element that can combine with calcium to form scale or in high concentrations can lead to stain on pool equipment and surfaces.

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Magnesium Hardness

The amount of magnesium present in the water is part of total hardness. Magnesium can also cause scale formation and staining.

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Main Drain

A plumbing fitting installed in the floor of the pool or spa. It is connected to the suction of the pump and used for circulation and filtration although it can also be used to drain the pool.

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Make Up Water

Also known as tap or refill water. It is water that is added to the pool or spa from the tap or local water supply to replace evaporation and other losses.

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Micron

A unit of measure equal to 1 millionth of a metre, 0.001 millimetres or 0.000394 inches. Microns are used to describe the opening or pore size of a filter ie A 20 micron filter will generally stop particles greater than 20 micron from passing through. Sand filters generally filter down to 20-30 microns. Cartridge filters are usually fitted with 20 micron cartridges while DE filters usually filter down to 1 to 5 microns. The human eye can see objects down to 20-30 microns. A grain of sand is approximately 100 microns.

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Minerals

Normally an inorganic substance such as calcium, magnesium, copper, nickel, zinc, iron, silver, aluminium, etc. found in rocks or soil. These substances are dissolved by water ending up in ground water and in many cases town water supplies.

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Micro-Organism

A living organism so small that it cannot be seen clearly without the use of a microscope. Sanitisers or disinfectants are used to destroy these life forms.

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Multiport Valve

Also known as a backwash valve. The value usually sits on or near a sand filter and has between 4 and 6 different positions. A handle in the centre of the value directs the flow of water to the required function; filter, rinse, recirculate, backwash closed or drain. To change functions the pump must be turned off to avoid damage to the unit.

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Muriatic Acid

Also known as hydrochloric acid. It is a strong acid normally 31-33% hydrochloric acid used in pools to lower the pH or Total Alkalinity.

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Nitrogen

A gaseous or liquid element which occurs naturally in the atmosphere and soils. It is an essential plant and algae nutrient. Nitrogen enters the pool through rainfall and swimmer use (ie perspiration and urine) and combines with chlorine to form chloramines. These have a strong odour and irritate swimmers but can be removed by elevated chlorine level or super chlorination.

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Non-Chlorine Shock

A number of chemical compounds ie potassium permonosulfate, used to oxidise organic mater in a pool that do not contain chlorine or bromine. They destroy ammonia, nitrogen and some organisms allowing swimmers to enter the water soon after adding the chemical. They do no sanitise the water.

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Organic Matter/Waster

Material found in or produced by live organisms and plants which contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and often nitrogen and sulphur. This also includes proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils or more commonly known products such as soap, deodorant, suntan lotion, lipstick, makeup body oils, sweat, urine, spit, etc. This matter can be oxidised by high levels of chlorine or Enviro Pool Sticks. The Enviro Pool Sticks oxidises the organics naturally without the addition of any chemicals or release of any chemicals into the water.

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Oxidation

A chemical change which involves the addition of oxygen or its chemical equivalent resulting in the destruction or burning up of organic matter/waste and compounds. It is a similar process to rust but happens much quicker. Products such as chlorine, bromine and Enviro Pool Sticks use this process.

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Oxidizer

A non-chlorine based compound that destroys organic matter and contaminants ie chloramines in pool water without raising chlorine levels.

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pH

An index or scale of relative acidity or alkalinity expressed in logarithmic numbers from 1 to 14 with 7.0 being neutral. Higher values indicate alkalinity, lower values acidity. The ideal pH range in swimming pools is 7.4 – 7.6. pH is actually a measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration.

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Phenol Red

A chemical reagent used to test water for pH level.

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Potassium Permonosulfate

See non-chlorine shock.

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Polymer

A natural or synthetic compound made from millions of simpler large molecules. Natural organic polymers are cellulose, rubber and lignin. Synthetic organic polymers are polyethylene, nylons, vinyls, polyesters and polyurethanes. Many water clarifiers are made from organic polymers.

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PPM

An abbreviation for parts per million. This is used to determine the concentration of chemicals in the water ie 80 ppm = 80 litres per million litres. For example Free chlorine in a pool should be between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm.

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Precipitate

When a substance or compound comes out of solution (due to the result of a chemical reaction) and settles to the bottom of the pool or remains in suspension. This can cause stains or scale.

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Pressure Gauge

A round dial with numbers written on it and a pointer or needle in the centre. It measures the current water pressure at the particular location and indicates this by the number pointed to on the gauge. Readings are normally in kPa: kilopascals, PSI: pounds per square inch or bar.

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Pump

A mechanical device usually powered by an electric motor and used to raise or transfer fluids. Pumps are used in swimming pool applications to draw water from the pool and pump it through the filtration back to the pool. They also do the same task in spa and hot tub applications.

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Pump Capacity

The volume of water the pump can move in a specified period of time. Usually expressed in litres per minute, gallons per minute.

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Pump Strainer Basket

Also known as a hair and lint trap or pump leaf trap situated on the suction side of the pump. It usually has a clear lid to view the removable suction strainer basket. This should be checked and cleaned monthly.

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PVC Pipe

A white ridged and hard pipe used for plumbing pump and filtration equipment to pools. PVC stands for poly vinyl chloride.

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Reagents

The chemical dyes and indicators used for the various water quality tests.

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Residual Bromine

The amount of bromine remaining in the pool or spa after the bromine demand has been satisfied or all of the organics have been oxidised.

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Residual Chlorine

The amount of free chlorine remaining in the pool or spa after the chlorine demand has been satisfied or all of the organics have been oxidised.

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Sand Filter

A tank usually made from fiberglass, plastic or steel filled with sand, gravel or zeolite. Water is pumped into the top of the tank where it is diffused over the sand or media. The water moves through the media filtering as it goes before collecting it in the laterals on the bottom of the tank.

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Sanitiser

A chemical used to remove and destroy unwanted contaminants such as bacteria, algae, micro-organisms and other organic matter.

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Scale

A white/grey crust or streaks formed on pool equipment or surfaces. This happens when the calcium, magnesium or total hardness of the water is too high or out of balance with pH and total alkalinity. The mineral salts fall out of solution causing the problem.

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Scum Line

A mark or line at water level around the pool or spa where residue is deposited on the tiles or walls. This residue or scum comes from body oils, suntan lotions, soaps, hairspray, deodorant, etc.

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Sediment

Suspended matter or larger particles that have settled out of the water.

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Sequestering Agent

Also known as a chelating agent or chelate. A chemical that combines with dissolved metal ions preventing them from falling out of suspension and staining pool surfaces and equipment. It can also be a chemical that removes dissolved metals from water.

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Shock Treatment

The addition of high quantities of oxidizers such as hypochlorites, potassium permonosulfate or hydrogen peroxide to destroy organic matter ammonia, chloramines, nitrogen compounds and swimmer waste.

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Silt

Very fine soil particles that can be washed or blown into the pool. These particles range in size from 0.004 to 0.06 mm and are generally too small to be filtered out. They need to be flocculated, a chemical clarifier used or an Enviro Pool Stick installed.

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Skimmer Box

A plumbing fitting/device installed at water level through the wall of a pool or spa and connected to the suction line of the pump. It is designed to draw water and floating surface debris into itself for filtration. The skimmer also contains a debri basket and a weir mechanism.

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Skimmer Basket

This basket or strainer is located in the skimmer box to remove leaves and large debris to protect the pump and filter.

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Skimmer Weir

The small floating door at the front of the skimmer box. This door prevents debris from floating back into the pool when the pump shuts off. The weir floats up and down with the pool water level to maintain a continuous flow of water to the skimmer box and pump.

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Slurry

A thick liquid with a high concentration of suspended solids.

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Soda Ash

An alkaline granular product used to raise an acidic pH or Total Alkalinity.

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Sodium Bicarbonate

Also known as baking soda. It is an alkaline compound used to increase total alkalinity levels.

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Sodium Bisulfate

Also known as Dry Acid. This chemical is used to lower the pH and/or total alkalinity. 1 kilogram of dry acid is approximately equal to 1 litre of 32% hydrochloric acid.

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Sodium Bromide

A bromine salt used initially in pools and spas before the use of bromine tablets.

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Sodium Carbonate

Also known as soda ash and pH increaser. This chemical is used to raise the pH and/or total alkalinity.

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Sodium Dichlor

A fast dissolving granular stabilized chlorine with 63% available chlorine. It has along shelf life with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0 so it has little effect on pool pH and alkalinity.

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Sodium Hypochlorite

A liquid chlorine that is easy to use with no pre-mixing required. It is commonly available in 5, 10, 25 or 200 litre containers with a strength of 12.5% available chlorine. It has a limited shelf life and should not be stored for more than a few weeks or purchased from suppliers with low stock turnover. It has a high pH of around 11-12 and as such will raise the pool pH. It is also unstabilised and so will loose strength rapidly.

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Sodium Monopersulphate

A non-chlorine shock treatment used to oxidising organic matter in the pool such as ammonia, nitrogen and some organisms allow swimmers to enter the water soon after adding the chemical. It does not kill bacteria or sanitise the water.

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Sodium Thiosulphate

A chemical used to de-chlorinate or remove chlorine from the pool or spa.

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Soft Water

Water that has low calcium and/or magnesium content; hardness levels of less than 80 ppm. It can also mean water that has been treated or passed through a softener. This water should not be added to a pool as the calcium hardness levels will be too low.

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Solar Cover

A plastic cover that floats on the surface of the pool or spa absorbing solar radiation or sunlight. It increases the temperature, reduces the evaporation and protects the pool or spa from debris.

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Solar Heating System

A mat of miniature plastic tubes through which water is pumped. These mats are placed on the roof where they are heated by the sun. Heat is absorbed by the water as it passes through the tubes back to the pool. The water is circulated from the pool to the solar system and back to the pool continuously to increase the temperature in the pool by up to 10ºC above the normal seasonal pool temperature.

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Spa

Also known as a Jacuzzi. It is a portable or permanently installed bath or vessel containing hot water. It usually contains water jets and an air induction system.

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Stabilizer

Also known as isocyanuric acid. It is a granular chemical added to pools to reduce the chlorine loss from UV rays in sunlight.

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Stabilised Chlorine

A chlorine product that also contains stabilizer or cyanuric acid/isocyanuric acid. The stabilizer protects the chlorine from being burning off by the suns UV rays. The most common products are sodium dichlor and trichlor.

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Stain Inhibitor

See sequestering or chelating agent.

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Strainer Basket

A strainer or sieve in the shape of a small bucket that fits in the skimmer box or in front the pump that is designed to collect small leaves and objects that could clog the pump impellor or filter.

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Suction Side

The inlet side of the pump where the water is under vacuum or suction pressure.

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Super Chlorination

The process of adding 3-5 times the normal amount of chlorine ie 5-10 ppm. This is done to destroy algae, ammonia, nitrogen, combined chlorine and swimmer wastes built up in the pool water.

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Suspended Solids

Solid particles in the water that float around in solution or on the surface. They can often be removed by filtration but in some cases they are too small and need to be flocculated with alum or similar clarifying chemical. They can also be removed by an Enviro Pool Stick which can oxidise these particles.

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Telescopic Pole

A long handled aluminium pole which can extend in length. Leaf skimmers, brushes, pool vacuums and other tools are then attached to clean the pool.

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Test Kit

A collection of pool water testing equipment usually contained in a small plastic container. The kit normally contains test tubes, reagents, test tablets and instructions. Typical tests that can be carried out are: free and total chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, water hardness, iron and copper.

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Test Strips

Small flat plastic strips with square pads attached along the length. These pads are impregnated with various reagents to test for pH, chlorine, total alkalinity, water hardness, stabilizer, iron, copper, salt concentration, etc. The strips are simply dipped in the pool with the resulting colour changes of the various test pads noted to determine the levels. Brands such as Aquacheck are simple and very accurate.

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Total Alkalinity

The buffering capacity of the water or the ability of the water to resist sharp changes in pH. Low total alkalinity can cause metal corrosion the same as low pH while high alkalinity can cause scale formation and low chlorine efficiency.

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Total Chlorine

The total amount of chlorine in the pool; this includes free and combined chlorine.

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Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

The total amount of dissolved matter in the water. Matter that is in solution. It can be comprised of chemicals, THM’s, VOCs, hardness, alkalinity, sodium, magnesium, copper, minerals, metals, etc. TDS in pools should not exceed 8,000 ppm in salt water pools or 2,500 in chlorinated pools. The only way to reduce TDS levels in pools is to dilute the pool water with fresh water.

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Turbidity

A measure of the clarity or transparency of water. The lower the turbidity the greater the clarity or cleaner the water. Town water normally has a turbidity of 2.0 Ntu or less. Cloudy water has a higher turbidity caused by fine particles in suspension that are to small to be filtered out. Turbidity can be improved by flocculants, clarifying agents or an Enviro Pool Stick.

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Turnover

The amount of time it takes to pump and filter the total volume of the pool. Most pumps are sized to turnover or pump and filter the total volume of the pool in 8 hours. Although the pump is sized for this, due to pool design and economics there are always low circulation spots in the pool that may take days or weeks to turnover.

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Ultra Violet Light

Ultra violet light is a natural part of sunlight. It has a disinfecting effect on micro-organisms. UV inactivates within seconds micro-organisms and viruses by a photo chemical reaction within their vital DNA. This natural process allows environmentally friendly and reliable water disinfection without chemical additives.

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Underdrain

Also called filter laterals or collection system. It is a collection of slotted PVC or poly pipes that sit in the bottom of a sand filter to collect the filtered water and prevent the sand from coming out. Water enters the filters, passes through the sand into the underdrain system and back to the pool.

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Vacuum

A device that uses suction from the pump to clean leaves and debris from the pool floor. Some devices vacuum and clean automatically while others are manual. Most devices are attached through the skimmer box.

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Valve

A shut off or restriction device used to stop or limit the flow of water.

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Vinyl Liner

A thin material used on the inside of a pool to contain the water. The liner rests on the sand or concrete floor and is drapped over and locks into the top of the metal pool walls.

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