A brief explanation of the most common pool cleaning terms

Pool cleaning terms can be confusing. Many of the terms used in pool cleaning are similar to the terms used may sound completely foreign to you. This post will cover a few of the most common pool cleaning terms to help you better communicate with your pool service provider and not feel like you’re talking an ancient language.

What does skimming the water for debris mean?

Skimming your pool water is precisely what it sounds like. You use a basket on the end of a pole and move it across the surface of the water to scoop up debris. It is usually done three times a week and takes only a few minutes. It will keep your pool looking great and reduce the amount of work you have to do since you won’t have to vacuum your pool as often.

What does vacuuming your pool mean?

Vacuuming your pool is just like vacuuming your floors. You use a machine to pull all the dirt and debris into the filter. It is usually done once a week. It is essential to keep your filter and pump clean to ensure they don’t break down.

your pool

What does backwashing your filter mean?

Backwashing your filter means you are moving water through the filter media again. This process cleanses the media. To backwash your filter, you can use the machine. Just flip a switch or press a button, and water will flow through the filter media to clean it. This process only takes a few minutes and is easy to do.


What does chemical balancing mean?

Chemical balancing is just like balancing your checkbook. You need to keep track of what you are putting in the pool and what the pool needs to keep it clean, free of algae, and crystal clear. Your chemical balance includes pH level, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and your sanitizer. Your pool service professional will use a test kit to determine the chemistry of your pool.

What does a chlorine shock mean?

A chlorine shock is just like it sounds. You shock the pool with chlorine. This process helps to eliminate any algae that are growing in your pool, as well as the urine, sweat, and other organic material your swimmers deposit into the pool.

How do algae get into a swimming pool?

Algae are a microscopic organism and will grow pretty much anywhere there is water. Algae will grow in your pool if you don’t have a good chemical balance with proper pH, sanitizers, and calcium hardness.

swimming pool

New pool owners often find all of these terms confusing

Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed by all of these terms. Most of it is common sense, and it’ll all become second nature to you eventually. Just talk to your pool service provider and ask them to teach you about each term. Most of them are more than happy to help. By learning these terms you will be able to communicate better with your pool service provider and grasp the concepts easier when they are explaining it to you.

The pool installation company and your local hardware store has everything you need

If you need supplies or information, the best places to turn are your local hardware store and the company that installed your pool. They will have everything you need to keep your pool looking beautiful and functioning correctly. You may also want to hang out in online discussion forums or in social media groups that discuss swimming pool care on how to clean a green swimming pool so you can freely ask questions with people who have been in your situation before.