Swimming Pool Parts Abbreviations and Terminology

Pool parts abbreviations and terminology
by Rob Cox
February 15, 2014

Pool Parts Abbreviations and Terminology

'In the language of pool parts...' I often say, when describing the cryptic lexicon used by swimming pool part manufacturers to describe the part or product in 40 characters or less. It may seem confusing, but there is an accepted syntax and common conventions are used. Once you know the 'code' - making the correct pool part selections for your repairs will become easier.

In an effort to educate and curtail any confusion, here is a list of common industry abbreviations used in pool part descriptions, as well as a list of terminology used to describe pool parts.

 

Common Pool Parts Abbreviations 

1 sp One speed, or a single speed pump motor.
115/230V Accepts both 115V or 230V, known as a reversible motor voltage.
12 x 1Qt / Cs 12 - 1 Qt bottles per Case.
2 sp Two speed, or a dual speed pump motor.
2-way A valve with two ports, one in and one out.
3-way A valve with three ports, one in and two out, or two in and one out.
60 hz Frequency of electrical power, in the US it is 60 cycles per second.
ABS Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene - a form of thermoplastic.
AV  Anti-Vortex, used to describe drain covers that won't produce a vortex.
DISC Discontinued. Obsolete (OBS) or No Longer Available (NLA).
EA Each. Used to define an individual unit, or an item sold individually.
EXT Extension, or Extended, or an item that is extra long.
FIP Female Iron Pipe. A fitting with threads on the inside.
FPT Female Pipe Taper. threaded fitting, used interchangeably with FIP or FIPT
FR Frame type designation for motors. 48, 48Y, 56 or 56J.
GHT Garden Hose Thread, different size thread than NPT.
Hx Hd Hex Head screw. Use nutdriver, socket or small wrench to remove.
HP Horsepower, a measurement of motor work potential. 1 hp = 746 watts.
ID Inner Diameter, used to define pipe and fitting internal dimensions.
Kit A package of parts, usually a complete construction set.
MFD Microfarad - one millionth of a farad, a measurement of capacitance.
MIP Male Iron Pipe. A fitting with Iron size threads on the outside.
MPT Male Pipe Threads. Used interchangeably with MIP.
MPV Multi Port Valve, used for backwashing sand and DE pool filters.
NLA No Longer Available. Discontinued (DISC) or Obsolete (OBS).
NPS National Pipe Straight. Fitting with non-tapered threads.
NPT National Pipe Taper. Pipe and fitting thread dimensions.
NSF National Sanitation Foundation. Certification required for some commercial pool equipment.
OBS Obsolete. No longer available (NLA) or Discontinued (DISC).
OD Outer Diameter. Measurement for pipes and fittings.
Pr. Pair - a set of two.
Pan Hd Pan Head screw, with rounded top. Use Phillips screwdriver.
Pcs. Pieces. Used to define number of items in a kit or pak.
Pk Pak, or Pack. Can be identical or different items in a pak.
Req Required. Number of parts needed. i.e., 6-req. means 6 ea. are used.
SF Service Factor. Multiplied by HP, is total output of a motor.
SKT Socket. Used interchangeably with Slip. A fitting without threads.
SPG Spigot. A male end that glues or threads into another. Also called Street.
SS Stainless Steel. Used extensively in pool equipment.
SQ FT Square Foot - Measurement used for pool filter media surface area.
uF Microfarad - the same as MFD. Sizing used by Run capacitors.
UWF Universal Wall Fitting, used on Polaris pool cleaners

Common Pool Parts Terminology

Air Relief On top of a filter, to release air in the filter tank.
Bulkhead Attachment that holds pipes entering and exiting a filter tank.
Burner tray Assembly of gas heater burners, pilot, gas valve and gas manifold.
Cap  A cap fits over a pipe, and can be threaded or slip. Opposite of a Plug.
Capacitor Stores energy, like a battery. Used to start electric motors.
Clamp Belly band filter clamps, MPV clamps or radiator hose clamps
Compression fitting A fitting used to join pipe or hose together, with a outer compression nut and inner compression ring.
Coupling A connector or junction, used to couple or join two pieces of pipe or hose.
Diffuser A perforated device to spread out or diffuse water as it enters a sand filter.
Debris Bag Pool cleaner bag that holds vacuumed debris.
Dome Lid for sand filter with a side mount valve.
Elbow A 90 degree fitting, or a 45 degree fitting used in plumbing or electrical wiring.
Element An electric heater element, or a cartridge filter element.
Escutcheon plates Beauty rings used to cover ladder and handrail anchor sockets.
Ferrule The internal compression ring used in a compression fitting. 
Filter media The material used to filter your water. Diatomaceous Earth, Spun Polyster or #20 silica sand.
Foot The base of a pool filter or pool pump.
Gas valve The internal gas valve that sends propane or natural gas to the pilot and burners.
Gasket A mechanical seal in a flat shape. Usually made of paper, rubber, or cork.
Grid For DE pool filters, a grid is a plastic frame covered in a polyester fabric. 
Header Front and rear manifolds used on pool heaters to direct water through the heat exchanger.
Heat exchanger A set of 8-10 copper or titanium finned tubes which absorb heat from the burner tray.
Hose Backwash hose, Vacuum hose, Aboveground filter hose, Pool cleaner feed hose.
Hose adapter A fitting that is threaded on one end, and tapered on the opposite end to insert into a hose.
Hose nut Used on pressure pool cleaners to join together sections of feed hose.
Lateral Slotted plastic pipes in a sand filter, to strain out filtered water from the sand.
Lid Top access for pumps baskets, clam-shell type filters or chlorinators. 
Manifold Directs water in specific directions. DE filters use a manifold on top of the grid assembly.
Module The controller for an electronic pool heater. Also called an IID (intermittant ignition device).
Nipple A short section of pipe, threaded on one or both ends. 
O-ring Ring of certain size, formed of a specific diameter of round rubber cord, seals pressurized equipment.
Pilot Older millivolt heaters have a constant pilot light, Newer heaters light a pilot only when needed.
Plug A plug fits inside of a pipe or hole, and is either threaded, slip or expandable.
Quick disconnect A type of connector shell that permits rapid locking and unlocking connector halves.
Reducer A coupling with different pipe size connections on either end, reducing the pipe size.
Reducer Bushing Insert reducer, threaded or slip, glues inside of a fitting to reduce connecting pipe diameter.
Rotor The footpad inside of a multiport valve, which rotates to create different flow directions.
Saddle clamp A curved assembly that clamps to a pipe, to hold a flow meter or injection fitting. 
Seal Mechanical shaft seals behind a pump's impeller to prevent water leakage along the shaft.
Seal plate The plate that connects to the motor and to the volute, and holds half of the shaft seal.
Set screw A small hex head screw used to hold a stub shaft onto a keyed shaft motor. 
Spider gasket Square cut rubber with a wagon wheel appearance, for sealing multiport valve ports.
Standpipe The vertical pipe within a pool filter, which carries out of the filter.
street elbow A 90 degree fitting which has one side threaded or smooth for slip insert.
Tee A three port fitting, in the shape of the letter T with many uses.
Terminal board Wires connect to a terminal board, for motors, timeclocks and controllers. 
Throttling plug Small threaded plug with slots. Used to reduce flow from skimmers close to the pump.
Transformer Used for pool heaters, low voltage lights, and robotic pool cleaners. Reduces incoming voltage.
Tread Ladder treads, used on pool slides, or for entering or exiting a pool.
Union A coupling with an internal o-ring, and a nut to tighten.  Makes future removal easy.
Volute The impeller housing of a pool pump. The shape creates vacuum and pressure. 
Weir That flapper door thingy in the skimmer.

 You have one to add? Send me an email!

 - Rob