If you have a pool, one of your responsibilities is testing it regularly. This is important to ensure that your water is clear and free from algae. Moreover, testing your pool water helps to maintain the right chemical balance. Otherwise, your pool and its equipment can get damaged if there is an inappropriate chemical balance. Moreover, this can result in discolored hair and irritated eyes.
Continue reading to know how to prevent this by knowing how to test pool water.
When to Test Pool Water and How Often You Should Do It
You can test your pool water. Nevertheless, you can also bring a pool water sample when you open and close your pool. Then, you have it tested by a professional if you do not feel very comfortable doing it. In general, doing it at least once a month is recommended.
Doing pool water testing regularly is crucial to determine its alkalinity, pH, and chlorine levels. According to the CDC, pH, and chlorine are responsible for disinfecting your pool. Before you open your pool, testing pH and chlorine levels should be done every week.
Here are some of the situations wherein you need to check if the levels are suitable:
- After many people swam in your pool
- Before you start any type of algae treatment
- After the weather changed
- After a rainstorm
- Before closing your pool
- Any water issues such as changing color or becoming cloudy
- After you add water
How to Obtain Pool Water Sample Properly
Where you get your sample and your method of doing it are crucial in taking a proper pool water sample. You get the sample from the farthest side of any return jets or skimmer opening if possible.
- Get a clean bottle or cup.
- Wash your container using your pool water many times.
- To fill it up with air, place it upside down. This is to allow the opening of the container to face the pool floor.
- Stick your container elbow-deep into the water.
- Collect the sample by turning it on the right side facing up.
- Once your container is filled up, you bring it up and place the cover with a small number of air bubbles.
Methods for Testing Pool Water
There are various methods for testing pool water that you can choose from. These methods include:
- Liquid Testing Kits
Liquid testing kits have all the basic things you need to do regular pool water testing. When used correctly, the results are accurate. Nevertheless, this also means that you will get an inaccurate result if you make a mistake. You have to be careful since it can be difficult to use.
This kit includes 2 things; the OTO or Orthotolidine for testing chlorine and phenol red for testing the pH. You also need a blank white paper sheet on hand.
After you get your pool water sample using the containers from the kit, follow the steps below:
- Put the right number of drops of OTO on the chlorine part.
- Put the right number of drops of phenol red on the pH part.
- Place the white paper sheet behind the test kit so that you can see the colors clearly.
There are higher pH levels if the pH part is higher and there is higher chlorine content if the chlorine part is yellower. You can also use the chart to compare the colors to know the levels.
- Testing Strips
Testing strips are accurate and you get all the results you need with a single strip. They are also cheaper and easier to use. However, the steps of doing the test can be complicated. The basics are provided by testing strips which are chlorine, pH, and alkalinity. There are also strips made for testing salt, copper, bromine, and iron.
After obtaining your pool water sample, here are the things you need to do:
- Get a strip, dip it into the water, and remove it.
- Hold the strip up or place it on an even surface at the time indicated in the kit. Keep in mind not to shake it.
- Compare the colors on the strip with the colors shown on the package.
- Digital Testing Kits
Digital kits are easy as you only need to use liquids to do the test. You are unlikely to make mistakes when using this method since it shows the results. The test determines free and total chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.
Not all digital kits are made the same. However, you follow the method given on how to get a water sample. You just need to follow the instructions provided in your chosen unit.
Finally, you know ways how to test your pool water. This is very important if you want to maintain the clarity of your pool. You can save a lot of money eventually when you do pool testing. That is because you can determine if there is improper chemical balance and deal with it before they cause serious problems.