Owning a pool involves testing the water in your pool. Pool owners test swimming pool water to understand the health of the pool water. It also helps them to detect problems with the water that needs fixing.
Testing your pool will let you know about the level of chemicals in your pool. The test will show you if the chemical balance in the pool is high, moderate, or low. You will need to test your pool at least one time a week. However, you can test the water in the proper way or you could go about it the wrong way.
Collecting Water Sample
A test is as good as the water sample collected. You need to collect the right water sample. Any issue that tampers with the sample collected will also affect the result you will get. To take the water sample, use a bottle or cup that is clean. Turn it upside down and let the opening face the direction of the floor.
Insert the bottle or cup completely into the water and turn it back up. Allow it to remain in that state until you collect the quantity of water you need. You do not need so much water to carry out a water test. The quantity of water in a cup or bottle is sufficient.
Ensure that you get the water sample from a central point of the pool. Getting the sample from the middle will give you an accurate result. While collecting the sample, don’t collect water close to a skimmer opening or return jets. Chemicals accumulate around these areas.
It is important that you get the sample collection process right. Otherwise, you cannot detect the imbalances in your pool. Failing to detect early will cause you more pain. It will give you an inaccurate result.
Important Elements to Look Out for
When you are conducting a water test, you are looking out for three main things. They are the level of chlorine, pH level, and the alkalinity of the water. You might also check the calcium hardness, dissolved solids, and acid strength. However, the three above are the major ones.
Testing Methods to Use
There are different ways to test your pool water. However, you don’t need to try out all of them. One method of testing is enough for you to have the right result of the water. You can test your pool water with any of the three methods below:
Using a Test Kit
It is easy to use a test kit. When using the test kit, you add some drops of a chemical in the test kit to the water sample you collected. The water sample will change color.
When that happens, look at the color chart that came with the test kit. It will tell you the result of the water. Repeat the same steps for the other tests you wish to conduct. The test kit checks for pH level, alkalinity, free and combined chlorine, and stabilizer.
Using Test Strips
The strips look out for all the different things at the same time. You don’t have to repeat the process for each test. Conduct the test by dipping the test stripes into the water sample. Pull out the strips and hold on for about 15 minutes.
During this period, the colors on the strips will change. Compare the colors on the strips against the color chart and you can tell the result of each test. The method is almost similar to using the test kit.
Professional Test by Pool Shops
The above DIY methods only look out for the essential elements. If you want a comprehensive water test, visit a pool shop. A pool shop will test for other substances such as copper, dissolved solids.
A lot of pool shops conduct tests on pool water samples at no cost. They will not only run the test but provide recommendations on how to fix the problem. The recommendations are very helpful, especially when you are clueless about the situation.
Which is the Best Testing Method?
All the various testing methods will give you an accurate report if properly done. Your preference for a particular method would be because of the affordability and how simple it is for you to use it. Otherwise, there is none that we can say is better than the other, since they all serve the same purpose.
Tips for Testing Pool Water
To get the best result of a test swimming pool water, use a fresh test kit or strips. Follow the instructions religiously when adding the chemical to the water. Conduct the test in an open space for proper ventilation.
Reading the Results of Your Pool Test
The average level of chlorine in your pool should be between 1 – 3 ppm. If the chlorine is lower than this, you would need to add chlorine to it or use a shock treatment in extreme cases. Where the chlorine is very high, lowering the chlorine level is the way forward.
The pH level is much easier since you can easily correct it with the right tool. The average reading of the pH level should be 7.2 – 7.6. Other chemicals in the water can influence the pH level. So, check for the pH after you have checked for other chemicals in the water.
The average reading for the alkalinity of your pool water should be between 80 – 120 ppm. Just like the pH level, it is also easy to increase or reduce the alkalinity when you have the right chemicals that will do the work.
The alkalinity of your pool closely relates to the pH level. It means that any change in the alkalinity will also affect the pH level.
Talk to an Expert
If you need any help or have more questions on testing your pool water, we will be glad to guide you and provide you with all the help you need. Contact us for testing pools in California. We’ll be happy to hear from you and assist you in getting everything you need.