How Often Should I Test Pool Water
It is recommended to test your pool water at least weekly and add chemicals if you see an increase/decrease in ideal chemical levels. More precisely however, pH and chlorine levels should be tested more often, perhaps daily until you come to a good understanding of how they fluctuate. Other readings, for calcium, alkalinity and cyanuric acid, tend to move more slowly and can be tested weekly or even monthly in some cases.
The Importance Of Regular Pool Maintenance
Just like with your home, regular maintenance is an important part of preventing damage to your pool. Proactive maintenance can help extend your pool liner and pool equipments longevity to help you and your family enjoy your backyard pool for longer. Your regular maintenance routine should include cleaning, water quality testing, and equipment testing. To purchase pool supplies in Toronto, find local pool companies like Seaway Pools & Hot Tubs.
How To Take A Pool Water Sample
The video above goes into detail about how to use a vial, or bottle, to collect your pool water sample, but if you missed it, let’s read on. You will want to take your pool water sample away from the skimmer or returns. Make sure the container is clean. Any residue can skew your chemical readings.
- Hold the vial or container upside down.
- Insert the container into the water and go about elbow deep.
- Flip the container upright and bring it straight up out of the water.
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How To Fix High Calcium Levels
You have three options here.
Replace Some of the Water
If your water source isnt hard, and your pools calcium level has risen due to other factors, you can drain a few inches of water from your pool, and replace it with softer water.
Use a Flocculant
When added to your pool water, a flocculant will attract the excess calcium and cause it to clump, making it easier to remove. Once the flocculant has worked its magic, clean your pools floors and walls to remove the calcium. Then backwash your pump filter, and clean it.
How Often Should I Test For Salt
To maintain the right salt level and keep your chlorine at 2 – 4 ppm, you will want to maintain your salt level between 2500 – 4500 ppm. This is the industry average, but always follow the manufacturer’s suggested salt level. Salt test strips can be found online and at your local pool store. Your pool store can also test for salt levels when you take your water sample in. It’s quick and easy for them to do.
Test strips are the go-to for most pool owners, and salt water test strips are just like regular test strips. Get a sample of pool water, dip the salt test strip into the water, remove it, then wait for about 15 – 20 seconds for the results to show.
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The Ideal Levels For Your Pool Water
If you are unsure about your pools ideal levels, make sure that you contact your local pool supplies store. Their expert staff can help you determine the ideal metrics for your pool water. In general, the preferred levels for most outdoor pools are 2700-3400 ppm salt, 1-3 ppm chlorine, 7.2-7.8 pH, 80-120 ppm total alkalinity, 200-400 ppm calcium, 0 ppm metals, and 30-50 ppm cyanuric acid.
How To Take An Accurate Water Sample
A swimming pool is a large body of water and, as a result, the chemical makeup can be different in certain locations. For example, evaporation and other influences can make the water at the surface of the pool have a slightly different composition to that at the bottom.
For the most accurate result, its recommended that you take a sample from the centre of your pool, preferably close to the surface.
How Do I Test My Swimming Pool Water
The most common method of testing water quality is through testing strips. Testing strips feature squares that change colour depending on the strength of certain chemicals in the water.
Another option for testing water quality comes in the form of liquid or tablet solutions. These involve taking a sample of the water and mixing it with provided solutions or dissolving tablets. Similar to testing strips, the water sample then changes colour to show how much of a particular chemical is present.
There are some digital testing kits now available, which use electrodes to detect chemicals in the water, although this is often an expensive option for home pools. You can also take a water sample to a swimming pool supplier who should be able to provide an accurate reading. This approach can be useful if you feel that you are getting inaccurate readings or are opening your pool after an extended closure.
Test Metals Every One To Three Months
Metal content such as iron and copper should be as close to zero as possible, as they offer no benefits to your water.
Most pool test kits wont measure metal content in your water, so this is one of the few tests that are best done at your local pool store.
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How To Balance Pool Chemicals For The First Time Opening Your Pool
Whether youre using your swimming pool for the very first time, or opening up for the season, youll need to take some extra precautions to ensure that youre balancing pool chemicals correctly. For example, if your pool has been closed since winter, you might encounter thick algae on reopening day, which could require treatment with double or even triple the normal amount of pool shock.
If youre opening a new or seasonal pool, we recommend consulting a pool dealer for assistance testing and balancing your water, which can be a tricky process even for experienced pool owners.
When To Test Pool Water
To ensure the pH and alkalinity remain balanced, and to keep your sanitizer at optimal levels, test your pool water at least once a week. Youll want to test it more often if the pool is getting a lot of use or if its rained, and every time you add chemicals.
Even if you know how to test pool water yourself, take a sample to a pool store once a month for a pro check, and when opening and closing your pool.
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Water Testing Rule Of Thumb:
During the height of the season, and during heavy use, test chlorine and pH levels 2 to 3 times a week. Also test immediately after a heavy rainstorm, after a pool party, after pets swim in the pool, and after you or a neighbor fertilizes lawns and plants or treats their property with pesticides. Test for Total Alkalinity, Total Dissolved Solids and Calcium Hardness once a month.
The following are the acceptable water chemistry levels for pools and spas. Continuously adhering to these levels will ensure your water is safe and in balance for swimmers.
|Water chemistry acceptable levels|
Test Total Alkalinity Weekly
Your total alkalinity should be between 80-120 parts per million in order to buffer your pH level and keep it stable.
Alkalinity and pH are closely related, so maintaining your pH level will often keep your total alkalinity steady. As such, if your pH level is out of whack, you can also expect some significant changes in your alkalinity.
Total alkalinity can be tested using either a test strip or liquid drop kit.
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How To Test Pool Water Accurately
It doesnt seem like it should be a complicated endeavor, and its really not. You even have a few testing options:
- Use test strips quick and easy
- Take a water sample to your local pool store the most thorough and accurate
How hard can it be, right? Theres just one key to making sure youre testing pool water accurately: the water sample.
Why Test Pool Water
A swimming pool is just a hole in the ground without water, and swimming is no fun if not experienced in clean, clear and healthy water.
Since swimming pools are generally used by multiple people at any given time, it is imperative that pool water is tested and treated regularly to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and enhance the pool experience.
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How Often To Test For Calcium
If your pool water becomes cloudy, or you start to see scaling on your pool liner, or you notice any pitting in the concrete in or around your pool, its definitely time to test for calcium. At that point, though, youre a little late to the party.
To stay on top of things, prevent damage, and save yourself from having to make expensive pool repairs, test calcium levels at least once a month.
However, if you live in an area where the tap water is either hard or soft, or you get your water from a well that has a high level of calcium, you may want to test more often, maybe every two weeks, or even once a week just to be on the safe side.
Test Pool Water Chemistry Using Pool Test Kits
Pool testing kits require users to collect small samples of pool water, which change color depending on their alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels when mixed with a reagent. To use one, follow these instructions:
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Factors To Consider In Testing Pool Water
Some parameters can be checked on a semi-annual or annual basis depending upon the frequency of use, weather conditions, and the amount of make-up water required. However, there are some parameters, such as chlorine, which should be checked weekly at a minimum. Intec does recommend testing of the water at least twice a week during the peak usage seasons. Below are some variables you should test for on a chlorinated or salt water chlorinated pool. Keep in mind, commercial pools would have to be checked and maintained more frequently.
Are you a private pool owner and looking for better alternatives to chlorine? If yes, ensure you approach a reliable player such as Intec America, which offers safe water treatment solutions for swimming pools. They do offer solutions regarding how and when you should test your pool water to maintain its overall quality. Intec America was the first company in the US to popularize the copper ionization technology developed by NASA. Since then, copper ionizers have been largely used in the swimming pools for water treatment.
How Often Should You Carry Out Water Testing
Water testing frequency can vary from one per month, to once per day and even once per hour and should ideally be based on risk.
How often you test for Legionella will depend on the outcome of your Legionella Risk Assessment. For open systems, such as cooling towers and evaporative condensers, routine water testing should be carried out at least quarterly.
Water testing is an integral part of any water treatment programme and is essential for keeping building occupants safe. Even if your current water supply looks clean, water testing may still be required to demonstrate your water treatment programme is appropriate.
WCS Group are water testing experts, carrying out over 200,000 Legionella tests, 200,000 pseudomonas and 50,000 Coliforms and E-coli tests every year. To find out how we can help you with your water testing programme, get in touch.
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When Do I Change And Drain My Pools Water
- Maintenance and upkeep
Drain your pool during the mild season when its not too hot and not too cold. Spring and autumn are ideal times of the year. This will prevent pool surfaces and filtration systems from being damaged by sun, heat or moisture. You should avoid draining the pool for cleaning as this is done underwater most of the time.
Draining your pool after heavy rain or storms will add extra pressure to the bottom of the pool. This in turn creates a water table that creates a heavy weight of excess water that damages the pools floor. Drainers and skimmers will do most of the work for you when it rains. However, its always best to clean any debris out of the pool manually because the filter will not get everything. So there are a few occasions when you will need to drain your pool after the rain.
What To Look For In A Swimming Pool Water Test
As a general rule, you are testing the water for three different things:
- Chlorine level.
- pH Level.
- Total Alkalinity.
Depending on your pool and the chemicals used, you may also need to check for other chemicals, including calcium hardness, acid strength and dissolved solids. However, the main things you should be testing for are the three mentioned above.
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Pool Water Testing Is Essential To Pool Health
If you dont test your pool water, how do you know what the chemical levels are? Or what undesirable substances are in it? Or how much and what chemicals to put into the water to create a clean and safe swimming environment?
The answer is, you dont. You absolutely must learn how to test pool water, and then do so on a regular basis. In fact, out of all the pool maintenance tasks youll perform over the life of your pool, testing the water is the one thing youll do more than anything else.
Make sure you know how to do it properly, and always keep testing supplies on hand.
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Testing your pool is a regular part of pool ownership. Its essential to maintaining water that is crystal clear and algae free. Its also important to maintain a good balance of chemicals in your pool because improper water chemistry can cause damage to your pool and equipment. Beyond that, imbalanced water can cause eye irritation and hair discoloration. Yikes. To get an accurate reading, you’ll need a test kit, a test strip, or a water sample for a pool professional.
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What Water Tests Are Needed
In order for us to have a sparkling clean and well-balanced pool, we have to ensure that the levels of pool chemicals stay within the ideal range of:
- pH: 7.2 7.6
- Bromine: 3-5 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 30 50 ppm
Testing your pool water and maintaining perfect chemical harmony is not rocket science but it definitely involves regularity and consistency on your part.
Testing For Salt: Keeping The Chlorine Flowing
If you were lucky enough to find a home with an existing salt water pool, or youre thinking about converting your pool to salt water, youll need to add testing for salt levels to your regular pool maintenance schedule.
Just like calcium, salt levels can be a problem whether theyre too high or too low. Too much salt can throw your salt water chlorinator into overdrive.
Too little salt is even more important to address because it has an effect on how clean your pool is. Your pools salt water chlorinator requires salt to produce chlorine and keep your pool clean and sanitary.
If theres not enough salt in the water, you wont have enough chlorine, and this can present problems not only for your pool, but for those swimming in it.
Balanced salt levels are essential to chlorine production to keep your salt water pool clean.
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Total Alkalinity Prevents Corrosion And Burning Eyes
This should be tested before you test the pH levels of your pool. Correctly balanced alkalinity helps to stabilize your pools pH levels, giving you more accurate results when you test the pH.
If the total alkalinity is too low, the water can become corrosive to metals, staining the pool walls as well as irritated skin and eyes. If the total alkalinity is too high, the water will become cloudy and you will notice it is producing and depositing scale on surfaces.
How to test total alkalinity?
- Total Alkalinity Test Strips You simply dip these into the water and compare them to the color chart provided. My favorite way, and also the quickest and easier. Many of these strips also test for pH at the same time, really saving you a lot of time.
- Total Alkalinity Test Kit This is a test kit where you gather a water sample into a tube and add two re-agents, then another after. Just make sure you follow the instructions with the kit to the tee. It takes a bit longer but is more accurate.
- Electronic Total Alkalinity Testers These ones specifically can by burdensome to use. You will need to change the batteries and in addition, you have to use it in conjunction with re-agent solutions, like the test kits. I recommend the test strips or the test kit over this method.