How To Use A Liquid Test Kit
For regular maintenance testing, you really only need a basic liquid test kit. Just make sure it includes phenol red and orthotolidine to test pH and chlorine, respectively.
Important: If the levels are low, the water colors will be fainter, and can be difficult to see. For higher accuracy, be sure to hold the collector up to a white background. Just a sheet of printer paper will do.
How To Use Liquid Test Kit
The two pool water test kits I use and recommend are the Taylor K-2006 and TF-100. For quick and easy pool water testing, you can use use a basic 4-way kit that includes phenol red and orthotolidine to test pH and chlorine. Your OTO kit comes with a 2 compartment vial. One side is for testing the pH and the other side tests for chlorine. To test your water using a 4-way test kit you will:
- Collect the water sample using the vials that are included with your test kit.
- Per the instructions for the pH, add the recommended number of drops of phenol red to the corresponding vial.
- Per the instructions for the chlorine, add the recommended number of drops of yellow OTO to the corresponding vial.
- Place the caps on the vials and gently shake for a few seconds to mix the solution.
- Hold the vials up to a white background and compare the colors of the sample water to the corresponding chemical chart. Bright red indicates a higher pH. Bright yellow going to orange indicates high chlorine. Light or faded yellow indicates a low level of chlorine.
Testing & Measuring Basics
Keeping clean water in your requires that you maintain correct water chemistry. Although the word chemistry may seem intimidating, the process is actually very simple. There are four or five measurements to take, and some simple actions to take based on that information. The four key properties to monitor are Chlorine Level, pH, Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness. Pools that use a saltwater chlorine generator will also require salt levels to be measured. Continue reading to learn about basic test kits, or you may skip directly to our recommended kits.
Also Check: Pool Deck Concrete Sealer
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.
Chlorine Pools Vs Salt Water Pools
A sparkling pool where you can relax is like a slice of paradise, but only when you maintain it most appropriately.
Typically, there are two ways of maintaining the water quality of pools chlorine pools and saltwater pools. And while each of the two methods come with awesome features, it is essential to know the differences.
Read Also: Pool Sizes And Gallons
Test Chlorine And Ph Levels Daily
Gauging water quality begins by monitoring pool chemical balance. You must be aware of specific chemical levels throughout the year.
This begins by checking chlorine and pH every day.
Chlorine plays an important role in maintaining your pool by killing harmful bacteria.
pH measures the balance between acid and alkalinity. If this balance is off, your pool will be a site for undesirable chemical reactions.
Here are the parts per million levels of properly-balanced pool water:
- Chlorine: 1 3 PPM
- Calcium Hardness: 200+ PPM
- Bromine: 2 4 PPM
You can measure these pool chemical levels at home using water testing kits purchased from a pool store.
But its best to ensure accuracy through professional tests at a water analysis centre, which are run by many qualified pool companies.
Pool Care Basics Water Testing And Balancing
Want a great looking pool but don’t want to spend all your time looking after it?
The quick answer
It’s important to keep your pool clean and sanitized check out my last post for more information on that.
Testing and balancing your pool water should be done weekly or as needed after events like heavy use or windstorms. The main components you’ll be testing for and then balancing are sanitizer , total alkalinity and pH.
New pool owners are encouraged to have their water tested regularly by a pool professional. Most pool companies provide this as a free service.
Still here? Great! Read on to learn more about testing and balancing your pool water.
Before we test the pool water it’s important to know why we need to test and balance. Properly testing and balancing your pool water keeps your swimmers safe and protects your investment. It is essential for proper disinfection and overall water quality and also helps preserve your pool surfaces and equipment.
Testing your pool water tells you what chemicals you need to add to properly balance it.
YOUR FIRST STEP IS TO READ YOUR WATER TEST KIT INSTRUCTIONS.
Remember to keep your test kit clean, tighten caps on reagents between tests, rinse out the sample comparator between tests, avoid leaving the kit in direct sunlight and protect it from freezing during the winter months.
So what should you test your pool water for?
BEFORE DOING ANY WORK WITH CHEMICALS REMEMBER THESE RULES:
Read Also: Inground Salt Water Pool Cost
Best Ways To Test Pool Water
The two most popular ways of testing pool chemicals are pool test strips and pool testing kits. Whether you use a kit or a strip, it should measure chlorine and pH levels. These measurements show two of your pools most important chemical readings.
Its best to find a kit or strips that also measure total alkalinity and total hardness. Total alkalinity can negatively affect your waters pH. Unbalanced total hardness can cause damage to pool surfaces and equipment.
As you conduct pool water testing, track the chemical levels. Use a journal or logbook to write down the data from each weekly test.
The Science Behind This Simple Trick
As mentioned earlier, pool testing kits generally include indicators, which is typically a chemical that changes colors when it comes into contact with an acid or base. In the case of red cabbages, these would be anthocyanin. This is what changes color when mixed with an acid or a base, and makes it an interesting idea on how to test pool water without a kit.
Also Check: Aria Pet Friendly
A Guide To Water Testing Your Pool
BackA Guide To Water Testing Your Pool
- A Guide To Water Testing Your Pool
A Guide To Water Testing Your Pool
There can be quite a lot that goes into making sure your home pool is looking and feeling great year-round. However, one of the most important aspects of pool care has to be testing water chemistry, such as the chlorine, pH and total alkalinity levels of your pool!
There are many ways you can go about this, but the most important thing is ensuring that youre getting accurate results from your tests. Here, we take a look at the whole process and what you should be looking out for when water testing your home pool.
How To Read Your Test Results
Each test strip brand may be slightly different. The following explains how to read pool test strip results for Clorox® Pool& Spa Multi-Use Smart Strips and 6-Way Test Strips. For all other strips, refer to the product label instructions.
Total Hardness: Total Hardness measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your water. Having water either too hard or too soft, combined with other balance factors, can damage pool equipment and surfaces. Maintain Total Hardness between 175275 ppm.
Total Chlorine: Total Chlorine is the amount of chlorine in your water, including free available and combined chlorine. Maintain Total Chlorine between 14 ppm.
Free Chlorine: Free Chlorine measures the amount of chlorine available to sanitize your pool water, which is necessary to kill bacteria and control algae. Maintain Free Chlorine between 14 ppm.
pH: pH measures how acidic or basic your pool water is. The measurement is critical to the health of your pool water. Having an imbalanced pH can damage pool equipment, cause swimmer discomfort, and hinder the performance of your sanitizer. Maintain pH between 7.2 to 7.6.
Total Alkalinity: Total Alkalinity and pH are closely related. A low total alkalinity may cause fluctuations in your waters pH and exacerbate low pH. Having highly alkaline water can cause pH to drift upwards. Maintain Total Alkalinity between 80150 ppm.
You May Like: How To Repair Inground Pool Liner
Do I Need To Test For Phosphates
Honestly, I’ve cleared up over 700 green and nasty pools, most times in under 5 days, and I’ve never tested for phosphates. In fact, I’ve never used a phosphate remover on any of my customer’s pools and they always come out perfectly balanced and crystal clear.
Phosphates are a food source for algae, but they’re not the only food source. Phosphates in your pool, unless they’re at extremely high levels, should pose no issues.
Easy Steps In Pool Water Testing Without Kit
You may not know it, but your chemistry teacher has taught you an important skill for any pool owner: how to test pool water without a kit. Remember those experiments on acids and bases? Who knew that would come in handy when you run out of test kits, huh? The following method works whether you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool. That said, lets get started.
Also Check: How To Hide Pool Equipment
Test For Total Alkalinity
After rinsing the tester clean, fill the large tube to the lower dash line. Add one drop of No. 4 solution and swirl. Next, add one drop of solution No. 5B, a total alkalinity indicator, and swirl. Add No. 3 solution, drop by drop until the color changes to clear, light yellow, or light green.
Finally, multiply the number of drops of solution No. 3 you used by 10 to determine the total alkalinity.
Note: Don’t perform this test if the residual chlorine is above 3.0. Chlorine must be in normal ranges before testing for TA .
Water Quality : What Is Orp In Water Testing
You may have heard of ORP, but what does it mean and what role does it play in water-quality testing? Weve laid out the basics of ORP to help you get up to speed.
Recommended Reading: How To Convert Chlorine Pool To Saltwater Pool Cost
Pool Water Testing: Why Its Vital To Check These Four Chemical Levels
Tracking and balancing your pool waterand what could happen if you dont!
Regular pool water testing and maintenance of the chemicals are essential for ensuring a safe, comfortable swimming environment and preserving the longevity of pool finishes and equipment.
Failure to monitor and maintain water quality can lead to damage or deterioration to the pool features, materials, and equipment. Above all, it can cause water conditions that may harm swimmers and cause a variety of illnesses.
Avoid the hassles, hazards, and risks to those using your pool by keeping water properly maintained. Testing the chemistry is simple. Make it part of your routine, so you have the needed data to treat water for a healthy aquatic retreat.
Methods available for testing pool water
The chief products for analyzing pool water chemistry are test strips, 4-in-1 test kit, and testing tablets. Each one can provide a dependable reading for chemical levels in pool water, and most include step-by-step instructions that are simple to follow for first-time pool owners.
So, which compounds do you need to test for? Lets take a look at the four key chemicals essential for a trouble-free, swim-ready environment.
What Is Oxidation Reduction Potential
Oxidation reduction potential, or ORP, is a measure of a substances ability to either oxidize or reduce another substance. It is measured by the electrodes of an ORP meter. A positive reading on an ORP meter means that the substance is an oxidizing agent a negative reading indicates that the substance is a reducing agent.
Read Also: How Much Does A Pool Cost Per Month
Best For Water Hardness: Jnw Direct Water Total Hardness Test Strips
Approved Use: Dishwasher, Hot Water Heater, and More | Tests For: Hardness | Time Until Results: Under 5 Minutes
Takes under five minutes to complete
Comes with 150 testing strips
Easy to use
Color-coded system can be confusing
Wondering whether your home has hard water or if it has gone soft? Understanding this can help you assess whether or not your water softener is working properly or if you need to take other precautions to ensure a longer life for appliances like your dishwasher, hot water heater, and more. These total hardness test strips from JNW Direct will help you understand your water hardness in moments.
Our best overall pick is the Safe Home ULTIMATE Water Quality Test Kit , which is a comprehensive kit that screens for over 200 contaminants and includes an at-home coliform test. If you’re looking to test well water specifically, check out the Health Metric Well Water Test Kit . It’s affordable and takes just 5 minutes to complete.
Pool Water Testing 101
Safe, healthy water. It’s what we all want most when it comes to our pools and spas. Regular water testing is an essential part of maintaining your pools welfare. Getting an accurate reading of your water chemistry helps you understand exactly how much of what product your pool needs. Testing your pool water prevents the possibility of under-treating or over-treating the water, which keeps your pool properly balanced and saves you money!
Lets go over a few of the basics when it comes to properly testing your pools water. There are two ways to test your pool water at home or in-store.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does It Cost To Resurface Your Pool
How To Fix High Iron Levels
Again, because theyre both metal elements, the same remedies to fix high copper levels will also work for high iron levels.
You can use a metal sequestrant, which wont remove the iron, but will keep it from rusting and staining your pool. Just remember sequestrant will dissipate, so adding it must become part of your regular pool maintenance.
Also, controlling pH levels can help control iron levels, so keep a good handle on those.
Finally, a metal trap filter or a hose filter works just as well for iron as it does for copper. So if your water has turned a yucky brown color due to high iron levels, dont worry. Its fixable.
Ph Levels Of Water In Your Pool
Another critical consideration when it comes to maintaining pool water quality is the pH of water.
pH refers to the acidic or basic inclination of water. Maintaining the pH value is essential in pools because it can significantly affect chlorine effectiveness for pool sanitization.
Chemically, pH is measured on a scale from O to 14, with 7 being neutral. With lower side indicating acidity, whereas the higher side of the scale resonated with alkalic properties.
As the value approaches 7, both acidic and basic properties tend to neutralize. Here, it is important to note that alkaline should not be confused with the pool waters total alkalinity. While pH and total alkalinity are different, one may be the other and vice versa.
Ideally, the pool water pH should be maintained within the range of 7.2 to 7.6. Pool water with a pH of less than 7.2 can be corrosive to the pool structure and equipment. It also negatively impacts the ability of chlorine to disinfect water.
In case of acidic water, you will need larger quantities of chlorine than would be used at normal pH levels. On the other hand, with a pH higher than 7.8, you are more likely to have scaly or cloudy water.
When the water pH is higher, it affects the water solubility of calcium, resulting in scales and cloudiness of water. Moreover, a higher pH also affects the effectiveness of chlorine for pool sanitization.
What is the Optimal pH Level for Chlorine/Salt Water Pools?
Recommended Reading: Above Ground Pool Cost With Installation
Time Between Sample And Result
One of the biggest reasons for inaccurate water testing results, besides where you take the water sample from, is time. Leaving your water sample exposed for too long before testing it can lead to inaccurate results.
Similarly, when using a solution-based test, leaving the final solution for too long can lead to changes in the colour, giving inaccurate readings. Thankfully, simply performing the test as instructed without unintended breaks will remove this issue.