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How To Read Pool Water Test Results

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How To Fix Low Salt Levels

How to read and interpret your BioGuard Pool Water Test Results

If you test your pool water and find that salt levels are too low, youre in luck. This is quite possibly the easiest problem to fix with a salt water pool. All you need to do is add more salt!

Add a little salt, wait a few hours for it to dissipate, then retest your pool water. If salt levels are back to normal, youre done. If theyre still too low, repeat the process until you get the result you need.

How To Read A Water Care Test Strip

Have you ever looked at the testing strips you use test the water of your hot tub or pool? Does it make sense to you? If so, congratulations, but to many this is just a weird color coded and set of number basically information that does not translate to an action to be taken. Here we try to decode the water code and why.

FCL free chlorine. This is the sanitizer level of the pool. For pools, the safe level is 1ppm-3ppm for spas 3ppm-5ppm. You should test this weekly and add chlorine as needed to keep water clean, clear and free of algae.


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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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.

Water testing

Testing your pool water tells you what chemicals you need to add to properly balance it.


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?
Other tests:
Water balancing


How To Add Chemicals Safely

The 10 Best Pool Water Test Kit 2021 Reviews
  • Always read and follow the chemicals instructions to ensure safe use of chemicals.
  • Wear appropriate protective equipment and clothing including gloves, footwear and eyewear.
  • Handle chemicals in a well-ventilated area.
  • Use separate, clean metal or plastic measuring cups for each chemical to transfer or measure chemicals. Never use wood scoops.
  • Protect chemicals from moisture and watersuch as a cup of water or coffee. Even putting the wet scoop back in the pail may cause a reaction.
  • When applicable, always dilute chemicals by adding to water, never the other way around unless the containers label instructs you to do so.
  • Do not mix different chemicals together.
  • Do not put spilled chemicals back into their containers.
  • Do not smoke when handling chemicals.
  • Do not expose to heat or flames.
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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.

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.

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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.

Do I Need To Test For Phosphates

How to read and interpret your Mineraluxe Pool Water Test Results

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.

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Drinking Water Testing And Understanding The Test Results Of Your Drinking Water Test Kit

From our experts at SimplexHealth

Most countries have standards or guidelines regarding the maximum contaminant levels in drinking water. Globally, there is an overall agreement on the science behind the setting of these standards. Mostly, they are guided by worldwide research and the standards set by the World Health Organisation. The UK government has also published a set of water quality standards for key contaminants, which are guided by the European Union together with national standards.

It is recommended to record your water testing results and compare them to local guidelines.

  • If water comes from a private water supply, then it is important to test it regularly.
  • Should your drinking water test outside the desired values, then it is recommended to contact your local water supplier as soon as possible or review your filtering system if you use water from a private source.
  • If a problem exists, then it is always a good idea to ask a neighbour, to see if they have the same problem to see if it is specific to your house.
  • Damaged pipes, internal storage tanks or piping systems can also be causes for problems and it is useful to check whether the problem arises from the mains-fed cold tap or via the storage system .
  • For lead testing or if lead is found in drinking water, then more information can be found in our short guide.
  • For more information about common contaminants/ elements in water and their potential effects, please also .

How To Read Pool Water Test Strips

To fully enjoy your backyard pool, youll need to ensure your water is fresh, clean and balanced. To make this happen youll need to test the water on a regular basis. Most public swimming pools are required to test their water every hour. You wont need to do it quite that often, but you should try to do it at least once a week and more often if the pool is getting a lot of use or youre experiencing heavy rainfalls. Testing your pool water isnt particularly difficult, but it requires consistent attention. In this article, well go over how to read pool water test strips.

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How To Read A Pool Test Strip Color Chart

Pool test strips are an easy way to get instant and accurate pool water test results. Select a test strip product that is compatible with your water typechlorine or bromine pool, salt pool or spa.

Simply dip one test strip into pool or spa water at elbows depth and remove immediately. Shake once to remove excess water. Hold strip level and visually compare the strip to the color chart included on the bottle. Select the corresponding test result colors within 15 seconds of wetting.

For expert pool water analysis results and personalized product and dosage recommendations, . With the app, you can enter visual results manually or scan-to-test with Clorox® Pool& Spa Multi-Use Smart Strips.

For best results, never wipe or dry test strip after dipping. Read results in natural daylight. Keep wet fingers out of the bottle and store test strips in a cool, dry place. Test strips are not reusable.

Why You Need A Pool Testing Kit

JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips

Okay, so I guess you dont have to have a pool testing kit: you can absolutely go out and buy the strips to test each chemical individually if you want to.

But why would you do that when you can pay one price and get them all in one handy little package that you can pull out all together any time you need it?

Another benefit of owning a pool testing kit is that you have similar instructions for all the chemicals.

In other words, if you buy a liquid testing kit, all the chemical tests will be similar and you’ll get the hang of how to use them pretty quickly.

Whereas if you buy separate tests for each chemical, you’ll have to learn how to use and read each one.

And thats just too much extra work for me.

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How To Read Chlorine Test Strips

Chlorine test strips can quickly tell you how much chlorine is in a sample of water, but sometimes, understanding these seemingly simple results can be tricky.

To better understand what test strip results mean, lets take a look at two types of chlorine testing often included on a chlorine test strip: Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine.

How To Test Pool Chlorine With Test Kits

Test kits are a bit more cumbersome to use than test strips. They are also more expensive than test strips, on average. However, they are also considered more accurate than test strips because they use a larger sample of water. Therefore, test kits tend to be pool professionals preferred method of choice for testing pool chlorine.Test kits often come in a small box that contains a guide to pool chemistry, a testing tube to take the water sample, a saturation index tool, and reagents to add to the water to measure a chemical, such as free chlorine.As with test strips, follow the test kits instructions on how to properly take the water sample and add the reagent to test your chlorine level. It is important to take exactly the recommended amount of water. Too little water could result in a reading that overestimates the amount of chlorine. Too much water could result in a reading that underestimates the amount of chlorine.After waiting the appropriate amount of time for the reagent to activate in the water sample, compare the color of the water to that of the color scale provided by the test kit. Like with test strips, it is unlikely your color will match the benchmark colors of the test kit exactly. Use your best judgement to determine the exact amount of chlorine in the water.

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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.

How Do I Test Pool Water

Test Pool / Spa Water using Hach Aquacheck 7 Test Strip

There are several types of testing supplies available on the market varying in price and accuracy. Since I work for a company that sells pool supplies, it was fairly easy for me to get customer input via our amazing review program, and I was able to narrow down the bestselling water testing supplies to make it easier for you to make the selection to your liking.

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Testing For Copper In Your Pool

Clear emerald green water is one of the first indicators of high copper levels in a pool. The picture below was of a customer’s pool. He added 5 bottles of copper algaecide, then shocked his pool. Within an hour, his pool went from crystal clear to an emerald green. This can happen with an overdose of pool algaecide and from well water which is notorious for having high levels of copper and iron.

How To Fix High Iron Levels In Your Pool

We’re dealing with metals, so the same remedies that work for copper will also work for your high iron levels. Metal sequestrants are a life saver when you have high iron levels. Remember that sequestrants don’t remove metals. A sequestrant holds the metal in solution until the water can get filtered and backwashed. Maintaining the right pH level is also important.

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Testing For Phosphates: Do You Really Need To

Harmless and so ubiquitous they can be found in everything from pharmaceuticals to cleaning products to fire extinguishers, phosphates are essential to our everyday life.

The truth is, phosphates are not a problem for your pool water.

You may hear that phosphates are a problem because they serve as a food source for algae, which can have a tremendously negative effect on your pool. But killing its food source is not an effective method of controlling algae.

Once its established itself, algae can be very tough to get rid of.

How To Use A Liquid Test Kit

Swimming Pool &  Spa Test Strips for Testing Water Quality ...

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.

  • Collect a water sample in the collector provided in the test kit.
  • On the side designated for pH testing, add the recommended number of drops of phenol red to the water.
  • On the side designated for chlorine testing, add the recommended number of drops of OTO to the water.
  • Hold the collector up to a white background, and compare the colors of the water to the color scales on the collector. The redder the water, the higher the pH, and the yellower the water, the higher the chlorine level.
  • 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.

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    How To Use Pool Test Strips

    • |May 6, 2022

    Do you need to test your pool water, but are not sure how to use pool test strips correctly?

    This article will walk you through what to expect from using test strips, how to best use them for an accurate reading, and how to read the test strip results against the provided color chart.

    Skip to:

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    • When adding wear gloves or old clothes. Most people almost always seem to bleach themselves.
    • When opening tab buckets always turn your head, gases can take your breath away, in severe cases if they get wet you can burn your lungs.
    • If adding liquid shock to the pool I suggest resting the container on the top step of the pool and dumping in. This is to avoid splashing on the deck and causing bleaching of the deck.
    • If adding granular chlorine shock. Always premix.
    • Usually needs to be regulated weekly

    Rule of thumb:

    • DO NOT put pool chlorine into your spa or spa chlorine into your pool.
    • For pools use one tablet per 10,000 gallons of water. For the average pool that is 3 4 tablets per week depending on the weather and use of the pool.
    • For chlorinated spas, use ½ oz of chlorinating granules per 500 gallons of water.

    ALK alkalinity. This is the buffer for the pH in the water. The pH level in pool water can directly affect the efficiency of the sanitizer . The pH level for the human body and eyes range from 7.2 – 7.6 this is the comfort zone. If the pH of the water is too low or too high it can irritate your eyes and skin. Often, when people complain of eye and skin irritation they think it is the chorine levels that is causing it, but no, its the pH level. When the pH of the water is not in balance it can also do damage to the pool’s equipment and surface.

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