Using The Pool Test Kit
Each test kit comes with specific instructions which you should follow to complete the test successfully. A good tip is to capture water below the surface of the pool testing deeper water can provide a more accurate reading. Make sure you have filled the tester to the appropriate levels .
Youll then be instructed to add drops of the chemical reagent intended for the chlorine test, cap the kit and give it a few good shakes. Once the reagent is fully blended, compare the color of your water sample with the standard color guide on the mixer.
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.
How To Take A Proper Pool Water Sample
The most important factors here are where you take the sample from, and how you do it. If possible, take the sample from the absolute middle of your pool.
Important: Do not take the sample near the skimmer opening or any return jets.
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Pool Chemical Monitoring Systems
There are a wide variety of pool monitoring systems that you can use to make sure that the water in your pool is clean from impurities. Its important to monitor the water quality in your pool because the buildup of impurities can lead to the development of harmful algae that can make it unsafe to swim in the pool.
The main systems that you can use to monitor your pool include:
- Automatic pool chemical monitoring systems
- Smart pool monitoring devices with wireless functionality
- DIY monitoring with an electronic meter
- DIY monitoring with standard pool test kits
Here at Sensorex, we can provide you with the sensors and testing equipment that you need to consistently monitor the quality of your pool water. Contact us today if you need help identifying which products are right for you.
Factor #: Large Gatherings
It is a good idea to test chlorine before and after events that may affect their levels. One such event may be a gathering in which more people than usual use your pool. Its a good idea to test your chlorine levels before and after this type of event for the same reasons it is a good idea to test if you use the pool more frequently. Perspiration and other contaminants will be introduced to your pool at a higher volume the more people use your pool.
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How To Test Chlorine Level
You can purchase testing strips that will let you measure the pH value of your pool. These strips can indicate how acidic or basic your pool levels are. Additionally, there are liquid reagent test kits that function on more or less the same principle. However, you need to ensure that these kits have not been previously contaminated to avoid faulty results.
If you need a more accurate reading, then you should use a DPD test kit. This will allow you to measure your free chlorine as well as pH values. DPD is short for N, N Diethyl-1,4 Phenylenediamine Sulfate.
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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Recommended Minimum Levels Of Sanitizer
The level of sanitizer in your pool or spa water is called “free available chlorine or bromine.
The recommended minimums are:
- 1-3 ppm for residential pools, including inflatable pools
- 3-5 ppm for residential spas and hot tubs
- for commercial pools and spas, follow provincial and/or municipal regulations
Organic matter like tree leaves, grass, bugs and suntan lotion makes sanitizers less effective. In some cases, the label directions on swimming pool sanitizers and algicides may tell you to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.6 ppm. Reducing sanitizer levels from 1-3 ppm to 0.6 ppm should only be done when you control the organic matter in your water. Note that this applies to pool water only.
Spa water must be maintained at 3-5 ppm.
How To Use A Pool Test Kit To Check Water Quality
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $20
The beginning of warm weather means the beginning of pool season. That’s when it’s time to start checking your water quality. In a typical residential swimming pool, this means you need to routinely check for:
- Total alkalinity
- Acid demand
And there are other tests you might need to do, as well. Don’t worry if you didn’t ace chemistry in school pool test kits are fairly easy to use if you follow the directions.
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Factor #: Weather Related Events
Other events that may warrant more frequent testing are weather events. For example, a heavy rainstorm will introduce a lot of new fresh and potentially acidic water into your pool. This new water will dilute the concentration of free chlorine, so it is always a good idea to test your chlorine levels after such an event occurs.
Some Quick & Painless Pool Math
Any form of chlorine added to water has the same chemical reaction: It forms HOCl and OCl- . These two together = free chlorine, which is the active sanitizer and oxidizer that is doing the job of killing bacteria/germs and removing organics from your pool.
However, when free chlorine has done its job and is depleted, youre left with combined chlorine. Combined chlorine, also called chloramines, are smelly and irritating. Theyre the nasty buggers that make your skin itchy and cause your new swimsuit to fade.
Chlorine in a combined state is pretty ineffective and high levels of it in your pool are bad news. They generally mean your pool chemistry is out-of-whack and needs some attention fast.
Free chlorine, combined chlorine, and total chlorine can be easily understood with the following equation:
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How To Test Your Pool Water For Salt
To keep your chlorinator running well, and your chlorine at optimal levels, you want to shoot for a salt level of approximately 3,200 ppm. Once again, specialty test strips are the fast and easy method to determine pool water salt levels.
Using them is a simple matter of collecting a water sample in a test tube, dunking a dry test strip into the tube, removing it, and waiting about 20 seconds for the results.
The Complete Guide To Pool Water Testing
Youve opened your pool, and youre looking forward to long, lazy afternoons relaxing in the crystal clear water. Or maybe youre planning a big pool party for friends and family. But is your pool ready? How do you know? The answer is pool water testing.
You probably already know how to test for basics like chlorine levels and pH balance. But what about phosphates? Or salt levels, if you have a salt water pool? Then there are potential contaminants like copper, iron, and calcium. If youre leaving those out, you could be leaving your pool vulnerable to potential damage, not to mention an unsightly appearance.
Gear up and get ready for some in-depth testing tips.
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How To Test Your Pool Water
You take pride in your pool, for a good reason. Now youre ready to open it for the season, and you want to keep your pool safe, sanitary, and crystal clear. Pool water testing, while it may seem somewhat trivial, is the best thing you can do to assure safe and clean water.
First, lets cover why testing is so important, and what kinds of tests you should be doing. Youll know everything you need to know to have confidence in your swimming pool.
Free Chlorine Vs Combined Chlorine Vs Total Chlorine
- |July 27, 2019
Taking care of your pool doesnt have to be a chore or a chemistry experiment. But chlorine levels in your pool should be measured and tracked on an ongoing basis. This simple task will keep your pool clean, disinfected, and sparkling all year long.
You dont need to be a trained chemist for this, we promise. Well break down the 3 chlorine statesfree chlorine, combined chlorine, and total chlorineand what they can tell you about the cleanliness of your pool.
Need a quick answer? Free chlorine is unused and ready to sanitize. Combined chlorine has already been used up but is still present in the water. Total chlorine is the sum of both.
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Understanding The 3 Types Of Chlorine
There are three types of chlorine that you should be aware of, which include free chlorine, combined chlorine, and total chlorine. Free chlorine involves the amount of chlorine thats able to sanitize contaminants, while combined chlorine refers to chlorine that has combined directly with the contaminants. Total chlorine is basically the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine.
The formula of chlorine is free chlorine + combined chlorine = total chlorine.
How To Test For Combined Total And Free Chlorine In Your Pool
Testing pool chlorine is an important part of keeping the pool water sanitized and clean, but having clear, sparkling pool water is an added benefit to properly maintained chlorine levels in your pool because who wants to step into a murky, cloudy pool?
Ideally, you should be testing every day, but you can usually get away with doing it every other day. Frequent testing is especially important if your pool is uncovered and exposed to rain, wind, leaves, grass clippings, and sunlight.
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How To Test Pool Chlorine With Test Strips
There are two ways to test your pool chlorine: test strips and test kits. Test strips are a bit easier and more convenient to use than test kits. Test strips tend to be the method of choice for non-professional, pool owners.Test strips often come in small, cylindrical containers that feature color scales on the outside of the container that correspond to each of the chemicals tested on the strip. To conduct a test, simply take one of the strips from the container and dip it in your pool water. The container should include instructions on how long to hold the strip under water, as well as how long to let the strip rest before comparing the test colors to the color scale.To test chlorine, match the appropriate test on the strip with the chlorine color scale on the container. The color will likely not be an exact match with any of the benchmark colors on the testing container. Use your best judgement to estimate the tested ppm based on the color of your test strip compared to that of the lighter and darker colors that most closely match yours.
What Is Chlorine And Why Should You Care
Chlorine is a chemical element thats used as an ingredient in a wide range of different types of products. Because of the disinfectant and bleaching capabilities of chlorine, its used as an ingredient in many cleaning products. Chlorine is also used in the creation of a wide range of basic consumer products, which include everything from paints and papers to textiles. This chemical is necessary in the production of PVC as well, which is a kind of plastic that can be the primary material for water pipes, vinyl flooring, and window frames.
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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.
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.
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Gathering A Proper Water Sample
Take samples far from your skimmer and return jets, and well below the surface . Use a clean container test container. If you are bringing the sample to a store, make sure it has a lid.
Different Types Of Tests
There are several ways to check the chlorine of your pool, ranging from paper strips to digital tools. When deciding on the right test for you, we recommend considering a few factors like, accuracy, ease of use, and cost.
One method involves using test strips that you dip in the water. These strips are usually inexpensive and easy to use. The strips contain several color blocks which change color in the presence of certain chemicals.
Another common method to test the chlorine level in your pool is to use a pool test kit, which tests water samples using chemical reagents that indicate the level of chlorine present using coloring comparison. We find this method to be more accurate than other tests, along with being simple and cost effective. In addition to testing chlorine levels, pool testing kits can also test for a variety of other important parameters including pH, alkalinity, bromine, total hardness, and cyanuric acid.
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When To Test Pool Water
There is no set guideline for when to conduct various tests on pool water chemistry. Some people test all components daily, and this is a perfectly acceptable, if slightly obsessive, schedule. However, many pool experts suggest the following schedule for testing:
- Chlorine levels: Two or three times each week
- pH: Two or three times each week
- Acid demand test: Whenever pH levels need adjustment
- Total alkalinity: Weekly, unless pH has changed, in which case you should always test the total alkalinity
- Calcium hardness: Monthly
- Four-way pool water test kit
- Sink to wash test kit
- Towel to dry test kit
What Is A Saltwater Swimming Pool
A saltwater swimming pool uses a chlorine generator for sanitization. Swimming pool chlorine generators create chlorine in the pool water directly, removing the need for users to manually add chlorine-based chemicals to the swimming pool. Free available chlorine is continuously produced at a level which is automatically controlled. This has the benefit of removing the need for storage and transport of chlorine-based chemicals. However, as with any equipment, the chlorine generator must be maintained regularly to prevent fouling.
Most chlorine generators require a salt content of 1,5004,500 parts per million as sodium chloride in the swimming pool.
There are two types of saltwater systems: in-line and off-line.
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