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How To Test Pool Water At Home

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Best For Homes: Simple Water Tap Score Professional Home Water Test

How To Test Your Pool At Home | Clorox® Pool Water Testing App: Clorox® Pool& Spa

Approved Use: Drinking, Cooking, Bathing, Laundry, and More | Tests For: Over100 Contaminants | Time Until Results: Within 5 Days

  • Screens for over 100 contaminants

  • Provides detailed results

  • Gives personalized water treatment recommendations

  • Expensive

If youre looking for a water testing kit for your home, the Tap Score Activated Home Water Test is a pricey but informative option. This mail-in water testing kit will screen your sample for more than 100 different contaminants utilizing a network of EPA laboratories. You receive results within about 5 days and contaminants are quantified so that you can have more insights into your homes water quality.

A major benefit of the Tap Score water testing kit is the fact that your analysis includes water treatment advice and the support of a team of water engineers and experts. The company states that it is not affiliated with any water treatment companies and provides objective advice on how to tackle troublesome contaminants or improve the general quality of your water for drinking, cooking, bathing, laundry, and more.

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.

Making The Test Strips

You can use just about any type of filter paper here. You can use coffee filters or an acid-free art paper if you happen to have one.

Dip the filter paper into the bowl with the red cabbage juice indicator. Let the filter paper soak as much juice as it can or until it is thoroughly wet. After that, remove the filter paper from the solution and leave it to dry.

When the filter paper is completely dry, cut them into small strips with a scissor,

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Our #1 Pick: Poolmaster Chemistry Case

  • Total alkalinity
  • pH

Rather than needing to fuss around with separate testing kits for all of these components, get everything you need in one nifty and comprehensive kit. Youll even get a polyethylene case thrown in so you dont misplace anything.

Accuracy is uppermost with this kit. Rather than finding the color chips printed on the block, instead they are baked right into the block.

Testing your water is as simple as adding some to the container, popping in some drops of the solution provided, and swirling. To keep accuracy as it should be, the manufacturer recommends using fresh solution at the start of every swimming season.

The indicator panel is extremely easy to read, and you should have no problem following the instructions for this testing kit even if youre a complete newcomer to swimming pools.

Although overall build is impressive and most users are remarkably happy with this kit, there are a handful of complaints about quality control, so wed advise checking the contents of your package closely upon arrival.

Choose from a black or blue case to suit. In both cases, they contain absolutely everything you need to ensure the water in your pool is at the levels it should be in all the areas that count.

Things We Like
  • 5oz
  • 4 x 4 x 1.1 inches

Taylor Technologies produces some cost-effective and precise pool-testing kits that give you the confidence of knowing your water levels are as recommended.

Things We Like
  • Cyanuric acrid
  • Calcium hardness
Things We Like


Testing For The Basics: Ph Alkalinity Chlorine Cyanuric Acid And Calcium Hardness

Test Your Pool &  Order Your Products At Home with the ...

Testing for chlorine, pH, and alkalinity are very similar actions. Here, well cover how to test for everything you should.

Testing for Alkalinity

Alkalinity testing measures buffers, your pools ability to maintain a steady pH level. Too much, its really hard to change pH, and too low, pH will change very often people can change the pH simply by going into the water if theres no buffer.

Testing alkalinity first is the best practice, as it affects your ability to change pH. However, if your pH is below a 7.0, you want to raise it first, and then test alkalinity again.

If you use test strips, then the chances are that they test for this. Follow the instructions for how to use test strips above. If you purchase a liquid testing kit, its more complex.

After taking the water sample, as explained above, you will use three testing liquids at different times.

  • Read your tests instructions, know how many drops of the first two test liquids, and how much water you need.
  • Add first test liquid drops to the water, Sodium Thiosulfate, and swirl to mix
  • Add the second, the total alkalinity test liquid, swirl to mix until the color is green
  • Add drops of the sulphuric acid one at a time, counting and circling each in, until the color changes to red
  • Take the number of sulphuric acid drops, times 10, to tell you the total alkalinity. Eight drops mean an 80 total alkalinity, that is low, and 10 drops is high.
  • Take action to raise or lower your alkalinity if needed.
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    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.

    How To Test Your Pool Water For Calcium

    The total hardness level in your pool should be somewhere between 200 and 500 parts per million . A professional-grade water testing kit is going to be your best friend. The best pro pool water testing kits will test for calcium levels along with chlorine, pH, copper, iron, and other substances.

    Youll simply add a chemical indicator to a small sample of pool water and compare the water color to the included color-coded chart to determine whether your pool waters calcium is too high or too low.

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    Testing Your Pool Water Chemistry For Total Alkalinity

    Total alkalinity is the alkaline substances in your pool, which should be between 90 and 120 ppm. A good TA level keeps the pH level neutral.

    Low TA levels can cause:

    • Murky, dark water
    • Burning eyes and other irritations
    • Corrosion of pool equipment and accessories

    High TA levels can cause:

    • Algae growth

    Time Between Sample And Result

    What should I use to test my pool water?

    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.

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    When To Call A Professional

    If you arent comfortable testing your pools water quality yourself, you can always hire a professional. Many businesses will allow mail-in or walk-in with a pool water sample, which they will then test.

    Alternatively, consider using a professional service for just a few key teststhe beginning, middle and end of the summer, or after an unexpected storm, for exampleand doing the rest of the tests yourself. This helps minimize any chance of an error with your home test kits and also gives you a second opinion, all while staying hassle-free and affordable.

    Best For Lead: Health Metric Heavy Metals Test Kit

    Approved Use: Drinking| Tests For: Lead, Mercury, Copper, and Iron | Time Until Results: Under 15 Minutes

    • Takes under 15 minutes to complete

    • Easy to use

    • Doesn’t provide detailed results

    Lead is a concerning contaminant, especially because you can’t see, taste, or smell it in your glass. In addition, other heavy metals like mercury and copper raise their own health concerns. The Health Metrics Heavy Metals test is an informative way to rule out or confirm the presence of lead and other metals.

    This water testing kit for lead, mercury, copper, and iron takes under 15 minutes to complete. While there is one lead test included in the kit, you can test for the other three metals twice and receive quantified results for the presence of these metals. For lead, the test is of a pass/fail nature, which is the case for virtually all at-home lead water testing kits. The EPA has set a limit of 15 ppb for lead in municipal water supplies and this testing kit will indicate whether your water contains lead above or below the 15 ppb threshold.

    According to users, the test kit is easy to use and provides peace of mind if your lead is below the EPA limit. If not, its a small investment to make in order to know that you need to have a more in-depth analysis done and implement steps to improve your water quality and reduce exposure to lead.

    • Takes under five minutes to complete

    • Color-coded system can be confusing

    Read Also: Why Is Pool Chlorine So Expensive

    How To Conduct The Bucket Test

  • First, make sure your pool is filled to its normal level.
  • Fill a bucket with pool water, leaving about 3 cm from the top
  • Leave the bucket on the first step of your pool
  • Shut off your pool pump
  • Turn your pump back on so it can continue operating normally
  • Compare both levels after 24 hours have passed
  • If the pool water level thats indicated by the mark on the outside of the bucket is lower than the water level indicated by the mark on the inside of the bucket, you most likely have a leak on your hands. Feel free to perform the test again if you feel that its necessary. Keep in mind that the test is no longer valid if it rains or the water levels are checked after a 24-hour period.

    Contact us at to learn more about the bucket test and whether its time to schedule a leak detection service with our experienced professionals. Youll be glad you did!

    What Happens If Ph Is Too Low In Pool

    9 Best Home Water Test Kit Review 2021

    Low pH water will cause etching and deterioration of plaster, grout, stone, concrete and tiling. Any vinyl surfaces will also become brittle, which increases risk of cracks and tears. All of these dissolved minerals will hold in the solution of your pool water which can result in staining and cloudy pool water.

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    Poolmaster Smart Test Strips

    When you dip Poolmaster Smart Test 4-Way Combo Test Strips into your pool water, youll get an instant reading of four crucial chemical ranges, including pH, alkalinity, chlorine, and bromine. One container comes with 50 dip-and-read strips, which wont bleed colors when they come into contact with water.

    How To Raise Pool Ph Level

    After you test your pool pH level, you may determine you need to raise your pool pH level because your pH is too low. Fundamentally, this means your pool water is too acidic. Therefore, you need to add an alkali chemical compound to make the water more basic.There are three common chemical compounds you can add to achieve the desired result: borax or soda ash . Typically, they are sold under the title pH Up or pH Increaser. Soda ash will raise total alkalinity which is likely necessary if pH is low. Borax will have little effect on total alkalinity. Learn more about The Relationship Between pH and Total Alkalinity.

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    How To Test Pool Water With Salt Chlorinator

    Traditional home swimming pools use liquid chlorine or solid chlorine tabs to keep the water clear and clean. Many homeowners have installed salt chlorination devices on their filtration systems, which strips the sodium from common table salt and cleans the pool water with the remaining chlorine molecules. These systems are often cheaper to own and make your pool easier to maintain. They also reduce the risk of poisoning or chemical burns, as you no longer dispense the chlorine by hand. As with any pool, you must keep an eye on the levels of alkali and chlorine in the water to maintain a proper pH balance and prevent the buildup of algae or fungi in the pool. Testing the water in your salt chlorinated pool requires a different type of kit than regular pools, but the testing process is similar.


    Hold a test strip underwater for 10 seconds. The test strips have specially treated pads on them that react with the natural chemicals in salt chlorinated water. Hold the strip so it is below the water line, but not in the stream of the jet-returned water from the filter.


    Let the strip set for 5 to 10 minutes, or as directed by the test kit manufacturer. The strip must have access to the open air and not touch any other particles in order to give the proper reading. Test kits typically come with a test tube or small glass jar. If yours did not, use a small, clean juice glass.



    Test The Pool’s Ph Levels

    Pool Test Kits – Accurately test your pool or spa water at home

    After rising the tester clean, fill the large tube to the top solid line with pool water taken from a depth of 18 inches. Add one drop of solution No. 4 and mix it by gently swirling the tube. This solution is sodium thiosulfate, a chlorine neutralizer. Add five drops of Solution 2, a phenol red indicator, and mix by gently swirling. Compare the color with the pH color standards on the plastic tester to determine the pH level of your pool water.

    Note: Dont perform this test if the residual chlorine is above 3.0, as you will not get an accurate pH reading. The residual chlorine must first be adjusted to normal levels.

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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 Do You Check Your Own Ph Level

    Steps to test your body pH

  • Obtain pH test paper. This paper measures the acid-alkaline state of any liquid.
  • Test in the morning . First thing in the morning, if possible after 6 hours of sleep without getting up to urinate, get a test strip or tear off a three-inch piece of paper from the roll.
  • Read the result color.
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    Can You Test Pool Water Yourself

    Using a Liquid Test Kit

    There are very advanced liquid test kits, but for home use, just stick with pH and chlorine or phenol red and OTO. Phenol red is a red chemical you add to a small sample of water to check the pH. The redder the water, the higher the pH. OTO is the chemical that tests for total chlorine.

    The Complete Guide To Pool Water Testing

    How To Test Your Pool At Home

    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.

    Read Also: How To Get Iron Out Of Swimming Pool Water

    Testing Your Pool Water Chemistry: 4 Things You Should Test For

    There are four main things to test for:

  • pH levels
  • Calcium or water hardness
  • It is important to check your pool water chemistry for several fundamental reasons:

    • To help prevent the spread and transmission of bacteria and diseases that thrive in un-sanitized pool or spa water.
    • To prevent high chlorine levels, which can damage swimsuits, pool toys cause eye and skin irritation, as well as respiratory issues.
    • Increase longevity and reduce damages to pool features, equipment, and materials.

    Mobile Waterlink Spin Touch Lab #: 10 Test Factors In 60 Seconds

    This is the Lamotte WaterLink Spin Touch Mobile which can do 10 test factors in 60 seconds. It is a truly awesome water tester in every way. The readings are reliable and accurate and the testing couldn’t be easier.

    The SKU for the Mobil unit is this: Lamotte #3581 MOBILE WaterLink SPIN TOUCH Lab and it is priced at this publication at $889.00. This, of course, is not your everyday test kit but great for so many applications. If you service Commercial Accounts this is a great way to keep your logs for the Health Department and Pool Manager. For Resorts, Hotels, and Clubs this would be a perfect way to get a spot on readings to assure that the Public Pool is safe. And if you are a Health Inspector there is no better water tester than this. Plus it comes with a 2-year warranty.

    The Spin Touch Mobile also can be switched from Pool to Tap Water so if you are in water quality management or in plumbing, this kit would be great. If you own a retail pool store or a hardware store and offer water testing to your customers they make a retail store version with a counter mat, posters and door decal the #3580 Model.

    They have various disks including a new 3 test parameter which can also be reused 3 times. This disk does Total Chlorine or Bromine, Free Chlorine and pH Disk #4334-H.

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