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How To Test Pool Water Hardness

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Just Adding Tap Or Tank Water Will Do The Trick Right

How To Test and Adjust Calcium Hardness in a Pool

Remember, simply adding more water does not lower calcium hardness levels because as water evaporates into the air, the calcium is left behind in the pool. Remember that water evaporates but calcium does not! Therefore, the calcium stays in your pool no matter how many times it is topped up. Also, concrete pools will also release some calcium into the pool water over time, particularly when the pool surface is new.

Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance Will Test Swimming Pool Calcium Harness For You

Its a pain to test swimming pool calcium hardness, but we can help you. We offer a weekly pool service that will ensure your pool never has the improper calcium levels. And if it does, well adjust them for you so you can spend less time maintaining your pool and more time swimming in it. Having proper chemical and mineral levels in your pool will make sure your pool is not damaged, and we would be happy to help you.

If youre interested in learning more about how we will test swimming pool calcium hardness for you, give Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance a call at 955-3556!

What If The Water Is Too Soft

How is this even possible? How can water be too soft? Well, when its the water in your pool, its definitely a concern.

Too-soft water will be corrosive to your pool. It can dissolve concrete and plaster, and corrode any metal parts submerged in or touched by the water. It all amounts to expensive repairs if you dont bring the calcium hardness level back up.

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Make Sure To Take Your Sample In An Area At Elbow Depth And Away From The Jets

You fill a container with tap water, immerse the paper test strip in the water, then compare the resulting color of the strip with the kit’s chart. The water bottle test may work well as a basic assessment, but it isnt the most accurate way to determine your water hardness level. The next step in balancing our water deals with the water hardness.

Maintaining The Ideal Calcium Content

Water Hardness Test Strips, Pool Test Kit for Testing Hard ...

Like pH and alkalinity levels, calcium content is all about finding the right balance. Water should have a calcium content in the range of 100-400 parts per million.

Know the Lingo: Parts Per Million

Parts per million often abbreviated as PPM is a unit of measurement that tells you how much of a particular substance such as a chemical or mineral — is present in water.

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What Causes Highcalcium In Pool Water

High calcium in the water is usually the aftereffect of your pools chemical imbalance. If your waters pH, chlorine levels, and total alkalinity are messed up, calcium level rises. This is the reason why maintaining balance in your water is key. In the following section, well show you how to measure calcium hardness in a pool and make the necessary adjustments.

How To Interpret The Water Hardnesstesting Results

The U.S. Geological Survey uses the following scale to determine the hardness of the water. Note the value of the calcium carbonate in your water quality report or your test kit results and compare it to the scale below.

180+ 10.5+

In short, if your hard water test result is less than onegrain per gallon , you have soft water. Anything higher thanthis value indicates hard water.

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Quick Soapsuds Water Bottle Test

One of the easiest and quickest options for a hard watertest is the Soapsuds Test. To carry out this test, you need a clear, clean,empty glass or plastic bottle with a tight-fitting cap. Fill the bottle about one-thirdwith water straight from your tap, add a few drops of pure liquid soap andshake vigorously for about 15 seconds. Next, set the bottle down and observe thesolution.

If there are no fluffy bubbles in the water or it appearscloudy and/or milky, your water is hard. Soft water would foam up quickly andcreate bubbles, and the resting water at the bottom would be clear. You have tokeep in mind, however, that some soaps are formulated with detergents, so theylather regardless of your water type. For the best results, use a basic soap, suchas Castile. Soaps like this one have no dyes, detergents or perfumes.

Where Should Your Hardness Levels Be – How to test your pool water Calcium Hardness

Calcium has the most influence on the total hardness context of your pool water. Other minerals such as magnesium, iron, manganese and a few others dont impact the total hardness enough for us to bother with so we stick with adjusting the calcium hardness. The recommended and best range is between 250 and 350 ppm for your calcium hardness.

All of these issues are cared for by us with your weekly pool service.

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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.

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.

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What Makes Water Hard

In laymans term, hard water simply means that your pool water doesnt have a balanced chemistry and the chlorine level is not stable.

Water chemistry is important and you must take note of these three things if you want to achieve the perfect chemistry for swimming, namely alkalinity, pH level, and hardness.

The hardness of the water is caused by the high levels of calcium and magnesium present in the water. The moment when white scale starts to form on your pool edges and on the pool equipment, this is an indication that the water is already too hard.

Is it really dangerous?

In all honesty, hard pool water has no serious health risks according to the World Health Organization. It is more of a nuisance. If the water is too hard, it causes your skin and hair to become dry. In addition, it messes with the pool pipes, especially in the parts that you cant reach.

Working With Test Kits

Water Hardness Test Strips  HoneForest

Standard kits for testing water chemistry come in several different types. The particular kit used in this demonstration, the 4-in-1 by Biolab Guardex, tests your pool water’s pH, chlorine, acid demand, and total alkalinity. Other available kits are 2-in-1 5-in-1 or 6-in-1 .

Other types of kits include test strips or provide analysis through the manufacturer’s website or an app or online calculator. You can also get a reading by taking the kit to your pool supply store. Be aware that the bottle numbers, vial sizes, and chemicals in this project are unique to this particular brand of test kit. Follow the instructions for your kit usually, you can find them online.

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Testing And Decreasing Water Hardness

  • Test the pool water for hardness. Dip a test strip approximately 18 inches below the water surface, or as directed by the test manufacturer. Remove the strip and wait until the color changes to indicate the hardness level. Compare the results to ideal levels of between about 200 and 400 ppm.

  • Drain a portion of the pool water to adjust the water hardness. In areas with extremely hard water, it’s common practice to drain a portion of the pool water yearly or every two years. Consult a local pool supply or pool professional for more information. Water varies tremendously even within a small region, and a professional can test your water precisely and explain what works best in your area.

  • Fill a portion of the pool water capacity with softened water or order water to be delivered by a truck. Softened water, such as tap water treated by a water softener, will lower the hardness. Too much, however, will decrease the hardness to detrimental levels and necessitate a hardness increaser. Commercially purchased pool water is already treated and balanced, giving you a head start on conquering your pool chemistry problems, and is as easy as running the truck’s hose to your pool.

  • Test the hardness level again after seven days. During this period, the minerals bind with the chemicals to form larger molecules, which are then flushed out of the pool through the filtration system. If the hardness levels in a week still test high, re-treat the pool.

  • Things You Will Need

    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


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    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:

    • pH
    • 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.

    When To Test Pool Water

    How To Test Calcium Hardness In Swimming 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

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    How To Use Water Testing Kits

    There are three main kinds of test kits:

    • Liquid Testing Kits
    • Digital Testing Kits

    How to Use Liquid Testing Kits

    Liquid testing kits cover most homeowners basic needs for testing regularly. They are accurate when used properly. However, they are also finicky and can give you inaccurate results due to user error.

    Your kit needs to have two things: Orthotolidine to test chlorine and phenol red, for testing pH. Keep a sheet of plain white paper in your test kit.

    After taking your sample according to the instructions above:

  • Add the correct number of drops of OTO to the chlorine side
  • Add the correct number of drops of phenol red to the pH side
  • Place your white paper behind the test kit, so you can clearly see the color results
  • The redder the pH side, the higher the pH
  • The yellower the chlorine side, the higher the chlorine.
  • Compare colors to any chart given with your test kit to determine levels
  • How to Use Testing Strips

    You use less liquid testing materials than you use test strips. However, the accuracy of the strips cant be denied, and they often have all the things you need to test in one strip. They are also much easier to use. Youll go through more, but theyre also cheaper.

    Testing strips do the basics, alkalinity, pH, and chlorine. There are test strips for copper, iron, bromine, and salt, as well.

    After taking your sample, as explained above:

  • Take one test strip from the container, dip into the water and remove
  • How to Use Digital Testing Kits

    Aquachek Trutest Digital Test Strip Reader For Pool And Spa Water Testing

    $ as of February 25, 2022 8:22 am


    • BENEFITS: TruTest provides digital results with the accuracy of AquaChek test strips ideal for customers who aren’t comfortable distinguishing color
    • AQUACHEK ACCURACY: Using medical industry technology, our test strips offer comparable accuracy to liquid tests No measuring & counting drops of reagent, leaving less room for error
    • FEATURES: Combines the ease & accuracy of AquaChek test strips & digital technology Easy-to-read LCD screen shows numerical results Includes 25 TruTest Strips
    • EASY TO USE: No interpreting colors Just dip the test strip, remove it, & insert it on the test strip reader Accurate digital results in 15 seconds Test water at least twice a week
    • DIGITAL RESULTS: Numerical test results show âlowâ, âokâ, or âhighâ indicators for each of the four test parameters Will only work with TruTest Digital Test Strips

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    What To Do About Hardwater

    So after discovering how to check water hardness, youve run thetests and determined that your homes water is indeed hard. Whatnext?

    Thankfully, the solution is simple. Water softeners are designed toreduce mineral concentrations in your water. They achieve this byswapping calcium and manganese ions for sodium ones.

    A water softener is a great investment as it will reduce your energyexpenditures and result in healthier skin and hair.

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


    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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    What About Calcium Hardness Reducers

    Some novice pool technicians think that a calcium hardness reducer will permanently lower the calcium level. However, this is simply not the case. This is because the calcium isnt actually removed from the water with these treatments. Remember, these reducers work by using chemicals to bind up the calcium temporarily. These treatments do reduce the effects of high calcium in the short term. However, after 4-6 weeks, these products are completely broken down. Remember, when this happens, the calcium is simply released from the chemical bond and then returns to the water. Finally, your calcium level is back to where you started!

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