Test The Pool’s Ph Levels
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.
Why Testing Your Pool Water Is Important
Your pool, while it looks like a pond, is more of a chemistry lab. The chemicals in your pool can either keep it clean or make it potentially dangerous. Testing your water is the only way to know for sure what those invisible chemicals are doing in your water.
You need to test your water often. While it might seem like a hassle, its a good thing! The better balanced your water, the less cleaning and water changing.
It Should Be Accurate
Accurate readings of the different chemicals in your pool are critical, because you will be adding different products to the water based on the results.
But these products get expensive fast. If your testing isnt accurate, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on pool supplies and treatments you actually do not need.
Colorimetric pool tests are the least accurate, titration tests are better, and at the top of the scale are your photometric and digital pool test kits which are always spot on. If youve only got a hot tub a basic level of accuracy should be fine, but a large pool that needs an exact balance is probably worth investing in a more accurate testing solution.
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How To Raise Pool Water Ph
Q: Why does pH imbalance occur?A: This chemical imbalance is caused by water debris. Generally, pH levels tend to become too low, the water turning acidic. This is the reason why its important to learn how to raise pH levels.
- Step 1 For safe swimming conditions to be granted, the water pH should range from 7.2 to 7.6, 7.4 being the optimal level. Thus, your first step in this process is to test chemistry levels and learn exactly where the pH level falls in your case.
- Step 2 Calculate the water capacity of the pool, learn how many gallons there are, this way being able to figure out how big or small the number of chemicals you must add is going to be. If the pool is square or rectangular in shape, you should calculate as follows length x width x depth x 7.5. If the pool is round-shaped, the calculation should be diameter x diameter x depth x 5.9.
- Step 3 Usually, sodium carbonate is utilized to raise pH. If the pool has around 10,000 gallons of water, it is recommended that you use an estimated 6 ounces for every 0.2 pH points you need to compensate for.
In a large bucket, you should add clean water combined with the right amount of soda ash. Mix it and pour it around the pools perimeter. Ensure that the pump is on to allow an even distribution of the mixture.
Taylor Complete Pool Water Test Kit K
Designed by Taylor, this is one of the most comprehensive titration-based pool testing kits you can buy, offering an insight into your pool unavailable from other kits.
You can test for free and total chlorine, bromine, pH, acid and base demand, calcium hardness, total alkalinity and stabilizer levels.
If youre worried youve been over treating your pool this is the test kit for you. But what I like most are the giant bottles of reagent. At 2oz, you wont need to be running to the store for replacements in just a few short weeks if youre as addicted to testing your pool as I am.
The downside though is the complexity. With a guidebook that explains the chemistry behind all the tests, its great if youre wanting to learn but can be overwhelming if this is all new to you.
- Explanations so you know the right order to begin corrections
- Detailed manual unlike anything you will find in other kits
- Large bottles of reagent so it doesnt run out as quickly
- Perhaps a little complicated if this is your first test kit
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When Testing Pool Water What Should The Ph Be
When testing your swimming pool water the waters pH level should always be between 7.2 and 7.6, with the ideal pH level being 7.4. Our team suggests that you do a quick test of your pool water at least twice a week when it is in season. It is common to be testing the pools chlorine levels that often, so many pool owners can simply add pH testing to their pool testing routine.
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
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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.
When And How Often To Test Your Pool
You can test pool water yourself, but if you dont feel super comfortable doing that, you can also take a sample in for professional testing when you open and close your pool. A second set of eyes keeps it safe and clean. On the whole, you should be testing your pool at least once a month in addition to when you open and close it for the season.
Regular testing is essential for your chlorine, alkalinity, and pH levels. Its so significant, the CDC calls chlorine and pH your disinfecting team. The minimum testing schedule for pH and chlorine is weekly, starting before you open your pool.
There are other times that you should test for balanced levels though, including:
- After a rainstorm
- Before you close your pool
- If you notice any issues with your water, like cloudiness or color changes
Some other necessary testing you need to do to maintain excellent pool water is for cyanuric acid and calcium hardness. You also test for copper, iron, and calcium. Well also cover testing for phosphates and salt. Well give a schedule for these tests in the instructions below.
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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.
Digital Pool Water Testing Kits
This is like a super-powered liquid test kit. You still add liquid chemicals to water samples, but instead of having to eyeball color scales, the digital reader does the hard work for you.
Digital test kits also check for just about everything, including free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid. Its a pool water testing powerhouse in the palm of your hand.
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Hydrotools Deluxe Dual Chlorine & Ph Liquid Test Kit Chlorine Test
Jnw Direct Pool And Spa Test Strips
The top-rated Pool and Spa Test Strips from JNW Direct are exceptionally easy to use and offer instant, accurate results. Each bottle comes with 100 test strips and has a convenient color comparator chart on the side. With every test strip, you can check your free and total chlorine, calcium hardness, pH level, and total alkalinity.
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What Chemicals Should Be Kept On Hand
As a minimum, the average pool will want to keep the following chemicals on hand, even if you use a salt chlorinator, you will need these other pool chemicals from time to time:
- Chlorine tablets and pool shock
- Pool pH Up and/or pH Down
- Test strips or test kit
Every pool will also need other chemicals to raise calcium, cyanuric or alkalinity levels, usually once per year, and clarifiers, enzymes, algaecides can be an important part of the overall routine or are especially handy when youre in a pinch!
Theres lots to learn, with 12 categories of pool chemicals. You wont need them all, but its important to understand what they do, so that when you do need them, you know which chemical to use!
How Pool Testing Kits Work
Most kits include tests for pH, chlorine, and alkalinity, but some also come with tests for calcium hardness and cyanuric acid , which you need.
If your kit doesnt include those, you’ll want to purchase them separately.
Each type of kit works a little differently, but basically each has its own type of indicator.
The test strips have pads with the indicator in them and the liquid have droppers full of liquid indicator.
When the water touches those, they change colors to indicate the presence of a certain chemical.
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Pool Lab 10 Photometer Digital Pool Water Tester
Runner up best digital pool test kit
The Pool Lab is another excellent choice for the more serious pool owner .
The Pool Lob 1.0 Photometer measures 13 different variables in the water, including all of the main ones: Free, combined, and total chlorine. Stabilizer . Chlorine dioxide. Ozone. Total and calcium hardness. Alkalinity. And even urea.
Packaged with three AAA batteries to help you hit the water running, the Pool Lab 1.0 comes with a detailed user manual that guides you step by step in using the tester.
The water tester comes with a bunch of bells and whistles for tracking water chemistry including an app and desktop software, making it easy to see how your water is doing over the course of the year. Despite being a basically commercial-grade option, its price-point is affordable, costing around $180 .
Professional Grade Test Kits Are Worth Every Penny
Although you can purchase a test kit for $10 dollars or less, the extra $50 or $75 dollars youll spend for a professional grade pool test kit will be money well spent. By keeping the six critical water quality parameters in check, youll spend less time and money on chemicals and cleaning, while eliminating many hassles and headaches.
Did You Know?A swimmers body has a pH between 7.2 and 7.8, if pool water isnt kept in this range, swimmers will start to feel eye and skin irritation.
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It Should Be Comprehensive
No matter what pool test system you choose, it needs to cover the basics.
The most important tests to run are the chlorine levels, the pH balance of the water, and the total alkalinity within your swimming pool.
At the most fundamental level, if you keep these three in check, your pool should be safe for swimming. Any kit you buy should offer these as a bare minimum.
The best pool test kits will also monitor for things like calcium hardness, salinity, and even phosphates in the water, and what youre likely to get if you buy a high-end photometric test kit or a digital reader.
The Best Test Strips: Aquachek Pool Water Test Strips
AquaChek Pool Water Test Strips
Test type: test strips
These test strips will be a good option for newbies who are learning how to maintain pool water safely and correctly. Compared to test kits , test strips are easy-to-use and are the cheapest way to test pool water.
But, there is a significant problem with the use of test strips they dont give the same accuracy and consistency as test kits. You will still have to compare the color on the test strip with the chart as with the liquid test kits.
The quickest way to test the water, you just dip the test strip in the water and thats all.
The cheapest method of pool water testing.
The least accurate way to test the water. Test kits are much more accurate.
Still need to compare the color on the strip with the chart as with liquid test kits.
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Solaxx Safedip Digital Pool Water
Designed to measure salt levels, pH, free chlorine, water temperature, and more, the Solaxx SafeDip is a handheld digital pool water tester that has an extra-large LCD readout and a rugged design case.
One of the reasons you should spring for a digital reader is that it gives you a more specific reading than you would get with a test strip.
With the Solaxx SafeDip Tester you dont get a precise reading but a low,good or high result when testing. Which, to be honest, doesnt make them that much better than the strips .
About a third of reviewers do love it, however, but compared to the LaMotte Color Q Pro 7 its outclassed as a digital pool tester.
What Happens If I Dont Test For Anything Other Than Chlorine
Even if your chlorine is perfect at all times, you can still get algae growing. Many algae related issues are caused by pH. Pool experts will tell you that pH is just as important to test as chlorine, and it should be tested often. We know that pool testing gets time-consuming and annoying, but do not skip this part of being a pool owner.
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Digital Pool Test Kit
A digital pool test kit uses a set of metallic probes to measure the quality of your pool water.
To use it, you simply wet the probes with a sample of water from your pool, and after a couple of seconds the readings will show on the electronic display.
Often called an electronic pool water tester, you can use it to check the pH levels, total dissolved solids, and some models even measure total alkalinity and calcium hardness.
These kits are one of the most efficient and precise options for testing the quality of your pool, and they make it simple to conduct even daily water tests. The only downside is the price, they are one of the most premium kits on the market.
What Do Swimming Pool Water Test Strips Do
In our teams opinion, swimming pool test strips provide accurate readings of your pools chemical levels. We believe that overall pool testing strips can be a more reliable method of testing your pool water, especially for new pool owners, than a liquid test kit as pool test strips eliminate the risk of human error and can be easier to read. Pool water test strips usually have a color chart that lets you know the different levels of your pools pH, chlorine, alkalinty, and more depending on the kit you purchase.
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It Should Be Consistent
Next, its important to consider consistency. If youre the only one doing the testing, youll quickly get a feel for the readings and its highly likely youll be consistent.
But if there are other people testing your pool, it can cause major problems. They may interpret the colors of a colorimetric test differently, and miss a potential problem.
Its vital you stay ahead of problems developing, like a growing imbalance within your pool, so you can treat it proactively, before it becomes a major problem. Id always recommend looking for a test kit that has a proven track record of consistent results, and if there are many different people using the test kit, consider a digital or photometric solution.
How To Use The Solaxx Safedip Digital Chemistry Tester
The SafeDip is a digital chemistry reader designed to make measuring pool parameters easy. Simply collect the water sample from the pool using the onboard cup and press the Start button to take your measurement.
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