Water quality is key to a clean swimming pool we can enjoy all summer. But some pool owners don’t know how to maintain best water quality.
Testing your pool water is the first step towards excellent water quality. Let’s look at what you need to test your pool water in the digital age.
You Can Test The Pool Water Yourself! There’s an App for That.
You can always grab a sample of your water and take it to the local pool store to get tested. But we believe in the do-it-yourself approach.
You can test the water using easy tools you can get from a pool store, or online like the “Clorox Pool” app.
This app uses the My Pool Care Assistant™ Multi-Use Smart Strips ™ made by Clorox® Pool&Spa™. You scan the test strip with the camera on your smartphone. The app does the analysis and provides a treatment plan based on your water chemistry.
Over time, this will allow you to keep a close eye on the chemical makeup of your pool. After just a few weeks you will begin to see patterns in your water’s chemical balance.
Maybe your water is always too hard or your chlorine levels are staying too high. Why is that happening? What can you do to remedy it? These questions do not arise without testing your water and having a historical reference.
What if you have problems like algae or cloudy water? The app will walk through some questions that’ll identify the problem. Then, provide a treatment plan with product recommendations.
If you want to take care of your pool water in your own backyard, I believe that the “Clorox Pool” app will be helpful. You’ll be testing and tracking your pool water in no time. You can get a handle on controlling the water quality in your pool.
8 Pool Water Testing Tips for Accurate Results
Here are a few tips that will help you test your water and get a more accurate reading of what’s in it.
- Store your test strips in a cool, dry area that’s dark.
- Before using test strips, check the expiration date to be sure they’re still good. If they’ve expired, replace them to get an accurate reading.
- Take water samples from the deep end of the pool (if you have one) and away from any jets or skimmers. Reach at least one foot down into the water to pull your sample.
- Test your water at least twice a week.
- Never add chemicals to the water until after you’ve tested it. The presence of chemicals may alter the results.
- Many chemicals can take up to a day or more to disperse in your pool. After adding chemicals to your pool, wait at least a day before you retest it.
- It can take as much as 10-20 seconds before the colors on your test strips will change. Don’t let the strips sit much longer than that before you check.
- If you are dealing with chlorine issues, try testing your water in the morning. This limits the affects of the sun on the chlorine present in your pool.
NOTE: It’s still a good idea to get your water tested by a professional at least a few times a year.
What Should You Test Your Pool Water For?
Here’s a quick look at everything you will be checking, have a look at the table below:
pH is the measure of how acidic or basic your water is on a scale of 0-14. Using this scale, a measurement of 7 is neutral. Anything above 7 is basic while anything below is acidic.
In a perfect pool world, you want to shoot for a measurement somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6.
If your water is too basic, the sanitizer (i.e. chlorine) is less effective and can make your pool cloudy.
If your water is too acidic, it can become corrosive to metal fixtures and even the sides of your pool. At the same time, you can smell an odor in the water and it will irritate your eyes.
Total alkalinity (TA) helps maintain the pH balance of your water. It’s sometimes called a pH buffer.
Your goal is to maintain a TA level of between 80-150 ppm in the water. If the TA levels are too high your pool water could become cloudy and scaling can occur and cause the pH level to rise.
The calcium hardness is the measurement of how much calcium is present in your water. We recommend that your calcium hardness stay between 200-400 ppm. Although, you should try to keep it in the lower range if possible.
If your calcium hardness is too high, your pool water can be cloudy and you could experience scaling.
If the calcium hardness is too low, the water will find calcium where it can by becoming corrosive to your pool.
Chlorine and Bromine Levels
Chlorine and bromine are two of the most common pool sanitizers. In most cases, you don’t use too much chlorine, unless you’re excessively shocking your pool. Your chlorine levels should stay at somewhere between 1 and 3 ppm. Or your bromine levels between 3 and 5 ppm.
If your levels are too low, then you will need to add more sanitizer to the water according to the size of your pool.
If they are too high, then do not add anymore sanitizer to your water and wait for it to break down on its own.
Are You Ready to Test Your Pool Water on Your Smartphone?
Of course you are! Take control of your pool with tools that help to simplify pool care. Testing your pool water is key to ensuring you can keep your water balanced on a consistent basis. Understanding proper water chemistry, and having the right tools, will help you.
You should make use of some digital water testing apps, like the Clorox Pool app. It will help speed up the water testing process and track the chemical balance of your pool.
You should test and treat your pool just like the professionals. And since it’s your pool, I’m betting that you will be able to do an even better job at taking care of it than anyone else.
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