Most people fail to recognize the importance of testing the water quality initially before jumping into the pool to swim. But then, this whole water testing process is definitely an essential practice to regularly do for your swimming pool, especially as the warm season arrives. This just means that it is time to routinely check for pH levels, chlorine quality, total alkalinity, and acid demand. And in order for you to be able to successfully check the water quality of your swimming pool, you have to utilize pool test kits. This is an important piece of equipment that will help you identify the quality of the pool water — whether it is safe to swim on or not.
As swimming pools are frequently used by numerous people at once, the importance of analyzing and treating pool water on a regular basis is crucial. It not only keeps the water clean and prevents infectious diseases from spreading, but it also improves the pool experience and protects your pool and equipment.
Swimming Pool Care and Maintenance
In terms of swimming pool care and maintenance, water testing is the greatest way to ensure you have an easy-to-maintain pool when it comes to swimming pool care and upkeep. Without clean, clear, healthy water, swimming tends to be just not fun at all. And it takes more than just looking at the water or touching it to determine the temperature.
Also, it is important to monitor the various chemical levels in the pool water to prevent unsafe swimming conditions. Too high or too low chemical levels might hurt swimmers’ skin and eyes, or produce unsanitary conditions that allow bacteria to proliferate in the water. The most frequent tests look for pH and chlorine, while more advanced tests look for alkalinity, bromine, dissolved solids, and other factors. The water in major facilities’ pools should be examined on a daily basis. Smaller pools or personal pools might be examined several times each week.
To do these processes of checking the water quality, pool test kits are beneficial. It is important to understand how to use them, and how they work. They are actually easy to use, only if you follow the directions correctly.
When to Test Pool Water
There is no established schedule for doing various pool water chemical testing. Some people test all components on a daily basis, which is an appropriate, if perhaps obsessive, timetable. However, pool experts recommend testing the pool using the pool test kits at least once per week. If you see an increase or reduction in ideal chemical levels, add substances. If you are not familiar with your pool’s water balance patterns, the pool is regularly used, the weather is unusually warm, you are having water clarity problems, or a storm has recently passed through your yard, you should test more frequently — at least 2-3 times per week.
Based on other pool experts, they suggest that chlorine and pH levels may be tested two to three times each week; acid demand test to be checked whenever pH levels need adjustment; checking total alkalinity weekly, unless pH has changed; calcium hardness, cyanuric acid levels, and total dissolved solids on a monthly basis.
Many simple pool test kits will suffice for your weekly testing requirements. However, for monthly testing, you may need to invest in more robust gear. Bring a sample of pool water to your local pool store for a complete picture of pool water health. For this, maintaining the proper chemistry of any pool is essential for keeping it safe and sanitary.
Types of Pool Water Tests
There are various different sorts of testing supplies on the market, each with its own pricing and accuracy. It is crucial to keep in mind that the accuracy of your water test will be influenced by a number of factors. Make sure your testing supplies are not expired, and store them at room temperature in a dry environment.
Pool Test Strips
Test strips are the most cost-effective and extensively utilized form of pool water testing. They are quick, simple, and reasonably accurate. And aside from their inexpensive cost, the most tempting characteristic of test strips is how simple they are to use. Simply soak them in water, shake off the excess, and read the findings instantly. Color-coded test strips normally come with an easy-to-read chart directly on the bottle. Though this is the case, their results are still not as precise as liquid test kits.
Liquid Test Kits
One of the most accurate ways to assess chemical levels in your pool is to use liquid test kits. They are more expensive than testing strips, but provide a more reliable and comprehensive testing option. Reagents are introduced to the water sample one drop at a time using liquid testing kits. The number of drips and the color of the sample are used to determine the outcome.
Digital Pool Testers
When it comes to digital water tests, you can expect accuracy and promptness. Digital water tests are commonly equipped with LCD displays, water-resistant housing, and even a memory capability for viewing results history. Because you do not have to match colors like you do with other types of water tests anymore, seeing the data in digital format is a breeze.
Working With Pool Test Kits
The procedure you will be performing for testing the water quality with pool test kits varies from kit to kit. For this, you will have to just follow the instructions for the test kit you have. It will either come with a booklet, or have instructions printed inside the lid.
Take a Water Sample
The first step you must take in testing the water would be taking a water sample from at least 18 inches below the surface, and preventing testing any surface material. For an accurate catch, dip the plastic tester into your pool and collect water from a depth of at least 18 inches. Water chemistry near the pool’s surface may not be representative of the water deeper in the pool. Check the vial levels as well. Establish that the vials are filled to the “fill” line on the column. A precise ratio of pool water to testing solution as a requirement for accurate readings.
Add Precise Amounts of Reagents
Then, to your water sample, add precise amounts of reagent or indicator solution according to the instructions. Check for both free and residual chlorine by adding at least five drops of solution No. 1 to the column. Some test kits, on the other hand, rather than using a liquid testing solution, use dissolving tablets.
Mixing Reagent and Water Sample
After these, you should shake the test tube by mixing the reagent and the water sample thoroughly. Make sure the cap is on before shaking them. Covering the top of the test tube with your hand can alter the reading. Combine the ingredients, then remove the tops from the vials and invert or turn them upside down several times to mix the solution with the pool water.
You can compare the color of the water to the color on the testing chart to determine the level of chemicals in the water once it gets a specific shade of red or yellow. It actually depends on your kit. Then, wait for a few moments before comparing the color in the vial to the color criteria on the plastic tester. This will provide you with a free chlorine reading. Note that some kits offer two independent free chlorine and residual chlorine tests, each needing different solutions or tablets.
Overall, you must keep in mind that checking and testing the water quality is important before taking a swim into the pool. Using pool test kits is the easiest and fastest way to do this. You just have to follow the instructions given when you purchase one, and determine whether or not it is necessary to make changes in making the pool water safe to swim in. The best pool test kits will be able to check for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, and chlorine or bromine, among other things.