How to Properly Test Pool Water

by Pool Builders on 12-11-2011 in Articles

It is important to continually monitor a pool's chemical balance to ensure the pool is at the proper quality. The chemical health of a pool determines the effectiveness of the chemicals to kill bacteria and other contaminants and also assures that the pool is safe to swim in.

It is simple and easy to test a pool's chemical balance. Test kits will usually provide a test sample tube to collect a water sample with. They will have several different tubes for each chemical being tested. Submerge the tube at least eighteen inches underwater to ensure a proper sample is being collected.

Reagents, usually in the form of drops or tablets, are then added to the sample to react with the chemicals in the sample to change it a certain color. Sometimes strips are used and change color rather than having the water change color.

Determining the health of the sample varies on the kits. Most kits use a comparator test, like a color disc, in which the water sample is compared to a visual aid. The comparator test will determine what range the chemical composition falls under.

These tests can measure pH, chlorine, bromine, and alkalinity. Ideal pH should measure between 7.2 and 7.8. This should be tested every day because it effects chlorine efficiency and can cause sever problems if it is too high or too low. Alkalinity should be somewhere between 75 and 120 ppm. They usually come in a three-in-one type of tester, but sometimes contain all four chemical tests in one kit.

Instead of using a kit as described above, another option for pool testing is to use a photometer. Using a photometer is a faster way to test water. Photometers test water quality electronically. This instrument measures the light intensity of water using a light focusing system to measure wavelength. With these types of testers, you generally can test a wide range of chemicals with just one device. The results instantly display on the device's screen. These types of testers do still usually require some type of reactant to be added to a test sample.

You should adjust the chemical balance accordingly. Pool testing kits, photometers, and chemicals are all available at a pool and spa supplies store.

Testing your pool water consistently is easy and important to the overall health of your pool. Make sure you have all the proper supplies for water testing.

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