Okay, so you’ve got your pool opened up, and now you’re all set to enjoy plenty of time in the crystal clear water during the next several months ahead. Unfortunately, that water isn’t going to stay clear on its own, something that you’ll not only need to address with regular cleaning but also with regular testing of the water.
Even if you’ve managed to skim out all the debris, gotten rid of any bugs, and vacuumed dirt off the bottom of the pool floor, the actual chemical composition of the water is crucial to the water’s clarity — and your own health.
The Importance of Water Testing
Why should you, as a pool owner, be so vigilant about testing? Without proper water testing, you have no idea what the chemical levels actually are or what undesirable substances could be lurking that are invisible to the naked eye. This could lead to the development of calcium scale buildup, algae, bacteria, or harmful organisms.
Over time, this will not only cause your pool’s water quality to become visibly poor, it could also cause issues with your skin, damage equipment, and harm your pool’s hard surfaces as well.
Testing the water gives you a proper understanding of the chemicals present, which in turn provides guidance as to the amount of pool chemicals you need to add to achieve the ideal balance. This ensures that your water is clean, clear, and healthy!
How Often Should You Test?
The actual frequency of water testing is dependent on a number of different factors.
If you have a pool that’s just been built recently, or if you’re experiencing problems with your water and/or equipment, you should test each day until the water’s balance has stabilized. After your pool water balance has stabilized (not requiring adjustment and all levels are where they should be,) it’s OK to begin testing every other day. If your pool water balance remains stable, you can move to twice per week, and then eventually once per week.
You should always test your pool water a minimum of once per week while the pool is open (not winterized).
How to Collect a Water Sample
Proper water testing starts with an accurate sample. This means getting the water from a location that best represents it — away from edges or the surface, right in the middle.
Begin by using a clean cup or bottle. Hold it upside down so the opening is facing the pool floor. Insert the cup into the water elbow-deep, and then turn it right side up to collect the sample.
You’re all set!
Common Pool Water Testing Methods
1. Test strips - With test strips, you dip the strip into the water sample, wait for it to change color, and then compare the color on the supplied chart to see the amount of chemicals the water needs.
2. Test kits - Liquid test kits allow you to use the water sample by dropping in certain reagents and then observing the color change. The resulting color of the water sample signifies which chemicals you need to add to the pool.
3. Digital readers - These allow you to test the water’s pH by simply placing an end of the device into the water, followed by a digital readout of the pool’s chemical levels.
Pool Water Testing Tips
- Always keep your test kit away from the sun and out of cold and hot weather.
- When using test strips, be sure to check the expiration date, and never reach in the bottle to grab a test strip with wet fingers, as this can ruin their accuracy.
- Have your pool water professionally tested at least once a month to validate your results. Although this may cost a small fee, it’s the best way to ensure you remain on the right track.
- Always write your test results down and keep a log of what you’ve added. This will help you keep the pool water more accurately balanced, learn your pool’s chlorine demand, and diagnose problems more easily.
If your pool’s water needs testing, the experts at Blue Haven would love to handle it for you! Our team can always provide you with the products needed to ensure your pool is always sparkling clean and in peak condition, whether your pool’s season has just started, or you’re well into the summer and beyond.
In addition to essential pool services and maintenance, we also keep a wide stock of pool cleaning supplies on hand, so send us a message, give us a call at 405-844-7500, or drop by and see us at our Blue Haven location in Edmond!