One of the most important responsibilities that comes along with being a pool owner is maintaining the proper water chemistry to ensure your investment is swimmer-friendly. The first step in protecting your pool from unwanted bacteria that can cause discoloration, algae growth and more, is routine testing of your swimming pool’s water. Knowing where to begin to accurately and correctly test your water can be difficult, especially for new pool owners. If you need some additional insights, take advantage of these tips from LinerWorld’s experts!
Integrate Technology Into Your Water Testing Routine
An exciting new addition to swimming pool testing equipment is the integration of technology! Pool owners can download a wide-variety of pool-focused smart phone apps that will read your testing strips, provide customized treatment plans, track water readings, and more. This option is perfect for beginners who may need added instruction or for seasoned pros that might want to save time when performing routine pool maintenance. Either way, integrating technology into your testing routine is a great way to find and track accurate information about your water chemistry.
Always Test Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, and Calcium Levels
There are a lot of specific parameters you can test your swimming pool’s water for, but what should be your main priorities as an owner? Routinely analyzing chlorine, alkalinity, calcium and pH levels should be your main focus. These four factors are directly impacted by weather and the changing of seasons and can switch-up your pool’s water chemistry easily. In order to maintain a clean, swimmer-friendly pool, these are the levels that should always be tested on a weekly basis, especially after out-of-the-ordinary weather or during a seasonal change.
Never Use Testing Strips That Are From a Previous Season
One of the biggest mistakes we see pool owners make when it comes to water testing, is using test strips that are from a previous swim season. Typically speaking, testing strips have a shelf life for one season before the chances of a false reading increases greatly. Old, out-of-date strips should be properly disposed and replaced with new ones in order to retain accurate readings, especially for chlorine. A positive to replacing test strips after each season is that they are inexpensive and easy to find!
Wait 20-30 Seconds Before Reading a Test Strip
Although you may see your test strip change colors almost instantaneously after dipping it into your pool’s water, it’s important that you wait 20-30 seconds before reading the results. This time frame allows for all levels and colors to accurately develop, eliminating the chances of a false reading and wrong treatment of your pool’s water. Another common error that many pool owners make after the colors develop, is not correctly corresponding the colors to their correct match. If you’re unsure of a color reading, it’s recommended that you take another sample and wait the suggested time for the results to re-appear.
Test Chlorine Levels in the Morning
The ultra-violet rays that are emitted by the sun have a huge impact on your swimming pool’s water chemistry, specifically when it comes to chlorine. UV light causes chlorine to dissipate, altering its levels and impacting testing results. LinerWorld’s pool experts recommend testing your water for its chlorine levels in the morning to avoid false readings. If the early daytime hours don’t fit into your maintenance schedule, adding cyanuric acid is a great alternative to provide a stabilizer for chlorine, minimizing the negative effects of the sunlight.
Maintaining the proper water chemistry for your swimming pool can be easily and accurately done with advice from professionals and some experience. Remembering these tips and following the instructions from your pool chemical manufacturers are the best ways to ensure an accurate test and treatment every time. To learn more about pool water testing, visit these articles:
- Things to Know About Testing Strips
- Caring for Your Swimming Pool’s Chemicals
- Swimming Pool Water Changing Colors
- Fighting Against Algae
- Things to Know About Titration Testing Kits