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Proper pool water testing is essential during summers and even when you plan to close it during the winter season.
A pool that turns into a reservoir of algal spores can make you prone to skin and respiratory diseases.
Moreover, a large amount of algal growth can even cause drastic harm and you may have to spend frequently on repairs and replacements.
Basic information about pool water maintenance
You do not want to step inside a pool that is contaminated with several algal strains and has a high concentration of metals.
For this purpose, you can use an effective pool test kit and common methods to test and maintain the water with perfection.
These pool water test kits will aid you in testing the individual level of copper, iron, and various other metals in the water.
Thus, it will be easy on your part to save the surface from getting badly stained or corrugated by metal oxidation.
While you record the readings of the water, you must take great care; this is because wrong readings will complicate the situation for you.
Tips and tricks to test the water
There are several ways you can easily test the concentration of chlorine, pH level, and metals in the water.
Some of the most efficient tips that you can undertake without any hassle are listed below.
Test for iron concentration
A high percentage of iron in the water will cause damage to the inner lining and surface of the pool.
Moreover, the water does turn brackish and brown, due to this you might have to spend a large amount of money on repairs.
You might have to deal with a high concentration of iron if the pH of the water is low.
Initially, you just have to take out the testing strip, and dip it in the water for about 6 seconds.
In the next step, let the strip dry for 60 seconds before you compare the color to the comparison chart.
This will help you know the total amount of iron concentration in the water.
Testing the level of pH
Indeed, balancing the pH of the water is essential as you do not have to deal either with metal deposition or infestation of algal spores.
It is advised that you check the pH of the water two to three times weekly.
Primarily, you need to take the water sample and dip in the pH strip; leave the strip for about 5 to 6 seconds.
Once the time is over, take out the strip and let it dry for one minute. After this, you can consult the comparison chart to see whether the water is highly acidic or alkaline.
Check the chlorine levels
Keeping chlorine levels constant is essential in case you want to keep the water safe and maintain the overall look.
You need to use a pool test kit to determine the chlorine levels and check on the intensity of the yellow color in the pool water tester.
If the pool testing kit shows a dark yellow color, it is an indication that the water has high chlorine concentration.
Testing the water for copper level
During water testing, you also need to keep an eye on the copper concentration as it can degrade the overall look of the water.
In case the water has turned green but there is no infestation of green algae there is a possibility that you are dealing with high copper concentration.
A high copper concentration will degrade the inner surface; this is the reason why you need to take quick action.
Copper testing strips are easy to use, you need to have a water sample and dip them in for about 6 seconds.
Once the process is over, take the strip out, let it dry, and then compare the color with the comparison chart.
Correcting common problems
Several problems may arise during the water testing process that may only make things more complicated for you.
This is the reason why you must go through the most common problems that you might face while undertaking a DIY water chemistry test.
Wrong determination of the metal concentration
Indeed, it might happen to you most of the time. The wrong determination of metal concentration in the water has drastic consequences.
Adding an inadequate amount of solution to balance the concentration of metals in the water might cause a great deal of harm to the pool’s structure.
During the metal determination process, you need to pay attention to the color of the strip as it will help you to know the level of concentration.
The improper covering of the pool
Even if you have used one of the many reliable pool test kits and have taken the required measures to rectify any issue, the improper covering may ruin your effort.
Thus, you need to remove every accessory installed when you plan to cover it with the help of a hybrid or hardcover.
Contamination by swimming costumes
The pool’s water even gets contaminated when you enter wearing a swimming costume that you’ve worn in some natural water reservoir.
In case you do not prefer to do frequent pool water testing, it would be essential to wash the swimming suits with hot water and detergent before you enter the pool.
Analysis of the best practices
To properly test the water, you are required to consider several things such as safety precautions, reading the comparison chart correctly, etc.
A few methods that will help you to conduct the DIY project proficiently are as follows:
Proper testing of water pH alkalinity
It is mandatory to maintain a proper pH alkalinity level in your swimming pool or you may have to deal with unwanted algal growth.
To undertake proper maintenance of total alkalinity, first, you are required to properly use the testing strips and note the pH level and total alkalinity level.
If the level of pH alkalinity is higher than 7.6, then you need to shock the pool with the help of chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine.
While you are using liquid chlorine, you need to use 7.5 liters of it in a mid-sized pool.
Chlorine testing in the pool
During the summer season, you must keep a high percentage of chlorine in your pool or there are chances that you may suffer from algal growth.
For this reason, it would be better to test your pool for chlorine levels two times a week as due to high temperatures free chlorine concentration can become low quickly.
Thus, compare the strip color change with care and add the required amount of chlorine in the pool to maintain the ideal alkalinity and pH of the water.
Test with running pump
You must test the water of the pool while the pump is running as it will help you get exact readings and you will be able to take corrective action such as adding chlorine or cyanuric acid to maintain the ideal water chemistry.
To test the pH levels and total alkalinity of your pool you need to have a strip test kit that offers results for pH levels, alkalinity, free chlorine concentration, cyanuric acid, etc.
Initially, just dip the test kit strip under the water and remove it immediately.
You need to hold the strip horizontally for around 15 seconds and do not shake it.
Lastly, you can add cyanuric acid or chlorine as per the readings that you get after comparing the comparison chart with the color of the test strips.
Tools and chemicals that you need to use
Most pH test strips are designed in such a manner that even beginners can use them without much effort.
You will notice the concentration of several chemicals in your pool with the help of the test strips included in all pool test kits.
Thus, through the use of test strips, you can determine the pH level, free chlorine concentration, etc.
During the pool water test, you need to keep liquid chlorine handy, as it helps you to regulate the algal growth.
Balancer for calcium hardness
Your test kit may indicate the need for a water balancer. The calcium hardness balancer will provide you efficacy in maintaining the proper level of cyanuric acid in the pool.
A calcium hardness balancer will provide you efficacy in removing the extra amount of cyanuric acid from the pool, and then balance the chlorine in the pool.
Wear gloves while you are testing pool water and working with hard chemicals like cyanuric acid, liquid chlorine, etc.
Mostly, you need to expel the contaminated water out of the pool. For this purpose, you need to purchase a high-quality hose.
Do see to it that the hose has a large diameter so that it can easily expel even large debris from the pool.
If the pH of the pool is highly acidic, it can cause corrosion of the inner lining.
It’s important to check for alkalinity and maintain the ideal level of total alkalinity in the water.
Moreover, the tiles and wall plaster might also get severely damaged.
Thus, to protect yourself from such a situation you need to add either baking soda or soda ash in the pool.
Pools with a high level of total alkalinity will allow bacteria and algae to thrive inside and this can give rise to skin and respiratory ailments.
This is where muriatic acid comes to your rescue; you can instantly get rid of bacterial and algal growth at the bottom of the pool and reduce the overall total alkalinity.
Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to get your pool water tested?
Frankly speaking, the cost incurred during pool water testing is directly dependent upon the size of the pool.
For instance, a 30,000-gallon pool will cost you about $1250.
You can decrease the overall cost of pool maintenance just by covering it when not in use and keeping the filter clean.
How often should you test pool water?
In case you want to keep your pool in prime condition, you need to use a pool test kit for the water at least two times a week.
This way you will prevent the unwanted growth of algae and can get rid of oxidation marks quickly.
Furthermore, using a pool test kit frequently will save you a hefty amount of money on repairs and replacements.
How long can pool water sit before testing?
Once you have added a solution in the pool water, it would be wise to get your test kit and recheck the pH level, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness after a gap of twenty-four hours.
When the pool water is still, then there are more chances for it to get contaminated.
Thus, you can start the pump of the pool and let the water circulate. This process eventually helps to restore the oxygen level in the pool.
How to test chlorine in the water?
There are several sophisticated pool test kit options on the market with the help of which you can test the level of chlorine.
Most importantly, the concentration of chlorine in the pool water can be tested with the help of residual testing.
You can either purchase pool kits that come with color-changing strips or those of which that are made up of testing chemicals.
How to test pool water?
Initially, you are required to take the sample of pool water and conduct a pH test. It would be wise to maintain the pH level around 7.4 to 7.6.
Several other factors will help you to keep the pool water in good condition such as monitoring total alkalinity, chlorine levels, calcium hardness, etc.
Moreover, you also need to see whether the floor of the pool is contaminated with algal spores or not.
A good test kit will also make you aware of highly concentrated metals that are the sole cause of oxidation and irreparable staining of the surface.
How to read pool test kit strips?
All test strips in pool test kits come with a comparison chart that will help you to determine whether the pH of your pool is appropriate or not.
For starters, you are required to dip the test strip inside the pool water about six inches from the water’s surface.
Once you take out the strip, wait for at least 15 to 20 seconds, and then compare the strip’s color with the chart.
What chemicals do I need for my pool?
If you have recently installed a backyard pool, then you must purchase chlorine tablets, soda ash, and an indicator for pH regulation.
In case the alkalinity of your pool is way too high, it is recommended to use muriatic acid.
How to test pool chemicals?
Testing the exact amount of chemicals in your pool, such as calcium hardness, is an easy task to undertake. Initially, you have to take a sample of pool water.
In the next step, add the reagent just the way it has been directed in the testing kit, then shake the solution thoroughly and leave it to settle.
Lastly, just compare the color of the solution with the comparison chart.
How to test copper levels in pool water?
It is an easy task to see the copper level in your pool with the help of testing strips.
Moreover, if your pool eventually turns green, but you do not see signs of green algae spores, it is a vindication that you have a high deposition of copper in your pool.
In the first step, you need to take the copper testing strip and dip it in the pool water for 5 seconds.
Lay the strip in the shade for 60 seconds, and then compare the color of the strip to those that are given on the comparison chart.
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