We have all heard of “testing the waters” but when comes to swimming pool maintenance, water testing is the best route to an easy to maintain pool.
You have to do more than touch the water to test anything more than the temperature. Test kits, strips and readers are used to check pool water balance levels.
A swimming pool is just a hole in the ground without water, and swimming is no fun if not experienced in clean, clear and healthy water.
Since swimming pools are generally used by multiple people at any given time, it is imperative that pool water is tested and treated regularly to prevent the spread of infectious illness and enhance the pool experience.
In order for us to have a sparkling clean and well-balanced pool, we have to ensure that the levels of pool chemicals stay within the ideal range of:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
- Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
- Bromine: 3-5 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 30 – 50 ppm
Testing your pool water and maintaining perfect chemical harmony is not rocket science but it definitely involves regularity and consistency on your part. It is recommended to test your pool water weekly and add chemicals if you see an increase/decrease in ideal chemical levels. There are several types of testing supplies available on the market varying in price and accuracy.
Since I work for a company that sells pool supplies, it was fairly easy for me to get customer input via our amazing review program, and I was able to narrow down the bestselling water testing supplies to make it easier for you to make the selection to your liking.
Pool Test Strips:
The most inexpensive and widely used method of water testing – test strips – is fast, easy, and fairly accurate. Water testing strips like the AquaChek Test Strips can be used to test for individual chemicals or you can buy something like AquaChek Select 7 Way Test Strips or YellowYellow 4 Way chlorine test strips to make multiple tests at the same time.
The most amazing feature of test strips other than their low price is that they are very simple to use; just dip them in water, swirl and read the results within seconds. Usually the test strips are color coded and come with an easy-to-read chart that lets you easily determine which chemicals you need to add to your pool.
Liquid Test Kits:
Liquid test kits are an excellent way to determine chemical levels in your pool and maintain crystal clear water at all times. Obviously higher in price as compared to testing strips, the liquid kits offer a more reliable and complete testing solution. Liquid testing kits like the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Water Chemistry Liquid Test Kit make use of reagents that are added to sample water and results are read on a user-friendly comparator.
Liquid testing kits like the 4-Way Test Kit Liquid Solution are economical and easy to use, and some like the Taylor Basic Residential DPD Test Kit take maintenance a step further and include a dosage chart for translating test results into treatment.
Digital Pool Testers:
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word digital – accurate and fast, right? Well when it comes to digital water testers, accuracy and promptness is what these amazing testers offer. Extremely easy to use, the digital water testers often feature LCD display, water-resistant housing, memory function, and no color matching, so reading results is a snap.
Digital pool testers have electrodes that measure chemical levels in the water with results that have more accuracy and dependability. Of course more on the expensive side, Digital water testers are definitely my favorite for a reliable, complete and fast water testing solution.
As a pool owner, you know that pool maintenance is not easy and does not come at a flip of a button. Regular pool testing is an important foundation to prevent other pool problems. These water testing solutions mentioned above are perfect to keep water balance easy and make your overall pool maintenance a little lighter.
Test Strips, Test Kits or Digital? The type of pool test you use depends on the level of accuracy you want in your pool tests. Test strips are the least accurate, a liquid test kit has better results and a digital reader is most exact and also rules out [most] human error!
Until next time, adiós!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger