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Help & Advice

How To Test Pool Water and Why It’s Needed?

If you’re fortunate enough to own a pool in your backyard, it can be tempting to go for a dip whenever you feel like it. 

After all, there’s nothing better than a dip first thing in the morning or straight after work, right? Well, while you can enjoy your pool without a second thought most of the time, it’s important to regularly test your pool’s water condition to ensure that it’s ok to swim in.

If you never check your water quality, it can result in a range of issues and even illness – so it’s an essential part of owning a pool.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a handy guide outlining how to test your swimming pool’s water while emphasising the importance of doing so.    

Why is pool water important?

Ever got out of the pool and experienced itchy skin or stinging eyes? If so, it’s likely that your pool water isn’t balanced. Worse than that, an unbalanced pool can even result in staging nasal passages, dry skin, damage to hair and even spread bacteria that can cause illness.    

Metal surfaces and pool accessories can also become corroded if the water isn’t quite right, and you should be testing it at least once a week to ensure it’s ready to use. 

Before conducting the tests, it’s always worthwhile to understand what the ideal chemistry levels are. All water levels should be within the following ranges:

  • pH – 7.4-7.6
  • Alkalinity – 80-120ppm
  • Calcium hardness – 200-400ppm           
  • Chlorine – 2.0-4.0ppm

Occasionally, your water levels may slightly deviate from these ranges but as a general rule, this is what you should be looking out for.         

How to test your pool’s water?

You can test pool water in a number of ways, and depending on what method you go for it will vary in accuracy and price. 

Before you do any testing, make sure to circulate your pool’s water on a high setting for at least an hour. This is because testing stagnant water does not give the most accurate readings.   

Perhaps the most common way of testing your pool’s water is by using test strips. Simply dip a strip into the water, pull it out and see if any of the coloured panels have changed. Test strips always come with a colour-coded chart on the bottle that will indicate where your levels are at.       

You can also use liquid test kits to check the status of your water. These tests are slightly more expensive, but more reliable than test strips. Once you’ve collected your water sample, a liquid test kit will allow you to test for both pH and chlorine. To check the pH, add drops of the phenol red solution to the water – the redder the water, the higher the pH. 

Repeat the same test with the chlorine, adding the recommended amount of drops of the OTO solution. The yellower the water, the more chlorine is in your pool.                    

Whatever way you choose to test, make sure you keep track of your results. By recording what your levels are, it’ll give you a good indication of how it may change in the future – meaning you’re better prepared.  

Alternatively, you can collect a pool sample and drop it off to our team here at Claffey Pools. We provide a comprehensive instore pool testing service that guarantees a more in-depth assessment of your water quality compared to the testing kits you’re likely to find from a retail store.  

What to do if your pool’s water needs balancing

Once you’ve tested your pool’s water, you may need to balance it depending on the result of your test. 

At Claffey Pools, we can supply you with a wide range of products that can keep your pool in the very best condition. From pH Plus and pH Minus to regulate your pool’s pH level to Calcium Plus to give calcium levels a boost, our team can provide you with a range of options that will ensure your pool’s water is ready for you to dive right in whenever you fancy a swim. Visit our online store for a full list of our products.  

For more information on instore water testing, our range of balancing products or any of our other services, get in touch with the team at Claffey pools today.

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