I recently thought back to when I just had my swimming pool newly done. I remember the number of questions I had about keeping the pool clean and safety measures to make sure everyone using the pool was perfectly fine.
It was my inquisitiveness that made me discover that beyond having clean and clear water in my swimming pool, the chemical conditions of the pool water was just as important. Then I followed up with the question of how exactly do I know the chemical condition of my pool water and what chemical conditions are harmful and which ones are just right? The discoveries are made are what I’ll be sharing with you.
One of the first things you learn as a new swimming pool owner is importance of paying attention to the condition of the pool water. This involves the cleanliness, as well as the water chemistry of the pool water. This should not come as a surprise since the first thing that comes to mind when you think about swimming pool is water.
Swimming pool test kits come in different types, many times the kit combine a range of different pool water chemistry tests that they can perform. The test kit is used by obtaining a sample of the pool water and adding a the right amount of the test kit solution or dissolving tablets as the case may be.
You then allow the t sting solution mix in properly with the water dample and take readings of the result by comparing the colours with the colour standards provided on the swimming pool test kit. Some swimming pool test kits come in stripes and instructions on how to use and read the results.
Why Do I Need Pool Test Kit?
With the summer time comes the swimming trunks. It is important to remain safe as you enjoying all the fun and relaxation that the swimming pool offers. One way to ensure this is to make sure that swimming pool water is in the right chemical conditions.
You can confirm this by carrying out several tests to check out the levels of various chemicals in the pool water and determine if they are not in harmful quantities to the pool users. This is the function of the swimming pool test kit.
The chemicals to be tested for are mostly used in pool maintenance activities. They help to keep the pool water at very high sanitary conditions and prevent the growth of organisms that could be potentially harmful to pool users. This means that the presence of these chemical need to be kept at an optimum level to avoid pool infestations and over exposure of the pool users to the chemicals.
How To Use Pool Test Kit
The swimming pool test kits come in different types. The more common ones can usually capable of conducting a wide range of test and ascertain if certain chemicals are in sufficient or in excess or harmful quantity in the pool water.
Some other types of the pool test strip come in the form of strips. The strip is used to test for the presence of a particular chemical in the pool water.
- The first thing to do when using a pool test kit is take a sample of the pool water you want to test. It is idea to take the sample at a depth of 18 inches, this is because the chemical condition of the water at the base of the pool might considerably vary with water at the top.
- Add the specified amount of the pool kit test solution or tablet to the collected pool water sample. Make sure that the sample container is filled up to the ideal level marked on the container.
- Give the container a good shake to properly mix the pool water sample and solution and allow to settle. Be careful to not allow any spillage.
- Compare the colour to the colour standards that is provided on the pool test container.
- This system can be used to test for free chlorine, residual chlorine, pH level, acid demand and total alkalinity. The difference in each test is the testing solution or tablets that will be used.
Read: How to use an hth pool test kit
Guidelines For Using The Pool Test Kit
The pool test kit is capable of giving very accurate readings if the tests are properly carrier out.
Here are some guidelines that guarantee accurate test results when they are strictly followed.
- Make sure you take the sample pool water at the appropriate depth.
- Always rinse out the sample container after each test. This prevents any leftover solutions from corrupt the results of the next test.
- The tests should be carried out in this order for efficiency.
- Free chlorine and residual chlorine
- pH levels
- Test for Acid Demand
- Test for Alkalinity
When Will I Get Inaccurate Results?
While pool test kits are very accurate, they can just as easily go wrong. Many times, people arrive at inaccurate results due to poor execution of the testing process. They sometimes do not get the measurements right or completely rinse out residue of a previous test.
Other reasons why the pool test kits can give you false results can be summed up to be chemical. The interactions of chemicals cause reactions and their reactions can easily throw off test results. For example, the reason for strict order of carrying the pool water chemistry tests is because the amount of certain chemicals in the pool water can affect the accuracy of some testing solutions.
A pool water with 3.0 and above residual chorine level will give an inaccurate result when testing for pH levels. In turn, do not test for acid levels when the pH level is 7.5 and above and residual chlorine is above 3.0 as this will not give an accurate result. The latter also applies when testing for pool water alkalinity, pool water with above 3.0 residual chlorine level would give false results if tested for alkalinity.
When Do I Test My Pool?
There are no standard rules that guide when or how often pools water chemistry tests should be carried out. People that like to be systematic often draw up a calendar to follow, some carry out these tests on a daily basis while others wait only they have a gut feeling or feel a change to the pool water.
However experts have weighed in and they have expressed their feelings as what they believe to be the idea timing for carryout these tests. The following is what they said.
Chlorine levels: Expert say two or three tests should be done each week
pH levels: Two or three tests each week is considered sufficient
Acid demand test: this is mostly required Whenever the pH levels need adjustment. The test is done to make sure that the pool water acid level is kept at the proper level.
Total alkalinity: Experts advice the test to be done Weekly, unless pH has changed, in which case you should always test the total alkalinity
Calcium hardness: A Monthly test is considered adequate for calcium hardness.
Cyanuric acid levels: A Monthly test is considered adequate for Cyanuric acid levels.
Total dissolved solids: A Monthly test is considered adequate for total dissolved solids.
How Do I Conduct Special Tests On My Pool Water?
There are special tests that will be required under certain conditions. These tests help to determine state of water chemistry that the principal 4 or 5 tests cannot test for. The special conditions can be the type of water the pool has been filled with, an example of this is the saltwater swimming pool. These swimming pool type will need the salt levels to be checked and thus requires a special test for this.
Special swimming pool tests typically require a special strip that is used to determine the presence and level of certain chemical elements in the pool water.
- If you have a saltwater pool, test for salt quantity by using a salt test strip. If you use a salt- chlorine generator for your swimming pool, then you need to test for chlorine also.
- A mental test is required if your pool water stains the surface of your swimming pool. This test can be done by using special test strips designed to detect metals. It tests for dissolved metals like copper and iron in the pool water.
- Phosphate test may be required if you use fertilisers around the swimming pool. They can cause algae to grow in your pool if they make their way into your pool water. A phosphate test kit will help with the test.
- Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) is the amount of dissolved substances in your pool water. This can be tested for by using a SafeDeep test meter.
- Swimming pools with special treatment systems may require special tests to ensure that the pool water remains safe to swimmers. For example, Biguanide water treatment systems, found on some swimming pools, require biguanide test strips to check the sanitizer levels, pool pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels.