As the warm weather approaches, your pool will undoubtedly be used more often. Because of this, you must know how to make sure that the pool is safe for use. You’ll have to check the water quality, and you’ll do so with pool test kits!
If you are unsure of how to use a pool test kit, we have prepared a guide to help you.
Frequency of Tests
You will need to determine the right time to test your pool water. Although there isn’t a specific guideline, the more often you check, the better!
Testing for chlorine and pH levels should be done at least twice a week, while testing for alkalinity should be done once a week. For acid tests, perform them whenever you’re adjusting the pool’s pH levels. As for other tests like calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, and cyanuric acid levels, they should all be done once a month.
That said, let’s get into the know-how of using pool testing kits:
Step 1: Grab a sample
Use a plastic tester to collect a sample of the pool water. Because the chemical composition of the water near the surface and at the bottom of the pool is different, you’ll have to take a sample from both depths. For a sample from the bottom, dip the plastic tester at least 18 inches into the pool for more accurate results.
Step 2: Test for chlorine
To get accurate readings, make sure your vials are filled appropriately following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Then, add the appropriate solution to test for chlorine. With the right chemical to pool water ratio achieved, you can then cap the vial and start mixing. After a few seconds, the colors should change. Compare these colors to a guideline that is usually printed onto the plastic tester itself. This initial reading indicates free chlorine levels. By waiting a few minutes and comparing the colors once more, you’ll get a reading for residual chlorine.
Step 3: Test for PH levels
After thoroughly cleaning the plastic tester, repeat the first step. Then, look for the chemical sodium thiosulfate (No. 4) and add it into the sample to neutralize the chlorine. Then, add five drops of the phenol red indicator solution (No. 2). After mixing, compare it with the pH color standards. Do note that if your residual chlorine is higher than three, you’ll have to get it down to proper levels before proceeding.
Step 4: Test for acid demand
Make sure that you perform this test only after your chlorine residue and pH levels are at their proper levels. Do not throw away the water after the pH test, but instead add titrant. You’ll have to count each drop until the color reaches the 7.4 indicators. From this, you’ll find out just how much acid you’ll need to add to your pool to balance the pH levels.
Step 5: Test for alkalinity
Once again, only proceed with this test if your chlorine level has dropped down to normal. Clean the tester thoroughly and fill it up only until the lower dashed line. Add a drop of chlorine neutralizer, as previously mentioned in step three and mix. After that, add a reduction of the alkalinity indicator (No. 5B) and mix gently. Then, count each drop of solution No. Three you add into the tester until the color changes to either light green, light yellow, or goes transparent. Multiply the number of drops by ten, and that’s your pool’s alkalinity.
We hope that our guide has given you the much-needed knowledge to use pool tester kits properly.
If you a looking for a top-rated pool maintenance company to help you test your pool water, call Purple Heart Pools now! We are happy to help.