When most of us think of chlorine, we think of those red eyes we get in the pool and the chemical’s unique smell. But chlorine is actually a really important part of pool maintenance – it keeps your pool clean and safe. Adding the correct level of chlorine prevents the growth of algae, bacteria, and microorganisms in the water, and keeps your pool healthy and ready for fun.
Different types of tests
There are several ways to check the chlorine of your pool, ranging from paper strips to digital tools. When deciding on the right test for you, we recommend considering a few factors like, accuracy, ease of use, and cost.
One method involves using test strips that you dip in the water. These strips are usually inexpensive and easy to use. The strips contain several color blocks which change color in the presence of certain chemicals.
Another common method to test the chlorine level in your pool is to use a pool test kit, which tests water samples using chemical reagents that indicate the level of chlorine present using coloring comparison. We find this method to be more accurate than other tests, along with being simple and cost effective. In addition to testing chlorine levels, pool testing kits can also test for a variety of other important parameters including pH, alkalinity, bromine, total hardness, and cyanuric acid.
We recommend testing your pool’s chlorine level 2-3 times per week. There are a few factors that can help you determine how frequently you should be testing, including the season, how many people are using your pool, and the degree to which you want to understand your pool’s chemistry. In addition, be sure to test levels after extensive pool use or after a storm, as both can deplete the chlorine levels of your pool.
Using the pool test kit
Each test kit comes with specific instructions which you should follow to complete the test successfully. A good tip is to capture water below the surface of the pool – testing deeper water can provide a more accurate reading. Make sure you have filled the tester to the appropriate levels (usually marked).
You’ll then be instructed to add drops of the chemical reagent intended for the chlorine test, cap the kit and give it a few good shakes. Once the reagent is fully blended, compare the color of your water sample with the standard color guide on the mixer.
Some additional tips:
- If it’s hard for you to compare the color of your water with the standard color guide, try placing a piece of white paper behind the test kit. This can help you see color changes more clearly.
- Be sure to test your pool’s chlorine levels if you notice any changes in the clarity of the water. Several factors can lead to cloudy water, including chlorine level. Additionally, be sure to check the levels when you open the pool for the seasons.
- Want to eye-ball from where you should collect water for your sample? Try to aim for elbow-deep water.
- Keep your test kit in a cool, dark place and like with other chemicals, always from kids and pets.
Regularly checking your pool’s chlorine level is an important part of a more comprehensive approach to keeping your pool clean and healthy. In addition to chemical treatments, you can also keep your pool clean using a robotic pool cleaner.