Along with inspecting your smoke detectors and cleaning your furnace filter, pool owners and supervisors have an additional responsibility when it comes to home maintenance – testing pool water.
Regularly testing your pool water and subsequent treatment are necessary parts of keeping your pool safe and ready for fun. Though it may seem overwhelming, water as professionals you probably know that testing doesn’t have to be complicated. Our guide will bring you up to speed on the basics of water testing, figuring out your results, and the proper steps to take to handle any potential issues.
Water Testing and Treatment for professionals
Frequency and importance
Water testing is the single best way to understand your pool water’s chemical profile. The frequency with which you should test your pool water is dependent on the different parameters tested and how often you are using your pool. That said, the frequently you test your pool, the more information you’ll have regarding your pool chemistry. Generally, total alkalinity should be tested once a week; chlorine and pH should be tested 2-3 times a week; calcium hardness should be tested monthly, along with total dissolved solids (everything else that’s in your pool water); metals should be tested every 3-4 months.
How do I test my water?
Pool testing can be done with home test kits. There are several test kits available at various price levels. Regardless of the specific kit you buy, most kits operate in the same way. You’ll collect a sample of your pool water, preferably deeper water, and treat the water with a few chemical agents depending on the parameters you are testing. After adding the chemical agents, you’ll compare the color on the stick to a color guide in the kit and determine different levels of the parameters you are testing. You can also collect a bottle of your pool water and bring it to your local pool dealer for more challenging issues.
How do I understand the results?
pool maintenance routine. For example, if you see that pH levels are off, you’ll know to add sodium bisulfate (to lower the pH) or sodium carbonate (to raise the pH). If you are unsure what your next steps should be once you have results, there are various resources that can help you. You can either use online resources, or contact your local pool maintenance provider for professional assistance. Another option available is to use a pool maintenance app, where you can record chemical levels and get clear instructions on how to properly treat your pool water. Some apps are free of charge and others have a minor, monthly subscription fee. Some of the most popular apps include Pooli, PoolMath by TroubleFreePool, Pool Cloud, and others. ” width=”2560″ height=”1600″ />
Once you have results, you can understand how to tweak or change your pool maintenance routine. For example, if you see that pH levels are off, you’ll know to add sodium bisulfate (to lower the pH) or sodium carbonate (to raise the pH). If you are unsure what your next steps should be once you have results, there are various resources that can help you. You can either use online resources, or contact your local pool maintenance provider for professional assistance. Another option available is to use a pool maintenance app, where you can record chemical levels and get clear instructions on how to properly treat your pool water. Some apps are free of charge and others have a minor, monthly subscription fee. Some of the most popular apps include Pooli, PoolMath by TroubleFreePool, Pool Cloud, and others.
Potential recommended treatment
Chlorine – Raising your pool’s chlorine is simple. Just add more of the chlorine that you are already using. We find it more useful and healthier to add smaller amounts at first and retest the level, rather than adding too much upfront. Lowering your pool’s chlorine level can be a bit more complicated. One option is to leave your pool water exposed to the sun, which can lower the chlorine level. Another option is to dilute your water level by draining some water and adding fresh water, you could also add Sodium Thiosulfate.
Total Alkalinity – Low total alkalinity (TA) levels can also lower your pool’s pH level and damage the metal surfaces in and around your pool. It also reduces pool sanitizers efficiency. One of the more common ways to raise your pool’s TA levels is by adding sodium bicarbonate, aka baking soda. After adding baking soda, be sure to leave your pool undisturbed for 6 hours before retesting. High TA levels aren’t as damaging to your pool, but should be corrected for the overall health of your pool. High TA levels can result in murky and cloudy water, clogged filters, and higher water pressure which can damage your pump. To lower your TA levels, you can add muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate.
Calcium Hardness – Increased calcium hardness can result in calcium sediment accumulation on your pool’s surfaces. The best treatment for lowering the calcium hardness in your pool is to shock it. There are a few ways to increase your pool’s calcium hardness. The first is to drain and add more water. The second is to use pool flocculant (“pool floc”), which clumps the excess calcium. Once the calcium forms clumps, you’ll be able to vacuum the clumps out of your pool. Another option is to use muriatic acid, which raises your pool’s saturation levels. We recommend trying the first two options before going for muriatic acid.
Metals – If you have an increased level of metals in your pool, you’ll need to explore different options for filters that can trap the microscopic metal particles from entering your pool.
Total dissolved solids (TDS) – There aren’t chemical treatments available for removing TDS in your pool. The only way to do this is by diluting your pool water or draining your pool water and replacing it with fresh water.
A good way to maintain your pool chemistry is to shock your water on a monthly basis. If you live in a particularly hot climate, you might need to shock your pool more often. You can look at shocking your water as a preventative action, like eating well and exercising. Shock is a type of chlorine that comes in several forms and can be easily added to your pool. We highly recommend to refrain from using your pool 24 hours after shocking.