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TESTING: BUYER’S GUIDE & FAQ


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What’s considered balancing my pool and why is it important? [open]
Your pool is balanced when all of your pool’s readings and chemical levels are within the proper range. If your pH, alkalinity or anything else is above or below the recommended level, your pool is not properly balanced.

Your pool being out of balance can cause a lot of different issues. While the effects vary depending on what is out of balance, it can do things like damage your equipment or plumbing, irritate eyes and skin, lead to cloudy water, allow algae to grow, create stains and more. To avoid this, it’s best to keep your pool balanced, monitoring the chemical levels regularly. [Shop All Testing Supplies]
What levels should I be trying to maintain? [open]
You want most readings to fit within a range. To make it easy, we’ve included a chart for you to use:

How frequently should I test my pool? [open]
Testing your water for its chlorine, pH and total alkalinity levels should be done 2 to 3 times a week. You’ll also want to check your water after a big rain as that can affect chemical levels (if you want to learn more about how rain effects your pool’s balance, visit our blog, How Does Rain Effect Pool Water?).

Calcium hardness should be tested monthly, and you should test for metals every 3 to 4 months — more if you’ve had problems with metals in the past.

You’ll also want to test your water after you’ve made any adjustments to see if it was successful. If you add something to increase the pH, did it raise it to the proper level? You’ll want to check after the chemicals have had a few hours to circulate and begin to take effect. [Shop All Testing Supplies]
How do I test my pool water? [open]
Whatever method you have, you’ll want to defer to the instructions for water collection and color matching.

For test kit strips and digital readers, it’s as simple as dipping it in the water and reading it. For test kits, you’ll need to gather water and add dye before you can take a reading.

For a more detailed guide, visit our blog, How to Test Your Pool Simply and Easily. [Shop All Testing Supplies]

TESTING

Testing your pool is one of the most important parts of regular maintenance. It allows you to know what chemicals you need to add to keep your pool clean and healthy.

To do this, you’ll need to check the levels of several different chemicals There are 3 different ways to do that: with test strips, liquid test kits or a digital tester.
What to Test For [open]
The 4 most important chemicals to test are pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and chlorine level or other sanitizer. You’ll also want to test these the most frequently.

In addition to your regular weekly testing, you’ll periodically want to test to see what metals are present in your pool. This is important to prevent stains from developing. [Shop All Testing Supplies]
Test Strips [open]
Test strips are a very convenient way to test a variety of chemical levels at once. At PoolSupplies.com, we have strips that test for total chlorine, bromine, pH and alkalinity, free chlorine, cyanuric acid and total hardness. We also carry strips designed to test for the chemicals present in salt water pools.

Follow the directions on the bottle and use the color guide to match up the chemical levels. [Shop All Testing Supplies]
Liquid Test Kits [open]
These kits test for a variety of chemicals, including chlorine, bromine, pH, total alkalinity, acid demand, base demand, calcium hardness and stabilizer/conditioner.

Liquid test kits work using a small water sample collected from your pool in the included vials and containers. Add the included dyes, following the included instructions, and match the colors up to gauge the chemical levels. [Shop All Testing Supplies]
Digital Testers [open]
At PoolSupplies.com, we also carry several digital testers. While more expensive than the other ways to test, they are incredibly accurate and easy to use. They can test for pH, free chlorine, combined and total chlorine, alkalinity, cyanuric acid and even temperature. No color matching required to know the exact levels of your pool chemicals. [Shop All Testing Supplies]
More Questions?
If you still have questions about testing your pool’s water, call our in-house pool experts at 1-800-356-3025.