How to measure swimming pool water quality

Posted by 28 Jan, 2011

In order to test the swimming pool water quality, you need to know what you’re testing. Some of the basic parameters that are measured for pools include pH, Chlorine, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Total Dissolved Solids.

A balanced swimming pool really only needs to have the pH and chlorine levels checked and corrected on a regular basis, the other chemical values being measured less frequently.
Myron L PoolPro Pool Test

Many swimming pool and spa professionals use portable instruments to test the water quality during treatment. If you are a homeowner with a pool, you may want to consider using an instrument as opposed to the simple test kits with liquid droplets or tablets. If you need an instrument, check out the selection here: The instruments are much more accurate and can provide immediate, reliable results. If you are using the test kits, there are a few things to note. Expired tablets/ test liquids (reagents) should be thrown out as they very often give inaccurate readings, resulting in improper treatment, wasting expensive chemicals and possibly damaging the pool and filtration equipment. Always keep the test kit in a cool dry place out of the sun and out of the reach of children.

When testing the pool water, rinse the cell cups of your instrument or test kit thoroughly before filling them with water from at least 20-30 cm below the surface of the swimming pool. When you’re finished testing the water be sure not to pour the samples back into the pool.

As a general rule of thumb, tests for pH and chlorine should be done weekly. If there are no obvious problems in your swimming pool (algae growth, cloudy water, lime scale buildup, etc) then you can test for Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Total Dissolved Solids approximately every month.

Swimming pool chemistry can seem intimidating, so consulting a swimming pool professional is not a bad idea. Some will visit your pool and perform the test or you can take a sample directly to your local pool supply store and they may be able to test it for you.

If the water in your area is free from any metals and your swimming pool shows none of the symptoms of iron or copper presence, the test for these metals is unnecessary. If, however, you notice staining on the walls and floor of the swimming pool, you should have the levels of these metals checked and treated if necessary.

For a more in-depth study of pool water testing, visit the link below:

The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) is a great resource for individuals and companies that want to learn more about water treatment for pools and spas.

Categories : Application Advice, Technical Tips
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