How often do I need pool water testing for proper balance?
You should check your pool chemicals every day, especially the chlorine. If you miss a few days and the pool loses all the chlorine it may turn green.
The pH and alkalinity should also be checked at least every other day. The alkalinity keeps the pH in the right range which helps the chlorine stay active and be able to kill all the nasty stuff in the water. This is especially true if you use the TriChlor tabs (hockey pucks). They have a pH around 3,so they will constantly bring your pH and alkalinity down.
The Calcium Hardness can be checked every month or so. This level will change if you have a leak and are losing a lot of water or if you use Calcium Hypochlorite.
The stabilizer should be checked once a month or so. More frequently if you have a leak or a lot of splash-out.
You should check for Phosphates fairly frequently as well. Phosphates act as food for algae. so if you’re having recurring algae blooms, you might want to bring some water in for testing. We will be writing a blog post on this subject shortly.
There are a few different ways to test the chemistry. There are dip and read test strips. These are handy, but not terribly precise. But will give you a general range. Taylor and AquaCheck have a few options for these test strips. Don’t use wet hands to take out the test strip and make sure that you cap the bottle tightly, you don’t want any moisture getting in.
There is the small “economy” liquid test kit. This kit just tests for chlorine and pH.
There is a range of other liquid test kits from the ones that we use as swimming pool professionals, to one that’s not quite that elaborate but will work for your pool.
If you leave the liquid reagents in the shed over the winter, throw them out, they’re not good. Also, in most cases the liquid reagents last only a year from the date you open them.
If you have a commercial pool, the local and state health department will advise you about how often you should check the water balance. Also, you are required to use a DPD test kit for water testing.
Come in or call us if you have questions regarding your pool water chemistry or your water testing kit. We also test water at no charge at our location at 91 Prestige Park Circle, East Hartford CT.