Home pool water test kits are great. They’re accurate if used correctly. A big IF. In this article we’ll give you 7 simple tips to accurately test your pool water.
Tip 1 –Always Follow the Instructions
Sounds simple doesn’t it. Lots of people don’t do it. If the kit asks you to put 7 drops of liquid in, put in 7. Not 6 or 8.
If the kit says “dip”, don’t swirl or swish. If it says, “swirl”, don’t shake.
Tip 2– Take Samples Away from Return Jets / Outlets
You may get concentrated of chemicals here, especially if the last time you added chemicals, you poured it in the skimmer box. This is also the case if you have an in-line chlorine feeder or a salt-water chlorinator.
Tip 3– Make Sure Your Kit Is Fresh & Uncontaminated
The chemicals used for test strips and liquid kits don’t stay fresh for long. Most only last 12 months, sometimes less. If your test kit isn’t within the used by date, or is more than 1 year old, replace it.
Let’s face it, a few bucks for a new test kit is much better than an ear infection or an algae problem.
Tip 4– Don’t Touch Test Strips or the Water Sample
Touching the end of the test strips, the water sample or the chemicals used in drop test kits could change the readings. Don’t shake the vial using your finger as a lid either.
Your hands have residual chemicals (think soaps, food etc) on them and could affect the results.
Tip 5– Don’t Test Immediately After Adding Chemicals
Run your pump and wait at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) before retesting your water. Running your pump will mix the chemicals so you don’t get a concentrated reading.
Besides, pool chemical levels are fairly slow to change anyway. You’re wasting your time testing any sooner than 4-8 hours.
Tip 6–Don’t Wait Too Long to Take the Reading
Follow the kit instructions here. Waiting too long or not long enough for the sample to change colour will give you an incorrect reading.
Tip 7– Take Samples at least 30cm In Depth
If you take a sample from the surface of the water, you’ll get inaccuracies caused by direct sunlight and evaporation.
This is even more of a problem if you have a swimming pool cover. The chemical levels tend to be concentrated near the top.
Tip 8 – Run your Pump for 15-30 mins Before Testing
I know I said 7 tips, but I just thought of another and couldn’t help myself. Running your filter pump before testing will help to circulate the water and mix the chemicals.
Well that’s it. If you follow these 7 8 tips, you’ll be able to accurately test your swimming pool’s water at home.
Swimming Pool Water Testing Strips – these are highly rated and an affordable way to test your pool water.
Swimming Pool Water Liquid Test Kit – if you prefer a liquid kit, this one is also highly rated.