Swimming Pools Water Testing Facts

There are many different ways to measure and test the water in a swimming pool, but one of the main ways is using testing strips. Even though there are multiple items to look at when testing the water, only a few are worth looking at all the time. Those include the chlorine, pH, alkalinity and calcium levels. These seem to be the ones that could change from day to day depending on the weather or organic matter that comes in contact with the swimming pool water.

Testing the pool water needs to be done every couple of days. Some experts say that these water chemistry tests need to be done daily, so coming up with a schedule would be best. If the swimming pool maintainer is using the same testing strips from the previous season, they should know that there can be false readings. Water chemistry testing strips tend to only last one season, so be careful. One common false positive is with the chlorine. As we all know, chlorine can bleach surfaces when it is high, so sometimes the test will show that there is no chlorine in the swimming pool. If the maintainer knows that there is some in the pool, there might be too much. This false positive is a result of the chlorine bleaching the testing strip.

Here are the basic water chemistry levels that need to be maintained in the pool.

  • Chlorine: 1.0 – 2.0 ppm
  • pH: 7.2 – 7.8
  • Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
  • Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
  • Dissolved Solids: below 5000 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid: 40 – 80 ppm

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