The condition of your swimming pool needs to be cleaned, maintained, and kept at optimal levels at all times.
While that is necessary, there’s little to no way of knowing precisely what’s required without proper testing.
Thankfully, pool test kits help test for different aspects or conditions of the pool.
Pool Test Kit Instructions
Test kits check for chlorine levels, acid demand, pH, and total alkalinity.
Other things checked for using a pool test kit include cyanuric acid levels, calcium hardness, and total dissolved solids.
Water temperature, sanitizer levers, and hydrogen peroxide are also measured with such kits.
Pool Test Kits are Designed to be used in Certain Ways
Without having an idea of how to put pool test kits to good use, you’ll hardly be able to get any results using these tools. For each parameter to be measured, a specific set of instructions must be followed to get the correct readings.
Also, test kits come with basic use instructions, which you can follow. There may be cases where the use instructions accompanying pool test kits aren’t comprehensive enough.
If you’re reading this, you’re faced with such a problem. You’ll find the essential guidelines needed for proper testing right here.
Manual and Digital Pool Testers
When it comes to pool tests, you need to understand that there are two kinds; manual and digital pool testers. These testers serve the same function of helping arrive at accurate results.
However, users’ unique preferences determine which test kits to use.
As expected, digital pool testers tend to offer faster results, thus making the testing process much more manageable. However, manual pool test kits will be your go-to equipment if you wish to feel like a chemist.
To be more specific, digital test kits can take simultaneous readings of different parameters.
What more? It comes with data memory as well as an auto-turn-off function. More advanced designs have been made to work with smartphones.
These only need to be connected to your phone to generate direct readings plus analysis.
How to Test Pool Water Alkalinity
When it comes to using pool test kits, there may be slight variations depending on what type of kit you’re using and its design. Identifying the type is a better guide to using these test kits.
This section will examine test strips and a 4-way pool water testing kit.
i. Using Pool Test Strips
Pool water testing kits come in different variants.
There are 4-in-1 pool test strips, 5-in-1, and 7-in-1. Aquacheck is a reputable brand regarding the design of these pool-testing equipment.
To cover testing in detail, we’ll look at ways to test for chlorine levels, pH levels, and alkalinity testing. The Aussie Gold 4-in-1 test strips will be used for this illustration.
Testing for Chlorine Levels Using Aussie 4-in-1 Test Strips
To start this test, you’ll need to rinse the vials, including the covers, with your pool water.
Next, have the small reservoir filled to the top line. One DPD 1 tablet should be added to the pool before covering it with the cap.
Has the content shaken until the DPD 1 tabled is wholly dissolved? Having done that, compare the watercolor in the vial with the chlorine standard readings on the left side.
This gives you free chlorine levels for your pool’s sanitizing purposes.
Testing for pH Levels Using Aussie 4-in-1 Test Strips
Have your vials rinsed with the pool water, including the covers, to test for pH levels? Proceed to fill the more extensive reservoir from at least a foot deep.
This guarantees you have a good water sample—the water level to the top line before adding a drop of solution four and swirling to mix.
With the water neutralized, you’ll need to add five drops of solution and two pH indicators. This is the red-colored liquid. Cover and swirl around until well-mixed. The color settles within a few seconds.
Has it compared with the pH color standard on the side of the vial?
pH levels above 7.6 will require adding some acid to the pool. With pH levels below 7.4, pool alkalinity will need to be raised.
Alkalinity Testing Using Aussie 4-in-1 Test Strips
Before testing, have your vials and covers rinsed with your pool water.
Next, fill the large reservoir to the lower line before adding a drop of solution 4 to neutralize the chlorine contained in the water.
Add three drops of the blue-colored liquid (solution 5) and swirl until dissolved.
Having achieved a blue solution, solution three will need to be added to the liquid in drops. The drops should be counted until it turns yellow or loses their blue coloration.
When it turns yellow before eight drops are reached, it indicates low alkalinity in the water, which needs to be increased.
On the other hand, when it takes as much as 12 drops of solution three before it turns yellow, it indicates that the alkalinity is high and needs to be lowered.
Essential Tips to Follow When Testing Pool Water
It’s not enough to know how to use a pool testing kit. Specific tips must be adhered to make the process much more effective.
First off, testing strips aren’t as accurate as claimed. There may be correct results, but there’s a broader error margin with such tools, mainly when used by a nonprofessional.
You’ll need to get just enough chemicals to last a season, as keeping more than is required may lead to these chemicals losing their efficacy over time. Of course, this will affect your reading.
Reagents typically last for about a year, after which they’re no good.
The above steps can be followed to test yourself using a pool test kit. While this approach can be helpful, it’s not the best to take, as the testing process can be fraught with mistakes.
Calling a pool technician to conduct such tests is a much better alternative.