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How To Properly Test Your Pool Water

In order to optimize your swimming pool's cleanliness you need to regularly test your pool water. You can just send it in to a store, or do it yourself with either test strips or a liquid test; but first you need a water sample. In order to collect a water sample you need to find a clean container. For an ideal water sample you need to collect the sample from the middle of the pool. Do not collect your sample near your jets or skimmer. Hold your container upside down, putting it into the water elbow-deep. Flip the container upside right, and you have the sample. Now that you have your sample you can take it to your local pool store to test it or do it yourself with a home water testing kit. Let's take a look at some of the methods you can do yourself, right at home.

Using Test Strips

instatest-small_xlThis is one of the most favoured methods amongst many pool owners for testing their swimming pool's water. Also in many cases utilizing test strips for testing the water it proves to provide more accurate results than other at-home methods. Key factors to test for include pH, alkalinity, and free chlorine. You can purchase test strips that test a variety of factors like these and more from To test you will need to collect your water sample, then take a dry test strip and just dip it into the water, quickly removing it. Hold the strip still, in the air, for about 15 seconds. Colours will then appear on the strip. Consult the back of the test strips' package for a glossary on what each colour represents, then treat your swimming pool accordingly. To optimize chemical effectiveness in your pool it is important to use these strips weekly.

Using a Liquid Test Kit

Using a liquid test kit is not as popular as using test strips, as it requires more than one water sample and many pool owners complain it is sometimes difficult to see the low end of the colours. This is why it is a good idea to use a white bucket to collect your water sample. toolkit2_xlWhen it comes to using a liquid test kit to test your pool it is important to select the right one for your swimming needs. Generally you will look for a kit to test pH and chlorine. Here is what you are looking for:

  • When checking for pH a common chemical is phenol red, a red chemical that you add to your water sample to check the pH. The more red the water is, the high the pH level is.

  • OTO is an individual chemical that will test the chlorine level. This requires taking another water sample in order to see results. This yellow chemical is added to your new water sample. The more vivid the colour, the more chlorine present in the water.

Overall, regardless of whether you test your pool water at home, it is recommended that you continue to bring water samples to your local pool store upon opening and closing your pool. If you have any concerns, consult your local swimming pool store professional for more information.

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