As technology keeps evolving day by day, pool test strips are preferred to photometers and liquid test kits. It’s due to its accuracy and ease to use when testing pool and hot tub water. Anyone can use them without the need to add chemicals when testing.
Regularly testing your pool water is a cost-efficient means to avoid disaster by acting promptly on the small imbalances. It is also the best way to maintain the aesthetic appeal of your pool. If you don’t take proper care of your pool, the water may have a diminished pH level, which can destroy the pool pump and cause corrosion on ladders.
Luckily with Bosike testing strips, you can protect yourself and your guests from getting exposed to pool-borne illnesses. Not only that, but you can also use the strips for spa, bath, hot tub, and other water chemistry testings.
It is recommended that you test your pool and spa twice a week for proper monitoring of the water conditions.
How To Test Your Pool Water With Test Strips?
To achieve the best results, you should run your pool pump for not less than an hour before performing the test. Follow these simple steps to test your pool.
- Immerse the strip in the pool water, just briefly, say, 2 seconds.
- Remove it out of the water with the pads facing on top. Do not shake the excess water from the strip.
- Hold it for fifteen seconds in this position.
- Make a comparison to the legend and match the colors you observe to their corresponding values.
- After reading the values, you can figure out how to balance the chemical levels are required.
How Often You Should Test Pool Water?
While there is no standard timeframe to perform different tests, some perform the tests daily, while others do it after two weeks. All these are acceptable. But if you want to be on the safer side, you can use the following recommended schedule:
Testing for chlorine: Two to three times a week
pH: two to three times each week
Acidity: anytime the pH level needs adjustment
Alkalinity: every week, unless the pH has changed recently.
Calcium hardness: at least once a month
Cyanuric acid levels: at least once every month
Total dissolved solids: at least once every month.
Are pool and hot tub test strips accurate?
Pool test strips such as Bosike pool and Spa test strips provide accurate readings of your pool’s chemistry. They are more reliable than using liquid test kits when testing the chemistry of your water. This is because the test strips eliminate the possibility of human error. They always deliver accuracy and are very easy to use.
Advantages of using the pool and hot tub test strips
- They are more affordable than the pool test kits.
- They need no technique or skill to be used. All you need is water and the strips with the color-coded legend.
- They offer a range of testing options. For instance, Bosike provides 7 in 1 test strips.
What Levels Should Your Pool Chemistry Be?
Here are the recommended levels for different tests:
Total chlorine: 1 to 4 pm
Free Chlorine: 2 to 3 ppm
pH balance: 7.4 to 7.6 pH
Total Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm.
Stabilizer: The stabilizer measures the amount of cyanuric acid in the pool. Keep its level for at least 30 ppm.
Total hardness: It measures the level of calcium and other minerals present in the water. You should keep the standard levels between 175 ppm and 275 ppm.
Testing For Chlorine
Chlorine is an element that gives your pool a beautiful shimmer. It keeps your pool clear and away from bacteria. When it is added to the pool water, it sanitizes the water through oxidation. It also forms a weak acid capable of killing microorganisms in your pool. With chlorine’s disinfection properties, your pool will be free from pool-borne illnesses.
It is always essential to test your pool for chlorine. When chlorine sanitizes the pool water via oxidation, its molecules get degraded, and the ultraviolet rays also break down the chemical. Therefore, it is necessary to keep on monitoring its levels.
Is there a difference between Total Chlorine and Free Chlorine?
You probably have noticed that the test strips have two chlorine readings: total chlorine and free chlorine.
Total chlorine will show you the total amount of chlorine in your pool water.
Free chlorine shoes the amount of unused chlorine in the water. The free chlorine available in the water can still disinfect bacteria and microorganisms in your pool. Put much of your focus on the free chlorine readings than the total chlorine readings.
If your pool doesn’t have enough chlorine, that is, below 1ppm, it may get contaminated or experience pool imbalance. Low chlorine levels will give you a hard time keeping the pH and alkalinity in the standard levels.
If the pool has more chlorine levels, that is, above 4 ppm, you will face issues like irritation on the skin and eyes.
Balancing chlorine levels
- To raise chlorine levels in your pool, you will need to either use chlorine tablets or shocking your pool.
- To lower chlorine levels, you will need to stop adding more chlorine in your pool for some time.
Testing For PH
pH test measures the alkalinity and acidity levels of your pool. pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 representing a neutral pH level. Numbers less than 7 represent the acidity levels, while above 7 represent the alkalinity levels.
You should maintain your pool’s pH between pH 7.4 and 7.6. This is to help match the human body’s pH, which is neutral.
The pH imbalances in your pool can cause corrosion and water discoloration.
If the pH is below 7.4, it can damage the concrete and vinyl of your pool. It also irritates the eye and the skin.
If the pH is above 7.5, you may notice a scale-forming up on the pool walls, reduction in chlorine effectiveness, and irritation of the eye and skin.
Balancing the pH levels
If your pool’s pH is acidic, you will need to raise it by adding soda ash to the pool. Six ounces will add 0.2 pH.
If your pool is alkaline, you will need to lower its pH using sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid.
Testing For Total Alkalinity
This is a measurement of your pool’s ability to resist the changes in pH levels. By neutralizing the acids present in the water, total alkalinity can stabilize the pH levels. While it looks the same as testing for pH, this is slightly different in how it is measured. pH uses a scale, while the test for alkalinity uses parts-per-million (ppm).
The standard levels you should maintain are 80 to 120 ppm.
If your total alkalinity is below 80 ppm, you may face pH bounce, corrosion, staining, and etching.
If it’s too high, above 125 ppm, your pump and pipe may get damaged.
Balancing total alkalinity
To balance your pool’s total alkalinity, you will need to perform a similar process balancing your pool’s pH levels.
Add baking soda to raise the pH, or add dry acid to lower the pH.
Pool and hot tub maintenance is a critical factor in many homes and hotels if you want to avoid pool-borne illnesses and increase your pool’s lifespan. Using pool test strips accurately will help you maintain its standard levels and keep it as useful as possible. Bosike Pool and hot tub test strips are some of the best available.