Part of pool ownership is knowing how to keep the water clean. The chemical levels need to be monitored and adjusted so everyone can enjoy the pool without swimming in cloudy water or developing nasty skin and eye irritations.
Pool water test strips are the first line of defense in determining if your pool’s water is safe. Let’s examine some things to know about these test strips and how to use them properly.
Chemicals Help Rid Pool Water of Nasty Pests
Algae, viruses, and bacteria are unwelcome guests in your swimming pool. They can cause skin and eye problems, which will put people out of the pool rather than enjoying the pool. The last thing you want is angry guests who develop issues like this after your pool party!
To control and eradicate these nasty pests, you must first know the pH of the water in the pool. Here are some specifics on what the strips are measuring to determine the pH level of the water:
– Alkalinity: Total alkalinity is a measure of alkaline substances that act as buffers that resist pH change.
– Calcium hardness: A measure of the number of calcium ions present in the water.
– Filtration: The process used for the separation of one substance from another, such as solids, with the aid of an interposing medium (filter).
– Chlorination: The process of adding chlorine or chlorine compounds to water; used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microbes in water.
Dirt, grass, and debris from the surrounding grass or yard often collect in your pool over time. Oils and lotions from swimmers’ skin can also alter the chemical balance in a pool.
Convenience and Accuracy of Test Strips
Test strips have become popular primarily due to their convenience. They are fast and simple to use. You simply dip a strip in the pool water for one second, and then compare it to a color chart.
It doesn’t get much easier than that, especially after an initial video lesson presented by a professional in pool maintenance.
Strips have proven to be as accurate as liquid kits and there is less chance of tainting a sample due to human error. Pool test kits assess a pool’s chemistry by using liquid reagents. The reagents change the color of a pool water sample to measure the levels of chlorine, alkalinity, and pH. These kits are more labor-intensive than test strips and it takes practice to use them properly.
Many industry experts believe that the convenience and accuracy factors of test strips are enough to make them superior to liquid kits. They can easily tell you the condition of the water at any point in time. And it’s nearly impossible to mess up a test strip! But how exactly do you know that you are using them properly?
How to Use Pool Test Strips Properly
Make sure you purchase a pool test strip product that aligns with the kind of water in your pool: chlorine or bromine pool, salt water pool, or spa water. Here are some tips for using the test strips properly:
– Keep test strips in a cool, dry place.
– Before you test the water, turn your pool pump on and allow the water to circulate for at least an hour. (Testing stagnant water may give you inaccurate results.)
– Make sure your fingers are dry when taking a strip from the bottle.
– Avoid testing the water near a pool return or floating chemical dispenser, as this can affect the accuracy of the results.
– Dip a test strip into the water. Remove it immediately.
– Shake off excess water. Never wipe or dry a strip after putting it into the water.
– Compare the color on the strip with the color chart included with the strips. Read the strip in daylight, not artificial light.
– Select the test result color within about 15 seconds of wetting the strip.
– Digital test strip readers can help those who cannot easily determine color shading variations.
– Test strips have a shelf life of 24-36 months. Look on the container bottom for the expiration date.
The chemistry of water can change quickly, so there’s no such thing as testing pool water too often. Test at least weekly or even more frequently during the peak swimming season. This ensures your pool remains clean and pH balanced for swimmers.
If you are new to using test strips, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the most accurate results. Pool School Videos can also help you by showing how to use your test strips and decipher the results until you feel comfortable on your own. For a specific brand of test strips that you can look for, AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strips is a very reliable option that is used by many pool professionals and pool owners.
Expert Advice on Using Pool Water Test Strips
Even though pool water test strips are easy to use and provide accurate results, you may need some instruction on how to use and interpret them. A visual instructional lesson is a much more effective method of demonstrating exactly how to test the water in your pool and decode the color chart provided with the strips.
Pool School Videos provides specific, easy to follow info on how to properly take care of your pool! Our videos cover how to use test strips and properly interpret the results so you will spend less time on pool maintenance and more time enjoying your pool. There are a total of 20 self-paced online pool maintenance videos that will be yours when you purchase Pool School Videos.
Led by Mike Steele, a 30-year veteran of the pool maintenance industry, Pool School Videos provides solutions unlike those you find anywhere else. The information is clear, accurate, and easy-to-follow, so you can solve any current pool maintenance problems that you may have while also preventing future problems. With Pool School Videos, you will save time and money, providing you more opportunity to actually enjoy your pool versus spending hours maintaining it. And once you buy the videos, they are yours, so you can watch them as many times as necessary.
Plus, you can request customized guidance through our private Facebook group, too. You simply post specific questions in the group and we will respond within 24 hours!