Ownership of a pool entails routine testing of the pool. It’s necessary to keep water devoid of algae and crystal clear. Additionally, it’s crucial to keep the right mix of chemicals in your pool because poor water chemistry can harm your pool and its equipment.

In addition, unbalanced water can discolor hair and irritate the eyes. You’ll need a test kit, a test strip, or a water sample for a pool expert to acquire an accurate reading.

How to use test strips

Because it might be challenging to match the colors using chemical drops due to human error, test strips can occasionally be more accurate than liquid test kits. Test strips are also often less expensive than liquid tests.


  1. Gather a sample of water.
  2. Quickly dip a strip in and out of the water. There’s no need to let it soak or remain submerged.
  3. Hold it motionless for approximately 15 seconds. Don’t shake it.
  4. Compare the colors on both the strip and the packaging’s guidance. 
  5. Change your chemicals as necessary.

You’ll most frequently utilize general test strips that look for the three main elements of optimal pool water: pH, alkalinity, and chlorine. However, specialized strips are also available that test for things like copper, iron, and salt. 

How to use a liquid test kit

Equipment for testing the quality of pool water and cleaning a pool

The only essential requirement for a routine maintenance test kit. To test pH and chlorine, make sure it contains phenol red and orthotolidine (OTO):

  1. Use the sample collection included in the test kit to collect a water sample. 
  2. Add the recommended number of drops of phenol red to the water on the side indicated for pH testing.
  3. Add the recommended number of OTO drops to the water on the side designated for chlorine testing. 
  4. Compare the colors of the water to the color scales on the collector while holding it up to a white surface. The pH of water increases with increasing redness, while the amount of chlorine increases with increasing yellowness. 

Important information: The water’s colors will be fainter and may be challenging to detect if the levels are low. Hold the collector up to a white background for greater accuracy. All you need is a piece of printer paper. 

Professional water testing

Collect the sample the same way you would if you were testing at home if you choose to take a sample of your pool water to your neighborhood pool business for analysis. You might be able to go right in and get your water analyzed. 

Digital and electronic testers

Resort Private pool has weekly check maintenance test, Salt Meter Level, to make sure water is clean and can swim

Due to its ability to provide thorough pool water analyzes directly to your smartphone, electronic pool testers and digital test kits have become increasingly popular. Some of them are electronic swimming pool meters.

Then, their screens will provide readings for the pH balance or TDS levels. Others are pool-installed gadgets that link to an application on your smartphone. These can provide you with thorough readings of the levels in your pool all day long. 

Why water test your pool?

You should regularly examine the pool’s water quality for your health and safety. You must ensure the water in your pool is secure for prolonged swimming. The cleanliness and safety of the water might be compromised by either too many or too few chemicals. 

For the pool’s longevity, you should also test the quality of your water. Once more, having a chemical solution that is too powerful or weak might harm the pumps, filters, and linings of the swimming pool, among other components. 

How frequently should I test my swimming pool water?

Different chemicals must be examined at different frequencies based on how much they can change and how crucial they are to the pool’s general health. Chlorine, pH, and alkalinity should all be tested at least once a week while in use, with the other checks occurring once a month.

All mandatory testing should be performed when reopening your pool for the first time following a protracted shutdown, such as the winter. Additionally, you should finish all testing before closing your pool. 

Since every swimming pool is unique, the test frequency should be modified to meet your requirements. Speak with a specialist who can suggest a different test your pool should undergo more frequently. Additionally, it is advised that these tests occur more frequently when the pool is used, such as in the summer. 

What are normal pool chemical levels?

The pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels in your pool are the essential chemicals to monitor (sanitizer). In some circumstances, you might also want to conduct a metals and stabilizers test. The suggested levels to keep a balanced pool are as follows:

pH7.2 – 7.6
Total Alkalinity120 – 150ppm
Calcium Hardness200 – 250ppm (Concrete Pools)
Calcium Hardness175 – 225ppm (Vinyl Pools)
Free Chlorine1 – 3ppm
Free Bromine3 – 5ppm
Metals: Copper0ppm
Metals: Iron0ppm
CYA30 – 50 ppm

Frequently asked questions

Are pool test strips accurate? 

Accurate measurements of your pool’s chemistry can be obtained using pool test strips. In actuality, pool test strips are more reliable for checking the water in your pool than a liquid test kit.

When adding reagents and measuring out water samples, accuracy is essential. Pool test kits could produce inaccurate results if the wrong amount of solution were added to the water before the test. 

Which water test is best?

All variations discussed above should deliver an accurate and secure reading if the instructions are followed, so long as you purchase your testing kit from a dependable vendor.

Testing strips are a popular choice because they are the least complicated to use and most affordable. As long as you obtain a correct sample, solution-or-tablet-based methods can take longer and yield more accurate findings, especially for big pools. 


To keep your pool clear, pool water testing is crucial. In reality, pool testing can help you save a lot of money over time by ensuring that you identify chemical imbalances in the pool early on and giving you the chance to fix them before they cause major problems. 

Last update on 2024-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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