Water Testing Tips
Pool maintenance is an absolute must for any homeowner with a pool. Even a pool that is crystal clear might have an imbalance of chemicals that will make it dangerous to swim in, or at the very least, unhealthy. Testing the quality of water in a home swimming pool is just as important as filtering the water, cycling the pumps, and fishing out debris with the net.
Many owners don’t have a good idea about how to test their water, or how often it should be done to prevent chemicals or bacteria from taking over. At Pleasure Pools, we get many questions from our clients about water testing, so we put together a short guide to testing done both by professionals and by anyone who wants to try doing it themselves.
The Importance of Water Testing
As mentioned earlier, water testing is as important as regularly cleaning a pool. Testing your water will give you important information about the chemical makeup of your water.
Since swimming pools are typically kept free of bacteria by chlorine, which is toxic in larger doses, it’s critical to strike a proper balance of chemicals that will kill all the bacteria that might end up in the pool, but without making your hair or fingernails fall out. At a glance, there’s no way to tell that the water in your pool is chemically overloaded, or swimming with bacteria, so checking your water is naturally very important.
Consult a Professional
Just about the surest way to check water quality is to take samples of it and send them to laboratory where they’ll be analyzed in detail by a professional chemist. The process for doing this is very simple.
- First, you’ll need to rinse and dry a sample bottle to make sure the sample isn’t contaminated by outside information.
- Next, go to the deep end of your pool and fill the sample bottle up. It’s important that the sample is taken from around 12 to 18 inches deep. A good rule of thumb is to submerge the bottle up to your elbow and fill it from there.
- After you’ve taken the sample, fill out the ID label and the relevant information.
- With this done, the sample can be sent or brought to a professional testing center where they’ll analyze your data and tell you what you need to change, if anything, about the water in your pool.
Performing water tests yourself is becoming a popular way of testing because the results are immediate and you don’t have to bother with ID labels or taking the samples to a lab. The reason people are able to complete do-it-yourself water tests is that there are testing kits and strips that give easy-to-read results almost instantly.
Most kits are fairly self-evident – you take samples in the same way as mentioned above, but follow the instructions to use the kit, which aren’t very difficult and generally listed with the kit itself.
After that, use an LSI (Langellier Stability Index) calculator to interpret the results and see if you need to change anything about your pool’s chemicals. The downside of this is, obviously, that you have to do it yourself, and also that it has to be done at least once, but preferably, two to three times every week.
The ideal range on the LSI for a home swimming pool is between -.05 and +.05. This represents a good balance of chemicals, as results below -.05 are considered corrosive and results above +.05 risk forming scales or other buildup on the interior of the pool.
By following these steps you can ensure your pool is crystal clear, and most importantly, safe. If you have any concerns, reach out to the professionals at Pleasure Pools. We’ve been building & maintaining pools in the New Orleans area for years, & we’d be happy to answer your pool queries. Call us today!