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Pool Care Basics: Testing Your Pool Water

Balancing Your Pool Water

Balancing your pool water is the #1 most important maintenance task to do each week. Balancing your water ensures that your pool is working as intended and looks great all season long. To keep your pool water healthy and safe, there is a delicate balancing act that hovers between quality water that is “just right” and uncomfortable conditions that could lead to potential problems. 

What Is Balanced Pool Water?

Balanced pool water is all about creating the ideal conditions for your pool. From protecting the pool equipment to the overall experience of the swimmer, water balancing is the act of adding and removing chemicals/buildup to create an environment that is neither corrosive or scaling. Balanced water also allows your pool sanitizer to work more effectively to create clean and comfortable swimming conditions. 

Water Quality

There are three main components of quality water that are linked to balanced chemicals.  

  1. Water Comfort: A properly balanced swimming pool means healthy and safe water. Irritation to the skin and eyes is caused by pool water that is not in the ideal range.
  2. Water Clarity: Clarity in pool water is defined by sparkling and transparent water. Water clarity is calculated by the lack of suspended particulate matter in the water. Water clarity is important for the appearance of the water, disease prevention, and swimmer safety.
  3. Water Protection: Balanced pool water is also about prolonging the life of your pool equipment. Water is always striving to reach an equilibrium with the surrounding human-made elements (pool surfaces, pool components, and equipment). If the balance is thrown off, the water will leach calcium and other elements from your pool to obtain the right level.

If these three components are balanced, you have water that is safe and ready for summertime water fun. 

How Often Should You Test Your Pool Water?

It is best practice to routinely check your pool water each week. If you have heavy pool use or are new to pool maintenance, it may make sense to check your water 2-3 times a week until you get comfortable and understand your pool’s levels. 

How Do You Test Pool Water?

There are three main ways to test pool water to make sure that it is correctly balanced.

  1. Liquid Test Kit: A liquid test kit is the most accurate at-home water testing option. It uses liquid reagents (in dropper bottles)  to test the levels in your pool water. 
  2. Test Strips: Test strips are a one-time use way to get fast results when it comes to your pool water chemistry. They are often less expensive than liquid test kits but not as reliable. 
  3. Professional Water Testing: This is the most accurate water test because it is completed by a pool professional and with the help of a computerized system. 

What Levels Should You Test?

While there are different levels to measure within your pool water chemistry, the three most important chemicals to test regularly are

  • Total alkalinity
  • pH
  • Calcium hardness

Once those levels are addressed, other pool chemicals to analyze are 

  • Saturation Index
  • TDS (total dissolved solids)
  • Optimizer
  • Free Chlorine
  • Total Chlorine
  • CYA (cyanuric acid)
  • Phosphate
  • Salt (if applicable)

Want to learn more about these levels? Take a look at the following blog:

Need Help Balancing Your Pool Water?

At Parnell Pool & Spa, our trusted specialists use only the best equipment and procedures to get a complete and accurate reading of your pool water. Our computerized Water Analysis System, BioGuard’s® ALEX®, provides results in an instant with step-by-step instructions. Bring us your water sample today and leave knowing every step needed to get your pool water safe and sanitary. 

Contact Us Today

If you have a question about the proper running of your pool or spa, contact us or stop by our Fayetteville or Lumberton location anytime. While in the store, check out our products, purchase chemicals for your pool or hot tub, or get a specific question answered by one of our experts. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well.

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