No one would like their swimming pools dirty. So, it’s no surprise why most people lots of chemicals to keep them sparkling clean. However, they are not enough to take cleanliness to the next level. This is where pool test strips play a critical role.
Pool test helps you monitor your swimming pool water’s quality and check chlorine, pH, stabilizer, and disinfectant levels. A quick test lets you determine whether it is clean and safe enough to dive into the pool or not.
In this post, you will get more familiar with the swimming pool test strip. So, let’s get started.
Why Pool Test Matters?
Swimming is no fun of the water not clear, clean, and healthy. In most cases, pools are used by different people at any given time.
So, it is critical to test and treat the pool water regularly to ensure that infectious illnesses will not spread. Plus, it also helps to enhance your entire pool experience.
How Often Should You Test Pool Water?
It is imperative to test the pool water at least once a week. If you notice that the ideal chemical level increases or decreases, ensure to add chemicals.
However, chlorine and pH level requires more often testing. You can do it daily until you understand better how they fluctuate. Other readings, such as cyanuric acid, alkalinity, and calcium, move slowly. So, you can test them either weekly or monthly.
What are the Required Water Tests?
Ensuring that the pool chemical levels stay within the ideal range help keep your swimming pool well-balanced and sparkling clean. Here is the ideal chemical levels range:
- Cyanuric Acid: 30-50 ppm
- Bromine: 3-5 ppm
- Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
- Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
- pH: 7.2-7.6
Testing the pool water involves consistency and regularity on your part. Don’t worry; swimming pool test strips will make the process a lot easier.
What are Pool Test Strips?
Pool test strips give you an accurate figure of your swimming pool’s cleanliness. They are widely used and the most inexpensive method to test the pool water. The strips are easy to use with accurate results.
How to Use Pool Test Strips
Besides cost-efficiency, one of the reasons why most people prefer buying pool test strips is that they are straightforward to use. You do not need to use any complex skills or additional tools. All you need to do is to follow the steps below:
- Take a water sample from the pool. Ensure that it is away from the return jets but close to the middle of the pool.
- Submerge the pool test strip quickly and then pull it out of the water.
- Wait for about 20-40 seconds for the test strip to rest. Ensure not to shake it.
- Carefully line up the test strip colors with the color-coded guide you can find on the bottle or instructions.
- Based on the results, increase or decrease the chemicals on the pool accordingly.
Ensure to keep the test strips in the original packaging and store it in a cool, dry place for more reliable results.
How to Take Pool Water Sample
When testing the pool water, it is also critical to take the proper sample to ensure accurate results. Here, you should consider several factors, such as where you take the pool water sample and how you do it. Take the water sample from the middle of the swimming pool, if possible.
Take the pool water sample with the steps below:
- Use a clean bottle or cup.
- Hold the cup or bottle upside down, ensuring that the opening faces the pool floor.
- Insert the bottle or cup into the elbow-deep water.
- Turn the bottle or cup right side up for effective collection of water sample.
As mentioned early, do not take the water sample near the skimmer opening or return jets.
Top Pool Test Strips
Most swimming pool owners use testing strips to get multiple readings for pH, chlorine, alkalinity, and more. However, if it is your first time using these testing trips, you may find it challenging to find the perfect one for your needs.
Not all swimming pool test strips are the same. In fact, you can find lots of them on the market. That is why understanding your needs will help to choose the right one for you.
Here are the top pool test strips on the market:
- Aquachek Swim Pool White Salt Test Kit Strips
These testing strips are best for saltwater pools. You can use them to quickly and accurately regulate salt levels. Each kit has 4o strips with clear salt level measurement instructions. You can test the water about twice a week to ensure that your swimming pool is efficiently treated.
- Clorox Pool and Spa Test Strips
Each unit comes with 50 strips. You can use these strips to test for total chlorine, pH level, stabilizer, free chlorine, alkalinity, and total hardness. After dipping the six-way strip into the water, wait for the color-coded results to reveal themselves. Take your smartphone, open the free Clorox app, and scan the strip.
- JNW Direct Pool and Spa Test Strips
With JNW Direct Pol and Spa Test Strips, you can test the six different parameters, including alkalinity, free chlorine, hardness, bromine, pH, and chlorine). If you want to track the test results, you can incorporate an app into your iOS or Android devices. Each pack comes with 100 strips.
- Aquachek Total Bromien Pool Test Strips
While bromine not the most common pool treatment, most swimming pools rely on it. This Aquachek testing strip has 50 strips per pack. It quickly tests the total bromine, total hardness, pH, and more. It is easy to use, and the results appear on the strips after less than a minute.
- Aquachek Select Kit Test Strips for Swimming Pools
This Aquachek kit can test seven different pool chemistries. It comes with 50 strips and offers results in a just a couple of moments. It also comes with a color-coded chart to guide you with the adjustments you need to make.
- LaMotte Insta-Test Plus 6-Way Test Strips
This testing strip is cost-effective and comes with 50 strips. Each strip conducts six chemical tests, including total chlorine, water hardness, cyanuric acid, alkalinity, and free chlorine/bromine.
It also includes a color-coded chart to compare the readings.
Things to Look for When Buying Swimming Pool Test Strips
When choosing the pool test strips, do not forget to read product reviews and customer testimonials. You also need to consider the following factors to ensure you will end up with the right product for your swimming pool.
Ease of Use
Look for testing strips that are easy to use. They should offer a simple testing process to save time but with accurate results. Beware that some products come with dull colors on the strips. This makes it hard for you to compare to the color-coded chart.
If there is consistency in the test results, it means that the testing strips provide similar results even if you check the pool several times. These results should also provide consistency when other pool test kits are used.
Accuracy is another critical feature you should look for when it comes to pool testing strips. Besides ease of use and consistency, accuracy gives you confidence about the results. This also ensures that your swimming pool is clean and well-balanced. So, you can swim in without worries.
Pool test strips are designed to test your pool’s water quality quickly. They offer different ranges of tests, depending on the type of test you need for your swimming pool. You can find 4-way, 6-way, and even 7-way test kits on the market. Plus, not all water quality is the same. So, you need to consider the suitability.
Checking the product design helps in ensuring that you get high-quality test strips. This means that you should check whether the test strips are big enough to provide a comfortable grip while you drip them into the pool. You also need to check the bottle or pack that holds the strips. It should protect the strips against degradation due to moisture or UV rays.
How to Store Pool Test Strips
Ensure to have a good storage for your swimming pool test strips. Put them in the proper packing and should be sealed correctly to prevent contamination. If the strips sit out in the sun the entire day, you will not get the correct readings. Keep them in a room no greater than 85˚F and no less than 36˚F. So, rest assured that the readings are accurate.
Whether you have a swimming pool at home or your business involves a pool, ensure to test the water quality regularly and keep it clean at all times. This ensures that anyone who will dive into it is safe. Plus, it enhances the swimming experience. Hopefully, the guide above will help you the next time you deal with your pool. Happy swimming!