What to Know About Testing Pool Water

Having a backyard pool is a great way to spend the warm months outside. The convenience means you can enjoy it whenever the desire strikes rather than waiting for the community pool to open. One key aspect of pool maintenance is testing the water. Here’s what you need to know.

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Why Test

Why should you bother with water testing Pittsburgh pools? For starters, there is more in your swimming pool water than just plain water. There are a variety of chemicals most notably chlorine. Minerals and metals such as copper, nitrates, iron, phosphates and manganese. Not to mention the bacteria, viruses and algae that can cause problems for humans and the equipment.

Testing Options

As a homeowner, you can test the water yourself using liquid test kits or test strips. The liquid test kits have a collection area for the pool water. Most have two collection areas: one for chlorine and one for pH. Each kit recommends a certain number of drops of orthotolidine for chlorine testing or phenol red for pH testing. Once the drops are added, compare the water color with the corresponding colors on the side. Test strips work similarly except you insert the strip into the water for a specific amount of time and compare with the color key on the side. Some strips also check for alkalinity, nitrates, nitrites and water hardness. If all this seems too complicated, you can also hire a professional to test the water of your pool on a weekly basis, at the beginning and end of the season, after chemicals are added and after a heavy rain.

Damage Prevention

Regularly testing your pool water helps you keep the pumps, motor and lining of the pool in top shape. You can add chemicals as appropriate to keep swimmers healthy as they frolic in the water. Testing the water in your pool is a part of regular maintenance to extend its life and family fun.