When it comes to owning a swim spa, there are important chemical balances that need to be maintained to ensure the safety and comfort of those using it and to keep the equipment running smoothly. Fortunately, testing your spa’s water is a relatively easy process, once you know how to do it. Below, we’ll discuss the basics of water testing.
Why Testing the Water Levels is So Important
Maintaining proper chemical balance in your spa is essential for both the health of those using it and the longevity of the equipment. When the pH or alkalinity levels are off, it can cause skin irritation and itchy eyes for people who are in the spa. As for the unit itself, scale build-up and shorter filter life are just a couple of issues that can arise from imbalanced water. This means that in the long run, if the levels are left unchecked, you could potentially be dealing with repairs down the line that could have otherwise been prevented.
Testing Strips to the Rescue
The most common way to test the water in your spa is by using testing strips. These are small pieces of paper that have been saturated with chemicals that will change color when they come into contact with water that has a certain level of acidity or alkalinity. By matching the color on the strip to the chart provided, you can easily get a pretty accurate reading of the pH and alkalinity levels in your spa.
It’s very easy to use. All you have to do is dip the strip into the spa water for about 10 to 15 seconds, then remove it and compare the color to the chart. Once you know what the levels are, you can add chemicals to adjust them as needed. Just remember that shaking the strips dry is not a good idea. You need to let them sit for the amount of time recommended.
One of the main advantages of using testing strips is that they are relatively cheap and easy to find. In fact, you can even purchase them at most stores that sell pool or spa supplies. Additionally, testing strips can provide you with an immediate reading of the water levels, which is helpful if you need to make adjustments to the pH or alkalinity right away.
Of course, testing strips do have a few disadvantages. One is that they’re not always 100% accurate. If you’re not careful when taking the reading or if the strips are old, you may end up with a false reading. In addition, the testing strips also need to be stored away from direct sunlight and in an area that is free of excess moisture, as this can damage them.
A Test Kit Is Another Great Option
A testing kit is another option and might just be your preferred method of testing the water because it usually includes multiple tests for things like pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and total dissolved solids. Test kits also come with easy-to-follow instructions that make the process simple yet effective.
Like testing strips, test kits have both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, they’re very accurate and usually provide a more comprehensive overview of the water quality. They also don’t require as much time to use as some other methods. However, test kits can be more expensive than strips, and some people find them to be a bit confusing. If you want to explore other ways to test spa water levels, you can also reach out to your local pool store or swim spa dealer for additional advice.
Let’s Talk About the Testing Schedule
Now that you know a little bit about the two most common ways to test your spa water, it’s time to talk about how often you should be doing it. Generally speaking, you should test the water at least once a day, especially if you’re using it daily. The pH levels should always be between 7.2 to 7.8 and it’s a good idea to test the water after adding chemicals to ensure that they’ve been properly dispersed and that the levels are where they should be.
Regularly testing your swim spa’s water is a great way to ensure that you and your family can enjoy it safely and without any problems. For more information on choosing the perfect spa for your home, download our free buyer’s guide.