Swimming pools are definitely about fun and relaxation, but they also require responsibility. One of your biggest responsibilities when it comes to swimming pool maintenance is keeping the water chemistry balanced. No one wants to swim in a pool full of so many chemicals that it’s harmful to your eyes and skin. Conversely, no one wants to swim in a pool with unregulated algae and bacteria growth. As such, maintaining proper water chemistry balance is an important responsibility. But fear not! It’s not that complicated. Sure, you’ll have questions about what chemicals you need to use, how much pool water is needed for testing or what exactly you should be testing for, but once you’ve learned the answers, keeping your pool water clean and fresh will come naturally. In an effort to remove the mystery behind balanced water chemistry, we provide you with this quick list of tips.
Water Sample Containers
The most important thing about the container with which you retrieve your water sample is that it’s clean and free of contaminants. Obviously, any contaminants are going to skew your test results, so give the container a good rinse before taking the water sample. And if you don’t have a dedicated water sample container, refrain from using one that’s held chemicals or highly acidic or basic substances. Pickles jars, detergent bottles, baking soda containers and the like aren’t good receptacles. The container should be able to hold at least one cup of water.
Water Sample Location
You don’t want to be skimming the surface of the water when collecting your water sample. Being directly exposed to the atmosphere, the pool’s surface has the highest concentration of contaminants and debris and that will affect your water tests. Cover the opening of the water sample container with your thumb and dip it into the water about 18 inches or approximately to elbow depth. Avoid the area around the return jets and if you have a deep end, take your sample from there.
Water Sample Timing
The best time of day to take your water sample is first thing in the morning. Sunlight is very effective at burning off chlorine, so taking your sample soon after daybreak allows it to be at its most balanced. Avoid taking water samples when it’s raining or shortly thereafter. Rainwater is acidic and will skew your test results. Wait for at least eight hours after rain to take the sample. And it may seem obvious but taking a water sample directly after adding chemicals isn’t going to give you accurate results. Wait 24 to 48 hours to allow the chemicals to properly circulate. Once you’ve taken the sample it’s best to test the water as soon as possible. Letting it sit for the day will only give you a result that’s no longer indicative of the water inside your pool.
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