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The most important aspect of swimming pool maintenance is getting the water chemistry right. If you have a pool service, they will handle the addition of chemicals for you. However, you can reduce pool maintenance costs by handling the job yourself. And fortunately, the many of the same tools the pros use to test pool water are easy to purchase and use. Here we take a look at the three big ones – chlorine test strips, swimming pool test kits, and the electronic pool water tester.
Chlorine Test Strips
Chlorine test strips offer a quick and easy way to test the chlorine level of your water. To use these strips, you simply dip them in your pool water and wait for it to change color. Then you compare it against a provided chart to find out the chemical levels of your water.
These test strips are cheap and come in multi-packs for regular use. Though some pool owners complain that they’re not always accurate, they are handy for daily spot-checking when combined with other, less frequent testing methods.
Swimming Pool Test Kits
A little more involved (and perhaps accurate) method is to use a swimming pool test kit. These kits may make you feel like a chemist working in a laboratory. They typically require you to take a sample of pool water and add chemical solutions to it, noting the resulting color change.
Kits are a good choice for people who want to really dive in and get an accurate and thorough analysis of their water. A little homework may be required to interpret the results.
Electronic Pool Water Tester
Perhaps the easiest method for testing swimming pool water is to use an electronic tester. There are all sorts of gadgets for testing water, but a complete solution for pool testing is similar to a standard swimming pool test kit – but rather than comparing colors, you get a digital readout of your pool’s chemistry.
As you might expect, a digital pool water tester is the most expensive of the options, and may cost $100 or more. However, for people who are colorblind or just want to reduce errors, they are worth the cost.
Testing the Waters
These are just a few of the products available for testing your pool water. If you have a salt water system, you can also find kits for testing your water’s salt level. There are plenty of other gadgets as well, including devices that will read chlorine test strips for you.
Since maintaining proper pool chemistry is a major part of pool maintenance, you should take some time to educate yourself, and invest in tools that will make the job easier. Most of these products are affordable, especially compared to what you would pay for a pool service to come and maintain your pool for you.