When it comes to purchasing pool water testing kits, it is vitally important that you get a kit that will test for the full range of chemical levels and contaminants. Over the years I have found that far too many pool owners opt for cheap "duo” kits that only test for pH and chlorine.
That’s simply not good enough! Proper testing and balancing of your pool water not only protects your pool’s finish and filtration system – it also ensures the health of your skin and eyes. In the long run, it definitely pays to spend a few more dollars for a high quality, comprehensive testing kit.
There are a wide range of testing kits on the market including "test strip” kits and "drop” kits. Regardless of the type you choose, the kit that you purchase should measure the full range of the chemical levels in your pool.
The following are the chemicals you should test for in your swimming pool, as well as the recommended levels of each.
- Chlorine: 1.0 ppm - 5.0 ppm
- pH: 7.2 ppm - 7.6 ppm
- Total Alkalinity: 80 ppm - 110 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 300 ppm - 350 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid (conditioner):40 ppm - 60 ppm
- Sequest Levels: 10 ppm - 15 ppm
It’s also important to note that you need to regularly test chemical levels regardless of what type of pool you own – from fiberglass to concrete, vinyl or painted surfaces. Ideally, you should test the water in your pool every day. However, I realize that this is not possible for most pool owners. I recommend that you try to test every other day – and definitely no less than two times per week.
Keep in mind that a test kit is your primary analysis tool in protecting the investment you have made in your pool as well as protecting your family’s health. For these reasons it just makes sense to purchase a good quality test kit that gives accurate results. It’s far better to pay a little more for protection than to end up paying for a damaged pool or suffering health problems.