Three Ways to Test Your Pool Water Chemistry

Method 1: Test Pool Water Chemistry Using Pool Test Strips

Pool testing strips can quickly measure pH, alkaline, and chlorine levels. You can also purchase specialty pool strips to measure total dissolved solids (TDS), salt or other substances. Here’s how to use them:

  1. Hold the strip underwater for 2 to 3 seconds
  2. Remove the testing strip from the water, be careful to keep the padded side facing up
  3. Wait 15 seconds. Do not shake any excess water from the strip, as this may interfere with accurate results
  4. Compare your strip against the label on the package until you find the closest match. You may need to adjust pH or other levels, which we explain below

Method 2: Test Pool Water Chemistry Using Pool Test Kits

Pool testing kits require users to collect small samples of pool water, which change color depending on their alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels when mixed with a reagent. To use one, follow these instructions:

  1. Collect a water sample from at least 18” beneath the surface of your swimming pool
  2. Measuring as precisely as possible, fill the test vials according to the kit’s instructions. Be sure to rinse out each test cell with pool water before using
  3. Add the correct amount of reagent to each tube, following the kit’s directions carefully. You may need to gently shake the sample once it has been sealed shut
  4. Compare the sample colors against the label on the testing kit, looking for the closest match

Method 3: Test Pool Water Chemistry Using Digital Pool Testers

You can connect digital pool testers to smartphones or other devices, which offer convenience and detail. However, electronic testers tend to be more costly — and often, less accurate — than alternatives like kits and strips. Since digital testers vary widely in their quality and design, be sure to follow the app or device’s instructions.

Still have questions about how to test your pool water? Just contact a Latham Independent Builder, and we’ll handle the testing for you! You can even bring your sample to us for testing. Our expert technicians will explain exactly what you should add, remove, increase or decrease to achieve the perfect swimming pool water chemistry.

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