Water Test Sample

We offer free water tests to customers that use our water care products. In a hurry?
Drop off your sample and we can email you the results. When getting a water sample
remember these points: 

-Use a plastic bottle but not a old chemical bottle
-We need 1L of water to do all the tests
-Take the sample away from your returns and skimmer, water near return will be very
  clean and water near skimmer will be dirtiest
-Go deep, take sample from at least 18" in the deepest part of the pool
-Don’t leave sample in a hot car it will increase your pH and lower chlorine readings

What We Test For

Total Alkalinity (TA)

Free Chlorine

Total Chlorine (Free Chlorine + Combined Chlorine)

Ideal Range is 125 to 150ppm for chlorine and bromine pools and hot tubs
80 to 125ppm for salt pools

Alkalinity buffers pH helping to keep it in the stable range. It gets used up buffering the pH. A buffered pH means less balancing treatments are needed and chlorine and other chemicals are more effective when pH is in ideal range. When TA is low pH bounce uncontrollably, vinyl liners may wrinkle. When TA is high there is an increased potential for scale forming. Balance TA before pH.

Stabilizer helps keep a chlorine residue by protecting your chlorine from being burned off quickly by the sun’s ultra violet light. Stabilizer is only lost by draining, backwashing, or splashing, It does not break down.
0 to 30ppm Too low chlorine will be dissipated by sun light
30 to 50ppm Ideal range
Above 100ppm Ability of chlorine to sanitize water is affected. Can cloud water

0 to 0.6ppm Insufficient sanitation - unsafe for swimmers. Bacteria could cause summer cold, swimmer's ear, or rashes.
1 to 3ppm Ideal range
3ppm and above too high, waste money, will bleach bathing suits, pool toys, and pool surfaces, will wrinkle vinyl liner



Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Salt levels below ideal level for your chlorine generator will not produces chlorine, salt levels above ideal levels increases the risk of corrosion and deterioration of pool equipment and surfaces. Chlorine generators do not work if water is below 60 degrees and do not work well below 70 degrees
0 to 600ppm Good drinking water, water with 600ppm will taste off
1,500ppm Will taste like weak alka-selter
2,700 to 3,400ppm Hayward Chlorine generators
2,800 to 4,500ppm Pentair IntelliChlor Chlorine generators
4,000ppm Will taste salty
4,000 to 7,000ppm Zodiac Chlorine generators
9,000ppm Tears
35,000ppm Ocean

Bather waste, compressed chlorine, heavy rain lowers pH, shock, algae, salt systems raise pH
pH is logarithmic measure like the Richter scale for earthquakes, so small out of balance readings can cause big problems. Out of balance pH can cause red eyes, irritated skin, bad hair, and waste your chlorine.
pH Examples
14 Liquid drain cleaner
12 Soapy water
9 Toothpaste
8 High pool water pH too alkaline, chlorine slows down and will not kill bacteria but will give a high chlorine reading. Alkaline, basic water allows algae to grow, scalling on pipes, equipment and surfaces, and cloudy water.
7 Pure water, 7.4 eyes, balanced pool water
6 Low pool water pH too acidic, chlorine gets hyperactive and used up before it can work killing bacteria. Acidic water will cause metal on pool equipment to corrode, will damage surfaces, and will cause seals to become brittle over time.
5 Acid Rain, Black coffee
3 Orange Juice
0 Battery Acid

Calcium Hardness or Total Hardness (CaH or TH)

Lower level Soft water will try to harden itself by leaching from pool surfaces aging liners and synthetic materials.
100 to 200ppm Ideal level for hot tubs in the warmer temperature calcium is less soluble so more likely to become scale
175 to 225ppm Ideal range for pools
Higher level Hard water will try to soften itself by depositing extra calcium onto pool surfaces. Over 450ppm and you will need to partially drain and refill your pool.
Metals - Copper, Iron, Manganese
Ideal range is 0ppm
Treat if exceeds 0.2ppm, water changes colour, or pool surfaces stain.
Copper Stains blue/green to black, will turn blonde hair green. May be mistaken for algae. From corrosion of heater elements, algaecides, fill water
Iron Stains green/brown to rust water yellow/green From fill water, fittings, salt, low quality stabilizer or hardness
Manganese Stains violet to grey/black From fill water

Measured in parts per million (ppm) it is the sum of the calcium, stabilizer, metals, chlorides, bicarbonates, magnesium, and sulfates in your pool water. Levels will get higher as pool water gets older, accumulating more stuff. Higher levels make it harder to maintain your pool water. Maximums are 2500ppm in chlorine pool, 1500ppm over ideal salt level in salt pool, and 1500 in a hot tub.

Water Care Glossary