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Guide: Testing Your Pool Water

June 25, 2020

For starters, your pool water should be tested 2-3 times a week. Ideally, everyday is best. That is unrealistic for many people, so 2-3 times per week is sufficient. While test strips do exist and are a bit more cost-efficient, the best results will come from digital pool testers. This increases the accuracy of the results, as well. Also, digital test strip readers are a helpful addition if you choose to go with strip testing. 

Best option -- is to get a testing kit with all of the complete testing requirements, for pH, alkalinity, hardness, and chlorine. These come w/ instructions and sometimes even come with added chemicals to help with adjusting the levels. Choose whichever package is best for you.

pH Balance

  • Ideal pH range is 7.4 -7.6 (slightly above neutral) 

  • Keep pH increasers on hand in case the pH drops. 

  • Also pH reducer (hydrochloric acid) which can decrease both pH and alkalinity at the same time when added. This kills two birds with one stone 🙂

  • pH increaser – Add 6 oz soda ash per 0.1 desired increase, per 10000 gals

  • pH decreaser – Add 6 oz dry acid per 0.1 desired decrease, per 10000 gals

  • For the above numbers ^^^, it is best to go with the measurements outlined on the package

Alkaline Levels

  • Ideal alkalinity is 100 ppm to 150 ppm

  • These levels fluctuate a lot, so keep alkalinity increaser on hand

  • Alkalinity increase can also increase pH so you can kill two birds with one stone (again)

  • Alkalinity Increaser – Add 20 oz sodium bicarb per 10 ppm desired increase, per 10000 gals (check package for specific instructions)

Calcium Hardness Levels

  • Ideal Calcium Hardness Level ranges from 175 ppm to 300 ppm

  • You can get calcium to add to your pool if it is too low, but never over do it because it could lead to issues. 

  • Hardness Increaser – Add 12 oz calcium chloride per 10 ppm desired increase, per 10000 gals (check package for instructions) 


  • Chlorine is used to sanitize the pool

  • Should be between 1 ppm to 3 ppm

  • Can be added as chlorine tablets, powder, or you can get a chlorine generator which turns table salt into chlorine. 

  • Check the product to check how much should be added in order to reach the desired level of chlorine

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