Water Testing

Water Testing

How often should I test my pool water, and for what?

Consistent, frequent water testing and appropriate action is the key to a well-maintained pool. Use the following guidelines for regular in-season pool maintenance. Adjust for light or heavy pool usage.

Twice a week:

  • Test pH and adjust level to 7.2-7.6 as needed
  • Test chlorine level and adjust free available chlorine level to 1.0-4.0 ppm


  • Test the total alkalinity level and adjust as needed.
  • Total alkalinity should be between 80-125 ppm for plaster pools and 125-150 ppm for vinyl, fiberglass and painted pools.

Twice a Season (beginning and mid-season):

  • Test the water hardness level and adjust accordingly. The ideal hardness range is 200-275 ppm for plaster pools and 175-225 ppm for all other pool types.
  • Test stabilizer levels. It should be at least 40 ppm.

There are two types of at-home testing methods, including test kits that use liquid reagents and/or tablets and test strips. Always read test instructions carefully and follow them exactly for the most accurate results. Keeping a log of all test results and product applications can be helpful for problem-solving and anticipating maintenance needs.

For a more accurate test reading, always obtain your water test sample from "elbow" depth in the pool, away from water return lines. Surface water samples and samples taken close to the water returns are affected by sunlight and environmental conditions, providing inaccurate results. Replace your test reagents or test strips with fresh product at the beginning of each pool season. Older reagents and test strips can provide inaccurate readings due to conditions such as age, heat, high humidity, etc.

(For test kit information, go to Accessories)

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