The ABC’s of Pool Water Testing
Did you know that around 20% of Perth homes have a swimming pool? That means that 1 in 5 home owners have a pool in their yard.
Spring is usually the time when many of those home owners start to venture outside and wish they took more care of their pool over Winter.
Pool care isn’t actually very hard. It’s really all about balance and predicting what might create change.
- A sudden heavy amount of rain changes things
- Not being cleaned regularly so leaf litter decays, changes things.
- Having a pool party with lots of visitors and all their sunscreens, deodorants, perfumes, changes things.
- Going away for a holiday and the filter not running or chemicals not being added, changes things.
- Dogs jumping in the pool and the bacteria on their coats, changes things!
- Sunlight (and we have lots of that in Perth) changes things.
- Not keeping chemicals in balance, changes things.
You can understand why having a very easy diagnostic water test with a prescription for care, really helps hey? Think of the pool water testing as just like a cake. It ain’t gonna rise if you don’t have the right ingredients. And it’s the same for pools. It’s all about the right chemicals and balance.
Pool Water Testing:
Testing your pool water at Better Pets and Gardens is free when you buy pool chemicals on the day.
The pool water sample you bring really must be FRESH so always make sure it hasn’t been sitting in their car all day at work because it will no longer represent your pool water. It also needs to be taken in a clean, contaminant free container.
What we’ll need to know:
- The pool type (concrete, fibreglass)
- Chemical use
- Filter type
When we finish your test, we will give you a print out of the results which will show the chemicals needed, their quantities and also the order in which they should be applied.
It is a good idea to test again after you have finished the treatments to make sure everything is tickety boo and also to test regularly or when one of the change risk factors is happening or planned.
There are a few ‘pool’isms’ that that we use when testing your pool water and knowing a little about these phrases will help you understand our reports.
Calcium Hardness – measures of how hard or soft your pool water is, and measures how much calcium is dissolved in your pool water. If the calcium hardness is low in a concrete or tiled pool, it can cause the water to leach calcium from the walls.
Flocculants – known as flocc and make quick work of clearing up a cloudy pool. After being added directly to the pool water, floc will clump together cloudy water particles so they sink to the bottom. They can then be removed by vacuuming them from the bottom of the pool.
PH Bounce – describes the cycling of swimming pool water between acidic or basic pH levels, potentially creating short but damaging conditions in the pool water.
Sanitiser – the term sanitiser is used interchangeably for chlorine, bromine and other chemicals that work to keep your pool water safe.
Stabilizer – sometimes called pool conditioner, chlorine stabilizer, or cyanuric acid (CYA). Its purpose is to stabilize the chlorine in pool water, so the sanitizer lasts longer. This helps keep the water cleaner for a longer. Stabilizer also acts like a sunscreen to protect chlorine from UV ray degradation.
Water sanitation – Chlorine is a sanitiser and is critical for keeping the water safe & healthy. Salt pools actually turn the salt into chlorine gas to do the job.
If your pool is in need of some TLC or if you’re just wanting to check everything is a okay for Summer, pop into any one of the Better Pets and Gardens stores with a water sample, and will help you work out what you need.
Not sure on what to use to collect your sample water? Better Pets and Gardens supply free water testing bottles, ask us for one when you’re next in. Our bottles hold the correct amount of water we need to carry out a test and are contaminant free.