How To Use A Pool Test Kit To Check Water Quality


Maintaining a pool without it becoming the next local bog may seem like just a little addition of water, and an occasional application of chemicals.

But like any pool owner knows, keeping the water sparkling, without calling in the local bugs and next-generation plants, is not a walk in the park. You will need a little bit of dedication, a good pool test kit, and be ready to revisit those chemistry lessons.

When you buy a pool testing kit, it might sometimes feel like you are the next Dr. Chemistry, but you don’t have to. We have prepared the following guide for you to make this seemingly complex process a cakewalk.  Read on!

Understand Your Kit

It’s just a kit, not a grenade! So start holding it as one. Get to know your test kit to diminish the fear associated with handling the chemicals inside it. A good pool test kit will have the following:

  • Instructions to show you how to use it to check the pool water and fix it. Such instructions would be written on the package or the supplier’s website. Spending 5 minutes on this users’ guide is better than a pink eye from a spouting bottle!
  • A well-sealed package.
  • Reagents or chemicals are used for testing the characteristics of pool water, through a process of titration. Titration is the use of a base and acid to estimate how much of a particular chemical is in your pool, or how acidic or basic, the pool water is. This is done using a specially prepared chemical dye known as an indicator
  • Apparatus for you to handle the chemicals with. Some of the chemicals are corrosive. The manufacturer provides for you a dropper, a tube, a vial, or a pallet for your safety.

Test Your Pool Water


To keep your pool or hot tub healthy and safe for swimming, relaxation, or pleasure, five tests should be done at least 2-3 times a week. Here is what you should test the water for


PH is the degree of acidity or alkalinity of your pool. It ranges from 1 to 14, with the proper PH balance for your pool being 7.2 to 7.6. Maintaining your pool PH at a perfect 7.4 will ensure you don’t come out of the pool scratching out your skin after 6 hours of swimming.

Other than reducing skin irritation, very acidic water can corrode your pool walls.  On the other hand, too basic is no better because it will dry out your skin and make your pool cloudy.

To check pool quality with a test kit for pH do the following:

  1. Read the instructions provided.
  2. Using the tube, pallet or vial provided, get a sample of your pool water and add an indicator dye.
  3. Observe the color change against the standard colors indicated on the vial for different PH readings.

You may want to throw in some Sodium thiosulfate, for tests involving reagents that might react with chlorine to neutralize the chlorine.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is the measure of chemicals like carbonates and hydroxide which when present, prevent the PH from rising or decreasing. A pool alkalinity level should be maintained between 80 and 120 ppm.

Check pool quality with a test kit to determine the total alkalinity, by titrating as follows:

  1. Get the sample tube from the kit.
  2. Add 10ml to 25ml of pool water, depending on the instructions given in the test kit.
  3. You can add a chlorine neutralizer, at this stage depending on the type of reagents, you have.  However,  if none is to be added, follow the next step.
  4. Add, 1-5 drops of an organic indicator, depending on the type of indicator provided.
  5. Swirl to mix.
  6. Titrate by adding an acid chemical drop by drop to the mixture, all the while observing the color change, and counting the number of drops of the acid you are adding.
  7. Use the number of drops to estimate the total alkalinity of the pool using the instructions in the kit.

Acid Demand Test

Get a sample from the pool, and add the acid demand reagent provided, dropwise, keeping in mind the number of drops of the reagent you have added. After each drop, swirl to observe the color change. Add until the color gets to a pH value of 7.4, as indicated on the color chart provided.

Use the number of drops of the reagent to estimate the amount of acid to add to lower the pH of the pool.

Chlorine Test

Chlorine is one of the chemical substances used to make water safe for use. To check pool quality with a test kit for the amount of chlorine in the pool:

  1. Rinse the tube, vial, or pallet provided with the kit, and add 5ml to 15 ml of pool water.
  2. Add the reagent provided. Two or three reagents may be added depending on the type of kit provided.
  3. Match the resulting color with what’s provided on the indicator chart and in the kit, to determine the level of chlorine in the pool.

Calcium Hardness Test

Ever seen those white streaks on pool walls, pumps, filters, and skimmers and wondered how you could do away with them? These are just but a few signs that your pool has excess calcium.

To check pool quality with a test kit for calcium hardness, do the following:

  1. Rinse the tube, vial, or pallet provided in the kit, and add 5ml to 15 ml of pool water.
  2. Add the required amount of calcium buffer reagent, depending on the type of kit provided.
  3. Add the required amount of calcium indicator into the mixture, and observe the color change.
  4. Add the hardness reagent, dropwise, keeping count of the number of drops you are adding.
  5. Use the number of drops of the hardness reagent to estimate the level of calcium hardness in your pool.

Globo Surf Overview

Your pool is the center of activity. Testing its water quality is key to the long-term sustenance of your pool. Use a proper test kit that can perform most of the tests required to determine the quality of your pool water. Together with a pool thermometer, a pool test kit will ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable pool for the swim season.

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  1. How To Use A Pool Test Kit To Test Water Quality,
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!