How To Test and Fix Pool Water

How To Test and Fix Pool Water

How To Test and Fix Pool Water

Maintaining a clean and healthy pool requires regular testing and fixing of the water. Whether you’re a seasoned pool owner or new to the game, understanding how to properly test and fix your pool water is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to test and fix your pool water, and if you need professional help with pool cleaning in Winter Park, FL, don’t hesitate to contact Pure & Simple Poolcare today.

Why Testing Pool Water is Important

Regularly testing your pool water is essential for several reasons:

  • Health and Safety: Proper water chemistry prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and algae, reducing the risk of infections and skin irritations for swimmers.
  • Equipment Longevity: Balanced water chemistry prevents corrosion and scaling in pool equipment, extending its lifespan.
  • Swimming Comfort: Well-balanced water ensures a comfortable swimming experience by preventing issues like eye irritation and itchy skin.

Essential Pool Water Tests

To keep your pool water in optimal condition, you’ll need to test the following parameters:

pH Level

The pH level measures the acidity or alkalinity of your pool water. The ideal pH range is between 7.2 and 7.6. If the pH is too high, the water becomes alkaline, leading to cloudy water and scaling. If the pH is too low, the water becomes acidic, causing corrosion to pool surfaces and equipment.

Chlorine Levels

Chlorine is a disinfectant that kills bacteria and keeps your pool water safe. The ideal chlorine level for pools is between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm). Too much chlorine can cause eye and skin irritation, while too little can lead to algae growth and unsafe swimming conditions.


Total alkalinity measures the concentration of alkaline substances in your pool water, which helps stabilize the pH level. Aim for a total alkalinity level of 80 to 120 ppm. Low alkalinity can cause pH fluctuations, while high alkalinity can lead to cloudiness and scaling.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness refers to the amount of dissolved calcium in the water. The ideal range for calcium hardness is 200 to 400 ppm. Low calcium hardness can cause erosion of pool surfaces, while high levels can lead to scaling and cloudy water.

Cyanuric Acid

Cyanuric acid, also known as a stabilizer or conditioner, protects chlorine from being degraded by sunlight. The ideal range for cyanuric acid is 30 to 50 ppm. Too much cyanuric acid can reduce chlorine effectiveness, while too little can cause chlorine to dissipate too quickly.

How to Test Pool Water

Testing your pool water is a straightforward process that can be done using test strips, a liquid test kit, or a digital tester.

Test Strips

Test strips are an easy and quick way to check your pool water. Simply dip a strip into the water for a few seconds and compare the colors on the strip to the chart on the packaging. Test strips are convenient but may not be as accurate as other methods.

Liquid Test Kit

A liquid test kit provides more accurate results by using chemical reagents to test the water. Follow the instructions on the kit to collect water samples and add the reagents. The water will change color, indicating the levels of various chemicals. Compare the colors to the provided chart for accurate readings.

Digital Tester

Digital testers are the most accurate and convenient method for testing pool water. These devices provide precise readings for all the essential parameters. Simply collect a water sample, insert it into the device, and read the results on the digital display.

How to Fix Pool Water Issues

Once you’ve tested your pool water and identified any imbalances, it’s time to take action to fix the issues.

Adjusting pH Levels

If the pH level is too high, add a pH reducer (muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate) to lower it. If the pH level is too low, add a pH increaser (sodium carbonate or soda ash) to raise it. Follow the product instructions for the correct dosage based on your pool size.

Balancing Chlorine Levels

To increase chlorine levels, add chlorine tablets, granules, or liquid chlorine to the water. Use a chlorine stabilizer if needed to prevent chlorine loss due to sunlight. To decrease chlorine levels, simply allow the chlorine to dissipate naturally over time, or use a chlorine neutralizer for faster results.

Adjusting Alkalinity

If the total alkalinity is too low, add an alkalinity increaser (sodium bicarbonate) to raise it. If the alkalinity is too high, use muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to lower it. Always adjust alkalinity before making any pH adjustments, as it helps stabilize the pH level.

Managing Calcium Hardness

To increase calcium hardness, add a calcium hardness increaser (calcium chloride) to the water. To decrease calcium hardness, partially drain and refill your pool with fresh water, as there are no chemicals specifically designed to lower calcium hardness.

Controlling Cyanuric Acid

If cyanuric acid levels are too low, add a stabilizer to the water according to the product instructions. If cyanuric acid levels are too high, partially drain and refill your pool with fresh water to dilute the concentration.

Routine Maintenance Tips

In addition to regular testing and adjustments, here are some routine maintenance tips to keep your pool water clean and balanced:

Skimming and Vacuuming

Remove debris from the pool surface and bottom by skimming and vacuuming regularly. This prevents organic matter from breaking down and affecting water chemistry.

Brushing the Pool Walls

Brush the pool walls and floor to prevent algae buildup and ensure a clean pool surface. Use a brush suitable for your pool’s surface material.

Cleaning the Filter

Clean or backwash your pool filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A clean filter ensures proper water circulation and filtration.

Regular Shocking

Shock your pool with a high dose of chlorine or a non-chlorine shock treatment to eliminate contaminants and maintain water clarity. Follow the product instructions for the correct dosage and frequency.

When to Seek Professional Help

While regular testing and maintenance can keep your pool water in good condition, there are times when professional help is needed. If you encounter persistent water chemistry issues, or simply don’t have the time to maintain your pool, contact Pure & Simple Poolcare for expert assistance with pool cleaning in Winter Park, FL.

At Pure & Simple Poolcare, we offer comprehensive pool cleaning and maintenance services to keep your pool water crystal clear and safe for swimming. Our team of professionals is equipped with the knowledge and tools to handle any pool water issue efficiently and effectively.


Testing and fixing your pool water is essential for maintaining a clean and safe swimming environment. By regularly monitoring and adjusting the water chemistry, you can prevent common issues and enjoy a sparkling pool all season long. If you need help with pool cleaning in Winter Park, FL, contact Pure & Simple Poolcare today to schedule an appointment. Our experts are here to ensure your pool remains in top condition, so you can relax and enjoy your swim.