If I had to choose one thing to teach you, I would hands down teach you about testing.
Not just the testing itself but the type of test is so important! I recommend the Taylor k/2006 test kit I have yet to find it at a local store so you will likely have to order it online.
There will be three main tests you will use: Chlorine, PH, and CYA. There are others but you will mainly use these 3. Chlorine is by far your most important chemical. If your chlorine is at zero your pool is not safe to swim in. Which is why you should be testing your water every single day!
Testing is very easy. It takes literally a couple of minutes. Like I mention in the testing section of the Start Here page, if 15 and 16 year old lifeguards can do it – so can you!! I also touch on why it is soooo important that you test your water. So if you haven’t been to that page and still aren’t convinced about testing – you might want to check it out!
If you have been a pool owner you may already be familiar with what you want your desired pool levels to be at or around. Here is what most experts recommend:
Free Chlorine (FC) – 3-5ppm. Keeps your pool sanitary.
PH – 7.2-7.8 Anything below 7.2 will make your eyes burn and skin hurt. High PH causes calcium scaling
Cyanuric Acid (CYA) – 30-50 CYA is also called stabilizer or conditioner. It is needed because it protects your chlorine from sunlight. CYA is like sunscreen for your pool.
I am in agreement with all the above levels except one —- the Chlorine.
You see something many pool stores don’t tell you is that the higher your CYA, the higher the chlorine needed. So if you keep your CYA at the recommended level of 40, you will want to adjust your chlorine accordingly. So you would bump up that desire level from 3-5ppm to 4-7ppm.
Why you may ask? Well because CYA lowers the effective strength of Free Chlorine. The pool stores may not tell you this. And when you use those all in one pucks all you are doing is adding CYA to your water so your chlorine isn’t as effective – which takes us back to the importance of testing.
So if you haven’t ordered your test kit yet you will want to do that asap! Test strips are not reliable – check out this video I did using 3 different tests. You will see why I recommend the one I do! No more flying blind. The test kit alone will save you so much time, money and frustration!
Happy Summer, Happy Swimming, Happy Savings!