To test using the testing strips, you simply dip the strip quickly into water. Hold in still in the air for about 14 to 15 seconds – like I mentioned before: do not shake off any excess water. Now simply look at the back of the bottle and match the strip to the colors to get your readings. Easy enough.
There is a variety of strips on the market. These will help you to test a variety of conditions, but the most important issues to check are the free chlorine, pH and alkalinity.
The second method: liquid test kits. For the scientists out there who prefer to use the liquid test kits, there are different types of kits out there as well. Some are basic and some are really advanced. You only need to for pH and Chlorine, so stick to an easy kit. Make sure you read the instructions carefully to make sure that you know what you are doing.
Read the instructions. To understand the terminology associated with liquid tests, you need to know the following: To test the pH, you add phenol red to a small sample of water. Now you look at the intensity of red that the sample produces. A higher pH will always result in redder water. Thus, the lighter the red, the lower your pH levels. For testing total chlorine, you add some OTO to a small sample of water. With this test, the more yellow the sample, the more chlorine is present. The lighter the liquid sample, the lower are the chlorine levels.
Make sure you have an accurate reading. With liquid tests, it is sometimes hard to determine the exact shade of the color. To help you make a more accurate reading; you can simply put white cardboard behind the sample to eliminate misreading the results.
The third method: the easy way out. Obviously the last method is to simply take the sample to a professional to have it tested. This is by far the most accurate way of testing your water and, even if you test at home on a regular basis, it will be good to have the water tested at your local pool store once a month.