You will also need a pool testing kit. Without this, you will not be able to add the proper amount of chemicals to your pool water to maintain it pristine blue! Depending on the testing kit that you get, they will all essentially give you the below important insights on your pool water health:
Total Chlorine: Total Chlorine allows you to know how much chlorine is in your water. Most pool testing kits will tell you free available chlorine and combined chlorine. You should aim to keep your Total Chlorine between 1—4 ppm!
Total Hardness: Total Hardness measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your pool water. Not maintaining your pool hardness properly can lead to pool calcification, damaged pool equipment, and more. You should aim to maintain Total Hardness between 175—275 ppm.
Free Chlorine: Free Chlorine measures the amount of chlorine freely available to sanitize your pool water, which is necessary to kill bacteria and control algae. Maintain Free Chlorine between 1—4 ppm.
NOTE: It is important to note the difference between free chlorine and combined chlorine. Combined chlorine is chlorine that has attached itself to any contaminants, while free chlorine is chlorine that has not attached itself to contaminants, which means that it is still available to sanitize pool water. Keep your combined chlorine under .5 PPM, if higher than .5 PPM, then it is time for some pool shock!
pH: The pH level of pool water is a measure of its acidity. This helps a pool cleaner know if a pool is too acidic or not. Having a pH that is too low or too high can decrease your pool equipment’s lifetime, irritate skin and cause rashes, and even cause circulation issues with costly repairs. Aim to maintain pH between 7.2 to 7.6!
Total Alkalinity: Total Alkalinity and pH are closely related. Having highly alkaline water reduces the effectiveness of the chlorine in your pool, which is why alkalinity is very important to monitor! Maintain Total Alkalinity between 80—150 ppm.
Stabilizer: Pool stabilizer, also known as pool conditioner, chlorine stabilizer, or Cyanuric Acid (CYA), is used to stabilize the chlorine in your pool water, so the sanitizer lasts longer. When UV rays from the sun hit the water, chlorine starts to evaporate, leaving very little free chlorine in your pool water.
Without stabilizer, your pool’s chlorine will evaporate rapidly. In a study done by North Carolina State University, ultraviolet rays can reduce chlorine by up to 90 percent in just two hours!
Average Kit Pricing: $16.99 – $99.99.