At Recreational Concepts, we offer weekly complimentary water testing for those who use our line of chemical products; a $5 fee is applied to those who do not use our products but wish to have the test completed. We recommend that pool owners ideally test at home on a weekly basis and stop in to have our professionals test once a month.
How to collect a good water sample-
If you’re new to all of this, make sure you have the basic information available for your local pool store: Pool size (gallons), type (concrete, fiberglass, liner), sanitizer (salt system and type, automatic chlorinator, etc.), and history of chemicals added to the pool in the last 48 hours.
When you bring your sample in, we test for the following chemicals: free and total chlorine or bromine, pH, stabilizer, alkalinity, calcium hardness, salt, metal levels, and phosphates. Maintaining proper levels keeps swimmers comfortable and your pool happy. Customers bothered by pool water, usually have been swimming in an unbalanced pool. Chlorine is not normally the cause of irritation.
Use a clean container-with a spill proof lid. Never use containers that may have remnants of the previous product inside like empty chemical bottles or pickle jars, as the chemical, vinegar and salt will never fully be washed out and may skew your sample. About 8 oz of water will be sufficient for in-store testing.
How to take the sample-
If possible, it is always preferred to take a sample from 18″ below the surface, or at least elbow deep. Do not take directly from the surface. The water below the surface is a better representation of the water as a whole, with less contaminants present that could affect your test results.
Collect water away from return jets. As most swimming pools are equipped with salt systems or automatic chlorinators, the water coming directly from the return jet will have higher salt and chlorine levels (and potentially higher pH levels).
If your pool has different depths, take the water sample in the deep end as it will be less effected by the water temperature.
Don’t take a water sample if you’ve added chemicals to your pool in the last 12-48 hours.
Ensure the pool has been circulating non-stop for approx. 48 hours. (chemicals like calcium, stabilizer and salt can settle to the bottom of the pool.)
If it is raining, do not test your water. Rain is very low in both pH and alkalinity. When it’s raining, the top layer of your pool water- the origin of your water sample- will not accurately reflect the pool as a whole until the rainwater has mixed in completely with the rest of the water. If it just rained or will threaten to rain in the very near future, wait at least 8 hours before conducting a test or gathering a sample for testing.
The fresher the sample the better. Taking the sample in the morning and going to work, running errands, etc. is not ideal. If the sample sits in your cubicle all day or in your car the sample could become tainted. Additionally- If you take a sample in the morning and it rains, the sample is no longer accurately reflecting the current state of your pool.