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How to Test Total Alkalinity in a Swimming Pool

By Contributor ; Updated September 21, 2017

Swimming pools must be tested regularly for total alkalinity, which is the ability of the pool water to resist changes in pH. This is sometimes called the buffering capacity of the water, and it's an important factor in keeping the pool balanced. Test for total alkalinity in this way to keep the water from becoming unbalanced, which can lead to corrosion or scaling.

Buy an alkaline test kit, which contains the supplies necessary for testing total alkalinity.

Add two drops of chlorine neutralizer, indicated as R-0007, to the water sample to remove chlorine. Chlorine affects the results and gives inaccurate readings.

Mix five drops of the alkalinity test solution, indicated as R-0008, to the water sample. Stir.

Put in the mild acidic test reagent, indicated as R-0009, by adding it one drop at a time until the sample turns from green to red. Be sure to count the drops. Multiply the number of drops by 10 to obtain the total alkalinity level, measured in ppm. For example, if you added five drops, the total alkalinity is 50 ppm.

Make sure the total alkalinity level in the swimming pool is between 80 and 120 ppm. This is the ideal range.


Things You Will Need

  • Alkaline test kit

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