To keep your swimming pool water algae free and crystal clear requires regular maintenance and the proper chemical levels. If the pH level in your pool is not at the correct level, it will potentially cause problems such as metal corrosion if too low or calcification if too high. Another chemical used in a pool is chlorine that sanitizes, oxidizes contaminants and is an algaecide. Routine testing of these levels is a necessary factor in basic swimming pool maintenance.
Test the pH level of the pool water first before testing and adjusting the chlorine levels. The sanitizing effect of chlorine is best at proper pH levels. Collect a sample of water and insert a reagent test strip, a substance that causes a chemical reaction, into it.
Compare the result to the color chart that accompanies the test strips to determine the pH level. The proper pH levels of pool water should fall between 7.2 and 7.6. Alkali products such as sodium bicarbonate raise pH levels and acidic products such as sodium bisulfate lower pH levels.
Take a sample of the water from a few feet below the surface and at the edge of the pool. Use a reagent test strip as in step 1 to determine the residual chlorine in the water. The chlorine added to the water in a pool is first absorbed by the contaminants such as bacteria and algae to eliminate them. The remaining chlorine is referred to as the residual chlorine and it is this that needs to be tested and monitored.
Compare the reaction to the charge to find out the residual chlorine level of the pool water. Proper residual chlorine levels fall between 1.0 and 1.5 parts per million.