How often do I need to test?

Feb 22, 2017
18
Katy/texas
#1
Hello! I live in the Houston area and I'm hoping to have our IG pool installed in the next few months and have decided to maintain the pool myself. I have been busy reading your pool school articles and threads and am so excited to get started. I was wondering how often I have to test the water for each of those six sections? It will be a non-swg. Also my builder gave me this, should I ignore these numbers?
Pebble Tec recommended acceptable water chemistry parameters are given below: ACCEPTABLE ONGOING MAINTENANCE RANGE* - AFTER 28 DAYS PPM = Parts Per Million
pH
7.2 – 7.6 (during first 28 days’ pH 7.0-7.4)
Total Alkalinity
70 – 100 PPM
Calcium Hardness
150 – 300 PPM
Total Dissolved Solids
400 – 800 PPM
Chlorine
1 – 3 PPM
CYA, Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer/Conditioner)
20 – 30 PPM
Langelier Saturation Index Range
Between -0.3 and 0.3

I'm a newbie and have never owned a pool before. TIA
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,218
Evans, Georgia
#2
Read your PoolSchool ABC's -

Here is a starter guide- Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

As a newbie, your want to learn your pool. Each pool is different. I can just look at my pool and if I see the water is slightly dull, I know the pH is off. That's what learning your pool and knowing how testing/treating it make it easy on you.

Will this pool be a gunnite or vinyl or fiberglass pool? The chemistry varies slightly on each.
For example- Will it have water features like fountains?? Those can make the pH rise so you'll be monitoring and treating that more than someone without such features.
I'd suggest ignoring those chem levels (except if warranty requires) and going by our recommendations:

Pool School - Recommended Levels

Basically we monitor:
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA

Maddie :flower:
 
OP
OP
H
Feb 22, 2017
18
Katy/texas
#3
The pool will be gunite and have 2 sheer descents and a spillway from the spa. I guess my question is for you veterans, how often do you have to test the chemicals? Daily, weekly, monthly? It guessing fc is daily?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,218
Evans, Georgia
#4
Not necessarily... as I said, once you get to know your pool you will know when you can skip a day testing. In the summer I test my FC/CC and pH about every 2nd or 3rd day. And I test my TA about every 2 weeks, and the CH and CYA monthly. I don't need CH in my fiberglass pool but you will so that is one difference to remember when you ask for testing schedules.

But I can get away with that because having a SWG I know I'll have chlorine in there, and if I have had a baby or kids in the pool I'll give it a splash of bleach after they get out and probably test it the next day.

By using a high quality test kit, and knowing my pool well, I have never once had algae or cloudy water.

When you are new to this I would say test the FC/CC and pH daily and the TA and CH weekly. And any time you make a chemical change test it again to confirm it is where you intended it to be. As you learn your pool you'll find where you can cut corners on testing safely and where you can't. Since you'll be using liquid chlorine you'll want to test daily as the chlorine can disappear quickly if you have a problem developing.

Maddie :flower:
 
OP
OP
H
Feb 22, 2017
18
Katy/texas
#5
Thanks for your replies! So helpful here. So how long after I add chemicals, should I recheck the levels? Which test kit is better tf-100 or Taylor 2006?
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
9,218
Evans, Georgia
#6
You add chemicals while the pump is on, pouring the chemical in the water slowly right in front of a water return so that it takes the chemical and helps mix it right in right away. Brushing is also a good idea after the addition of some things like muriatic acid (for pH). You can then test again in about 30 minutes to see if you hit the mark where you wanted.

I prefer the TF-100, with the speed stir device (not required but sure makes testing fast). You want to collect the sample water at least a 12-18 inches down. I use a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe to use as a pipette (just like a straw in soda) and fill my testing mug that way before sitting down near the pool and testing. I'm good at eyeballing the sample size of water, but if you've got a kids medicine syringe laying about that's handy too when you want 10 mL exactly of water.

Maddie :flower: