How often do you check pool chemical levels?

Texaspoolmariposa

Active member
Apr 27, 2019
31
El Paso, Texas
We are finally in the home stretch after buying a house with a pool. Complete drain and refill, salt water generator installed last week, intelliflo pump installed yesterday.

PH was high so we added muriatic acid today.

When should I check again to see if the PH is in range?

Once I get it balanced is weekly checking acceptable or should I be doing it more often?

I have the Taylor kit but need to buy a salt test. Should I go with the one from Taylor?
 

justinc

Gold Supporter
Apr 3, 2019
191
Texas
You can check the pH again in about 30-45 minutes with the pump running after you add it. You should probably check pH and chlorine levels daily or every other day and the others you can do monthly to weekly. The Taylor salt test is the one recommended here and you can buy one from K-1766 Taylor Salt Test here for $30. You will notice that with a chlorine generator your pH is going to tend to constantly rise so you will have to add acid regularly. Side effect of the convenience of the SWCG.
 

Steve_in_C

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
212
Kinston, NC
You should check your pool chemistry every day until it is stable and predictable. You also will learn pool chemistry while doing this. After stable, you might opt for weekly or once every 2 weeks. Never let your chlorine level go below 7.5% of your CYA. It's ok for it to go up to shock levels, but if you keep it there you will wear out your salt water generator and may have a higher electric bill from pump run time. Borates will stabilize your pH so you don't have to add it as often. However your overall acid needs will likely be the same over the long haul.
 
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borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,762
Pacific NW
Yes every pool is different. Once you learn it's consumption habits, you won't necessarily have to test daily.

I test chlorine every tuesday and friday or saturday. I add a 1/2 gallon of 6% plain bleach about every 3 or 4 days.
I've had this home/pool for 4 years. Never been under the Free chlorine minimum.
I test ph once a week. sometimes every 2 weeks. It's always at 7.5

CYA gets tested once a month during swimming season only.
 

Steve_in_C

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
212
Kinston, NC
I would never want my water to be cloudy. That implies problems. Follow TFP methods and NEVER have cloudy water. Also shocking is not often necessary. Weekly or biweekly shock is a pool store method. Just keep the FC above 7.5% of CYA at all times (except when water temp<60 - pool typically closed / covered at that point).
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
5,466
Northern NJ
With a Pentair SWG you can glance at the cell every day or two and see the correct lights are green and you are getting the CL you expect. Once you get your SWG % and pump runtime dialed in for the daily FC you need you can check your CL weekly or when you do your pH check.

You need to learn how long it takes for your pool pH to go from your target to 8. It becomes pretty predictable how many days you can go before checking and adjusting the pH & TA.

CYA, CH, salt can be a monthly check unless you have drained a bunch of water.

I know my pool well enough that I can tell by a water color change if I need to check my CL or pH sooner then usual.
 

Chrissykr

Well-known member
Jun 8, 2014
460
Rogers, AR
I have been doing this for five years. I have never had an algae outbreak. I opened in March and have yet to test my CH and TA. Mine never changes, In those five years I have gone through 2 1/2 gallons of MA as my PH stays solid. Chlorine is tested a couple of times a week. I know my CYA level before I open my pool in the spring, it is the same every year.

You learn your pool as time goes on.
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,307
Longview, Texas
Im into year 6 with my pool. There is a learning curve when you first start. Testing daily will get you comfortable with the testing, and many looks at the recommended levels. So it sort of becomes second nature to you. The daily testing will also teach you how much your pH changes over a period of time and the same goes with the FC. Over time, You'll even get a feel for how much your CYA will decrease given x amount of overflow/ dilution from rain and splashout.

Eventually, you can tone down the testing. Ive gotten to a point with mine where I test only every couple of weeks, and just for FC and pH. I know everything else is just fine. My pH is stable and hardly ever moves more than 1 point either direction. And with my SWG, I have it eyeballed to that I know my FC is fine too. All total, I dont spend more than maybe 10 minutes a month on my pool chemistry.

Once you have your CYA level, TA and CH set, you dont need to test for that daily. Those do not evaporate or get used up with use of the pool or change siginificantly in a short period of time. Pretty much FC and pH is all you need to test for daily. The rest you can do monthly without any risk.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
224
Columbus, Ohio
As above, I test daily when I first open the pool. Once things settle down, it's every other day or every third day for FC and PH. I keep a log so I can always look back and see any trends. It's just a small spiral bound notebook I put in with my test kit.
 

JimMarshall

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 5, 2017
725
Oil City PA
Personally I know my pool's rythm.... I can just add X amount of chlorine each day without testing to stay within recommended levels. I test chlorine at least weekly, or if something out of the ordinary is happening (Heavier than usual pool use, heavy rains diluting the water, etc). I test CH, TA, CYA every few weeks-once a month depending on condition. I know this is going to sound crazy but I know @mknauss can do it too, I can walk past my pool and look at it and tell you if the PH is off.....thats normally when i test that. :laughblue:But I will also test it whenever I am doing the full series of test. My fill water is high TA and causes the pH to drift upwards, once I open the pool and add water to bring it back up to normal level I will test more often until the TA gets down and quits causing my pH to drift. In short, I don't know that there is necessarily a "right" way of how often to check...... every pool is different. If it gives you peace of mind, I truly don't think that you can test too often...better to err on the side of too often than not often enough..
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
May 3, 2014
16,127
Laughlin, NV
Love this thread.
Fill water does effect how often you need to monitor certain parameters. Though after you live with a pool for a year two, you will know what is going to happen. Like I know my CH will triple (250ppm to 750ppm) within 12 months after exchanging to fresh water. Like clock work. I then deal with it until I am ready to exchange again. And like Jim said, it is easy to me to see when pH hits 8, which again happens fairly quickly in our pool with high TA and high pH fill water.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
184
Marrietta Ga
ON this subject has anybody ever made a reliable floating tester that send chlorine and PH to a smart phone?? Seems like it would be a great idea but don't know if it's possible and affordable.
 

Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
Apr 16, 2019
167
Bremen, GA
When I had my in ground pool I tested practically every time I got in it. I love testing, and I imagine I'll be testing the AGP that often, too!
 

see_feel

Silver Supporter
May 31, 2018
38
Arlington, Texas
As a new pool owner, I tested a lot in the first few months to learn the process and get comfortable. Now, I test weekly for CL and PH and monthly for the other levels. I test more when we get heavy rain and I have to drain water. The Pool Math App is the best app I have on my phone and keeps my pool humming along nicely. I also read the Pool School eBook cover to cover, it gives anyone pretty much all the info they will need.
 

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