Water Testing Pointers

To get the optimal functionality and lifespan out of your custom pool, you’ll want to confirm the proper water chemistry is present. This requires a basic water test – this can be done at a professional location, or it can be done in a couple simple formats at home to test for elements like chlorine levels, pH and alkalinity.

At Dolphin Pools & Spas, we’re here to help with any expertise that’s needed in the water testing field to help you from over- or under-treating your water. Here are a few simple tips for properly testing water in your new swimming pool.

Water Sample Location

The ideal sample for water will be pulled from about 12 to 18 inches below the water surface after your water system has been on for about an hour or so. In general, a good rule of thumb is to fill the test kit from about elbow-deep in the pool water, if possible.

Chlorine Skewing

If the chlorine levels in your pool are extremely high, this can skew other important readings, such as pH and total alkalinity. If you use a testing kit at has a chlorine neutralizer, be sure to utilize this per the instructions on your kit. Know that if you use water testing strips, these do not have chlorine neutralizers, so a test kid that uses reagents will be a better choice if your chlorine levels are commonly high.

Proper Timing

If you’re having chlorine issues, it’s best to take a sample in the morning. Chlorine will burn off during the day, and testing during the morning will give a chance for water to circulate all night while avoiding UV rays.

Delays in Reaction

If you’re using test strips, prepare for a 10-20 second delay for colors to change. Once that time has passed, compare the strips as soon as possible. Waiting too long may allow the colors to continue changing and provide an inaccurate reading.


Water tests should be completed before you add any chemicals. And on the back end, know that many chemicals take up to 24 hours to fully circulate into the pool water – wait at least this long before adding chemicals for another test.

Want to learn more about water tests, or interested in swimming pool repair, construction or any of our other services? Speak to the experts at Dolphin Pools & Spas today.