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How to take a water sample correctly

Testing your pool water is the foundation for a successful swimming season.  Staying on top of your water chemistry will help you avoid any potential headaches related to pH, alkalinity and sanitizer imbalances.  But most pool owners don’t know how to properly take a water sample for analysis.

A sample is supposed to reflect your entire pool. If the sample is contaminated or out of compliance, you could be creating major headaches for yourself and spending a bunch of money unnecessarily. Nobody wants that. So let’s make sure you collect the water properly, either for your home test or for testing at our branch.

The container (bottle)

If you have lost/forgotten yours, use a container that is free of contaminants. Use a clean one-litre plastic container. (Do NOT use glass bottles, chemical bottles or soft drink bottles).

Tip**: Seahorse Pool will provide you with a free 8 oz.

Where to take the water from the pool?

Whenever possible, it is always preferable to take a sample 18 inches below the water surface (elbow level).  Since this is not always possible, try to take it as deep as possible and not directly from the surface of the water. Be sure to stay away from skimmers and backwaters.

If your pool has different depths, take the water sample from the deep end, as it will be less affected by the water temperature.

When to take the water sample? 

Make sure the pool has been running continuously for about 48 hours. (During the winter season, chemicals such as calcium, stabilizer and salt settle to the bottom of the pool).

Rain is probably the main cause of inaccurate pool water samples. If it is raining, do not test your water. Rain has a very low pH and alkalinity. The water sample will not reflect the entire pool until the rain water has completely mixed with the rest of the pool.

If it has just rained or if it is threatening to rain in the very near future, wait at least 8 hours before testing or taking a water sample.

The fresher the better!

Important not to do!

  • Do not leave your water sample in the sun or in a car for long periods of time.
  • Do not take a sample before heavy rain.
  • Do not take a sample after shock/oxidation.
  • Do not take your sample to a retailer for testing if you do not use the chemical brand.

Tip** We recommend that you test your own pool weekly and bring a sample to our shop once a month for a complete test.

A quick reminder 

As a pool owner, you are responsible for testing and adjusting chlorine and pH levels on a weekly basis to keep all swimmers happy and healthy. You can use test strips or chemical drops, both testing agents work well, it’s a matter of preference. Regardless of whether you use strips or drops, they should be replaced annually for accurate results.