Checking Your pH in Above Ground Pool?

It’s fun and quite amazing to have an above ground pool right in your backyard. You can swim whenever you want to have poolside BBQ parties, cool off in the summer, watch your kids have a blast and any other events that can benefit from a pool. Now as much this luxury is great, you should also keep in mind that it requires constant maintenance of pH level in above ground pool water.

The pH level is a degree of the acidity of the water. The pH scale ranges between 0 to 14. With a pH at level 7, the water is neutral. When neutral it is neither acidic or basic. The proper and convenient pH for pool water is between 7.4 – 7.6. This value of pH is the same as the pH in a human eye.
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Why check pH in pool water?

Testing the water pH level in your above ground pool is crucial as it can cause real issues if the pH levels are higher or lower than the appropriate value between 7.4 – 7.6.

When pH Level is too Low:

    • Damage to the pool liner
    • Aggressive water can damage mechanical components
    • Irritations in the eyes and also in the mucous membranes

When pH Level is too High:

    • Skin irritation
    • Cloudiness in the water
    • Improper chlorine disinfection
    • Lime precipitation


Methods of testing:

Strip Test

Strip tests are one of the easiest ways to check water pH levels. Simply just dip the strip and read. Strips are an excellent way to get the idea of the overall condition of the pool’s chemistry, as it will test most pool parameters. Though, there are some limits to this method like the fact that these test strips are very much affected by lighting situations, the awareness of the tester, and the color standard’s limits offered for assessment. You may not get the same result on multiple testing.

Digital Reader

A digital reader is one step better than the dip and read test strip. It matches the sample color to the standard color digitally, relates the color to a concentration by using a series of calculated equations. The biggest advantage is that now lighting conditions and individual considerations are no longer an issue, it is much more accurate than strips reading. However, it has some confines that affect the precision of the water test.

Drop test

Orthotolidine, or OTO, a drop test frequently utilized by purchasers to test sanitation levels in pools or spas. The method of the OTO is dropping the proper amount of drops and matching the color to the color chart to check the pH levels. You can have the same problems with the strip tests, for example, not sure where the color falls on the color chart.

The Recommended Chemicals for Correction:
Use Pool Chemical Calculator to balance all of the following.

    1. For pH correction – Dry Alkali
    1. Total Alkalinity correction – Alkalinity Increaser to increase and Dry Acid to reduce
    1. Calcium Hardness – Calcium Chloride to increase
    1. Chlorine Stabilization – Cyanuric Acid
    1. Dechlorination – Neutralizer