Whether getting your water tested for your pool, spa or hot tub – how we take the water sample really does make a difference. Many will ask, “Does it matter how much water we bring in?” or “Does it matter how long ago I took the sample?”
The answers: YES, it does matter. Although now a days we only require a small amount of water to perform the actual tests, the sample should be at least 250 ml (approx. 1 cup) because the larger the sample the more evenly mixed the water will be. In addition, the sample should always be taken from at least 12-16 inches below the water surface. Scooping water from the surface can lead to skewed results. In the event additional tests need to be run there will be enough water left to perform them. Take the water sample from as far away from the jets and skimmer as possible. Ideally the water should be circulating for at least a few minutes in a hot tub before taking the sample, so the water is mixed evenly. Pools have a higher tolerance but should also be actively circulating for taking samples.
Also the sample holder should be a clean plastic container that has not previously held other chemicals or acidic substances. Glass is fine but metal containers can actually skew results.We always provide free sample containers that are sterile and can be re-used, just ask us for one.
Water temperature does not directly affect the test but can be a cause of some issues so the sample should be brought in for testing as soon as possible after taken and temperature the tub or pool is kept at be noted – try your best to get the water tested within 4-6 hours otherwise results can vary and cause confusion. We often ask the temperature the tub is maintained at (not actual temperature the water is at when you come in) so we can ensure you get an accurate explanation as to why your water chemistry is acting the way it is. Leaving water samples in hot summer cars or to freeze in winter can also cause results to vary quite widely.
Be sure to tell the water technician if you are having problems like foaming, cloudiness, foul odor or other strange water experience as we cannot always tell this by the sample.
At Sani-Sol Pool & Spa we take pride in being the best at water chemistry interpretation and need our customers’ assistance to ensure that happens. Have questions about your water chemistry, be sure to ask us and we will do our best to get you the answers for a clean and enjoyable bathing experience.
Written by Phil Tanguay, Water Techncian – Sani-Sol Pool & Spa