How to Maintain Your Swimming Pool Water

indoor swimming pool

How to Maintain Your Swimming Pool Water

It’s all about the water. In order to make your pool look inviting, you need to keep the water crystal clear.

You do not have to be a chemist in order to maintain the water quality in your pool. However, you should understand the components that make your pool water safe and ideal for swimming. The components are tested based on a parts per million (ppm) measurement. This is the measurement of the parts of a substance in relation to one million parts by volume of pool water.

How to Test Swimming Pool Water

Using the test strips from the pool supply store should be sufficient for testing. Water test strip container Get the strips that show the chlorine, alkaline, pH, and cyanuric acid. Find an area away from the skimmer and the returns and with the strip in hand submerse about 18 inches into the water for about 10 seconds. Remove but don’t shake water off. Wait a few moments until the colors fill in. Compare each component’s color reading to the color range on the product bottle. (Read the instructions that were provided with the test kit as this procedure could vary from product to product).


The pH balance of your water impacts the effectiveness of the chlorine in your water. The idea test reading for pH is between 7.4 and 7.6. If the test reading is below 7.2 then the water is more on the acidic side. A test reading above 7.8 indicates the water is more on the alkalinity side. Monitor the pH daily using test strips.


To keep bacterial, pathogens, and algae from growing in your water, the chlorine (sanitizer) level needs to be at a safe level for swimming. A chlorine test reading between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm is optimal. If you use bromine tablets instead of chlorine as the sanitizer, then the reading should be between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm. Ask your pool store for more advice on the pros and cons of using bromine instead of chlorine, or if you want to switch over to bromine from chlorine or visa versa. Monitor the chlorine level daily using the test strips.


The alkalinity reading should be between 100 and 120 ppm. Typically goes hand in hand with pH. If the alkalinity reading is low, then most likely the pH reading is low and visa versa. Typically chlorine shock contains alkaline which will help raise the alkaline level. On the flip side of that, chlorine tablets which contain cyanuric acid tends to lower the alkalinity.

Cyanuric Acid

The cyanuric acid (chlorine stabilizer) reading should be between 20 and 30 ppm. This component is usually a product of chlorine tablets. It slows the escape/evaporation of chlorine which in turn helps to maintain a more consistent chlorine level. However, since chlorine tablets contain this component which is an acid, it tends to lower the alkalinity and the pH.

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