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Hi all,

I am new to pools and how they work, but I am working on a project to design and build a testing device for measuring water quality and found out that pool owners constantly need to monitor the pool water. What kind of kits are out there right now? I understand there are test strips but many people dislike them, and they are not very accurate. Do you own these test kits? I talked to a pool store and they told me that they offer free testing to their customers, do you take advantage of this or would you rather prefer to do it yourself if there was a simple, quick and reliable way to do it. Have any of you used this phone app from LaMotte to test your pool water? I am just trying to find out how pool testing works, how you do it and what tools you use. Any comments and ideas are greatly appreciated!!

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The best test kit for pools and spas using chlorine is the Taylor K-2006 (see the Taylor site for contents). For both pools and spas, once you get a good feel for your usage, you don't necessarily need to test every day and certainly you don't test every parameter every day. The CH is very slow to change, the CYA is slow to change, the TA can also be slow unless using acidic sources of chlorine. It's the pH and FC that vary the most. In my pool, I test the pH at least once a week or two -- it doesn't vary very quickly -- and I test the FC twice a week when I add more chlorine though the usage is consistent enough that I could probably test once a week. For people without mostly opaque pool covers, they may add chlorine every day or two. With spas it's usually every day or two, usually testing right before a soak and adding chlorine right after the soak.

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I am new to pools and how they work, but I am working on a project to design and build a testing device for measuring water quality

What type of testing device and what market are you going after? The LAST thing the pool/spa industry needs is aome device for water testing from someone who does not really have a clue about pool/spa water chemistry.

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The LAST thing the pool/spa industry needs is aome device for water testing from someone who does not really have a clue about pool/spa water chemistry.

You are right! It's the LAST thing I would want to do. That's why I posted a question on this forum. I am just starting to learn about this stuff. What kind of chemicals do you really test for and how often? I know there is Chlorine, ph, and alkalinity. Could you tell me waht the reagents are called you use to test for these?

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My suggestion is to contact either Taylor Technologies, LaMotte, Palintest, or Hach and ask them about what is commonly tested for in pool water and what the different testing techniques are. They are among the top 4 companies in water testing (not just for pools but other industries as well.)

Water testing equipment is not a field for someone who is inexperienced and pool/spa water testing is CERTAINLY not a field for someone who does not have a thorough understanding of poolw ater chemistry and the interactions that occur (such as pH rise from outgassing of CO2 and the effect of bicarbonate alkalinity and pH on the rate of outgassing).

If you want to "learn about this stuff" then you really need some experience taking care of a pool and actually testing and balancing the water.

I have not even touched on ORP (oxidation-reduction potential) electrodes, pH meters, ORP and pH controllers, and other electronic testing methods which are often used in commercial and some residential installations and have their own special set of "considerations" when used.

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