Sam from Georgia wrote in and asked,

I badgered my husband into taking the cover off the pool last weekend at our new house. The cover ripped part way off the pool and dumped a lot of ‘stuff’ into the water. Should we wait to test until all the junk gets removed? And what should we test for?

First of all, congratulations on the purchase of your new home and ownership of a swimming pool.

Spring Opening Kits

We suggest you begin testing your pool water as soon as you have finished filling it up to the proper level, assuming you had to add water after taking the cover off. Often times the water people use to fill their pools may contain dissolved metals so you definitely want to test after you top off your pool.

At the beginning of each pool season we suggest people test for the following pool water parameters before adding anychemicals to their water:

eXact Micro 7+ Swimming Pool and Spa Meter

EXACT® MICRO 7+ KIT FOR WATER

Manufacturer: INDUSTRIAL TEST SYSTEMS
Part Number: 486691-KP
Cost: $249.99

View More Information

  • Free/Total Chlorine
  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Calcium Hardness (in some cases total hardness)
  • TDS
  • Cyanuric Acid
  • Iron
  • Copper

Most people take a sample of water down to their local pool store in the beginning of the season and have trained pool water specialists examine their water. This works out well because they can get all the corrective and maintenance chemicals they need at the same time. It doesn’t hurt, either, that most pool stores don’t charge for water tests!

Suppose I Want to Test My Own Water… What Do You Suggest?

To start, we suggest that new pool owners not attempt to diagnose and fix their own water chemistry issues w/o assistance from experienced pool water professionals… so that means most people should take their water to a store and get it tested at the beginning of every swimming season.

Persons w/ degrees in chemistry and/or water science exempted from previous statement. ;)

Now should you choose to go it alone, you have roughly three choices when it comes to testing your own water:

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