To ensure the safety and comfort of your swimmers, it's important to regularly test your spa water for any chemical imbalances. Fortunately, regardless of whether you test the water using DIY methods or take a sample down to your local pool shop, testing pool and spa water is not a complicated task.
The main 3 ways people test their spa water is:
1. Using spa test strips (available at most pool retailers)
2. Using a liquid spa testing kit (also available at most pool retailers)
3. By collecting a spa water sample and taking it to a local retailer or technician for professional assessment
Test strips are very easy to use, and you can usually rely on instructions for use on the packaging of the product. However, these are the steps involved:
Collect a sample: The easiest way to collect a good sample is to grab a plastic or glass container, turn it upside down, dip it roughly elbow length deep aiming to be as close to the middle as you can (without falling in!), quickly spin it the right way up and grab your sample.
Use test strip: Open the test strip container and take one out with your hand. Next, dip it in the sample you collected and hold it in the water for 5-6 seconds before taking it out.
Examine strip: Wait 15 seconds after removing the test strip from the water to allow the chemical level indicators to change colour. Simply compare the colour of the strips to the back of the container. If your colour matches the ideal colour for that chemical, then you are in the clear. However, it's always best to ensure all colours match the ideal colour swatch on the packaging of the test strips. Basic test strips will only test for chlorine/bromine, pH and alkalinity, and we recommend testing at least once a week.
Liquid testing kits follow a similar process to the test strips, only the liquid testing kit will often provide a container for collecting a water sample. Again, using the same method as above, collect a water sample from the spa. Traditional liquid test kits check for chlorine and pH. Add 4 drops of phenol red (red colour) to the pH side and 4 drops of OTO (yellow colour) to the chlorine side. Then, wait roughly 15 seconds before comparing the colour of the water with the colours on the container. Your colours will give you your readings.
In any case, we recommend consulting a spa professional or local pool and spa technician to ensure your water is checked for the 7 important chemicals. These include total hardness, total chlorine, total bromine, free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid.