10/30/2017 | Swimming Pool & Spa | 4 MINUTE READ
4 Ways to Monitor Pool Water Quality
From commercial pool chemical monitoring systems to DIY test kits, there are plenty of pool monitoring solutions available. Choosing the best swimming pool monitoring system is a matter of your specific needs. If you are monitoring a commercial swimming pool or aquatic center that requires regular maintenance, you should opt for an automatic pool chemical monitoring set up. If you are just trying to keep your pool clean at home, then you might be able to get by with something simpler. Here, we explain 4 ways to monitor a swimming pool:
- Commercial pool chemical monitoring
- All in 1 Smart pool monitoring
- DIY pool monitoring with an electronic meter
- DIY pool monitoring with pool test kits
1. Industrial pool chemical monitoring systems
Automatic pool chemical monitoring systems are the best choice for larger pools, spas, and aquatic centers that get a lot of traffic. These systems typically include sensors and commercial pool chemical controllers for automatic adjustment of chlorine and other chemicals. A pool chemical controller gathers sensor data to calculate the optimal amount of chlorine or pool stabilizer.
A typical pool monitoring system will include pH sensors and ORP sensors, each hooked up to a pH/mV controller. The ORP readings are used to adjust chlorine and cyanuric acid, while the calculated pH readings are used to determine dosages of muriatic acid, soda ash, and other compounds. Commercial pool chemical controllers can remove the need for constant testing and maintenance, reducing the hassle of operating a large pool or spa.
2. Smart pool monitoring wireless devices
Maybe you’re looking to monitor a smaller pool and you’re not ready to invest in a commercial pool monitoring system. Nonetheless, the convenience of an electronic pool chemical tester appeals to you. Several companies now offer smart pool monitoring devices, which use water quality sensors and wireless technology to monitor pool water quality. Users can get alerts on a smart phone when it’s time to adjust chemical levels in the pool. Additionally, some companies will even ship you pre-measured chemicals straight to your door.
3. DIY with a portable meter or with your smart phone
Prefer the do it yourself approach? If you’ve been adjusting your own pool for a while now, then you may not require an automated system. Some users prefer to take their own measurements because it provides flexibility, rather than a one size fits all approach. You can adjust for the specific features of your pool (like salt water chlorinators or fiberglass pools) and recalibrate your sensors whenever you like.
In this case, there are two main ways to monitor pool water quality in order to determine which chemicals you need to purchase and add to your pool. The first is using an electronic pH meter and electronic ORP meter. The advantage of using a meter is that you will obtain more precise results more quickly compared with a test kit.
pH and ORP meters come in many shapes and sizes. Many meters accept a BNC connector, which means that they can be used with sensors from different manufacturers. This is important to keep in mind, because while meters keep working for many years, sensors typically need to be replaced every year.
One alternative to a portable pH/ORP meter is to purchase smart sensors that can be used with an iPhone or Android. Smart sensors reduce ownership cost by harnessing the computing power of your smart phone. The SAM1-2900 Starter Kit includes a pool thermometer and pH sensor that plugs into an iPhone or Android. Add the S5500C/SAM ORP sensor to monitor chlorine as well.
4. DIY with a pool test kit
Pool test kits are a simple yet effective method for monitoring pool chemistry and making adjustments. Most pool water test kits are visually based: color changes indicate changes in pool chemistry. Some pool water test kits include pool test strips that you can dip directly into pool water. Alternatively, liquid test kits include droppers of color indicating chemicals and vials that you can use for mixing the solutions with pool water. Using a pool test kit to monitor water quality may be more labor intensive, but it is certainly the most cost effective option.
No matter which of these pool chemical monitoring systems you choose, maintaining well balanced water chemistry is essential. Careful monitoring allows pool owners and operators to keep their pools safe and clean all season – or all year – long.
Ready to start monitoring? Look out for these 4 common mistakes: