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Pool Water Testing: Techniques and Restrictions for Pool owners



Pool Water Testing: Techniques and Restrictions for Pool owners

As a pool owner, the only way to identify if your pool has an issue is to conduct thorough pool water testing. In this article, we will discuss various techniques to implement to test pool and spa water, and their advantages and disadvantages.

Pool Water Testing: Techniques and Restrictions for Pool owners

Measuring free chlorine

Besides strip tests, there are various techniques you can use to evaluate the condition of pool water.

One approach considered less effective compared to others is the Orthotolidine (OTO) drop test. This technique examines levels of sanitization in pools and spas. However, it does not allow one to identify the chlorine levels in the water.

Another method to measure for sanitization levels in the water is the DPD (N, N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine) test. It also offers a free chlorine test, enabling pool owners to know the water’s exact levels of chlorine. Similar to OTO, it uses a control color to identify the condition of the water. You can do this technique using a titrimetric test or, at times, a photometer. It is the most popular and affordable technique.

However, when there are concentrated chlorine levels, say 10-15 ppm, that may lead to inaccurate results since bleaching of the color may occur. Moreover, levels of chlorine are significantly lowered at high pH readings. It is important to note that 0.5 ppm levels of combined chlorine can disrupt the normal functioning of DPD and lead to incorrect results. In such a case, the free chlorine test will read a false high. Thus, the user will not be able to pinpoint combined chlorine in the water. Therefore, this technique has a disadvantage because test results get affected by individual perception, lighting, and surroundings.

FAS-DPD, also known as DPD titration testing, uses a slightly different testing procedure than the typical DPD testing. Instead of using colors to identify test results, it utilizes a testing agent. First, color is put into the specimen before adding a titrating agent. Afterward, the user waits until they see a change of color. The quantity of sanitizer in the pool will be identified by the percentage of titrating agent required for a color change. This method is more effective than the DPD technique at any concentration of chlorine levels. Unlike the DPD technique, FAS-DPD can estimate levels of chlorine for free until 20ppm is attained. Both methods are prone to false high results during chlorine pool water testing because of the existence of potassium monopersulfate.

Strip tests

Strip tests are one of the most straightforward techniques you can use for pool water testing. They work efficiently for checking water chemistry in a pool or spa. How do they work? Strip test pads contain substances bound to react with elements in the water. After a few minutes of reaction, the color of the test pads changes and can determine the water condition. The advantage of strips is that one gets to know the state of the entire pool.

Nonetheless, several disadvantages come with this technique. The state of lighting in the pool significantly impact on the proper functioning of test strips. There’s also a limitation on the colors for differentiation on the strip. Consequently, you will not get consistent test results at times.

A more advanced form of the strip test is the digital strip reader. It differentiates the specimen color from the custom color. It also compares the color to a concentration using a sequence of mathematical calculations. A Digital dip-and-read strip is more accurate than the regular strip test. The reason being, individual notions and lighting do not affect this strip. But in general, the digital strip test also has cons that might interfere with the validity of the test results.

pH balance

Calculating pH levels is crucial in facilitating the right water conditions in a pool. Most pool and spa owners test for water pH using a substance known as phenol red. Like OTO, this is a colorimetric drop test that differentiates the sample color from the standard color. It is a relatively simple and appropriate way to test for pH levels. However, on the pH scale, it is only correct from 6.8 to 8.4; phenol is not a reliable method outside this range. When the water contains high levels of bromine and chlorine and reacts with phenol red, it turns to a dark purple color indicating a pH of at least 6.6.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, this pH is relatively low. Solving this problem would require one to implement a neutralizing agent. Alternatively, you can also use pH meters to check for pH levels. Unlike phenol red, it is not limited to a specific range. However, you should carefully adjust it to facilitate correct results.

Pool owners should also ensure correct pH levels. Therefore, they must test for alkalinity. The most common method to do this is through Titrimetric testing. The total quantity of titrant used eventually gives rise to an alkaline reading. Before using this technique to test for pH, eliminate halogens, and incorporate photometers.

Popular disruptions

During pool water testing processes, you are likely to encounter some disruptions. Excess concentration of chlorine and the existence of biguanide lead to an abnormal change of color. Test results often result in yellow or green color when there’s any form of disruption compared to the typical pink color. However, you can use sodium thiosulfate to decrease chlorine levels.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Latham Pool Products Hires New Chief Information Officer

Kaushal Dhruv joins Latham Pool Products as new CIO.



Kaushal Dhruv named new CIO of Latham Pool Products
Photo: Latham Pool Products

Fiberglass pool and vinyl liner maker Latham Pool Products has decided to hire a new Chief Information Officer for their corporation.

Kaushal Dhruv the new CIO will provide support and leadership to both the IT (Information Technology) team as well as the project management staff. Latham President/CEO Scott Rajeski is Kaushal’s direct report.

“We are on an exciting growth journey, complete with changes that will continue to propel Latham’s position …”

Kaushal Dhruv new CIO for Latham Pool Products

Kaushal comes from a diverse background in technology where he had 16 years of experience consulting with CIO and CTOs of Fortune 500 Companies. Kaushal was also Director of Technology for KPMG. Kaushal is extremely well educated. He has a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from the University at Mumbai, a Masters in Information Management from Syracuse University as well as a Masters in Engineering Management from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Pune Institute of Computer Technology.

Said Latham Pool Products CEO, Scott Rajeski:

“[Kaushal’s] extensive experience and knowledge provide Latham with the proper leadership to continue driving our progress in North America and abroad.”

More about Latham Pool Products
Find products, contact information and articles about Latham Pool Products

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

Pool and spa business is prospering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer is approaching, and consumers want to enjoy an exquisite backyard pool installation



Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

Reports indicate that the pool and spa business is prospering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer is approaching, and consumers want to enjoy an exquisite backyard pool installation experience in their staycation. Consumers demand on pool maintenance products and services, renovations, new structures is on the rise. Social distancing rules affected so many businesses in their sales, but not all industries felt the wrath. The pool and spa industry survived the heat due to the following factors;

Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

1.  New pool installation

The demand is high because it is the only option to enjoy summer. Most clients are contacting contractors to have pools installed in their backyard.

2.  Existing pools

Homeowners want to bring the summer experience closer by improving their backyard experience. This is because they have to stay indoors and have no other option. Maintaining their pool throughout summer created a niche that the professionals in this industry took advantage of.

High loan application demands

Sarah Bess, the marketing director of Lyon Financial, specializing in loans for outdoor improvements, focusing on the pool, admits to the increase in business sales during this time. She adds that they expected a 20% increase in their sales this year. Then in March, the outbreak happened to create a lot of uncertainties and confusion. The sales went down for a short period, and it was discouraging. In April, there was a sudden and unbelievable rise in sales. The customer demand was too high, and the company was making good proceeds. This situation required that they add 10–15 employees to meet the customers’ demand.

If the sales happen to decrease in June or July, it still won’t take them back to where they were. The increase came about by the idea that clients have an exceptional backyard. It is not all about the pools, but the outdoor experience. Other industries that deal with the construction of the outdoor kitchen, covered porches, gazebos, etc., recorded a great increase in sales. Customers want to invest in their backyard pool installation for summer as well as for future security.

Safety precautions and retail businesses

The health crisis affected retail businesses. This is because of the social distancing rule, and clients find it hard to go to the stores to buy goods. Some retail stores adjusted to the situation to ensure they maximize their sales. They adopted methods such as delivery & curbside pick up. Companies such as Aqua Tech in Winnipeg, Manitoba, dismiss claims of the effects on retails stalls. For them, they adopted the use of contactless water testing. It is advantageous because they can still stay indoors, manage time, and it’s effective for clients. They hope to continue with these services even after the pandemic. Aqua tech, now offers services like chemical only pool maintenance & water sample pick up for those unable to go to the stores. They are dealing with the situation in ways that are appealing to the customer. The crisis was a concern, but they have managed to keep up with the sales. Previously, they only received 2-3 calls a day, now they receive 5-10 calls in an hour. Additionally, the employees have had to organize themselves effectively.

Economic achievements

Richard’s Total Backyard in Houston, Texas, set a new financial record in April. It is now a trend in all these outdoor products industries. Cristina Nikolov, a social media marketing manager, recalls a company meeting held at the beginning of March. They had lost hope there would be anyone willing to contract with them at this time. She even told the staff members that they should prepare for bad times.

Then came the Easter Weekend, and the flow of work was unexpected. It was a hectic month for the company, and she would now ask designers to be fast so that they can meet all the clients. Julie Richard, the Vice President, said that the surge was a result of the client’s mindset. No one is certain about the future or when the lockdown will come to an end. This uncertainty has had clients opt to improve their backyards so that whatever happens, they can still enjoy their time from the luxuries of their own home. Employees and designers have had to work overtime to manage all the clients. The month of April is the best financial year in the Companies history. It is not only pools that are marketable, but also hot tubs. For Richard, he just put up a message to reach out to clients that they can have their hot tubs installed and enjoy their stay at home. That opened up a big business opportunity for the company. Crews are sent daily to install hot tubs or renovate them for their clients on weekends to reduce the workload.


The government has been supportive of this course of a backyard experience. Many companies have earned a good sum during this time because the government has allowed them to maintain their operations.The owner of Berggren’s Backyard Oasis Pool Construction in Wenatchee, Micheal Berggren, also experienced the same surge in his business.

The governor of his state realizes the importance of pools in summer and can carry out their business with support from the state. They were able to do four times what they do in a year in equipment sets and cover replacement. He, however, still hopes that things will return to normal because of a few strains caused by the changes. They have to get frequent permission from the state authorities and following up with all the safety measures. He does appreciate this time as well, that was a boost to his business. He notes that the most important thing is that people get paid their salaries to feed their families.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Pool Services Assessment for Maximum Profit

It is the start of the pool season and a suitable time for companies to reevaluate their costs. Focusing on the main work is important, but at the end



Pool Services Assessment for Maximum Profit

It is the start of the pool season and a suitable time for companies to reevaluate their costs. Focusing on the main work is important, but at the end of the day, the work should yield some good proceeds. The ideas below are useful in profit maximization when it comes to offering pool services.

Pool Services Assessment for Maximum Profit

Online ordering

There is a considerable amount of time wasted in a wholesale store, as the contractors wait to order, have the orders packaged and check it out. Online ordering is a better alternative. The pool contractors can order earlier via the distributors before they leave for the worksite. Visiting the distributor is advantageous because it allows the contractor to tag along with other technicians for professional advice. Sometimes this conversation can extend to a non-productive chat, limiting productive work time.

Reduce drive time

Technicians should minimize their time on the road. This time isn’t accounted for, and in business, every minute counts. When going for a project, it is important to study the service routes before leaving. Things such as school schedules, traffic patterns, and other disruptions are factors to consider beforehand. This is to avoid time wastage on the roads.

It is also important that you look at the jobs and check if it’s reasonable to take up the job. The drive to device costs may cost more than the job itself. In this case, it is not worth it to take up the job. You ought to look at the farthest job and the distance to your next stop. It is wise to start with the jobs closer unless you plan on offering your services permanently in those remote areas.

If you are heading to a pool service project and you make a stop on your way, you should check the farthest project and consider if you still want to keep it. The loss of one far project can earn you two close jobs saving on time and energy and boosting cost. If you consider taking up the far projects, it may be reasonable if you charge more than close projects to cater for the drive time.

Smart buying

Purchasing goods in bulk is a smart option for those who have a warehouse space. Buying in bulk earlier puts you in a better bargaining position. This increases profits and is a great way of budgeting. It also saves the technicians stress when certain goods are in shortage due to their high demand. For this reason, they will be able to offer the best pool services to clients. The contractors can come up with an estimate of the products required during a certain season. You can base this on the sales of the previous year and speculations of the sales in the current year. For the storage of the goods, you can create space in your home. If you have no space completely, you can negotiate with the distributor to allow you to take the products in small portions, as long as you commit the purchase. Purchasing in bulk is advantageous to the distributors, so; it’s unlikely they disagree with the idea. You can also combine orders with other companies to save on the cost of securing a personal warehouse.

Check on product costs

Most technicians ignore the pricing of goods they use or sell in their course of work. You should check invoices to see the cost of goods they are charging their customers and ensure you make some profit. This also helps confirm if there were any mistakes made to correct them earlier.

Special offers 

Manufacturers have special offers once in a while to promote their brands. Their offer can entail buying goods in bulk at a huge discount. Contractors can take advantage of this, whereby they purchase one good at a significantly low price, and sell it at a higher price to their consumers and make some profit.

Review expenditure

You should review the expenses regularly. Services such as phones, vehicle insurance, and the internet need to be checked continuously. If there are cheaper alternatives to these services, explore them. Contact the service providers on a regular for any new discounts. Such inquiries can result in such considerations executed.

Make effective use of trucks

The truck inventory should have goods that are accessible on the service route. It is time-wasting to go to the distribution warehouse to pick up goods needed for replacement. Loss of profit is also incurred. It is important to find out what you need to stock in the truck for the job. To do this, technicians need to familiarize themselves with pools, the equipment available, and products that may be useful for the job. Balancing between the space in the truck & the required equipment is key to manage costs. All companies should invest in cheaper alternatives that are effective to maximize on their annual profits.

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