The clouds have cleared and the air smells fresh and clean after that terrific South African thunderstorm. Your swimming pool, however, looks like something best served up with a crusty bread roll.

Yes, establishing the right balance in your swimming pool can be a tricky one – whether you’ve been doing it for years, or you’ve just bought your first house.

It’s important to understand that a swimming pool can be home to a variety of bacteria and viruses, and it’s a wonderful home for algae if left unchecked. This means that balancing pool chemicals is not just about looking pretty – it’s also about the health of the people who use the pool.

First things first. In order to maintain a bright and clean swimming pool, you will need to test the water.

By that we mean, you will need a pool test kit of some sort.

What options do you have?

Without launching into a full chemistry lesson, you will need to know the ideal ranges for a healthy, balanced swimming pool:

  • pH: 7.2 – 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
  • Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
  • Bromine: 3-5 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid: 30 – 50 ppm

This is what you are aiming for. Let’s see what’s out there to help you achieve it.

Pool Test Strips

Probably one of the cheapest options available, test strips are fast and reasonably accurate. You can purchase single strips to measure a particular chemical, or you can buy one that makes multiple tests at the same time.

They are a cinch to use: dip, swirl and read the results.

These test strips will come with a key chart which will indicate what your pool needs. Simple, right?

Liquid Test Kits

At a slightly higher price, liquid test kits offer more accuracy than their test strip counterparts. Also, you get to look like an advanced chemistry student as you drip and swirl your solutions in the little glass vials.

Liquid test kits are more reliable, and they come with a comparator which anyone will find easy enough to read. Dosage and treatment instructions are offered to solve your swimming pool woes.

Digital Pool Testers

We love techy stuff. Obviously a slightly more costly solution than the above, these clever little machines are the pinnacle of speed and accuracy. Simply dip the electrodes into the water and read the simple LCD results. Snap.

Of course, when the novelty of swishing little tubes of water around and adding a dash of this and a pinch of that becomes tedious, you can always call in the pros. Pool Spa have been doing swimming pools for decades. Visit us at and find out how we can help you to keep your swimming pool beautiful.