Waters Choice Blog
Have you ever needed to test your pool or spa water for bacteria? Or maybe you weren’t sure if your water was safe to swim or soak in? Maybe everyone at your last pool party broke out in a weird itchy red rash?! I wouldn’t know…I’m just hypothesizing.
Well let me tell you there is a great product out there called Watersafe Rapid Bacteria Test Strips! They are very quick and very simple to use….as long as you follow the directions! I now know the RIGHT way to use these easy test strips simply because I did it wrong the first time and had to do it all over again.
It had seemed so simple to use that I just glanced at the directions, thought I knew how to use it, and plunged forward into the unknown waters of my almost, but not quite, pristine pool. So I proceeded to fill up the test tube with water, swirl it around, wait the minute or two, insert test strip and wait. And wait. And wait some more.
But after having let the test strip set for the recommended 10 minutes, and then maybe 20 more, I saw nothing on the test strip. Nothing at all. No indication that it even worked! At first I thought I bought a faulty test strip. But knowing I would have to buy another one anyway, I went back to the directions just to make sure I didn’t miss something important in the directions.
And what do you know? I completely missed a major component in correctly using this simple test.
So, in this Bacteria Test Strip kit I received a small test tube with attached lid and 1 test strip. Easy right? Fill the tube with water and insert the test strip wait for the results. Nope.
That’s when I noticed the little itty bitty water sucker upper thingy. And behold…the directions tell me just what to do with it.
Just insert the water sucker upper thingy (apparently called a pipette) into the water source desiring to be tested. Squeeze one time as hard as you can and then release. It will suck up the tiniest amount of water. It seems like not quite enough. But it is. Then squeeze all of that tiny amount of water into the test tube…SWIRL AROUND…because although you cannot see it, there is a mysterious chemical film in that tube that reacts with only a tiny bit of water to be able to produce a reading on your test strip. You may now, according to the directions, bend your test strip in half and inset into the tube, replace cap and wait 10 minutes to check for a reading.
Bingo! It worked! Imagine that…when I actually read and followed the directions it worked…and it was simple. Located on the control line of the test strip was a red line indicating that the test did indeed work. And below that a space to tell whether or not I had bacteria in my pool……
Positive. There lay the dreaded additional red line. Bacteria. Ewwww. But, at least now I could address the issue and get on with pool parties and the like.
Although this blog post was intended to be informative and humorous, having bacteria in your water could be at levels that are dangerous to your health. So please, take it seriously and make sure to check for bacteria periodically and address as needed.
Posted by Laura Macauley at September 15, 2016 9:49 pm | No Comments »
Waters Choice Introduces Clean & Drain!
When was the last time you purged your spa?
Chances are you never have. We have the perfect solution for you that is quick, easy, and affordable!
With Clean & Drain, you are finally able to clean spa plumbing of organic waste thoroughly and quickly. Our single use tube is perfect to get the “gunk” out of your spa pipes. Unfortunately, buildup occurs in the lines of your spa over time. This can make it difficult to keep your spa water clean and clear. When you purge your spa, cleaning out your lines, water maintenance becomes easier.
If you are already using Waters Choice, you only need to purge your spa once per year as apposed to every 3 months! Simply purge it when you clean and drain it yearly. Clean & Drain is perfect for jetted hot tub owners too!
Checking your spa’s pH and alkalinity levels are an important part of maintaining your hot tub. While your spa water may look, smell, and seem clean, its chemistry may still be incorrect. Unbalanced water is a very serious problem, and may be causing you more problems than you realize. Here are some of the reasons it is important to check your spa’s pH and alkalinity levels.
Cleaning Effectiveness- If your water is not properly balanced, it may be hindering your cleaning agent’s effectiveness. An unbalanced spa will be harder to effectively clean, and this can lead to more bacteria and contaminants than a balanced spa.
Corrosion Damage- If your pH levels are low then your water is very acidic. This acidity is very damaging to your spa, and can corrode pumps, filters, handrails, plumbing, and other spa equipment. Testing your water for imbalances will help you assure the longevity and safety of your spa.
Scale Build up- A high pH level, and high alkalinity contributes to scale buildup. This build up over time puts a great deal of stress on your spa, and is the leading cause of heating elements failing prematurely. Avoid these problems by testing your water, and balancing accordingly.
Health Problems- Having improperly balanced water can have several negative health effects. Since unbalanced water can interfere with the sanitizer’s ability to kill bacteria and other contaminants, infections and diseases will be more likely to spread in the hot tub. On the other hand, unbalanced water can be damaging to skin, eyes, lungs and other parts of our bodies. Testing your spa will help assure the proper water chemistry, and thus eliminate several health concerns.
Frequently testing your spa’s water for proper pH and alkalinity levels will help you properly balance your water’s chemistry. A properly balanced spa is an excellent way to relax, and you will be able to enjoy it so much more knowing that the water is safe, healthy, and clean. To help with this balancing process, make sure you check out our test strips by clicking HERE!
Seeing green? Swimming pool water turning green is a common issue. Do you feel like you are spending countless dollars and numerous hours at the pool store trying to figure out the solution? Sometimes it doesn’t seem like having a pool is worth all that hassle. But it doesn’t have to be a hassle—keeping yourself educated on how to solve common issues makes for much less frustrating maintenance.
Today we are going to focus on phosphates. One of the answers to the common problem of green water is your phosphate level. What exactly are phosphates? Phosphates are essentially a food source for algae, which is why water with a high level of phosphates becomes tinted green. Phosphates are like a buffet for the algae; the greater the size of the buffet, the more algae come to feed. With more algae coming to feed in the water, it takes more chemicals to keep the production under control. We recommend that you test your pool for phosphates three times a year—at the beginning of the season when you open your pool or turn your heater on, the beginning of July, and in the middle of August. If your phosphate level goes above 200 parts per billion, then you need to lower the level with a phosphate remover. While initially that may seem like an added cost, it will end up saving you time, money, and aggravation.
What is total alkalinity, and how does it affect your swimming pool?
Total alkalinity is the measure of the waters capacity to neutralize acid. Many people confuse total alkalinity with pH. Alkalinity is the buffer that controls how pH moves. If the alkalinity is low, it will allow pH to move easily; if the alkalinity is high, it will be very hard to move the pH.
In addition to pH moving easily in low alkalinity situations, you can also have problems with etching of plaster, grout, and stone products, corrosion of metal components such as heat exchangers, and staining of the pool.
In a high alkalinity environment, not only is the pH hard to move, but it also tends to be pulled up; calcium and other mineral deposits may begin to show on the surface of the pool and in the heat exchanger. Your water can become milky looking and it can cause skin irritation. Keeping your total alkalinity in line is an important key in preventing these types of issues from occurring in your pool.