The importance of pH testing in pools

Published: 03 February 2022

Getting the pH right in your pool or hot tub is critical as it impacts on all the other chemicals you will introduce to your pool.

You can choose to measure pH using a chemical test strip or chemical test kit but neither will give you the accuracy or ease of use of a pocket pH meter.

pH uses a scale of 0 to 14 and is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is.

pH values above 7pH mean the water is alkaline, whereas pH values below 7 mean the water is acidic. Therefore a pH reading of 8pH would indicate an alkaline and a pH reading of 6pH would indicate an acidic reading. It is worth noting that pH increases ten times in strength for every unit of pH, therefore 5pH is 10x more acidic than 6pH!

The ideal range for a pool or hot tub is between 7.2pH and 7.6pH

A pH tester will provide direct readout of pH on a digital scale with a high degree of accuracy and resolution. Compared to a test kit which might give a scale from 6.0 to 8.0pH, a digital tester reads all the way from 0 to 14pH and with 0.1 or 0.01pH resolution (depending on model).

pH testers don’t require the addition of any chemical or reagent. To use, you simply switch ON, then dip the tester into the water and get a pH reading directly on the digital display. As you can probably tell, we really rate them for pool and hot tub use!

Top tip: Always measure your pH when the water is at the right temperature! This is because at different temperatures the pH of the water will change, so if you measure the pH when the water is cold and then heat it up you’ll find the pH value has altered.

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