Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to collect your water sample. A water sample is supposed to be a reflection of the water chemistry of your entire pool and staying on top of your readings is the foundation of your swimming pool season success. If a sample is contaminated or otherwise amiss, you can create big headaches and spend a bunch of money needlessly. Nobody wants that. Let's make sure you're collecting your water sample correctly for either your home test or for bringing a sample into our stores for analysis.

The best container you can use to collect your water sample are the complimentary water bottles that we provide in our stores. These are great because our bottles have a label for you to write your name, contact information, and a place to give us detailed information about your pool. If you don't have one of our complimentary bottles, use a water bottle. Do not use empty soda bottles, chemical bottles, or food jars. All we need is approximately 8 oz. of water, and make sure to rinse your bottle before each sample is collected.

An often overlooked aspect of water analysis is timing. If you've added chemicals to your pool, wait at least 24-48 hours before collecting your sample. It may seem like a long time to wait, but many factors play a part - like the size of your pool and the chemicals added.

Rain also makes a difference. If it is raining, about to rain, or has just rained, wait to take a sample. Rainfall is very low in pH and Alkalinity, and your water will not accurately reflect you waters chemistry until it has mixed entirely with the rest of the water. Wait at least 8 hours after it rains before collecting a sample.

The ideal place to collect your water sample is 18" below the surface or "elbow deep" in the deep end because it will be less affected by water temperature. Collect water away from the return jet and skimmer; these samples will be inaccurate due to the turbulent nature of the water.

The fresher, the better, so it's best to have your sample tested right away. If you're going to work or running errands for the day, drop off your sample to us first. If it sits in your car all day, it will not provide accurate results.

Your pool is our business, and we are here to help. If this whole process is new to you, pick up a water bottle from our Germantown store to collect your sample. Be sure to provide us with the necessary information about your pool such as pool size (in gallons), pool type (vinyl, concrete, fiberglass, etc.), type of sanitizer (salt system, chlorinator, etc.), and what has been done to your pool in the last 48 hours. If you're headed out before our store opens, we have a drop-off basket in the front of our Germantown store for your convenience, make sure that we have your contact information on your drop-off.

If you've been a pool owner for any length of time, you know the importance of having clean, chemically balanced water. But not everyone realizes that to achieve chemically balanced water, it starts with the water sample. Such a simple thing can have an impact on your pool and your wallet. / HAPPY SWIMMING /