How to: Test and Balance your water

<strong>How to:</strong> Test and Balance your water

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Balancing your pool water is a key part of keeping your pool clean, clear and comfortable for swimmers. Testing your water is the first step to balancing your pool water, because your test will tell you which balancers you need to add. Follow these 6 simple steps to make testing and balancing easy.

Step #1: Make sure your pump is running

You want your pool pump to be running when you add your balancers so they get distributed throughout the pool.

Step #2: Dip your test strip

Take one of your HTH® Pool Care 6-Way Test Strips out of the canister, careful not to touch the test pads. Holding the test strip in your hand, dip the test strip in the pool about up to your elbow, then remove it immediately. Don't shake off the water – you'll want that water to soak into the test pads for more accurate results.

Step #3: Check your results – 3 options to choose from!

Option 1: Text a photo – Snap a photo of your test strip within 20 seconds of testing your water, and text it to 484-123. Within seconds, our service will respond and ask you to enter your pool volume. Then, you’ll get a text message with the specific products and dosing your pool needs. For best results, lay the test strip on a solid color background like gray or blue – avoid black or white backgrounds as those can sometimes return an error.

Option 2: Match the textured pads with the color chart on the side of the canister.

Option 3: Download the HTH® Test to Swim™ app. Within the app, tap the “Scan Test Strip” button. Follow the on-screen instructions to take a photo of your strip. Within seconds, you’ll receive customized results and solutions for balancing your pool water as well as recommended HTH® Pool Care products.

Step #4: Balance your pool water as needed (as indicated by your test strips)

If you have to make any adjustments to your pool water, do it in this order: Start with alkalinity, which should be between 60 and 120 ppm (parts per million). Adjust pH, if necessary. It should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Finally, adjust your calcium hardness, which should be above 200ppm (parts per million). Before beginning this process, make sure you follow these proper safety practices: - Make sure you have on protective gloves and eyewear before working with chemicals - Never mix different chemicals or dissolve them before use - Always follow product label instructions Once you've followed these easy steps, your pool water will be balanced and healthy.

Balance water chart

To ensure your water is balanced we have created the following chart with ideal levels and the recommended HTH® Pool Care products necessary to adjust your levels.


What is it?

When to test

Ideal Range

Product used to adjust levels


A measure of the water's acidity

Every day


Free Available Chlorine (FAC)

The amount of active chlorine in the water

Every day

1-4 ppm when using chlorine as the sanitizer.

Total Alkalinity (TA)

The water's ability to keep pH at a proper level

Once a week

60-120 ppm

Total Hardness (TH)

The amount of dissolved calcium in the water


Acceptable: 200-1000 ppm, Ideal: 200-500 ppm

Cyanuric Acid (CYA) / Stabilizer

The amount of stabilizer available to prevent the degradation of Free Available Chlorine (FAC) caused by the sun's UV rays

Twice a season

Ideal: 20-50 ppm, DO NOT EXCEED 90 ppm

As always, we’re here to help. If you have questions, contact our help line at 1-866-HTH-POOL or talk to our experts with our live chat!


Please read the following important reminders before adding pool chemicals to water:

• NEVER mix products together or dissolve before use.

• ONLY enter pool when FAC levels are below 4 ppm to prevent risk of bodily harm.