Water Testing Methods: Detecting Salt Levels In Fluids, Food Items

Pool Water Testing Is Essential to Pool Health

We simply can’t stress enough how important it is to regularly test your pool water early and often. After all, a personal home swimming pool is a major investment, so why not take all of the necessary precautions to ensure the long term health of your pool?

How to Test Pool Water Accurately

  • Get a clean container for the sample (depending on the type of testing equipment you are using, this may be provided).
  • Flip the container upside down, with the mouth of the container open toward the ground.
  • Find an area of your pool away from return jets or the pool skimmer—preferably in the dead center of your pool.
  • Submerge the container into the water until the water comes up to your elbow.
  • Flip the container right-side-up, which will let the water into the container, collecting the sample.

Filters Keep Things Clean

The job of the filtration system is to remove any undissolved dirt and debris from the pool water. There are three types of swimming pool filters:

Sand Filters – Inexpensive and easy to operate, sand filters remove dirt and debris through a process called “backwashing,” which basically means flipping a switch to reverse the water flow. All you have to do is check the filter’s pressure gauge. If the gauge indicates a 7- to 10-pound increase over normal operating pressure, it’s time to backwash.

A few things to keep in mind if you’re considering a sand filter:

  • Sand filters are more efficient when they are slightly dirty, which means you shouldn’t backwash more than necessary.
  • Sand filters should be cleaned at least every season with a filter cleaner.
  • You should completely replace your filter sand every five years or so.

Cartridge Filters – Although a cartridge filter costs a bit more upfront than a sand filter, many swimming pool owners feel that it’s worth the extra money. Cartridge filters remove more dirt and debris than sand filters, and they don’t require backwashing. Instead, you simply remove the cartridge when it becomes too dirty and hose it off.

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your cartridge filter:

  • At the minimum, you should expect to do a deep cleaning twice a year. Depending on pool size and usage, you might want to do it more often. Check with your local pool professional.
  • To avoid 12 hours of filtration “downtime,” consider buying a second cartridge so you’ll have a spare when it’s time for cleaning.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Filters – DE filters are similar to sand filters and operate in much the same way. Like a sand filter, a DE filter requires backwashing when the pressure gauge rises. However, unlike sand filters, DE filters only need to be backwashed a few times a year. What’s more, DE filters are also the most expensive of the three – but they also offer the best filtration capabilities, superior to both sand and cartridge filters.

Additional care and maintenance considerations include:

  • To remove build-up, you should deep-clean your DE filter grids at least once every season using filter cleaner.
  • Once a year, you should disassemble your DE filter for a deep cleaning and inspection to look for damage such as tears or rips in the grids.

How to Make Your Pool Crystal Clear Again

Keep Up with pH and Chlorine Levels

Do you have a water testing device in your supply kit? If not, you might want to add it to your arsenal as soon as possible. Keeping up with the chemicals in your pool is the first step to maintaining crystal clear water.

Test the water a couple times a week and take note of what you find. Ideally, the chlorine levels should be at 1 to 3 parts per million and the pH levels at 7.2 to 7.6. Maintaining these levels helps to avoid cloudiness and bacteria growth.

Run That Filter

It’s recommended that you run your filter for 8 to 10 hours a day when using your pool. Doing so keeps the water fresh and healthy. Without regular filter use, the water will grow stagnant, and bacteria will flourish. That means you’ll spend a lot more time scrubbing and cleaning than swimming and laying out.

Skim, Skim, Skim

Yes, something that simple can be the trick to clear water. Skimming the top of your pool only takes a few minutes but is totally worth it.

What makes skimming so effective? When you skim the water, you remove all that organic material lying around. Leaving that material in the water allows it to break down and cloud the water. Do this once a day for best results.

Shock the Pool Once a Week

As you keep up with chlorine and pH levels, don’t forget to shock your pool once a week during the summer. This treatment kills any bacteria or algae that are hanging around. If you’ve noticed a lot of algae growth, follow up with algaecide

Easy Steps in Pool Water Testing without Kit

You may not know it, but your chemistry teacher has taught you an important skill for any pool owner: how to test pool water without a kit. Remember those experiments on acids and bases? Who knew that would come in handy when you run out of test kits, huh? The following method works whether you have an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool. That said, let’s get started.

1. Gather Your Materials

Pool test kits are composed of indicators or chemicals that indicate an imbalance in your water. So the objective here now is to create your indicator (a.k.a. “red cabbage juice indicator”) using the following items so that you can do pool water testing without a kit.

  • Red cabbage
  • Clear glass bowl and glasses
  • Pot or kettle
  • Kitchen knife
  • Distilled water
  • Wooden spoon or ladle
  • Strainer

2. Prepare the Red Cabbage Juice Indicator

First, you’ll need to cut up or slice the red cabbage into small strips or pieces. After that, put the sliced cabbage into a clear glass bowl and put it aside.

In a pot or kettle, boil about two cups of distilled water. Once it boils, pour the water into the glass bowl with the cabbage until the cabbage is submerged.

Stir the solution with a wooden spoon or ladle occasionally then set it aside. After about 30 minutes, get at strainer and separate the liquid from the red cabbage. You will see that the water has now turned into a purplish red color.

3. Test Your Pool Water

Get a small amount of water from the pool using a clear container. Then, get your red cabbage juice indicator and put a few drops into the water to be tested. At this point, you will either see the color change or not.

Based on basic pool chemistry, if it changes into a red or pink color, it means that your pool water is acidic. On the other hand, if it changes into a greenish-yellow or bluish-green color then that means your pool water is too basic or alkaline. If there is no color change, then the water is balanced or neutral.

To make things easier, you can use a color chart that came with your old pool test kit. Simply match the color of the water to the color chart and you should be able to determine the pH levels of your pool water right away.

When to Test Your Pool Water

Determining how often to test your pool water can be a bit of a challenge. This is because the various chemicals you need to test for need to be tested at different rates. For the two most important readings, pH and chlorine levels, you should test weekly. However, most experts suggest testing for these readings two to three times per week.

We will discuss the frequency required to test some of the other chemicals in greater detail later in this guide. For now, just know that you should be testing the pH and chlorine levels of your pool’s water at least once a week.

Of course, beyond this regular testing, you should also test your pool water more often when it is being used more often. Also, if it has rained recently, and the pool wasn’t covered, it’s a good idea to test again before getting in the pool.

Important: You should always test your pool’s water both before and after adding any new chemicals. This is to ensure your safety and proper chemical balancing of your pool water.

Protect Your Health With Mold Remediation

Toxic Mold Remediation Company Tricks to Avoid

If you have actually experienced a flood or other type of water related damage, you might find yourself worried about the possibility of mold growth and the health dangers connected with it. Although there are credible business that concentrate on mold cleaning and remediation, there are also those that use the worry of toxic mold contamination as a way to perpetrate rip-offs. These kinds of rip-offs typically cost 10s of countless dollars and sometimes, individuals have in fact lost their houses as a result. Here are some common signs of a possible mold removal fraud and suggestions on how to prevent them.

1) They provide you complimentary mold screening

Trustworthy mold remediation business charge for their services and utilize independent testing labs or a licensed commercial hygienist (CIH) to perform air and/or surface testing for mold. Anybody in the mold remediation service that provides to perform mold inspections free of charge, may be using this chance to fabricate incorrect test results that program alarmingly raised mold spore counts or the existence of hazardous black mold such as Stachybotrys. The fear of hazardous mold contamination is the most common tactic scam artist use to develop extremely pricey mold remediation jobs.

2) The same business provides to do the mold testing and removal

This is another tactic that gives unscrupulous mold removal companies an incentive to discover mold. Mold testing and assessments must constantly be carried out by independent labs or hygienist’s that have no individual or monetary interest in the results.

3) They provide a final air quality clearance free of charge

Remember, the health and welfare of you and your household is on the line, so be sure to have an independent screening lab or CIH carry out the final clearance which it passes, before you spend for removal work.

The final action in the mold elimination procedure is a post-remediation survey known as a last air quality clearance test. Check the mold inspection Tampa service. If you permit a remediation company to evaluate their own work, you will have no method to tell if the work was done effectively or if the test results are factual. An unethical removal company will not fail their own tests and they definitely will not want to incur the expenses to re-clean your house if their clearance test fails.

Do-it-yourself Mold Remediation: 3 Steps For Your House Clean-up

Mold is undesirable in the home. It darkens the corners of the bathroom, stains the walls, grows in between tiles. It’s a very unpleasant sight which feeds and rots damp wood. Mold can accumulate and can be hard to remove over time. Aside from it being a disgusting sight, different types of mold also cause respiratory diseases and is generally bad for our health. Mold releases spores that can cause allergic reactions. These allergens may be invisible to the eye but can cause serious health problems. Hiring a professional may be costly, that’s why it’s important to know these Do-It-Yourself Mold Remediation steps so you can perform the cleaning by yourself in your own home.

Get the right cleaning products

A DIY mold remediation product that mold specialists usually recommend is borax – a white powder which you can purchase from the grocery, at the detergent or laundry section. To clean mold using borax, mix the powder in one gallon of hot water. Apply the solution on the surface affected by mold and scrub the area with a rug or brush until the mold disappears. There’s no need to rinse it off because borax will keep the mold from coming back. However, do not use this cleaner on porous surfaces like drywall. Such materials absorb water easily. This could aggravate the problem because as you know – mold loves moist environments. Some other safe yet effective products you can use to kill mold are baking soda, vinegar, Tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent. If you’re using vinegar, simply put it in a spray bottle. No need to add water. Spray the vinegar on the surface and leave it for an hour.

Wear the right clothing

Make sure you are properly geared before you start with your DIY mold cleanup. Wear gloves, goggles, and loose clothing especially if you’re using a chemical. After cleaning the mold, dispose of your clothing and gears or thoroughly wash them. Mold spores can easily spread within your house as they travel through the air. When it comes to black mold removal, it is better to ask professionals to do it. Black mold is a dangerous type of mold and can have a hazardous effect on your health.

Dry the surface

The last and most important part of how to remove mold is drying the surface. Take note that moisture is the main cause of mold build-up. These fungi love the humid, damp environment. Since you will be cleaning mold with water, the surface will be wet for a period of time. Aim to speed up the drying process by ventilating the area. Open doors and windows if possible and run a dehumidifier. You can also use air movers to quickly dry the surface.

How to Eliminate Moisture

Mold and mildew grow best on porous surfaces because porous surfaces have the ability to hold moisture for long periods of time. In order to effectively remove moisture from a porous surface, you will need to use a concentrated approach, since towels and cloths will not do the trick. For damp surfaces, turn on a dehumidifier, which draws out the moisture. For extremely wet carpets, use a wet/dry vacuum, which you can rent at some home improvement stores. For movable surfaces such as clothes and furniture, use sunlight outdoors. For other surfaces, try using a space heater or hair dryer.

Here are 3 household solutions for cleaning mold:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial solution that kills mold effectively on a variety of materials such as kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, floors and walls.

To kill mold: Pour 3% concentration hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Saturate the moldy surface completely and leave it to sit for 10 minutes.

Next, scrub the area to remove all of the mold and mold stains. And finally, wipe the surface down to remove residual mold and spores.

  • VinegarVinegar is a mild acid which can kill 82% of mold species. (Baking soda is often used along with vinegar for killing different species of mold).

To kill mold: Use white distilled vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle without watering it down. Spray the vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it to sit for an hour. Finally, wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry. Any smell from the vinegar should clear within a few hours.

  • Baking SodaBaking soda is a mild, white mineral powder, that can be used to kill mold in your home, plus it is safe for your family and pets. Besides killing mold, it will absorb moisture to help keep mold away.

To kill mold: Add one quarter of a tablespoon of baking soda to a spray bottle of water and shake until it has dissolved. Spray the moldy area with the baking soda and water solution, then use a scrub brush to remove all the mold from the surface. Next, rinse the surface with water to remove any residual mold on the surface.

Finally, spray the area again and let the surface dry. (This will kill any left-over mold and prevent the mold from returning).

Can You Sell A House As-Is With Mold?

You can sell a house as-is with mold, however you must disclose. When in doubt, just disclose! Make sure you do so in writing. This will help relieve you of potential liabilities, however if you’re in doubt make sure to contact a professional. When selling a house with mold as-is, the most likely buyer will be a cash buyer. Lenders typically will not lend on houses with mold.

Spotting Mold

If you see black spots developing on a wall in a poorly ventilated room, for example, you are probably noticing the beginning stages of a mold problem.

Mold is all around you, generally in airborne spores searching for an ideal place to land and develop. In small amounts it is not a problem, but when it finds a moist place in your home and you fail to notice it, it can quickly develop into a serious problem.

Lower Price

Undoubtedly, a buyer will lower their price, often substantially, if mold was discovered. Most of the time, buyers just revoke their offer.