The easiest test you'll ever take!

No need to study! Your neighborhood Pinch A Penny offers a FREE seven-point computerized water test. Getting your water tested is important because it ensures you pool has proper water chemistry, which will save you money on chemicals and may prevent damage to your pool’s finish and equipment.

What We Test For:

Chlorine Levels

If your chlorine level is too low you may get algae and bacteria growth. However, if it's too high you may get staining. Plus, you will be spending more money than necessary on chlorine.


When your pH is low it means your pool water is too acidic, which can cause burning eyes and skin irritation. Also, low pH is corrosive to your pool finish and equipment. This could lead to costly repairs or refinishing costs. pH that is too high means your pool water is too basic. This also causes skin and eye irritation, as well as causes your chlorine and bromine less effective. When this happens you can get scale build-up. Your pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6.

Acid/Base Demand

This detailed test determines how much Suncoast pH Minus or Suncoast® pH Plus your pool needs when the pH is out of balance.

Total Alkalinity

Your Total Alkalinity should be above 100 ppm. Low alkalinity can cause rapid deterioration of some types of pool surfaces and fittings. It can also lead to metal stains. High alkalinity can cause stains as well. It may also cause scale build-up, which can impact the efficiency of your pool equipment. High alkalinity can also prevent the pH from being balanced, which will lead to the issues detailed above. 

Calcium Hardness

When the calcium hardness is too low the water becomes corrosive, which may lead to staining and etching of your pool’s finish.  It will also wear down and damage your equipment and metal fittings. When the calcium hardness is too high, scale starts to build up and staining can occur. This may cause your pool equipment to run inefficiently. The only way to reduce calcium hardness is by adding fresh water. Calcium hardness should be between 200 and 400 ppm.


Low stabilizer levels will cause your pool to use more chlorine than necessary, and that costs you money. High stabilizer levels can lead to stains or spot etching of your pool’s finish. Your stabilizer should be between 40 and 100 ppm.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

The TDS in your pool should be below 3,000 PPM. High TDS levels make it difficult for your pool chemicals to dissolve and do their job. This can lead to persistent issues with algae, cloudiness, and staining. Also, pool water with a high TDS level can taste salty. The only way to lower TDS is to dilute the pool with fresh water.


How Often Should I Test My Water?

We recommend that you test your water weekly, especially in warmer months when the bather load is high. In winter we suggest every few weeks or so to keep your water from becoming too unbalanced. Even if you test your water at home, we recommend you bring a sample to Pinch A Penny every so often to ensure everything is matching up.

When Should I Test My Water?

You can test your water at any time, but you should do it at the same time each week to ensure consistency. In addition, if there is a heavy rain or storm, you should test your water afterward.

What's The Best Way To Get A Sample?

To ensure accurate results take your test from the deep end of the pool. Ensure that the pump has been running for at least an hour prior to taking your sample. Be sure to submerge the bottle to at least your elbow, as far into the pool as you can reach. Bring it to your store as quickly as possible after drawing your sample.


We want your pool to be the perfect pool. Stop into your local Pinch A Penny for a FREE water test bottle and get started on your way to a clean and healthy swimming pool.

Find A Pinch A Penny Near You