Get Smart About Testing: How to Use Test Strips + pHin

Proper water balance is essential for safe swimming and relaxing. All pool, hot tub, and spa owners know that they need to do regular testing as a part of their water care routine.

We are often asked why test strips are still necessary when using pHin. While it is true pHin does much of the work to simplify pool and hot tub care, it does still rely on test data collected monthly from test strips.

Why is this the case?

The pHin hardware has sensors that measure temperature, sanitizer levels, and pH over 1,000 times per week. These elements impact the vessel’s overall balance and can quickly be affected by things like environmental influences and usage.

The test strips check for total alkalinity, total hardness, and cyanuric acid levels. These three factors can also impact the overall health of the water but do not change as quickly as temperature, sanitizer and pH. Still, they are key to maintaining balanced water since total alkalinity measures the alkaline substances in the water and prevents the pH from getting out of range, total hardness measures the amount of lime dissolved in the water, and cyanuric acid stabilizes chlorine levels. Learn more about total alkalinity and total hardness here.

Test strips are the time-tested standard measurement tool and are considered relatively accurate. When combined with new smart pool technology like the pHin Smart Water Monitor, users can simplify their water care routine while also having more confidence that their water is safe for swimming. pHin prompts users to take a water sample and photo once a month to help them keep an eye on the overall status of their water. pHin test strips are uniquely calibrated to work with the pHin app. Read the full instructions for using pHin test strips  here.

pHin users can view their water report results immediately within the app and track trends about their water alkalinity and sanitizer over time. This provides important insight: in fact, one pHin user noticed that the water balance was off from the daily pHin data. After investigating the change, he found that the cause was a piece of equipment that was about to fail, and he was able to replace it before real damage was done.

The combination of pHin and the test strips, makes water care simple and routine. Users can rest easy knowing the exact status of their water without having to worry about making their own chemical calculations.

3 Steps to Stress-free Pool Care with pHin

 There are many perks to having a pool– relaxation and pool parties, or a nice après-ski soak. New pool owners might not realize the challenges of ongoing maintenance required to keep the water clean, healthy, and ready for a good time, so we’ve rounded up some essential pieces of pool maintenance advice to help you manage your water.

Pool-care professionals recommend measuring your water chemistry at least once a week. If neglected, getting your pool or hot tub water balanced again can be a frustrating task that costs both time and money.

 A smart water care system like pHin helps take care of this task while taking the stress out of managing your pool or hot tub, with three easy steps:

1. Constant Water Monitoring

Most people check their water levels once a week or just before they hop in the pool but water chemistry is easily affected by how much you use your pool or hot tub, how many people are using it, the weather (especially rain and heat), water temperature, sunlight, and several other factors. The lag between water checkups can create an unhealthy water situation. Since weather and water temperature are always changing, it’s best to test your pool water as often as possible to make sure you have an accurate picture of its overall water quality. Between raising a family, working, and other tasks, it’s difficult for most people to consistently test their pool water more than once per week, which is why a smart water monitor like pHin is the best alternative.

Once you drop pHin in the water, it automatically starts measuring pH, sanitizer, and temperature levels — over 1,000 times every week! The daily measurements are collected and analyzed with the monitor’s built-in intelligence to show you the status of your water health at any time, along with an easy-to-understand guide that will notify you whether your water is safe for swimming, needs chemicals to be balanced, or is unsafe.

2. Automatic Alerts

With smart technology in the pool, you’ll always know the status of your pool water. The pHin app gives you information about the water balance and temperature while sending you app alerts letting you know when you need to adjust your chemicals. Knowing the status of your water at any time can help you ensure that your pool or hot tub is always jump-in ready. It also helps you with easy steps to set unbalanced water right – continue to step three to read how!

3. Chemical Instructions

pHin is your personal pool and hot tub water expert. Instead of having to learn the charts, tables, and measurements for proper water chemistry yourself, pHin analyzes your water quality and provides easy instructions to get balanced water. It works with most major retail chemicals and uses its built-in analytics to give you precise dosing instructions for balanced water based on the chemical brand you use, your pool system, and your pool size.  All you have to do is follow the instructions and check in to see your water status on the app. Whether you’re a new pool owner or you’re looking to manage your existing hot tub or pool water, you can get the full benefits with smart monitoring from pHin.

Pool Kings to Demo pHin at the International Pool Spa Patio Expo

Prepare to learn the ins and outs of pHin and our pivotal role in water safety and pool maintenance, as Justin and Kyle Peek of DIY Network’s hit show Pool Kings provide a live product demo and share their expert opinions with press at this year’s International Pool Spa Patio Expo.

With 65 years of experience in the swimming pool industry and over 70,000 customers under their care, Justin and Kyle Peek certainly know a thing or two about what it takes to build and maintain a vibrant and healthy swimming pool.


Justin and Kyle Peek of DIY Network Pool Kings hold pHin smart pool device demo at International Pool Spa Patio Expo

“As professional pool builders, one of our greatest concerns is ensuring our customers have safe water in their swimming pools. We’re proud to partner with pHin, the smart water care solution that helps keep our customers’ water safe and their new and remodeled pools protected.” – Justin and Kyle Peek, Pool Kings.

pHin currently monitors 50 million gallons of water in thousands of pools and hot tubs by simplifying maintenance and monitoring water chemistry and temperature 24/7, notifying your smartphone when you need to take action. Then, it tells you how to balance your water so you can add only the exact chemicals needed.

Don’t miss out on the chance to dive deep with the Pool Kings and learn more about pHin.

Stay #PerfectlyBalanced

Pool Tips & Tricks: Ep. 1 Featuring pHin

Kyle & Justin Peek of DIY Network’s Pool Kings have announced a new web series called Pool Tips & Tricks. Their debut episode features pHin, which they describe as “Simple to use, absolutely amazing, and we’re thoroughly impressed with it!”

Find out why they can’t stop raving about pHin in episode 1 of Pool Tips & Tricks below:

What Causes Cloudy Pool Water After Opening?

It’s pool opening season and you’ve followed all the necessary steps to get your pool ready but find that you just can’t seem to get your water clear.

Lucky for you, it’s not the end of the world and there are quite a few simple solutions to getting your water perfectly balanced and ready to swim in.



The best way to figure out how to clarify your pool water is to understand what causes cloudy pool water and work from there. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself wasting time and money running your filter and shocking your pool with no solution in sight.



If your backyard is landscaped with trees, hedges, or other plants, the debris that emanates from them could be the culprit of your cloudy pool water because the extra pollen and dirt may be too much for your pool filter to keep up with.



Have you been running your pump(s) non-stop, or only intermittently? If you’ve found yourself dealing with cloudy pool water after opening, it’s recommended that you continuously run your pool pump until your water clears up.



A damaged filter valve can cause unfiltered water to circumvent into your pool. Make sure to carefully follow your pool’s safety instructions to properly check for any valve parts that are damaged.



Neglecting to regularly test your water can be hazardous. A properly performed water test can help you balance your cyanuric acid, total alkalinity, calcium and pH levels and clear your cloudy pool. The most effective way to test your water is with the use of a digital test kit like pHin.



Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve changed your filter’s sand or cartridge. Filter sand needs to be changed every 5-7 years, while filter cartridges require a change every 2-3 years.


As promised, most of the solutions to your cloudy pool water woes are inexpensive and easy to implement, helping you get back to enjoying your swimming pool as quickly as possible.