Best Pool Water Test Kit reviews
Buying Guide

The Best Pool Water Test Kit

Testing pool water can be a bit of a chore. However, it is very important to test one’s water in order to be sure that it is safe and clean. Especially for parents of young children, ensuring that pool water is safe is absolutely necessary. Some people even pay companies to test their water.

This is an expense that can be avoided with personal test kits. The best pool water test kit will not only provide accurate readings, but it will also be easy and quick to use. These kits should be able to test levels of a wide range of chemicals. These include chlorine, bromine, alkalinity, and PH.

As there are so many test kits on the market today, finding the right one can be challenging. The kit that is best suited for a given person will depend on their pool, time constraints, and budget. However, it is always important to buy a kit that provides accurate readings.

What to Look for in a Test Kit

It can be difficult to know which test kit is the right choice. Here are some of the most important features that buyers should take into account before spending their hard-earned money.

The Range of Chemicals Being Tested

Naturally, a test kit that only provides readings for bromine is not going to tell the buyer about the overall safety of the water. High-quality kits should provide accurate testing for many different chemical levels.

The best kits will include testing for: chlorine, bromine, PH, alkalinity, calcium, and cyanuric acid. While there are good products that leave out one or two of these chemicals, high-end products should provide readings for all of these.

Generally speaking, the more readings a kit provides, the better quality it is.

The Testing Method

Not every kit will test chemical levels the same way. There are three main ways to test pool water: test strips, liquid reagents, and digital testers.

Test Strips

Test strips are by far the most affordable option. In addition, they are extremely simple to use. Strips are simply submerged in the water and swirled around. They are then compared to a color-coded chart to indicate chemical levels. Their main drawback is that they are much less reliable than other methods.

Liquid Testers

Liquid testers are a step up from test strips. These kits use reagents that are added to pool water samples in order to test chemical levels. They are considerably more reliable than test strips. However, they still require color matching which can lead to some subjective decisions.

Digital Testers

Digital testers are the premier option for accurate and fast chemical testing. They test chemical levels and display results on a convenient LCD screen. Another key benefit is that they do not require color matching. Of course, this convenience and quality come with a heavier price tag.

The Right Features for the Right Buyer

There are many benefits that come with the best pool water test kit. However, the kit that is best for one person may not be best for another. It is important to balance one’s budget and schedule with the need for accurate testing.

When buying a test kit, the kit’s speed, price, and accuracy should all be taken into account. For those with a very tight budget and limited time, test strips may be the only viable option. While these are not as effective as other options, it is better than no testing.

For those with more funds, liquid and digital testers are superior for providing accurate readings. In addition, individuals with conditions like color blindness will not be able to use testers which require color matching. Digital testers will be the best option in these cases.

Ultimately, finding the best pool water test kit depends on the needs of the buyer. Below are three of the best kits available for purchase today.

LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7

LaMotte has earned a reputation as a manufacturer of quality pool products, and for good reason. The ColorQ Pro 7 is a highly accurate and reliable digital pool water test kit. It comes equipped with a water-resistant digital reader and liquid reagents. It also includes a carrying case.

Pros

  • A digital photometer is highly accurate
  • No color matching required
  • Tests for a wide range of chemicals: chlorine, bromine, PH, alkalinity, calcium, cyanuric acid
  • Convenient carrying case included

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Requires batteries

The ColorQ Pro 7 is one of the best pool water test kits available today. Its digital tester provides accurate and convenient readings for a wide range of chemical levels. In addition, it removes subjective judgements from water testing.

Naturally, the superior technology in this tester comes with a greater price. However, those with the funds should consider this tester to keep their pool water safe and crystal clear.

Taylor K-2006 CompleteTest Kit

The K-2006 from Taylor is a premier liquid pool testing kit. It comes with solutions for a wide range of chemicals and offers distinct colors to reduce subjective errors. In addition, this kit has several convenient features like a durable carrying case and clear guide book.

Pros

  • Tests for many chemicals such as chlorine, PH, alkalinity, calcium, and cyanuric acid
  • Clear instructions make it easy to use
  • Highly accurate results
  • Colors are clear to make matching easier

Cons

  • Limited quantities of liquid reagents
  • Requires color matching

Very few test kits in the mid-range price offer accurate readings of as many chemicals as the Taylor K-2006. It is a very comprehensive and reliable solution to testing one’s pool water. However, it can be daunting for new pool owners to test for so many chemicals.

While it does not offer the same convenience and objective readings as a digital tester, this kit is ideal for anyone who wants a quality all-around kit without breaking the bank.

Poolmaster 22270 5-Way Test Kit

Pool owners looking for a simple and convenient way to test basic chemical levels in their pool water should consider the Poolmaster 22270. It uses liquid testing to provide results for several key chemicals. This is not a comprehensive kit, but it is simple to use and is great for novices.

Pros

  • Testing for chlorine, bromine, alkalinity, PH, and acid demand
  • Tester is very user-friendly and easy to read
  • Comes with a convenient carrying case
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Limited number of chemicals tested
  • Only tests up to 5ppm for chlorine, becomes inaccurate at higher levels

This test kit is simple and provides basic testing for several chemicals. It is very affordable and user-friendly, making it a great choice for novice testers. However, it provides neither the range nor accuracy of high-end kits. For buyers on a budget, this is a great basic kit.

Q&A

What is the most accurate pool water test?

The best digital pool test kit currently on the market is the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7. This kit comes in a water-resistant case and includes seven liquid reagents and a photometer that provides an accurate digital reading of your chemical ranges.

How accurate are pool test strips?

Pool test strips are accurate but the accuracy depends on a few factors. What is this? Some pool experts say that strips can be more accurate than drop kits because, with drop and liquid testing kits, there’s much more room to make errors. You only need to add one extra drop of liquid and your test will be inaccurate. (Read more)

How can I test my pool water myself?

How To Test POOL WATER Accurately | Swim University

How accurate is the Clorox pool app?

This app is amazing, considering using the phone camera to analyze the colors and give you the results it’s 90% accurate which is amazing and ability to manual input the information as well. (Full article)

Which is more accurate pool test strips or drops?

Pool test strips are less accurate than liquid test kits, though they are much easier to use. However, they are also subject to human error and the subjective interpretation of color-coded results. Digital pool test kits are the most accurate option. (Full answer)

What is the difference between Taylor 2005 and 2006 test kits?

The only difference is the method used for testing chlorine. The K-2005 uses color-matching (DPD) while the K-2006 uses a drop test (FAS-DPD) to determine free, combined, and total chlorine. (Click here)

Do pool reagents expire?

Most pool test reagents will last a year at least. Some will expire after two years or longer. These timeframes are dependent on the reagent and the manufacturer. It’s also important to note that these expiration dates can change periodically depending on the company making them. (More info)

What is the best test kit for a saltwater pool?

The Taylor Technologies K-1766 Sodium Chloride Salt Water Test Kit is a top choice among saltwater swimming pool owners. It’s designed to be used with saltwater chlorine generators and utilizes an argentometric testing method, meaning it involves silver ions. (See more)

How often should I change the water in my pool?

Generally, pool water needs to be replaced once every five to seven years. This should be done during mild weather so that your pool surface is not at risk from strong sunlight and heat. Your pool maintenance company can recommend when it is time to drain your pool. (Click here)

How often should you test your pool water?

Therefore, you should be testing your pool water’s chlorine and pH levels every two weeks. Maintaining proper water chemistry will reduce the amount of work needed when you’re ready to start swimming again. (Full article)

What does free chlorine mean on a test strip?

Free chlorine refers to the amount of chlorine that has yet to combine with chlorinated water to effectively sanitize contaminants, which means that this chlorine is free to get rid of harmful microorganisms in the water of your swimming pool. (The full answer)

How do you check pool water quality?

Instructions

  1. Take a Water Sample.
  2. Check the Vial Levels.
  3. Test for Free Chlorine and Residual Chlorine.
  4. Mix the Solution.
  5. Compare the Colors.
  6. Test the Pool’s pH Levels.
  7. Test for Acid Demand.
  8. Test for Total Alkalinity.

(More info)

How can I test my pool water without a kit?

Strip testing is a fast and easy solution to testing the pH of your pool’s water. All you need to do is simply dip a pH strip tester in your pool’s water and compare the color it turns to a chart. (The full answer)

How do you tell if a pool is properly chlorinated?

Strong Smell of Chlorine

A healthy, safe pool will have little to no odor. That smell comes when your pool is out of balance. The smell of chlorine arises when the chemicals are dealing with a lot organic material like sweat, urine, and bacteria in your pool. (See more)

Is there an app for testing pool water?

The Clorox® Pool App gives do-it-yourself pool owners the tools to proudly and confidently maintain a swim-ready pool all season long. The free, easy-to-use app uses proprietary, scan-to-test technology to provide expert water test analysis. (Click here)

Why is my free chlorine always high?

Adding too much pool shock or putting too many chlorine tablets to the feeder can both result in very high levels of chlorine. Another common way to over-chlorinate a pool is to leave a liquid chlorine pump running all night – you’ll often come in the next day to discover a greenish-looking pool. (Full article)

Is there an app to read pool test strips?

AquaChek Smart apps for iPhone/iPad and Android are fast, easy, accurate and smart. Download the AquaChek Smart app and simplify pool and spa water maintenance. (More…)

How long do Taylor test kits last?

Taylor formulates its reagents to remain effective for at least one year, with only very few exceptions (molybdenum indicator in liquid form is one; after four months old it should be tested against a standard periodically). (Full answer)

Do chlorine test strips expire?

The chlorine and QAC test strips are good (when properly stored) for a minimum of 24 months from the date of purchase. Write the date you received the test strips on the vial, and you can reasonably assume and assign and expiration date 18 months from the receipt. (More info)

How long is API Master Test Kit?

Nitrate, phosphate, Copper, calcium and GH all last for three years. * Nitrite and KH will last for four years. Freshwater pH(low range) and Pond Care Salt Level will last for five years. (See more)

Are pool salt test strips accurate?

And although some people believe the test strips are more accurate than liquid test kits, they’re probably not as accurate as taking your water sample to your local pool store. (More info)

Do test strips work on salt water pool?

Using Salt Testing Strips for Manual Testing

So you could use manual methods to check the salt levels in your pool. The strips are placed in your pool for 20 seconds, and change in color is compared to the chart given with strips. (Source)

Do I need special test strips for salt water pool?

You’ll need to check the free chlorine and pH levels weekly with test strips or a liquid pool test kit. But the salt, alkalinity, cyanuric acid and calcium levels can usually be checked once a month unless you are having problems with scaling or algae. (Full article)

How many days can a pool go without chlorine?

I think the answer to your question is about 3-6 days. The problem is that the chlorine that you need to keep the bacteria in check is used up more quickly as the temperature rises, the activity increases, and as sweat and other body stuff is put into the pool. (Source)

How often do you need to add chemicals to your pool?

You should add one gallon (or one pound) of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water every week to two weeks. During hot weather or frequent use, you may need to shock more frequently. (The full answer)

How often should I put Clorox in my pool?

Chlorine has a low pH level, and in order to maintain your pool water’s clarity and balance, shocking weekly will allow you to quickly raise the chlorine level, which will rid the pool of contaminants, without lowering the water’s pH levels. (The full answer)

What happens if free chlorine is low?

If your total chlorine level is high, you will use a non-chlorine shock; if it is low, you will use a chlorinated shock. As a rule, you will need to raise free chlorine to 10 times your combined chlorine to hit what is known as “break point.” Therefore, it is good to deal with combined chlorine while it is still small. (Full article)

How do I lower the free chlorine in my pool?

Tips to Lower the Chlorine Level in Your Pool

  1. Stop Adding Chlorine and Start Swimming.
  2. Use the Sunshine.
  3. Heat the Pool Water.
  4. Dilute the Pool.
  5. Use Hydrogen Peroxide.
  6. Use a Chlorine Neutralizing Product.
  7. Try Sodium Thiosulfate.

(More…)

How much shock Do I need to raise free chlorine?

When you’re shocking a pool, the goal is to raise the free chlorine level of the pool water to roughly 10 times the combined chlorine level. (Reference)

What is the normal pH level of water?

The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5 and for groundwater systems 6 to 8.5. Alkalinity is a measure of the capacity of the water to resist a change in pH that would tend to make the water more acidic. The measurement of alkalinity and pH is needed to determine the corrosivity of the water. (Reference)

 

Conclusion

While any of the three water testing kits mentioned above are great purchases, the best pool water test kit is the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7. This kit offers the greatest range and accuracy of all three kits. As well, while the other kits require color matching, this kit provides digital readings.

For anyone looking to have an accurate and convenient kit to test every possible chemical in their pool, the LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 is the way to go. As long as the buyer has the funds, this kit provides the best readings with the most convenient features.

Keeping one’s pool safe and clean is easy with a quality home testing kit. With the products reviewed above, pool owners will never have to worry about unsafe water. Using these kits is a great way to make the most out of the summer.

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