The concept of testing your pool water may seem like a complicated endeavor that you approach with apprehension, but it isn’t actually complicated at all. While there are many factors at play in maintaining a balanced pool water composition, a few simple tests can help you accomplish this. There is also no need to call in the professionals to do the testing, as there are swimming pool test kits that allow you to do that yourself, quickly and easily. We will be taking a look at five of the best pool water test kits in this article to help you get a better idea of what is available to you.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 5 Best Pool Water Test Kits on the Market
- 1.1 Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit with Case – Basic Collection
- 1.2 TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD
- 1.3 Taylor Service Complete Pool Water Test Kit K-2006C
- 1.4 LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit
- 1.5 LaMotte 2060 ColorQ Pro 11 TesTabs Swimming Pool Water Test Meter Kit
- 2 How to Test Pool Water Accurately
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions About Pool Water Test Kits.
- 4 Conclusion
Top 5 Best Pool Water Test Kits on the Market
|Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit||15.4 ounces||7.4 x 4.9 x 4.4 inches|
|TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC||2.3 pounds||9.5 x 6 x 4 inches|
|Taylor Service Complete||3.8 pounds||1 x 1 x 1 inches|
|LaMotte 2056 ColorQ Pro 7 Digital||1 pounds||1 x 1 x 1 inches|
|LaMotte 2060 ColorQ Pro 11||3 pounds||13.4 x 8 x 5.5 inches|
Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit with Case – Basic Collection
The Poolmaster 5-Way Test Kit with Case works for basic collection and helps to maintain the proper water chemistry in your above ground pool by testing for chlorine, bromine, pH levels, acid demand and total alkalinity. A clear-view round test block is included and has caps that are color coded in order to match their accompanying test solutions, so there will be less chance for error. The results show up as easy to read colorings that will help with accuracy. Solutions one through three come in a one-ounce size, while solutions four and five come in half-ounce sizes. All of the contents fit neatly inside the polyethylene case for tidy safekeeping.
The Taylor Technologies Test Kit allows for the testing of total and combined chlorine, pH levels, alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid. Instead of simply testing for free available chlorine, this drop tester kit distinguishes between that and the total chlorine so that you will get the most accurate reading available to you. This kit can also be used as a salt water test kit, but does not test for sodium levels. A helpful guide and set of instructions are included to help you get a clear reading on all the tests and an understanding of the results of each.
With the Taylor Service Complete Pool Water Test Kit, you will be able to test for both free and total chlorine, bromine, pH level, acid and base demand, calcium hardness, total alkalinity and stabilizer levels. There is no test for phosphates or metals with this kit, however. The results are accurate and quick and can help keep your pool from overheating. This kit is most specifically designed for technicians, commercial pool operators and health department officials so you can expect the quality and accuracy of these tests to be very high. There is also a booklet included that gives very detailed information about the testing that can be done.
The LaMotte ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit gives you the ability to test for free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid. Your results come from the included photometer, which gives you digital results. Its housing is conveniently water resistant and everything fits neatly inside a fashionable carrying case, for your convenience. Liquid reagents are used for all tests with the exception of the test for cyanuric acid, which is tested with the use of tablets. A manual is included with the kit to give you clear, concise and detailed information about all the tests.
The LaMotte ColorQ Pro 11 Swimming Pool Water Test Kit is the most expensive kit reviewed here and is one of the top test kits available. This electronic pool tester needs only five drops of each liquid for testing and has easy to use push-button controls that leave you no need for color matching up looking through charts for a particular number. Two AA batteries are used to power the device and it features a five-minute auto-off that will protect the life of the battery. A rugged carrying case allows you to test on-site and the pool manager handbook, also included, helps explain everything in detail.
How to Test Pool Water Accurately
Testing pool water happens in one of three ways: by using a liquid test kit, pool test strips or by taking a sample of your pool water for testing by a local professional.
No matter how you choose to have your water tested, it all begins with a clean sample. To gather that, hold a clean cup upside down and put it into the water elbow-deep, turning it right side up for collection. For the best results, take a sample as far away from jets and skimmers as possible and preferably from the middle or center of the pool. If taking this sample to a local professional, make sure you cap the container tightly for travel and to keep any possible contaminates from entering the water sample.
Using pool test strips is a nice accurate way to test the water sample. It alleviates a great deal of human error, which can come into play if using a liquid test kit. Getting the right amount of droplets, matching up colors and referring to charts can certainly leave room for mistakes that can leave you with an improper reading and overall poor water quality. However, testing with strips only requires you to use a dry test strip, dipped into the water and then held in the air for roughly fifteen seconds. At that time, you should be able to match the color of your strip to a color on the bottle for an accurate reading.
If you choose to go with a liquid test kit, be aware that there are some on the market that are very advanced and they can be very expensive as well. When checking the levels in your home pool, the most important things to check for are pH levels and chlorine, so the more advanced kits are not really necessary. Phenol is a chemical that can be used to check the pH levels, which turns more red the higher the pH, while OTO is a chemical used to check for total chlorine and is gauged by how yellow the water turns once it is added. One of the main things to consider when using a liquid test kit is that it can be hard to determine colors on the low end. For the best results, use a solid white background when checking the results of the sample after the chemicals have been added.
As mentioned in the reviews above, many test kits on the market come with manuals or instruction booklets that can help you with testing procedures and how to read the results. You can use a pool water test kit to save you money in the end and it is fairly easy to do, but if you have any doubts as to the results of your tests, be sure to check with a professional. This can certainly be the case if you are a new pool owner or have never done your own testing before and it is certainly worth it to make sure you have a clear reading of your pool’s water condition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pool Water Test Kits.
How often should pool water be tested?
The answer to this question can vary, depending on several factors including frequency of use and the addition of chemicals. Having the water tested every week is an absolute bare minimum, with two to three times per week being preferred. You will want to test more often if there is heavy use, if animals have been in it, after a heavy rain or after fertilizing. You also want to test 24-48 hours after the addition of any chemicals as well as before you open or close the pool.
What are some things that can change the pH levels?
A few things that can cause fluctuation of pH are rainfall, dust, covering the pool, pool additives and organic materials.
What is cyanuric acid?
Also known as stabilizer or conditioner, it is something that increases the stability of chlorine under UV rays and keeps it from degrading so quickly. If there isn’t enough cyanuric acid in your pool’s water, chlorine levels can drop to zero in just a little more than an hour. If the levels are too high, chlorine will not be able to be as effective in the job it is suppose to do.
What is “total hardness”?
This is in reference to the amount of magnesium and calcium present in your pool. If the total hardness is too high, filters and plumbing can become clogged and the pool water will become cloudy. However, if it is too low, plaster can start to become dissolved and metal fixtures will start to corrode. Keeping the total hardness in its preferred range will greatly extend the overall life of your pool and pool fixtures.
Why are readings sometimes different when testing different spots?
This can be caused by inadequate circulation and filtration and can also be different at differing depths as well. Some people choose to test primarily from a centralized location within the pool, while others take several test readings from all around the pool as well as from both ends.
Testing your own pool water with a commercial pool water test kit can be as simple or as advanced as you would like to make it. Some test kits come with only the minimal amount of contents for a very basic reading, while you can also obtain kits that have quite a bit of testing equipment and will test for proper pH levels, for lead and other metals. Choose one that fits your own personal needs when it comes to your own pool and you won’t go wrong.