Swimming in a pool is fun. Swimming in a dirty pool? Not so much. That’s why it’s important to ensure your pool is consistently clean, whether you just use it for yourself and your family, or you regularly throw big pool parties. In-ground and above-ground pools, as well as hot tubs, require chemicals to keep water safe for swimming and to protect the liner from becoming compromised. The easiest way to ensure that your pool has the right level of chemicals in it is with a pool test kit.
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What To Consider Before Buying a Pool Test Kit
The first factor to look at when shopping for a pool test kit is your sanitization system. The two most common options are chlorine, which is the standard at your average municipal pool, and saltwater, which is increasing in popularity for its gentler smell and milder effect on the skin and eyes. It’s a good idea to find a pool test kit that matches the type of pool you have.
Tests for chlorine pools test often cover chlorine, bromine, alkalinity and pH. Chlorine and bromine keep the water clean and sanitized, making it safe to swim in the contained body of water without fear of germs spreading. These chemicals also help to ensure algae doesn’t build up in a pool and turn it into a mini lake.
Alkalinity and pH should also be regularly tested in pools and spas to ensure the correct amount of acidity is maintained. If these levels become unbalanced, a scale along the liner of the pool may develop and cause corrosion. With a saltwater pool, your test kit will allow you to see the salinity in PPM of sodium chloride. If you have a saltwater pool, you’ll still want to use a standard test for chlorine, bromine and pH.
How We Chose the Best Pool Test Kits
When choosing the best pool test kits, we looked at a few different kinds of options. We picked out basic test strips which are easy to use (simply dip them in the water for an instant reading). We also picked out reagent-based tests, which involve adding a solution to a sample of your pool’s water, then analyzing the color. These are also simple, though not quite as easy as a test strip. When picking out the best options, we included picks that are suited for saltwater pools. We turned to top brands like AquaChek, PoolMaster and US Pool Supply.
The best part of having a pool is being in it, so get a test that provides results in seconds and spend the day perfecting your backstroke (or simply floating around). If you’re looking to test the water in your pool, these are the best pool test kits to get.
1. Poolmaster Smart Test
Test your pool’s water quickly and with little effort using the Poolmaster Smart Test Four-Way Swimming Pool and Spa Water Chemistry Test Strips. The set of 50 strips comes in a plastic storage container that keeps strips dry. Each strip tests for four chemical factors, including free chlorine, bromine, alkalinity and pH. The no-bleed pads are safe for chlorine and saltwater pools and give an accurate reading that provides users with a range for all four chemical readings.
2. Taylor K2005 Swimming Pool Test Kit
THE PROFESSIONAL PICK
For a more expansive kit, this option from Taylor will make you look like a pool professional, while the handy guides and detailed instructions will make you feel like one, too. It uses reagents, rather than strips for more accurate results, and the kit can be used to test for pH chlorine, bromine, calcium hardness, acid and base requirements, alkalinity, and cyanuric acid.
3. AquaChek 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips
For a comprehensive and easy-to-use pool test kit, we recommend the AquaChek 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips. Unlike many pool kits, the AquaChek tests for water hardness. The seven-way strips also test for free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, total alkalinity, pH and cyanuric acid. A reusable chart comparator lets users cross-reference their strips to easily check their chemical readings.
4. Clorox Pool & Spa Multi-Use Smart Strips
Clorox is practically synonymous with bleach, so it’s no surprise that they make test strips to monitor the chlorine levels and pH in your swimming pool. These test strips also monitor alkalinity and total hardness. You can connect with the Clorox app for easier monitoring, or just do it the old-school way. 50 strips are included in the pool test kit.
5. AquaChek Saltwater Pool Test
BEST FOR SALTWATER
Chlorine pools are the most common, especially for public pools. But saltwater pools are still a popular option. If you have a saltwater pool, then you should get a saltwater-specific test. This option from AquaChek is designed to test for Sodium Chloride at levels between 400 to 7,000 ppm. That way, you can easily monitor your pool and ensure it’s healthy for swimming.
6. Poolmaster Swimming Pool Test Kit
TESTS THREE FACTORS
This kit from Poolmaster is designed to test for three different chemical factors. It analyzes chlorine, bromine and pH. The kit comes with 1/2 oz bottles of Phenol Red and OTO. The kit comes in a handy carrying case.
7. AquaChek Pool Salt Test Strips
This two-pack kit from AquaChek is designed for saltwater pools, and the basic test strips check sodium chloride levels in your water. It’s designed to produce results in just 30 seconds. Each tube comes with 10 test strips.
8. U.S. Pool Supply Test Kit
EASY REAGENT TEST
If you want a professional-grade kit, pick up this option from U.S. Pool Supply. It comes in a plastic carrying case that makes it easy to store and use. Instead of testing strips, this kit uses liquid reagents. The kit is used for measuring chlorine, bromine and pH chemical levels. The kit includes two different liquids; one dropper bottle of OTO (Orthotolidine) for chlorine and a bottle of Phenol Red pH test solution. The kits are color-coded for more intuitive use.