Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best pool test kit 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated June 1, 2019
Best pool test kit of 2018
So this is not only going to give you an insight to the best pool test kit of the 2018 but also those which are user friendly and easy to work with. Before you spend your money on pool test kit, start by familiarizing yourself with the various types.
Come with me. You must have heard that the best pool test kit should allow you to save money, right? Sure, but that’s not the only reason you should consider getting one.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this pool test kit win the first place?
I also liked the delivery service that was fast and quick to react. It was delivered on the third day. The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this pool test kit come in second place?
I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this pool test kit take third place?
We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
pool test kit Buyer’s Guide
Water testing frequency
Since some elements change slightly slower and others faster, water testing should be done in different frequencies: pH and chlorine are done daily; temperature and alkalinity are done weekly, and calcium hardness and stabilizer levels are tested monthly.
Knowing your pool’s chemical character in different settings and temperatures will help you monitor changes in scheduling water tests on the pool.
Kinds of pool test kits
The demand for pool testing kits has consistently increased in the past years, and various types and brands fill the market.
The pool test kits that you will find as you shop around will fall under any of these basic types.
Wet chemistry kit – this kit is considered as the most advanced method of pool testing. It comes in two forms – OTO (Orthotolidine) and DPD (Diethyl p-phenylenediamine). With this kit you get the exact outcomes using the color comparing block to filter the water from a plastic vial.
OTO kit – compared to the DPD, this kit is less expensive for the reason that it can only test the amount of total chlorine in the pool, and does not distinguish between the amount of free chlorine and combined chlorine. This can pose an issue in figuring out the amount of sanitizer to be used.
DPD kit – this kit is used to measure the amount of free and total chlorine in the swimming pool by extracting a water sample from the pool and adding more than a few drops of reagent into it. There’s a little waiting involved before the results show. This method is more reliable than other testing strips, with more enhanced details and higher accuracy.
Pool Water Tests
Chlorine tablets are an expense that can be reduced, by using only as much as you need. Even with Salt Generators, running a level no higher than 1.0 ppm will reduce the workload of your salt cell, and result in more comfortable swimmers.
We put Cyanuric Acid into our chlorine tablets, but most pool owners need to add additional Stabilizer to the water, to build the residual, or level to 40-80 ppm.
Just dip the strip and compare to the color chart on the bottle. Use a test strip that will test all of the water balance parameters, listed above. The 7-way Test Strip is the most complete pool strip. We also have test strips that measure for copper, borates, phosphates, salt and biguanide levels.
Test Kits. With this type of testing, there are certainly more steps involved, and each test is performed individually. Fill the vials with a test sample, and add the colored indicator reagents to compare sample colors for pH and Chlorine.
Alkalinity and Hardness are measured using a titration test. After adding the indicator solution, you add a titrant, dropwise, until a complete color change is observed. Multiply the number of drops by (t x 10) to determine the readings.
Stabilizer tests are performed with a turbidity test. The reagent, mixed with a pool water sample, will turn cloudy in the presence of Cyanuric Acid. Squirt the mixture into the vial with the black dot at the bottom. Stop filling the vial when the dot disappears, or is no longer visible. Read the measurement on the vial, at the point of the water level.
The advantage of Test Kits are more accurate results, for more accurate adjustments. Using a test kit like the Taylor K-200will perform all pool water balance tests perfectly. The Taylor FAS-DPD test kit also tests all parameters, but uses a titration sanitizer test, for more accurate results.
ColorQ PRO test kits, preferred by pool pros and water treatment professionals, uses a digital photometer, and provides a display of test results and adjustment chemicals needed.
Highly accurate photometric scanner precisely determines all water balance tests, over a wider range than most other test kits. Insert the test vial into the photometer, and push one button to obtain test results and recommendations.
Pool Test Strips
The most inexpensive and widely used method of water testing – test strips – is fast, easy, and fairly accurate. Water testing strips like the AquaChek Test Strips can be used to test for individual chemicals or you can buy something like AquaChek Select Way Test Strips or YellowYellow Way chlorine test strips to make multiple tests at the same time.
Liquid Test Kits
Liquid test kits are an excellent way to determine chemical levels in your pool and maintain crystal clear water at all times. Obviously higher in price as compared to testing strips, the liquid kits offer a more reliable and complete testing solution. Liquid testing kits like the LaMotte ColorQ Pro Water Chemistry Liquid Test Kit make use of reagents that are added to sample water and results are read on a user-friendly comparator.
Liquid testing kits like the 4-Way Test Kit Liquid Solution are economical and easy to use, and some like the Taylor Basic Residential DPD Test Kit take maintenance a step further and include a dosage chart for translating test results into treatment.
Digital Pool Testers
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word digital – accurate and fast, right? Well when it comes to digital water testers, accuracy and promptness is what these amazing testers offer. Extremely easy to use, the digital water testers often feature LCD display, water-resistant housing, memory function, and no color matching, so reading results is a snap.
Digital pool testers have electrodes that measure chemical levels in the water with results that have more accuracy and dependability. Of course more on the expensive side, Digital water testers are definitely my favorite for a reliable, complete and fast water testing solution.
As a pool owner, you know that pool maintenance is not easy and does not come at a flip of a button. Regular pool testing is an important foundation to prevent other pool problems. These water testing solutions mentioned above are perfect to keep water balance easy and make your overall pool maintenance a little lighter.
A battery operated digital tester that measures pH, Free Chlorine, Salt, TDS, ORP, and Temperature. It is the most advanced tester offered at The Pool Factory and is jam packed with features. Since the unit does not require test strips, years of use will only pay for itself, as you will not need to purchase test strips year after year. You will also have a professional test kit at your fingertips so no more puzzling trips to the local pool store with water samples. The SafeDip even has a special indicator that displays if your water is safe to swim in! Simply collect the water sample from the pool or spa using the onboard cup and press the Start button to take your measurement. It’s smart, simple, and gives you results in seconds.
Test strips that test for Baquacil Oxidizer, Baquacil Sanitizer (biguanide), Ph and Alkalinity levels. Baquacil’s stability gives you peace of mind because you get more dependable, consistent bacteria control and more time to enjoy fun in the water with your family.
LET’S GET TESTING
So we’re going to need some kind of way to test our water.We need an easy way to look at levels of chlorine / bromine, pH, and total alkalinity. And ideally we want just one kit that is going to test all these main water characteristics at once.
If we add chlorine to perfectly pure and clean water in our hot tub, it simply disperses to become what is called free chlorine. As the water becomes contaminated by use, the free chlorine attaches to the contaminants and becomes combined chlorine (or chloramines).
It’s chloramines that produce the chlorine odour that many people find unpleasant. When we complain of too much chlorine, it is normally the chloramines causing the powerful chlorine smell.
One of the downsides when adding chlorine to your hot tub is that it does have a short effective life in hot water. So requires constant monitoring, adjusting and adding. The upside is that it is cheap.
Bromine and chlorine are very closely related in what they are able to achieve for us in our hot tub.
But bromine acts a little differently than chlorine. It is much more stable in hot water, and so is able to maintain it’s residual content in the hot water better. When the bromine content has finished its effective sanitising cycle it remains dormant in the tub. By adding a non-chlorine shock treatment the bromine springs back into life and start sanitising your tub again.
Bromine is generally more expensive than chlorine, but requires less attention and less quantity to keep the tub pristine. It also does not have the unpleasant chlorine odour.
Whether tablet, liquid, or powder form, the chlorine in a pool kills an array of viruses, bacteria, and organic matter such as sweat, urine, and fecal matter. Chlorine disinfects the water to remove most pathogens that can harm swimmers.
Free chlorine levels refer to the chlorine in pool water that is “fresh”—it has yet to react with any contaminants. Too much or too little of this chemical in the water can be potentially harmful to swimmers and your pool equipment.
Without enough free chlorine to attack invading contaminants, pool water becomes susceptible to a variety of undesirable effects.
Algae may grow, turning the water murky with slimy green patches along the pool’s floor and walls. The unwanted green visitor can also coat the cartridges in some kinds of pool filters—necessitating more frequent cleaning that shortens product lifespan.
Without sufficient chlorine, the water’s appearance may also become cloudy from organic matter that the wind blows in and swimmers bring in, such as sweat, make up, body oils, and suntan oil.
Worse yet, too little chlorine gives safe harbor to water-borne diseases! When swimmers (including pets) introduce biological matter—from urine to bacteria infecting an open sore—there is not enough sanitizer to defeat the pathogens. As a result, opportunities increase for transmission of infectious microbes and the illnesses they cause.
On the flip side, high levels of free chlorine cause its share of issues. Too much can sting swimmers’ eyes and irritate their skin. Elevated levels of this chemical can cause harsh, bleach-like fumes that are downright nasty to inhale and irritating to swimmers’ lungs.
The pH level represents the total acidity of pool water. It’s measured on a scale of to 14: through indicate how much acidity; through 1indicate alkalinity. Right in the middle—7.to 7.ppm—is neutral, and where pool water should be.
If the pH level is too low, water can irritate swimmers’ eyes and skin. Low pH can damage pool equipment as well: Ladders, railings, and other accessories with metal parts can begin corroding, as can parts of the pool heater.
If the pH is too high, it can lower the effectiveness of the free chlorine in water—which may result in unsanitary swimming conditions. A high pH range may cause water to become cloudy, and like water with low pH, it may make skin itch and eyes burn.
If the alkalinity and calcium hardness levels in the pool are elevated as well, the resulting combination with high pH means other troubles. The imbalanced chemical triad can cause rough scale on the pool’s skimmer, interior surfaces, various equipment fittings, and on part of some kinds of automatic pool cleaners.
Calcium hardness measures the hardness level of pool water, indicating if water is too hard, too soft, or just right.
If the hardness level is too low—meaning the water is soft—pool plaster bears the brunt. Desperate for calcium, the pool water absorbs needed calcium from the best-available source—the pool plaster! As the mineral leeches out of the materials, the previously smooth interior finish becomes etched and full of unsightly pitting.
Of course, if the calcium hardness is too high, it ushers in another set of problems. Ugly scaling—deposits of calcium—can build up on pool’s interior surface, producing gray, white, or brownish spots throughout the pool’s interior.
If the pH and alkalinity are also elevated like the calcium, the news is particularly bad. Scale can build up and wreak havoc on components in the pool pump, heater, and DE or cartridge filter.
Extreme cases of scaling that have gone unchecked may require a costly, cumbersome endeavor any pool owner wants to avoid: draining the pool. That’s what’s required to perform and acid wash it to remove all of the mineral build up.
Don’t let that happen. To prevent out-of-control calcium and associated complications, check that the calcium levels range from 200 – 400 ppm.
Testing your pool water and keeping chemicals in balance is paramount for the lifespan of your pool and the health and safety of your friends and family members who swim in it.
Most liquid test kits use a chemical indicator called DPD to measure free chlorine. If you are testing for free chlorine using a DPD test kit, be aware that high levels of combined chlorine (chloramines) can cause false positives when using a DPD test for free chlorine. Low to moderate levels of combined chlorine is neutralized in most DPD kits.
Levels of combined chlorine will occasionally build up to such a level that the free chlorine test result will show that there is some level of free chlorine when in fact there is none present. A strong, foul chloramine odor may confirm that there is a high level of combined chlorine present.
Elevated sanitizer levels can also cause problems for liquid test kits. First, high chlorine (greater than 1ppm) or high bromine (greater than 20 ppm) can cause the pH indicator to form a purple color that does not match the pH color scale. This color is similar to the high pH colors, to 8.ppm. Be careful not to mistake this for a high reading and add acid when it is not necessary.
If chlorine or bromine levels appear on the high side of the scale, and pH is reading a purple color, the best thing to do is wait for the sanitizer level to drop to an acceptable level and test again. If pressed for time, however, you can add a drop of sodium thiosulfate to neutralize the chlorine. This is less than ideal because thiosulfate solutions have a high pH, meaning that you are increasing the pH of the sample and again getting potentially high pH results.
Another problem caused by high sanitizer levels is that the DPD indicator can be “bleached out.” A common indicator that this is happening is a flash of color when the indicator is added that quickly becomes colorless. If you see this happening, dilute the sample and retest. You may, for example, use half sample water to be tested and half fresh water, ideally distilled water, as it contains no chlorine and little or no chlorine demand. Then run the test again using the same procedure. This will provide a result that is half the actual value, so you will need to multiply the result by two to obtain the correct reading. Higher sanitizer levels may require greater dilution in order to get an accurate reading.
Our Pool Opening & Maintenance Kit is a great value and contains all of the above items except number (shock), number (filter media) and number (chlorine).
Read entire label of each pool chemical and use in accordance with precautionary statements and directions. Pool chemicals can be dangerous if used improperly. All chemicals should be handled by adults only, and kept out of the reach of children. Filter system must always be on and running when adding chemicals to pool. All chemicals must be added to pool separately and must not be mixed together.
General Hydroponics PH Test Kit
If you’ve got your own pH solutions, then you ought to go for this swimming pool kit. You simply have to put a small amount of water inside its test tube, followed by some drops of pH solutions and it will tell whether the pH level is right. This test kit works efficiently when compared to prolong style meter most people use.
Testing for Arsenic
In the past, testing for arsenic in drinking water has been as difficult as removing it. Measuring arsenic concentrations accurately was left to the laboratory and expensive instrumentation such as atomic absorption spectrometers. Time delay and expense are the obvious problems with this approach. A variety of test kits have appeared on the market deriving from the need for easier, cheaper and faster methods. These test kits rival both the accuracy and low detection ability of laboratory instrumentation.
Of the available competing products, the most useful arsenic test kits report quantitatively as well as qualitatively.
All of these kits rely on similar chemistry in which inorganic arsenic compounds (As+and As+5) are reduced to arsine gas. This is done in a controlled reaction between an acidified water sample and zinc powder. A volume-specific reaction vessel, usually a plastic bottle supplied in the test kit, is used for this reaction. Different kits typically require different sample sizes and usually employ additional reagents to control interferences from other common elements found in groundwater such as hydrogen sulfide and iron. Once the sample and all of the reagents are combined in the reaction vessel, a test strip is used to measure the arsenic concentration of the water sample. The test strip is not dipped into the sample but rather placed above the sample in a special cap that seals the reaction vessel. As the arsenic converts to arsine gas and comes in contact with the test strip, the mercuric bromide indicator on the test strip changes in color from white to shades of yellow and brown. This chemical reaction varies in time between test kits from to 30 minutes. Once the reaction is completed, the test strip is removed and matched to a color comparator chart to obtain a quantitative measure for arsenic in the tested sample.
When considering options in arsenic testing, people often ask if a test strip-based test kit really is an accurate way to measure arsenic. Answering “yes” in a positive tone does answer the question. Actual test data from a third party is more convincing proof and often is requested. To help in demonstrating arsenic field test kit accuracy, a non-biased third party was used to conduct a study of the major brands of arsenic test kits available in the United States.
In reviewing the results from the chart, it is important to remember that the test kits studied use test strips. Test strips are colorimetric and the results depend on matching colors by eye. One shortcoming of a colorimetric test like this is the limited number of preselected levels present on a color chart. This limited number of levels, which convert to test results, sometimes requires the reader to estimate a reading that is between available colors. For example, of the four test kits studied only one had color levels available on the color chart below ppb. Yet, the individual running these tests was still able to estimate results of ppb. In another instance, with the Low Range Arsenic Check, there was no 50 ppb level (only 40 and 60 ppb), but an accurate result was estimated. In summary, a strong point of this type of arsenic test kit is test result resolution. Between the mercuric bromide indicator on the test strip and carefully printed color charts, the individual running the test is able to obtain a detailed picture of arsenic concentrations in water—even with only a test strip.
A second point to make with reference to the test data is the obvious reproducibility of these test kits from one test to the next. At each level of arsenic concentration, two samples were tested. When the tests for each kit were completed, results were found to be the same for both samples of the same arsenic concentration. Predictable and reproducible results are as important as accurate results when considering test methods.
Important Test Kit Features
Although most arsenic test kits use the same basic method and chemistry, each kit is unique. When considering which test kit you will choose, there are some important factors to consider.
Ease of use. A variety of kits is available with varying levels of complexity. Testing for arsenic may not be as easy as testing for many other ions. However, some manufacturers have done a better job than others at making test procedures easy to perform and understand. Fewer steps, easy-to-read instructions and illustrations are key to reducing confusion and human error.
Time. Three of the four test kits included in the study require a 30-minute incubation time while the arsenic in the water sample is reduced to arsine gas. Compared to other test methods, 30 minutes is a great time saving. However, if you have a large number of samples to test, or just don’t like to wait, a 10-minute test may be more desirable. The addition of arsine gas enhancers in a kit’s reagents runs tests in a third of the time of other kits.
Sensitivity. Detection range or sensitivity is a common question regarding arsenic testing methods. With the current arsenic standard of 50 ppb in debate and most water sources in the United States below 100 ppb, additional sensitivity eventually may win out over other test kit benefits. At the same time, water quality professionals who install arsenic remediation devices ask for tests that detect less than ppb. This low detection sensitivity is important for the calibration and efficiency confirmation of the arsenic removal equipment. With these considerations, a low-range arsenic kit may be your best option with low detection levels at 2, 4, 6, 10, 15, 20 and up to 240 ppb. This is accomplished by a larger sample size (250 ml compared to 50 or 100 ml) and chemical enhancers that produce colors of greater intensity at lower concentrations of arsenic.
Which type of test method is right for your arsenic detection and measurement needs? Improvements in test strip technology make it possible to test water for arsenic easily, quickly, cost effectively, accurately and at useful detection levels. Using the previously stated considerations ease of use, testing time, cost and sensitivity, your arsenic test kit should be easy to select.
Fully frame less glass pool fencing
Fully automated stand-alone solar heating – Nothing determines use of a pool more than water temperature. In Melbourne if you have a pool and a house with a roof you want solar heating. Its cheap to run and terribly effective in the period from Late October to early April. We use and recommend Sunbather solar heating systems.
Oakleigh VIC 3166
If you’ve had your pool or spa for more than a couple of months and have maintained clean, clear, healthy water, then you already have been testing your water chemistry regularly as part of your maintenance routine. If you haven’t been testing, then you’ll want to start doing so right away so as to avoid problems brought on by chemical imbalance. By testing on a regular basis, you should be able to keep ahead of most issues BEFORE they become major problems. Testing and adjusting your water chemistry may seem overwhelming, but you don’t need a PhD in chemistry to keep your water balanced. All it takes is a test kit (whether you use liquid kits or test strips), and a regular schedule for testing and keeping up with adding the chemicals as needed. My assumption is either you’re trying to figure out which of the two types is better for you, OR you already have an opinion. In this blog we’ll explore your testing options and what the advantages and disadvantages there are to both types of tests.
Reagent Test Kit
OTO simply gives total chlorine levels. Remember, total chlorine is simply the sum of the good, effective chlorine available to do its job of sanitizing the water, AND combined chlorine – this is simply spent chlorine bound up with organic waste thereby rendered useless, and needing to be burned off. Another advantage of the DPD test kit is that it will typically also test for more chemical levels than the simple OTO-Phenol kit, giving such readings as total alkalinity, calcium, cyanuric acid (chlorine stabilizer), to name a few.
The second, and by far, more popular method of testing water is the test strip. Test strips originated in the 1960’s from their use in the medical diagnostic field, where they quickly came to replace many liquid reagents while performing medical lab testing. Depending upon how these are used, test strips can be just as accurate, or more, than liquid testing methods. Since the user only needs to briefly dip the strip into the water and compare to a color chart with corresponding chemical readings, this has become the test method of choice for the overwhelming majority of pool and spa owners. Add to this the fact that now the average consumer can test for other chemical levels such as calcium harness, chlorine stabilizer, etc. and you have a test method that is simple, fast and able to give quite a bit of information not easily available previously.
Disinfection of pool water
A proper balance of the previously described water chemistry factors will provide water that will not damage pool components and is non-irritating to swimmers. It is then necessary to provide for disinfection of the water to prevent the spread of disease organisms from person to person and prevent unwanted growth of bacteria and algae in the pool.
How pH affects free chlorine residual
This is important because both hypochlorous acid and the hypochlorite ion are counted as free chlorine residual on your test kit but only the hypochlorous acid portion is an effective disinfectant. The balance between hypochlorous acid and the hypochlorite ion is affected by pH. The higher the pH, the less hypochlorous acid present and the less effective free chlorine becomes. At a pH of 7.2 about 66% of free chlorine is hypochlorous acid. At a pH of 7.only about 33% of free chlorine is hypochlorous acid. Thus pH control is essential for maintaining the effectiveness of chlorine as a disinfectant.
Hypochlorous acid is a highly unstable molecule which dissipates rapidly in the presence of sunlight. This results in considerable loss of free chlorine form pools exposed to sunlight. Proper stabilization of chlorine with cyanuric acid slows the rate of chlorine dissipation without appreciably sacrificing oxidation and disinfection activity. Reaction of free chlorine with cyanuric acid produces a form of combined chlorine (chlorimide) which is active enough to aid disinfection and show up as free chlorine residual on your test kit. Proper stabilization requires 30 to 50 ppm cyanuric acid. Outdoor pools should be initially treated with 40 ppm cyanuric acid. The chart below can be used to determine the amount of cyanuric acid needed.
The only disinfectant other than chlorine and bromine which has been accepted as a primary disinfectant in public swimming pools is polyhexamethylene biguanide.
Biguanide is used at a concentration of 30 to 50 parts per million and a pH of 7.to 7.to kill germs and control algae growth. A special test kit is needed to test the biguanide residual. The main advantage of biguanide is the disinfectant concentration remains fairly stable so it requires less frequent adjustment than chlorine. No automatic chemical feeder is needed.
Biguanide is not an oxidizer and will not destroy organic wastes the way chlorine and bromine do. It must be used in conjunction with a peroxide shock treatment to prevent organic wastes from accumulating in pool water. Biguanide is incompatible with chlorine and most algicides. Chlorine in make-up water can cause clouding of biguanide pools. Biguanide increases the staining potential of dissolved metals in a pool so copper based algicides, copper ion generators, and pool heaters should not be used. Only chemicals recommended by the disinfectant manufacturers should be used.
Supplemental disinfection equipment
Algae are tiny plants that bloom and grow in swimming pools if nutrients are present and a sufficient level of free chlorine is not maintained. Below are descriptions of the three most common algae problems in swimming pools.
Green Algae The most common algae in swimming pool floats in water and coats pool surfaces. Left unchecked green algae will very quickly turn the pool water pea green.
Mustard Algae settles on pool walls and causes a slimy yellow film.
Install Four-Sided Fencing: Install a four sides pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and the yard.
The fence should be at least feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children.
How To Choose a good pool fence: will have materials and welds strong enough to withstand a heavy knock.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your pool test kit wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of pool test kit
- №1 — Digital pH Meter / Tester Complete Kit | Quick & Easy | Test For Water Quality
- №2 — JNW Direct 6 in 1 Pool & Spa Test Strips
- №3 — Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit with Case