How to use pool test kits

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Pool test kits come in many different forms, there are some digital water analyzers which monitor your pool chemical levels and deliver the results straight to your phone, there are some test kits that require you to use reagents to determine the chemical levels, while there are other types that require you to do nothing but dip them into the pool to get readings. We’re going to go step-by-step on how to use the most popular test kits that we carry here at Mr Pool Man so you’ll know which pool test kit is for you.

Easy Pool Test Strips

Mr Pool Man currently carries two types of easy pool test strips, 5-in-1 pool test strips and 7-in-1 pool test strips by Aquacheck. Easy pool test strips are extremely easy to use. Just dip them in the pool water and watch the magic happen. And by magic, we mean watch how the strip that has different reagents in them change color. After a few seconds or after the colors have fully developed, compare them with the printed chart (usually on the side of the bottle) to determine the chemical readings of your pool and you’re done!

They’re fast and convenient to use, no special techniques are needed and there is no chance for inaccuracy as all you have to do is dip them in the pool. The only downside we can think of is that the color charts are fairly small and some people may have a hard time interpreting the results.

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Aussie Gold 4-in-1 Test Kit

This is the standard test kit that many pool owners have. It measures pH, chlorine, alkalinity and acid demand. It’s a little bit more involved but it is about 20% more accurate than pool test strips. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to use the Aussie Gold 4-in-1 test kit (or other branded 4-in-1 test kits).

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To test for pH Levels using Aussie Gold 4-in-1 Test Kit

Step 1:

Rinse the vials (and the covers as well!) with your pool water.

Step 2:

Fill the larger reservoir with water from at least a foot deep to get a good water sample. Level off the water to the top line and add one drop of solution 4 and swirl it around to mix. Solution 4 neutralizes the water so you can get an accurate reading.

Step 3:

Add 5 drops of solution 2, pH indicator (the red colored liquid) and mix by capping and swirling the vial around. After a few seconds, the color should settle and compare with the pH color standards on the side of the vial. If pH is above 7.6 then you should add some acid to your pool or some pH down. If the pH is below 7.4 then add some alkalinity up to raise your pool pH levels.

Step 4:

To determine acid demand if your pH level is above 7.6, add some solution 3 for acid demand to the same vial, count the number of drops needed for the pH indicator to drop to the optimal pH level. Once you have the number of drops, refer to the acid demand chart that’s included in your kit to check for how much acid you should add to your pool to lower the pH levels to the desired level.

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To test for Chlorine Levels using Aussie Gold 4-in-1 Test Kit

Step 1:

Rinse the vials (and the covers as well!) with your pool water.

Step 2:

Fill the small reservoir (on the left) up to the chlorine fill line or top line. Add one DPD 1 tablet to the reservoir. Place the cap back on the reservoir and shake until the DPD 1 tablet has fully dissolved, be careful to hold on to the cap as vigorous shaking might cause the cap to fly off!

Step 3:

Once it is dissolved, compare the color of the water in the vial with the chlorine standard readings on the left side to determine your FREE Chlorine levels. Free chlorine level is the main number you should take note of as this is the chlorine that’s available for your pool for sanitizing purposes. If your chlorine is low, add some chlorine to raise your pool’s chlorine levels to get the maximum level of sanitizing for your pool.

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Alkalinity test using Aussie Gold 4-in-1 Test Kit

Step 1:

Rinse the vials (and the covers as well!) with your pool water.

Step 2:

Fill the large reservoir to the Alkalinity line (lower line) then add one drop of solution 4 to neutralize the chlorine in the water to get accurate readings. Add three drops of solution 5 (blue colored liquid) then swirl it around to fully dissolve the solution. Once the water has turned blue, add solution 3 to the liquid and count the number of drops until it turns yellow or loses the blue color.

If it turns yellow before reaching 8 drops, that means that your alkalinity is low and you have to add some alkalinity up to raise the water’s alkalinity. If it takes more than 12 drops to turn it yellow then it means that the alkalinity is too high and you may want to lower your pool’s pH using some pH down solution or muriatic acid. 8-11 drops? Then your pool’s alkalinity level is just right, good job!

And there you have it, all of the tests that you can do with the Aussie Gold 4-in-1 Test kit!

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Conclusion

Test strips are great for monitoring your pool chemical levels, but once adjustment is needed, it is best to use drop style/reagent chemical pool test kits to get a more accurate reading so that your pool chemical adjustments will be on point. But again, if you don’t want to get too involved with testing the water and you just want to get a quick reading then test strips are your best friend.

The best pool test kit is the one that you will use all the time, what good is a test kit that can give you super accurate results if you don’t use it right? Get both types of pool test kits and use accordingly! Use the strips to monitor, use the bigger kits to get accurate readings when it’s time to adjust your pool chemical levels! That way, you get the best of both worlds!

Products Featured on this Blog

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Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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Post author:

Tom Hintze

Head of eCommerce & Operations at Mr Pool Man,
Co-Founder at Water TechniX

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