Pool water testing is as important as cleaning the pool and balancing your pool chemical levels. In fact, there’s no way for any pool owner to balance their chemical levels without testing their water first!
Different types of Water Testing Kits
Water testing kits come in three main forms, all varying in ease of use, accuracy and cost. Here’s a quick rundown of what each type of water testing brings to the table.
- Test Strips - Test strips are the easiest way to check your pool chemical levels. Simply dip the strips into the pool and you’ll get your results in a few seconds. Test strips usually test for Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Bromine, Total Hardness, Total Alkalinity, pH and Cyanuric Acid. There are also specialized test strips available that test for salt levels in your pool if you use a saltwater chlorinator.
- Reagent Testing Kits - These are more involved than the standard test strips but they’re a lot more accurate. You can test for almost any pool chemical level as long as you have the right reagents to test with.
- Photometer Test Kits - These are the most expensive types of water testing kits but they are also accurate down to the last milligram. Photometer test kits use specialized lenses to interpret the reagent results so you don’t have to compare colors with charts and interpret results. What you get is an actual number so you’ll know exactly what the levels are and you can adjust your pool chemicals perfectly.
For more information on pool testing, don’t forget to check out Mr Pool Man’s Ultimate Pool Testing guide.
Tip: Many people have both test strips and reagent testing kits. They use test strips to quickly monitor the approximate pool chemical ranges in their pool and break out the reagent testing kits to get accurate levels before balancing their pool chemical levels.
Don’t forget to have a handy stock of pool chemicals on hand to balance your water after testing! Knowing is half the battle, the other half is actually balancing the chemical levels.