6 Best Pool Test Kits in 2021 for Pool Owners

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Are you a pool owner looking for the best pool test kit for your pool?

After testing tens of different pool test kits and devoting hours into research, I’ve compiled a list of pool testing kits that offer the most value for their money.

I hope this guide will help save you headaches and guide you toward selecting the right test kit for your needs.

Let’s get started.

What is the best pool testing kit?

Here’s the list of the 6 best pool test kits.

1. Pentair All-in-one pH and Chlorine Swimming Pool Test Kit

The Pentair pool water test kit offers the most value out of all pool testing kits currently available in the market. It’s affordable and comes with everything you need to measure your pool water chemical levels accurately.

With the Pentair test kit, you can measure chlorine, pH, acid demand, and total alkalinity. These are all important measurements you need to check weekly to ensure balance in pool chemistry.

This Pentair kit is reliable and highly accurate, which are the most important features you want when choosing a pool testing kit.

Furthermore, this is one of the most highly recommended testing kit models by pool professionals. When you read through reviews, it’s not hard to come across satisfied customers who’ve been using this for over a decade.

If you still get an occasional nightmare of suffering in your high school chemistry lab classes, don’t worry; this one’s nothing like that. It’s easy to get the hang of how to use this kit after a few tries, and it also comes with straightforward instruction that’ll guide you throughout the entire process.

While the Pentair kit is not the most comprehensive pool test kit out there, it allows you to extract the essential information from your pool without hassle. Even the best pool test kit is worthless if it’s too much work for you to use routinely, and that’s where this kit shines.

As a side note, I suggest you change the reagents every year for the best results if you get the Pentair kit.

All in all, this is my top choice if you’re looking for an accurate, easy-to-use pool test kit for your pool water.

2. Taylor Swimming Pool Water Testing Kit

Pool technicians and professionals frequently use the Taylor test kit for assessing the pool water chemistry. In other words, you can count on its accuracy and reliability, just like the Pentair test kit.

This kit includes 0.75 oz liquid reagent bottles and works using printed color standards to attain a precise color match.

The Taylor kit comes with clear instructions on the cover inside the box. Once you do a few rounds of testing, you’ll get the hang of it real quick, and it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes to get the testing done from then on.

With the Taylor pool test kit, you can perform a total of nine tests: Total chlorine, free chlorine, bromine, acid demand, base demand, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and a pH level test. Since the kit measures both total and free chlorine levels, you can also easily figure out the combined chlorine level by subtracting the free chlorine from the total chlorine.

When you compare this to the Pentair kit, you can see the Taylor kit can take many additional measurements, such as calcium hardness and total chlorine level.

In my opinion, if you want the most comprehensive kit that provides accurate readings, this is a great option. If you want a kit that’s hyper-focused on the most important measurements for keeping your pool healthy, then you can’t go wrong with the Pentair kit.

A word of caution: Make sure you don’t use phenol red and #2 phenol red interchangeably; They are not the same thing. The phenol red is for 2 or 3-way test kits, and the #2 phenol red is for 5-way test kits.

Besides, the #1 solution is sealed with a cap under transportation regulations, although all the other solutions are free from regulations.

3. Poolmaster 5-way Swimming Pool and Spa Water Test Kit

If you’re looking for the most affordable pool water test kit, the Poolmaster 5-way test kit is your answer.

This one boasts nearly 7,000 reviews on Amazon with an over 4.6-star rating, which serves as a testament to its effectiveness.

The Poolmaster kit will test the following measures: Chlorine, bromine, pH, acid demand, and total alkalinity. This liquid test kit comes with a clear round test tube with UV-protected color chips, helping you match colors easily.

When you receive the test kit, you’ll also receive the polyethylene case, which may be either blue or black, but everything else inside the case is exactly the same. I really like the case since it makes it easy to organize everything and store the kit away from direct sunlight when not in use.

With the Poolmaster kit, you won’t have to pull your hair out trying to figure out how to use it. The package contains a quick reference guide and step-by-step instructions to walk you through each step in detail. Once you get used to using the kit, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete your test.

Regarding its longevity, the solutions will usually last one to two years. Either way, you’ll have to replace the solutions after a couple of years since they have an expiry date of around two years.

By the way, this kit also works great for testing a saltwater pool.

One tip I have for you if you have trouble matching the color: Use your phone to take a picture of the tube. The picture seems to make it easier for you to distinguish the color more clearly.

4. LaMotte Digital Liquid Pool and Spa Water Testing Kit

The LaMotte is a premium pool testing kit that’s more pricey than other kits.

This kit tests the following chemical levels in your pool: free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, copper, iron, biguanide, and biguanide shock.

It’s not hard to see why it comes with a higher price tag when you look at everything that it’s capable of measuring.

This test kit utilizes a digital photometer, which means you don’t need to manually color match and look over the charts to figure out different chemical levels in your pool. The photometer will take care of the entire process, and you will get the test result automatically.

The readings are accurate and reliable, as you’d expect from a kit that costs as much as it does.

If you have money to spare and are willing to invest some cash for extra convenience, this is a worthwhile investment.

5. Taylor Technologies Salt Water Test Kit

If your pool uses a saltwater chlorine generator, this Taylor saltwater test kit will serve you well.

This kit is specifically designed for testing the salt level in your pool, and it will easily last you around 20 tests. Unlike other chemicals in your pool, the salt level in your pool water doesn’t need to be continuously monitored, so 20 tests should be good for a few summers.

When using the Taylor saltwater test kit, you’ll have to swirl the tube quite a bit during the testing process, which can get mildly annoying. This is to prevent the drops from clumping together. Otherwise, the entire procedure is quite straightforward.

Lastly, since the optimal salt level in your pool should be between 2700 to 3400 parts per million (ppm), you want to see the number that falls somewhere between that range when you carry out the test.

A word of caution: Try to take extra caution when using the silver nitrate reagent since it can leave a temporary mark on your skin for a couple of days.

6. AquaChek 7-in-1 Pool and Spa Test Strips

If you are looking for the cheapest possible solution to measure your pool chemical level, this AquaChek test strips is your answer.

These test strips measure 7 chemical levels in your pool, including total hardness, total chlorine, total bromine, free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid.

It takes mere seconds to get results with these. All you need to do is dip the test strip into your pool water for one second.

Although test strips have the reputation of not being as accurate as test kits, they can still serve as useful alternatives to quickly measure your pool chemical level on the go.

Pool Test Kit FAQs

These are some of the most commonly asked questions on pool test kits.

What should you look for in a pool test kit?

The most important factor to consider when selecting a pool test kit is its accuracy. If you buy a cheaper tool at the expense of accuracy, it’s going to end up costing you more money in the long run. At best, you’ll have wasted money on using unnecessary chemicals due to inaccurate readings. At worst, your pool quality will suffer from the wrongly added chemicals, making it uncomfortable and even dangerous to swim inside the pool.

So, you want to always prioritize getting a test kit that gives you the most accurate readings.

You’ll then want to decide if you want a kit that’s capable of measuring every chemical level in your pool or if you prefer to have one that measures only the most important factors for keeping your pool chemistry in check.

Some pool owners want a test kit that can track everything just to have peace of mind in case they need it in the future, while others are fine with a pool tester that tracks only the essentials. It ultimately comes down to your preference.

What is the most accurate pool test kit?

Most pool test kits are quite accurate these days. Many professionals believe that standard pool test kits and digital photometer kits are more reliable than test strips.

That said, most test strips are on point with their measurements nowadays, and they can serve as good alternatives if you’re a minimalist when it comes to monitoring chemicals and pool maintenance.

If you want a test kit that’s accurate and convenient, I recommend getting a digital photometer kit to measure your pool water. It will automatically give you accurate readings without you having to color match as you would with standard pool kits.

Pool test kits vs. Test strips

You may wonder if it’s worth spending more money to buy pool test kits over test strips. I’d say yes since titration-type kits tend to provide more accurate results over pool test strips.

If you’re doing your own pool maintenance, then I’d go as far as saying it’s a must to invest in a good test kit. Having the ability to measure different chemical levels in your pool accurately will help you save more money in the future rather than buying a cheaper one that offers sub-optimal accuracy.

Conclusion

As a pool owner, you must keep track of different chemical levels in your swimming pool to keep your pool water healthy at all times.

The less you keep up with your pool water testing, the more problems your pool will accumulate, and you’ll likely end up having to spend more time and money to restore your pool health.

In case you don’t have a kit, you can take your pool water sample to a local pool store for testing. But you may have to endure an annoying salesperson that will try to sell you things that you don’t need.

So my recommendation is to invest in a good pool water test kit. It’ll take a minimal effort to learn how to use it, and you won’t have to go through the hassle of driving to the store every time you need to get your pool water tested.

I wish you the best of luck with your pool maintenance goal!

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