A pool test kit helps you check the levels of chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, and hardness of water, among other things. Several types of pool test kits are available in the market. The variations in specifications and price of these tests can be very confusing. This buying guide will help you select the best pool test kit for your needs.
Test strip – These are the basic test kits that come in bottled packs. They are quite affordable and may be used in combination with other tests.
Wet chemistry kit – These are advanced kits that come in two forms: OTO (Orthotolidine) and DPD (Diethyl p-phenylenediamine).
OTO kits measure the total amount of chlorine in the water.
DPD kits measure the amount of free and total chlorine in the water. The kit is highly reliable and accurate.
Digital test strip reader – The digital reader provides a definitive and accurate reading from the test strips that have to be bought separately. It is quite affordable and eliminates the ambiguity in readings of test strips.
Ease of use: Almost all users, whether they are purchasing the pool test kit for personal use or a commercial facility, turn to test kits to cut down cost. They prefer test kits that come with clear and detailed instructions, both for testing and interpreting the results.
Reliability: After going through thousands of reviews, it becomes clear that pool owners go for a test that provides accurate and reliable measures. The only way to ensure this is to buy test kits from a trusted brand. Consult with friends and go through on-line reviews before zeroing in on any product.
Requirements: For everyday personal use, test strips are ideal. They are easy to use, affordable, and provide you with sufficient parameters to judge the safety of water in your personal pool. But if you are a pool owner with significant traffic at your facility, you would be better off opting for more sophisticated tests.
Check the test specifications: You should consider the parameters you need to check in your pool's water. An ideal test kit will check the pool's water for levels of free chlorine, alkalinity, calcium hardness, pH and cyanuric acid. High-end tests can determine the metal composition, salinity, temperature, and phosphates level in the pool water.
Check for availability of reagents: Reagents are compounds that participate in a chemical reaction. You can purposely add a reagent, as a test to see if a particular reaction will take place. You should consider whether the reagents present in the test are readily available, either for purchase locally or on-line. This would ensure that you have easy access to reagents whenever you need them. If you are purchasing the test kit for a commercial facility, you may prefer if the reagents are locally available, so that you can buy them at a short notice.
Determine the test takers: If you are buying a pool test kit for personal use, then colorimetric/titrimetric tests will meet your requirements. However, if you are purchasing a test kit for commercial use, a photometric test kit will be more suitable. A photometric test measures the transmission of light of a certain wavelength through the water after having added a reagent. On the other hand, the results of colorimetric tests are subjective in nature, where you compare the color of the water with the reactant against a standard color, much like a litmus test. The problem with colorimetric tests is that the results may vary with the visual acuity of the test taker. Photometric tests results provide you with a clear reading, eliminating uncertainty and variations in measurements.
Check the legal requirements: If you are running a commercial facility, then the water in your pool must meet certain parameters. Although the state law may require additional tests or digital meters for certain tests, you can cover most of those parameters by buying an optimal pool test kit.
Keep your budget in mind: You should consider your budget when purchasing a pool test kit. Photometric and digital test kits are more expensive than the other options.
Taylor Technologies is one of the most popular brands in this category. With their commitment to quality and accuracy, they have built up a formidable reputation.
Poolmaster is a leading manufacturer and supplier of pool and spa products. Headquartered in California, they provide a wide range of products that are known for their quality and reliability.
JED Pool Tools boasts a huge selection of water testing products. This brand is a favorite among many consumers for their easy-to-use and reliable test kits.