Best Pool Water Test Kit Reviews

Clean Your Pool Water With The Best Pool Water Test Kit

If you suspect the water in your swimming pool may be the cause of recent symptoms you’re experiencing, guess what? You may need to test the water in your pool for possible contaminants.

High levels of chlorine, calcium, lead, totally dissolved solids, bromine and other chemicals used to treat your pool water can lead to serious health concerns if left untreated. A pool water test kit is the most accurate way to test pool water so you can quickly determine how best to treat it.

Whether you prefer a high tech, digital tester or something more old school with test trips, you’ll find the best pool test kit here in this guide. Chosen from among the top Amazon sellers, these 10 pool water test kit reviews will show you the best options for your pool or spa.

In a hurry? Here are the top 10 picks of the year.

Best Pool Water Test Kit -
Top 10 Picks of 2020

ImageProductView Price
Product Image of Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test 4-Way Swimming Pool and Spa Water Test Strips1.) Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test 4-Way Swimming Pool and Spa Water Test Strips

  • 50 Strips (Pack of 1)

  • Results in seconds

  • 4 Chemicals

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Product Image of AquaChek 551236 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips2.) AquaChek 551236 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips

  • 100 Strips

  • 7 chemicals

  • Results in seconds

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Product Image of AquaChek Select Test Strips Free Chlorine3.) AquaChek Select Test Strips Free Chlorine

  • 50 Strips per pack

  • 7 Chemicals

  • Results in seconds

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Product Image of Taylor Professional Swimming Pool Water Test Kit4.) Taylor Professional Swimming Pool Water Test Kit

  • Chlorine, Bromine, Alkalinity, Hardness, pH DP Test Kit

  • Includes .75 oz reagent bottles

  • High Range (HR) kit

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Product Image of HTH 1174 Multi-Purpose 6-Way Test Strips for Swimming Pools5.) HTH 1174 Multi-Purpose 6-Way Test Strips for Swimming Pools

  • 30 Strips per pack

  • Six Chemicals

  • Free Water Analysis App

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Product Image of RUNBO 7-in-1 Pool & SPA Quality Testing Strips6.) RUNBO 7-in-1 Pool & SPA Quality Testing Strips

  • Easy and Accurate Test

  • Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine, Bromine, Total Hardness Total Alkalinity, pH and Cyanuric Acid

  • 100 Counts

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Product Image of Poolmaster Essential Collection 5-Way Swimming Pool & Spa Water Test Kit7.) Poolmaster Essential Collection 5-Way Swimming Pool & Spa Water Test Kit

  • Small, Neutral Chemistry Case

  • Tests for Chlorine, Bromine, pH, Acid Demand, and Total Alkalinity

  • Includes clear-view round test block with integrated color chips

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Product Image of Kokido 5 Way K331SW Swimming Pool Water Chemical Testing Pack with Storage Kit8.) Kokido 5 Way K331SW Swimming Pool Water Chemical Testing Pack with Storage Kit

  • Includes six 1 oz reagents

  • Convenient, sturdy blue storage case

  • Instructions, easy to read color chart, and a trouble prevention guide are included

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Product Image of 16-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit9.) 16-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit

  • Hard Water Quality Tester for Aquarium, Pool, Spa, Well & Tap Water

  • High Sensitivity Test Strips

  • Detect pH, Hardness, Chlorine, Lead, Iron, Copper, Nitrate, Nitrite

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Product Image of 9-in-1 Pool Water Testing Strips For Spa And Hot Tub10.) 9-in-1 Pool Water Testing Strips For Spa And Hot Tub

  • 50 strips per sealed bottle

  • Test pH, Hardness, Total Chlorine, Free Chlorine, Total Alkalinity, Bromine, Carbonate Root, Lead and Mercury

  • No-bleed pads give accurate results

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Best Pool Water Test Kit Reviews (Full)

Testing your water doesn’t require any special skill or expertise, but it does require time and accuracy. With proper instructions and the right tools, a test kit can give you accurate results to help you treat your pool water appropriately.

Whether you’re looking for a pack of water test strips, a hard water test kit, or seeking to balance the pH in your spa, these are the best pool water test kit solutions to consider.

Best Suited For: Alkaline, pH, Bromine, and Chlorine Levels in Pools and Spas

Review

The Poolmaster Smart Test is a 4-way test kit for swimming pools and spas. There are 50 strips in each package, suitable for detecting free chlorine, bromine, alkalinity, and pH. You simply dip the strip in water for an instant reading. A color-scale readout chart is included so you can easily identify which chemical is affecting your pool or spa.’

To isolate your samples, there are also four containers included. Each bottle has a pop-top that seals in water tightly. Inside the bottle is lined with dessicant to keep each strip and protect the integrity of the pads.

If you have a saltwater pool or spa, you can use the Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test Water Test Strips to test the alkaline / ph levels, chlorine or bromine as well.

Overall, this test strip package of 50 is one of the simplest, most reliable, and affordable ways to test your pool water.

PROS

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Review

Significantly higher in price, the AquaChek 7-Way Pool Water Test Strips offers the double number of strips you’ll find in the Poolmaster 4-Way, our top pick. The AquaCheck could almost be considered a test kit, except it doesn’t include any containers for collecting samples.

With 100 test strips, you should have enough strips to test your pool or spa routinely for at least two seasons. The test strips in this kit are designed to analyze the following chemicals:

  • Free Chlorine
  • Total Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Total Hardness
  • Total Alkalinity
  • pH Level
  • Cyanuric Acid

The AquaCheck 7-Way also includes a reusable color chart and a Complete Guide to Pool and Spa Care. Without sample jars or containers, however, you’ll need to be very carefully handling the water strips in order to obtain an accurate reading.

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Review

The AquaChek Select Refills is another good option for testing the water in your swimming pool or spa. Like the AquaChek 7-Way, the Refills Test Trips includes seven different types of test strips for:

  • Total Chlorine
  • Total Bromine
  • Free Chlorine
  • pH
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Total Hardness
  • Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)

There are 50 strips in each bottle, which should last at least one season if used regularly. Results are revealed within 15 seconds, but no color chart is included. Instead, there is a color chart inside the bottle. Unfortunately, it isn’t always the most reliable or easy to read.

An app with the color chart is available for free download. Considering the cost is higher relative to the top pick, it’s disappointing that they couldn’t include a color-grade chart to make things easier.
Thankfully, no reagents are needed to produce accurate results, which makes this kit really easy to use, and fast.

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Review

The Taylor Professional Swimming Pool Water Test Kit is a comprehensive test kit designed for use by professionals such as service technicians, public and semi public pool operators. As such, it is more costly than the test strips reviewed previously, but it is also more thorough.

This high range water testing kit includes twelve 0.75 oz reagent bottles for testing the following:

  • Total Chlorine
  • Free Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • pH
  • Acid Demand
  • Base Demand
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Calcium Hardness
  • Cyanuric Acid

Taylor’s 2000 Series includes a printed color standard to help you obtain a reliable and accurate analysis. And, unlike the test strips we looked at earlier, the Taylor 2000 kit includes six different standards for chlorine testing: High Range: 0.5-5 ppm, Low Range: 0.25-2.5 ppm; bromine (HR: 1-10 ppm, LR: .5-5 ppm) and pH (7.0 to 8.0).

Even though this kit is for professionals, pool and spa owners can easily use this kit by following the instructions provided. With the inclusion of reagents, attention to detail is more critical for accurate results. Be sure to check the expiration date on your kit before purchasing, and avoid contaminating the strips for the best results.

Overall, this pool water test kit costs more than a pack of test strips and requires more care in using it, but provides professional results and tools for testing. You can test for more chemicals more accurately for the optimum treatment of your pool water or spa.

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Review

The HTH 1174 Test Strips For Swimming Pools is more limited than a test kit, but still offers enough strips for testing up to six different chemicals. As such, it offers more than the first pick, but costs more.

With the HTH 1174 you can easily and quickly test for the following chemicals:

  • Free Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • pH
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Total Hardness
  • Cyanuric Acid

30 strips are included, along with vials for collecting samples easily. The step by step treatment recommendations and dosing instructions for balancing your pool are also very helpful. They even offer a free app to help you build a pool profile with a pool size calculator that will tell you how much of each chemical you need for the optimum balance.

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Review

The Runbo 7-in-1 Pool and Spa Testing Strips offers a package of 100 test strips, 50 in a bottle with 50 refills. These strips are sealed in moisture-proof foil to ensure they can be stored for as long as 2 years before they expire.

Each of the test strips is made from high quality fiber paper so you can get an instant analysis for your pool, spa, hot tub – even your fish tank. You just dip the strip in the water for two seconds, and remove for the results. No shaking or reagents are necessary.

With the Runbo 7-in-1 you can test for the following chemicals:

  • Free Chlorine
  • Total Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Total Hardness
  • Total Alkalinity
  • pH
  • Cyanuric Acid

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Review

Part of the Poolmaster 2000 Essential Collection, the 5-Way Swimming Pool And Spa Water Test Kit is designed for analyzing the following:

  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • pH
  • Acid Demand
  • Total Alkalinity

A clear-view round test block with integrated color chips for accurate color matching is also included so you can easily identify the chemical in seconds. A polyethylene carrying case allows you to easily transport everything you need to test your pool, spa or hot tub quickly and accurately.

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Review

The Kokido 5-Way is a test pack and storage kit for swimming pools. It has liquid test pods for testing the following chemicals:

  • pH
  • Chlorine
  • Bromine
  • Alkalinity
  • Acid Demand

Six 1 oz reagents are included to improve the accuracy of each test, but be sure that the reagents aren’t expired. The color chart is easy to read, and there’s a trouble prevention guide to help you manage your pool water and minimize problems.

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Review

If you want a water test kit that can be used for other applications besides your swimming pool or spa, the 16-in-1 Drinking Water Test Kit is a great solution.

Capable of testing for 16 different chemicals, this test kit is ideal for testing hard water from your taps, aquarium, spa, pool, or well water. In addition to testing for pH, chlorine and hardness, this kit can also test for lead, iron, copper, nitrates and nitrites.

100 testing strips packed in 10 sealed bags, enough to last two seasons of regular use. Results are revealed within 60 seconds for fast results you can trust.

Chemicals tested include:

  • Total Hardness
  • Free Chlorine
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrite
  • MPS
  • Total Chlorine
  • Fluoride
  • Cyanuric acid
  • Ammonia Chloride
  • Bromine
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Carbonate and pH

PROS

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Review

While most of the water test strips in this review can test a maximum of seven chemicals, this water test package includes test strips for 9 different chemicals. Whether you’re testing freshwater or saltwater, these strips can be used for testing your swimming pool, hot tub or spa in seconds.

50 Strips are included for the following chemicals:

  • pH
  • Hardness
  • Total Chlorine
  • Free Chlorine
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Bromine
  • Carbonate Root
  • Lead
  • Mercury

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Image of a child in a swimming pool using a floaty. The water is a clean blue to represent the results that can be achieved from pool test kit

Pool Test Kit Buying Guide

Testing the water in your swimming pool or spa probably isn’t on the top of your list of priorities, but when you are ready to roll up your sleeves, this buying guide can make your life a little bit easier.

Fortunately, no special training or expertise is required to test the water in your pool. There are, however, some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right test kit.

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4 Types Of Pool Water Test Kits

Depending on your budget and preference, there are essentially 3 types of pool water test kits you’ll come across: water test strips, water test kits, and digital water test kit.

Listed from Most to Least affordable, here are your options:

Water Test Strips
If you’re testing for a single contaminant, a water test trip may be all you need. Each package contains between 3 – 6 chemically treated strips. The strip is submerged in water for only a few seconds to obtain a reading. An accompanying color chart is included so you can easily identify the chemical.

Water Test Kit
In addition to water test strips, a water test kit includes sample jars or containers, as well as reagents. The reagent must be mixed very carefully with each water sample before you use the strip.

A water test strip allows you to test for multiple contaminants, but it is more time consuming and requires attention to detail to avoid contaminating the test results. Even with a color chart to identify the chemical, it can be a challenge to distinguish between similar shades.

Liquid Test Kit
A liquid test kit is another alternative for testing pool water quickly and accurately. With a liquid test kit you can test for free chlorine as well as the total chlorine. To test the water, you use a vial and dropper. You add a specific number of drops to the reagent, and wait for the water to turn color.

Liquid test kits are typically more costly than a test strip but they can achieve more accurate results.

Digital Water Test Kit
A digital water test kit is more costly than either a water test strip or a test kit, but it’s also much more accurate. They’re extremely easy to use and come in two varieties. One type uses a probe to test the water, while the other requires the use of a reagent mixed with a sample of your pool water.

Either type of digital water testing kit can deliver precise readings with greater accuracy than a manual, traditional test kit. Just be sure to select one that is specifically designed for pools, which have different requirements than drinking water.

Is A Digital Water Tester Accurate?

Pool And Spa Water Chemicals

  • Chlorine And Bromine
    Chlorine and Bromine are sanitizers that help keep the pool and spa water free from germs and algae build up. Testing for these will indicate the active amount of these sanitizers in the water.

  • Alkalinity / pH
    Alkalinity and pH measure the amount of acidity in the pool and spa water. Maintaining a proper balance of Alkalinity and pH will help keep the water from developing scale or cause corrosion.

6 Chemicals To Test Your Swimming Pool For

Knowing which chemicals you should be testing for will help you choose the right pool water test kit for your needs [1].

Chemicalppm Level (parts per milligram)
Bromine: alternative to chlorine, best suited for spas

  • 3 - 5

Calcium: excessive calcium can result in hard water that corrodes pipes and weakens the effect of other chemicals used to treat your pool or spa water

  • 200- 400 for Swimming Pools

  • 150 -250 for Spas

Cyanuric Acid: Improves the effectiveness of chlorine

  • 50

Free Chlorine: sanitizes your pool water, widely used in pool water treatment systems

  • 1 - 3

Total Alkalinity: Alkaline needs to be balanced with acidity levels, or pH. The resistance to acidity can be measured by testing for bicarbonate alkalinity

  • 80 -120

TDS (Totally Dissolved Solids): Especially useful for testing hard water in your pool. Excessive levels of TDS can then be treated and removed.

  • Maximum 1500

pH Level: Acidity in water at healthy levels poses no harm. A pH test will tell you how much acidity is in your pool water or spa. Aim for a pH reading of 7.4 – 7.6 for optimal healthy water conditions.

Base Demand Level: An alkaline base can be used to raise the pH level in your pool water. By testing the based demand, you’ll know how much base alkaline to add.

Salt: Pools and spas designed for salt water can be tested for the appropriate level. Always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate range best suited to your model.

Total Chlorine Level: Combined amount of active and inactive chlorine in your pool or spa. Excessive levels can cause burning eyes and produce a noticeable smell.

How To Use A Pool Water Test Kit

Pool Water Test Kit Tips

  1. Check the expiration date on your pool water test kit before you purchase.
  2. Test your pool water before treating it or adding any chemicals.
  3. Morning is the best time of day to test the water in your pool or spa.
  4. Follow the directions provided with your test kit closely for the most accurate results.
  5. Handle each strip carefully to avoid contaminating them, which can produce erroneous results.
  6. Schedule a routine of regular testing to prevent excessive levels of chlorine and other chemicals.
  7. Shock your pool regularly to keep your water clean and clear. Sundown is the best time to shock your pool water because the sun’s ultraviolet rays are much weaker.
  8. Keep unused test strips or reagents stored in a dry, cool place.

Also: Why It May Be Time To Test The Tap Water In Your Home

Conclusion

By testing your swimming pool water, hot tub or spa on your own, you’ll save money and stay healthy. Keeping the chemicals in your pool balanced will also preserve the life of your pool water treatment system. Hardness, high levels of chlorine, alkalinity, even lead and copper can be tested with the right kit.

If you test your pool water regularly, your pool will stay healthier longer and require less maintenance. Always check the expiration date to make sure your test strips or kit is still useable, and happy swimming!

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