Best Pool Test Kit Reviews 2017 [Ultimate Guide]


What is a pool testing kit?

A pool testing kit contains all the test reagents, strips, charts and instructions how to use the kit in order to maintain your pool water sanitized, well-balanced and crystal clear.

After dipping the test strips in your pool water, you compare the strip colors with the color charts which are provided either on the test containers or on separate sheets in order to see what the current levels are.

What you need to check in pool test kit reviews is whether the color charts are easy to read and compare with the strips, how accurate results they give and how many tests the kit provides.


Best Pool Test Kits Comparison

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test 4-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips - 50ct
4.3$$
2. TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD
4.4$
3. AquaChek 551236 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips
4.4$
4. Taylor K-1000 Basic Residential Pool & Spa Test Kit
4.7$$$
5. Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit with Case - Basic Collection
4.5$$
6. Poolmaster 22270 5-Way Test with Case - Premier Collection
4,4$$
7. Jed Pool tools Inc 00-481 Standard Dual Test Kit
4.4$$$

Buying guide


In order for you to have a healthy, clear and well balanced pool water, you need to test the water regularly and make sure that the chemical levels stay within the following range:


pH: 7.2 – 7.6

Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm

Free available chlorine: 1-3 ppm

Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm

Bromine: 3-5 ppm

Cyanuric Acid: 30 – 50 ppm



Not every pool testing kit has all the above test options but the best pool test kits do. Here are a few useful explanations of the usual tests for which you need to use the best pool chemistry test kit for your needs:


The pH test is the most important as you need to target the ideal pH range of 7.2-7.6. With lower values, your pool water will be acidic and in case of higher values, sanitizers will not be efficient. All inground swimming pool kits as well as spa kits have pH test included.


Alkalinity test shows whether pH fluctuations in your pool water will be prevented.


Free chlorine test should be included in all test kits. As free chlorine is the main sanitizer in your pool, this test will show whether chlorine can perform optimal sanitation. Too much chlorine may cause skin and eyes irritation so look for this test option when shopping for inground swimming pool kits or a hot tub test kit.


Cyanuric acid (CYA) test shows you the level of conditioners and stabilizers. CYA is usually present in chlorine which is commercially available. The CYA level should be kept within the optimal range to maintain the ability of chlorine to disinfect the water. Another task of CYA is to minimize the destructive effects the sunlight has on chlorine.



Calcium hardness test shows the hardness or softness of your pool water. High levels of calcium might cause scales to form on your interior pool surfaces and the heating elements or even in the pool pump. High levels can also be a warning for possible skin irritation or sore eyes. If the water is too soft, corrosion of metal surfaces inside the pool might occur.


Choosing the Right Pool Test Kit


Now, as for the question which pool testing kit or hot tub test kit you should go for, apart the number of possible tests and the testing accuracy, the second single most important feature is the color matching. Different tests have different color coded charts to match the strips with so it’s crucial that it is easy to distinguish between the colors.


You should go for tests which feature easy color matching so that you know exactly what the results are and which chemicals are off balance. Then you can add what’s necessary to restore the chemical balance in your pool. If you have problems with color matching because of your eyesight, a top digital pool tester would be a better option for you.


It goes without saying that if you can visually determine that your pool is infested with algae, you will have to deal with them first using a good algaecide before you start other tests.


Many low-cost kits only test for free chlorine and pH levels. Those might not give you an accurate picture of the chemical balance of your pool water but according to CDC they are your disinfection team. These tests are very important to perform regularly.

If your pool smells of chlorine, check the chlorine level as you may need to add more chlorine. How come? Well, contrary to what most people think, it's too little chlorine that causes the strong odor, not too much. Too little chlorine allows chloramine compounds to form. It is these compounds that have the strong smell and can cause the irritation of your eyes, nose and skin.


If you are looking for the best salt water pool test kit it should include salt (Sodium Chloride) test. In our pool water test kit reviews we opted for the following seven kits. With a little help from our pool test kit reviews, you should be able to find the best pool water test kit for you.

Best Pool Test Kits Reviews

Editor Rating:

4.3/5

Poolmaster 4-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips provide easy and quick way to maintain proper water chemistry in your spas and pools. The kit analyzes four chemical factors: Free Chlorine, Bromine, Alkalinity and pH.

Poolmaster 22211 Smart Test 4-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips - 50ct

50 test strips come in a convenient plastic bottle with color graduation charts on the side. The desiccant-lined interior of the bottle keeps strips dry and protects the integrity of the pads. Still, be careful not to reach for a strip with your fingers wet as that will mess up the testing properties of the rest of the strips.

In order to test your pool or spa, what you do is simply dip a strip into the water at the depth of at least 6" for two seconds. After that, shake off excess water from strip and compare it to the chart on the bottle.

You should test your pool water at least twice or three times a week but your hot tubs should be tested daily because of the smaller volume and higher water temperature which allow for quicker changes in the water chemistry. Again due to their sensitivity, choose the best hot tub test kit you can find.

Useful for a quick check, Poolmaster 4-Way may not be as accurate as the reagent test kits but testing with it is certainly a lot easier and quicker. It will let you know if the chlorine, bromine or pH levels are getting out of ideal range.

These test strips work really well with hot tubs, small, medium and bigger pools. They seem to give really accurate results that adjust accordingly when you add or remove chemicals to treat the water based on the results.

Things We Liked


  • ​Four basic tests for your spa or pool
  • ​Accurate while easy to use
  • ​Perfect for quick checks
  • ​The colors are easy to compare

Things We Didn't Like


  • Sensitive to moisture to the point of inaccurate testing so keep in a dry place

Price:

$$












Editor Rating:

4.4/5

Taylor Technologies K-2006 comes in a very well organized, sturdy plastic case, and the color coded testing sheet on the inside of the lid is easy to interpret and has a convenient outlook. There is a very helpful and easy to read pamphlet included in this kit that explains a lot about water testing and sanitizing.

Taylor K-2006 kit tests for chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and Cyanuric Acid. Instead of liquid reagent, K-2006 has DPD powder for chlorine testing which is more accurate. This kit can be used for salt water pools as well, but it isn’t your best salt water pool test kit as it doesn't test for sodium chloride (salt) content. To test salt content, you will need to buy a sodium chloride kit.

Using this kit lets you accurately determine chlorine levels, including both free and combined chlorine, without having to do any color matching. In fact, there is no color matching for any of the tests except the pH test while sanitizer tests are titrations to help eliminate color-matching problems.

Using this Taylor kit, you will keep your pool water crystal clear and sparkling by spending 5 minutes a day doing chlorine and pH tests, and a few more minutes doing the other tests once a week.

TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT COMP CHLORINE FAS-DPD

We suggest using only one scoop of the FAS-DPD powder and not two: if the water turns pink after adding just one scoop (it usually does), adding the extra scoop when the water is already pink will not improve the test you're performing but you will waste FAS-DPD powder unnecessarily.

It's easy to learn how to test your pool water for all the essential things: Free Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid. Only the cyanuric acid test might be a little tricky, but you can easily repeat that test over and over without using more test chemicals.

Things We Liked


  • ​Convenient and easy to use test kit
  • ​Accurate test results
  • ​Titrations for all tests, color-matching only for pH
  • ​Six test options
  • Sturdy and neat storing and carrying case

Things We Didn't Like


  • The test for salt not included

Price:

$






Editor Rating:

4.4/5

AquaChek 7-Way 100 Pool Water Test Strips are quick and easy to use and yet highly accurate. Simply dip a test strip into your pool water for one second, remove it and wait for 15 seconds. Then all you need to do is compare the color on the AquaChek strip to the color chart provided on the label. It can’t get easier than that!

AquaChek 551236 7-Way 100 Count Pool Water Test Strips

AquaChek 7-way is the most comprehensive test strip product in AquaChek’s line providing test results for 7 key parameters in less than one minute. You can test Total Hardness, Total Chlorine, Total Bromine, Free Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, and Cyanuric Acid.

Do keep in mind that you’ll be comparing very close shades of colors here instead of counts of drops of chemicals so some inaccuracy might be due to your own interpretation of the readings.

You should store the kit in a cool dry place as moisture can cause inaccurate readings even with the best pool test kit if not stored properly. Also, when testing the pool after adjusting your chlorine feeder, don't take your test sample close to water-return jets because you will get false readings.

Another convenient feature is that when you pop the cap open, there's a little hole through which you can shake one strip out into your palm. Some of the other test strip bottles simply open all the way and you need to reach with your finger to get one strip which causes possible contamination of the unused test strips.

So keep these strips on hand for quick checks of your pool or hot tub water. For the price, this is likely the best pool water tester kit available for quick and accurate checks. Test strips expire after one year.

Things We Liked


  • ​Seven test options
  • ​Generally accurate test results
  • ​Convenient and super quick to use
  • ​Cap hole prevents strip contamination

Things We Didn't Like


  • Colors reported to run together in some pool test kit reviews

Price:

$





Editor Rating:

4.7/5

Taylor K-1000 Basic Residential Pool & Spa Test Kit is exactly what the name says – a basic kit for spa and pool owners. It tests Total Chlorine, Bromine and pH. It comes in a hard shell case with molded fill lines, easy to read comparator, 75 ounce reagents and color coded instructions.

Even some of the best pool test kits might make you struggle to match the very subtle yellow color shades but that is not the case Taylor K-1000. Their design for the color-matching vials makes it much easier to distinguish the yellow colors when using the kit.

The flip side of the instruction card has dosage charts so you can use test results for choosing the necessary water treatment. Taylor K-1000 Basic Residential kit for pool and spa tests is easy to use and provides fast and accurate readings.

Taylor K-1000 Basic Residential Pool & Spa Test Kit

Taylor’s Residential Series™ uses the same quality reagents as Taylor’s best pool test kits for more advanced tests and for professional analysts. Every kit in the Residential Series is available in handy blue injection-molded plastic case which is so durable that you can refill it and reuse it seasons on end.

On the lower end of the price range, this is the best pool chemical test kit with basic tests for pH, chlorine and bromine levels. Compact, easy to use, and in a protective case, Taylor K-1000 will come in handy in between more in-depth testing.

As for the instructions, they are written in clear, nontechnical terms and printed on waterproof paper that will resist fading and tearing. The flip side of the instruction card has dosage charts for translating test results into necessary treatment. The best pool testing kit for most users is also the easiest to use. This kit is no exception.

Things We Liked


  • ​Convenient and super quick to use
  • ​Accurate basic test options
  • ​Durable kit case
  • ​Great value for money

Things We Didn't Like


  • Nothing major having the low price in mind

Price:

$$$









Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit consists of the essential must-have products for your pool and spa maintenance. Your swimming pool should provide enjoyment and relaxation for you, your family and friends. Your pool deserves the best pool test kit you can get to keep it clean and healthy.

To achieve that, your pool must be free from algae, mineral deposits, bacteria and other contaminants which are not only a serious health hazard, but also a cause for water cloudiness and discoloration, slimy deposits and unpleasant smell.

This easy-to-use Poolmaster 5-Way kit gives you tests for Chlorine, Bromine, pH, Alkalinity and Acid Demand. Once you test the pool water, you can start water treatment based on the measurements essential for all inground swimming pool kits.

The protection and storage durable and neatly organized polyethylene case includes clear-view round test block with matching color caps to solutions and the testers enable easy-to-read color readings. The solutions are numbered 1-5 and the one-page instruction leaflet tells you exactly what to do in a clear and easy way. The solutions 1, 2 and 3 are 1oz while 4 and 5 are 1/2oz.

Poolmaster 22260 5-Way Test Kit with Case - Basic Collection

Poolmaster 5-Way kit is very accurate and an inexpensive way to test chemicals in your pool. The color chart is really good and goes from light yellow to a dark orange. (1.0 to 5.0+ chlorine level eg). The amount of chemicals should last a full season and the testing instructions are easy to understand. At this price, this is the best pool test kit.

Things We Liked


  • ​Accurate test results
  • ​Five test options
  • ​Convenient and easy to use
  • ​Storing and carrying case provided

Things We Didn't Like


  • No CYA test option

Price:

$$










Editor Rating:

4.4/5

Poolmaster 22270 5-Way Test with Case - Premier Collection

Poolmaster 5-Way Test - Premier Collection tests for Chlorine, Bromine, Total Alkalinity, pH and Acid Demand. These 5 values are important as Chlorine and Bromine are sanitizers that help keep the pool and spa water free from germs and algae build up.

Maintaining a proper balance of Alkalinity and pH will help keep the water from developing scale or cause corrosion in your pool or spa. Acid demand test measures the amount of acid needed to reduce the pH level your pool.

Poolmaster 5-Way Test - Premier Collection differs from Poolmaster 5-Way Test – Basic Collection in that Premier Collection has six color bars for both chlorine and pH - providing greater resolution whereas Basic Collection has five color bars. Poolmaster 5-Way Test - Premier Collection also includes a scale for bromine concentration.

The protection and storage polyethylene case is durable and well organized. This kit also includes clear-view round test block with matching color caps to solutions. The testers enable easy-to-read color readings.

The solutions are numbered 1-5 and the one-page instruction leaflet tells you exactly how to use them in a clear and easy way. The solutions 1, 2 and 3 are 1oz while 4 and 5 are 1/2oz.

The color chart is clear and goes from light yellow to a dark orange and the testing instructions are easy to understand. Not the best pool chemistry test kit for those of you who don’t like reading colors or counting drops but a very good one otherwise considering number of options and the price.

Things We Liked


  • ​Five test options
  • ​Accurate test results with 6-grade chart
  • ​Durable storage and carrying case
  • ​Convenient and easy to use kit

Things We Didn't Like


  • No Ca hardness or CYA test option

Price:

$$











Editor Rating:

4.4/5

Jed Pool tools Inc Standard Dual Test Kit includes one 1/2-ounce bottle chlorine test solution, one 1/2-ounce bottle pH test solution a plastic tester and a carrying case. Maybe not the best pool water tester kit in the market but certainly the most affordable.

It is one of the simplest ways to test the chlorine and pH balance of your pool or hot tub. You won't get a detailed breakdown of water cleanliness or content, but you will get to see a general condition of your water before or after water treatment.

Jed Pool tools Inc Standard Dual Test Kit will not only test whether your pool water is sanitized and well balanced, but will also prevent possible problems with pool equipment, accessories and the pool’s interior finish which may arise due to improper water treatment.

Jed Pool tools Inc 00-481 Standard Dual Test Kit

Remember to rinse off caps as well as the tester, so they don’t have residue that might effects test results. There are handy instructions inside the lid, so you don’t have to remember exactly how many drops you need for each of the two tests. It is also easy to read with the color code right there on the casing.

So if you are looking for a simple pool testing kit that does the job and fits the bill, this is it. It does the job well and it’s as accurate as long as you follow simple instructions.

Things We Liked


  • ​Two basic and simple test options
  • ​Quite accurate test results
  • ​Convenient and easy to use
  • ​Instructions on the inside of the lid

Things We Didn't Like


  • For more test options other than chlorine and pH, go for another kit

Price:

$$$






Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I've tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me. I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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