An overview of the Best Pool Test Kits
Swimming pools are a fun accessory to have as part of your home, providing hours upon hours of leisure time for friends and family. They can be a fun experience, for sure, but ultimately, swimming pools include some maintenance that should be taken into consideration in order to preserve their status quo.
Pools should be cleaned thoroughly with chemicals and that is where the best pool test kits come in. There are many kits available on the market these days that claim to get the job done, but it goes beyond merely the chemicals. Cleaning your pool is a process and there are many steps that must be factored in so that the levels of the chemicals you use are not harmful to the swimmers using it.
Beating this in mind, know that there are literally hundreds of kits out there to choose from, with some more affordable and effective than others. You will want to check for accuracy and ask other people about their experiences with kits in order to narrow down the field. There are so many questions, but for you to get the best pool test kit possible, we have gone through the components necessary to get the job done effectively.
Different Types of Test Kits
Understand that there is a dearth of pool test kits out there, some of which are classified as digital those that are photometric, turbidimetric, titrimetric, and then colorimetric. Breaking it down further:
- digital – measurements utilizes digital sensors
- photometric – measurements utilizes photometers
- turbidimetric – measures water cloudiness
- titrimetric – measures color changes
- colorimetric – measures color matching
Sometimes, one kit can even have two test types, with the last three on the list being the most common ones used by pool owners. Turbidimetric, titrimetric, and colorimetric pool test kits require adding reagent drops to produce a result
Chemicals Found in Your Pool
Most people are not even aware of the chemicals that can be found in their swimming pool and this is a critical step that must not be ignored if you want to ensure that your pool is balanced and as safe as possible. With so many chemicals that are found in swimming pools, you need to know the best chemicals that will work optimally for your specific pool. These include:
- Sodium Bicarbonate – this is a chemical that elevates the alkalinity levels in the swimming poolside
- Bromine – a chemical that stabilizes the acid and pH levels of the swimming pool.
- Calcium Hardener – this chemical elevates calcium hardness of swimming pool
- Calcium hypochlorite – elevates chlorine levels by purifying pool and eliminating algae
- Cyanuric acid – infused with either dichlor or trichlor, cyanuric acid stabilizes chlorine levels of the swimming pool and protects against ultraviolet rays.
- Chlorine – also known as trichlor or dichlor, these elements chlorinate the swimming pool. Trichlor must be combined with a chlorinator, while dichlor doesn’t require it.
Questions When buying a Pool Test Kit
Now that you understand better the testing kit types available as well as the chemicals involved, there are still some questions that provide more insight into what you will need.
How much money are these test kits on average?
In general, digital and photometric pool testing kits are more expensive than other models. Once you have a budget set, you will be better able to select the model that works for you.
Who is using test kits?
The best pool test kits are arguably colorimetric and titrimetric, but photometric kits are another good option to consider as well. When using a colorimetric kit, the results may vary because women have less problems with color compared to men, but in the end, everyone has an opinion on color shade differential. Additionally, the background and light can also affect colorimetric test kit results. But with photometric, the guesswork is removed as the sample is utilized and the results are more assured – if the instructions are closely followed.
What will be included in the testing?
The best pool test kits are able to cover the basics and more – cyanuric acid, calcium hardness, fre chlorine, pH level, total alkalinity, and total chlorine. There are other pool test kits that also test metals, phosphates, temperature, and salinity. Some people may decide to veer towards kits that are classified as premium photometric that test for everything. It is all about your preferences.
What will the reagent accessibility be?
Where will you source the reagents – abroad or locally? Most people that own a swimming pool want a kit that they can procure locally in stores so that access is never an issue.
What are the legal regulations in your state?
Always check with your local authorities to confirm the proper pool test kits that are approved in your area. Different states have specific regulations that must be adhered to.
Pool Test Kit Features
You won’t be able to get the best pool testing kit unless you are aware of which features that one should have. They include:
simplicity – get a test kit that is easy to use. The best ones you are able to use with only the included instructions.
- Completeness – the normal kits include a test for sanitizer, pH. Better kits test total alkalinity, pH, and differentiates between free and combined chlorine. The best kits are able to test for calcium hardness, cyanuric acid, copper, and iron.
- Accuracy – you need to be aware of the proper amounts of water treatment
- Consistency Results – always repeat tests to be able to note changes in swimming poolside
- Suitability – results need to be simple to display as well as understand for maximum effectiveness
- Appropriate Design – kit should be designed well for the poolside. Plastic or glass is not advised
- Durability – Since the kits are used on a daily or weekly basis, it should be able to withstand the elements and be waterproof and tearproof
- Independent Manufacturer – choose a brand that is not offering treatment chemicals
- Value – the best kit is not necessarily as effective as cheaper options. The testing kit should be based on the needs of your specific swimming pool
Components of a Test Kit
With a test kit, there is a casing utilized that carries all the testing components. Inside, there is a color scale made from color chips that are ultraviolet protected. These scales mix the solution that determines chemical levels. There are also pool test strips that can check outcomes and can also be used to maintain chemicals. You will also receive solutions that can check swimming pool cleaners and filter chemicals.
1. Poolmaster 22260
What many pool owners like about this pool test kit is how affordable it is compared to other brands. Despite being on the more affordable end of the spectrum, it still works at providing accurate readings that will ensure that the chemistry of your pool water remains intact.
Color is used to provide the reading so accuracy isn’t compromised and the results are simple to read. The Poolmaster 22260 also comes with round test blocks that are clear and feature color lids that are matching to their solutions. Providing effective performance and recognized as the complete package, this is a pool test kit that is worth investing in.
- simple instructions that are easy to understand and readings
- quick results after testing
- charts not waterproof
2.Taylor Technologies K-2006
This is definitely one of the pool test kits that is recognized as offering the full package in testing the water chemistry of your swimming pool. The Taylor Technologies K-2006 tests for combined chlorine, total chlorine, alkalinity, calcium hardness, pH level, and cyanuric acid levels.
Plus, it comes equipped with a comparator so that time is optimized for reading results. The Taylor Technologies K-2006 may be slightly more expensive than other brands and is also considered a bit more complicated, but it provides very accurate results and is easier to use. Plus, it also features a bromine test kit from FASDPD that differentiates between total and free chlorine.
- simple to use
- includes 75 ounces of reagents
- ideal for saltwater pools
- more expensive than other comparable models
3. Taylor Technologies K-1766
With the Taylor Technologies K-1766 pool test kit, users are able to monitor the salt levels so that they remain at acceptable levels for the entire season. The results are guaranteed to be precise and they also will prolong the life expectancy of the swimming pool, with the equipment providing exceptional maintenance at the highest quality. This product uses a unique testing approach by testing the sodium chloride presently in the swimming pool. Users note that this kit also comes equipped with a waterproof case that is heavy-duty and highly durable.
- provides easy to use testing instructions
- durable carrying case provided
- includes silver nitrate reagent
- no testing for water chemistry
Since the chemicals in your pool ultimately decide how usable it will be, it is important to keep it in balance so that you do not end up shocking your pool over time with chlorine levels. By regularly testing the balance with the best pool water test kit, you are assured of an enjoyable experience for years to come.