So it’s the very beginning of swim season in most of the Sunbelt USA. You have to get your pool ready and you’re not sure about the different test kits available. WE CAN HELP.
The basic types of pool test kits:
- Test Strips
- Liquid reagent test kits
- Dry reagent test kits
- Electronic probes
You want a test kit that can test for Total Chlorine, Free Available Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, and Hardness at a minimum. Other tests may include cyanuric acid (stabilizer or CYA), phosphates, metals, borate, and salt. The CYA test is the only one you should consider unless you are running a salt chlorine generator on your pool in which case you will need a salt test as well.
For most people test strips or a liquid reagent test kit will do just fine for home use.
If you are color blind (a high percentage of men are) then you may want to consider probes. However, they are expensive. It’s cheaper to ask another family member to read the test kit or test strips. We use test strips, liquid reagent tests and electronic probes on our routes and back them up with professional level liquid and dry reagent test kits.
Make sure you keep your reagents or strips in a cool dry place- anywhere on your pool deck does not count as either cool or dry. If your reagents are over 6 months old buy new ones or a whole new test kit. Don’t buy a 100 count container of strips if you only test the water once a week, that’s almost a two year supply. Buy a bottle of 25 instead and keep them inside your air-conditioned house.