In more and more gardens you can see great pools with crystal clear water. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is not a matter of course that the pool water is always clear and has a high water quality.
If you do not pay enough attention to the pool, the pool water quickly becomes milky. In the summer months, algae can form in the pool, turning the pool water green.
Pool owners dread the thought of these scenarios. They know that there is more to pool maintenance than fishing the leaves off the pool at the end of the day. Only by regularly testing the pool chemistry and then correcting it accordingly can the pool water remain crystal clear.
There are several ways to test the water in your pool. One of them is the use of pool test strips. This testing method is very popular among pool owners due to its ease of use. In addition, the test strips are very inexpensive and still collect various readings.
Many inexperienced pool owners rush to grab the first product they see, and then wonder why they don’t get the results they were hoping for. One reason for this is that not all pool test strips are equally good or equally efficient. So the question is, which pool water test strips are of good quality? A pool test strip test provides an answer to this.
The following products have been carefully selected by us to give you a good overview of the best pool test strips, making your purchase decision easier. You can also get more detailed information about the topic in the following guide.
- Pool test strips can be used to make important statements about the quality of the pool water. If the pool chemistry gets out of balance, unpleasant side effects such as corrosion of the pool equipment and irritation of the mucous membranes can occur.
- Among the most important values are the pool pH and the chlorine content of the water. Good test strips can check the pool water for at least these two values. Other interesting values that only some test strips can detect are algae content, alkalinity and cyanuric acid content.
- The pool test strips provide rough results and are easy, quick and efficient to use. Price-wise, these are among the most affordable testing methods. However, they cannot compete with the accuracy of digital meters.
Table of Contents
- 1 The best pool test strips
- 2 Guide: Buying the right pool test strips
- 3 FAQs: Frequently asked questions about pool test strips answered
- 4 Conclusion
The best pool test strips
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Guide: Buying the right pool test strips
The various pool test strips currently available on the market have many things in common. If you want to measure the pool pH, almost all test strips will do the job. However, not all pool test strips are suitable for a more accurate analysis of the pool water.
The possibility to determine the chlorine content or the alkalinity of the pool is only offered by a few test strips. Furthermore, the test strips of the individual manufacturers differ in accuracy and ease of use.
You should take a closer look at the following three areas before making a purchase:
The pH value can be determined with virtually all pool test strips. That’s because pH is the most important. If you want clean pool water, you have to pay attention to the pH value.
If you want to measure other values in addition, you have to make sure that the test strips can detect the corresponding concentrations. You can analyze the following values with the common products:
(The optimal values in ppm are in parentheses; ppm = parts per million).
- pH value (7.0 – 7.4 ppm)
- Free chlorine (0.3 – 0.6 mg/l)
- Bromine (3.0 – 6.0 ppm)
- Alkalinity (80 – 160 mg/l)
- Cyanuric acid (40 – 80 ppm)
- Carbonate hardness (36 ppm)
- Algaecide (preventive measure against algae in the pool).
Pool test strips should be as accurate as possible so that you don’t put incorrect amounts of a chemical in the water after taking a reading. Avoid test strips that are too cheap, as they are often inaccurate.
However, the accuracy of the various test strips available are very similar. It can still be helpful to look at customer reviews before making a purchase. The individual opinions sometimes contain important information about the respective product and thus lead to a better purchase decision.
The application of pool test strips is very simple compared to other measurement methods. A simplified description is as follows:
- Hold test strip into the pool water
- Wait a short time
- Take out the strips and compare the resulting colors with those on the packaging.
The exact procedure differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Follow the instructions for use on the packaging. The colors of the individual test strips are also different. Therefore, keep the packaging well in order to correctly match the resulting color.
FAQs: Frequently asked questions about pool test strips answered
What are the advantages and disadvantages of pool test strips?
- Easy and convenient to use: The application of the test strips is precisely documented in easy-to-follow instructions. You can’t do much wrong.
Many recorded values: most test strips allow you to measure the pH value. However, most products on the market record about 3 to 5 values.
- Very time-saving: The measurement process usually takes only a few seconds. There is no need to spend a lot of time and the time saved can be better used for relaxing in the pool.
- Reasonable price: Pool test strips are available for little money. One pack of pool water test strips contains up to 100 specimens. If you only use the test strips weekly during the pool season, you will get something out of the 100 strips for a long time. Pool water test strips are the least expensive method of analyzing pool water.
- Measurement Accuracy: Of the several measurement methods, using test strips is among the more inaccurate.
What is the difference of pool test strips and other testing methods?
In addition to pool test strips, you can also use a tablet test kit or a pool water kit with test liquid. These three variants are analogous test procedures that do not differ significantly from each other. The biggest difference is in the application:
- Pool Test Strips: As you already know, this measurement method uses a test strip. The strip is held in the water for a short time, and then the resulting coloration is compared with a color table.
- Tablet test kit: To use this method successfully, you scoop some water out of the pool with a test container and then add a tablet. The water in the container changes color, and you can read the measured value.
- Pool water kit with test liquid: Just as with the tablets, you also need a test container with pool water. Now you drip a test liquid into the corresponding chamber. After a short time, the water changes color, and you can determine the value.
Another test method is the use of a dosing device. The practical device measures the various values fully automatically and adds the required amount of the respective chemical to the water. This variant is very convenient and extremely accurate, but also much more expensive than the analog methods.
Where to buy pool test strips?
If you want to buy pool test strips, you can do it conveniently online. In this way, you will not be in a situation where you have to go to a specialized store and buy useless additional products. The most popular and convenient way to order pool test strips online are mail order platforms such as Amazon or ebay. Most people already have a customer account there anyway.
How often should the values in the pool be tested?
The pool water should be tested regularly. We recommend testing the pool water at least every week. After refilling the pool, carbonic acid outgasses. For this reason, the pH level will fluctuate greatly within the first few weeks. A freshly filled pool should be checked several times a week if possible. If necessary, you will have to readjust.
Swimming pools are used most intensively during the summer months. In addition, the higher temperatures and humidity favor algae growth. Therefore, test the pool water at least twice a week during the peak season.
In the first really warm days of summer, many backyard owners fill their pools with water. Friends and family are brought in, and the cool pool is used to relax comfortably or to romp around with the kids. After a short time, however, there are many foreign particles in the water, which has a negative effect on the pool chemistry.
If you don’t pay close attention, the pool water can become cloudy or take on a milky color. Using pool test strips is an inexpensive and convenient way to check pool water for its ingredients.
This analog measuring method is not as accurate as, for example, a digital dosing system. However, the test strips are perfectly sufficient to get a quick overview of the pool chemistry. The pool test strips we present perform this task excellently and can help you keep a close eye on the various ingredients in your pool.