Best Pool Test Strips for a Crystal Clear Pool

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Anyone who owns a swimming pool knows it needs to be free of fungi, insects, and algae. Of course, this can be made possible by regular cleaning and the best pool test strips for confirmation. Furthermore, nothing beats a crystal clear pool on a hot summer afternoon.

So, we have highlighted the best pool test strips to help keep your pool chemicals balanced, fresh, and clean all the time.

Best Pool Test Strips

1) AquaChek 7-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips

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AquaChek 7-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips - Silver Pool...
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Being a new pool owner, I test my pool once daily, just to be sure. When it comes to these test strips, many pool owners can attest that they are comparable to a lab test. Right off the bat, it stood out to me that there is no need for a reagent, and it's a dip-and-go solution, leaving little room for error.

Additionally, I like to collect the water sample at least two feet into the pool for the best results. One of the tips I learned after buying my pool was to test it a second time on the other side to verify that the chemical levels are the same.

Image Source: hydropool.com

Unlike a liquid test kit, you must hold the strip horizontally to prevent the indicator chemicals in each square from mixing. Additionally, the results are very easy to read after testing, with clear color chart differences. These are the best choices if you want a quick and accurate check of your Chlorine levels. Additionally, they also test bromine and Cyanuric acid levels and leave your pool clean.

These strips are superb and work within 15 to 30 seconds. However, I don't recommend using the results after 30 seconds. You also don't have to spend 20 minutes at the pool testing your water using a liquid test kit.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Fast results
  • Versatile
  • Accurate
  • Convenient

Cons:

  • Some test strips are faulty

2) Dr. Tim Wang Pool and Spa Test Strips

Sale
Pool and Spa Test Strips - Medical-Grade Precision Hot...
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Itchy skin is sometimes normal when you go swimming. However, when I got itchy from using my hot tub, I knew the chemical levels were too high. Of course, I had to test them myself before calling in the professionals.

Furthermore, these tests take approximately one second apart from getting accurate results. Since it takes a very short time to test the water, I figured it was perfect for public pool areas. Better safe than itch every time you go swimming.

Image Source: bestreviews.guide

Of course, these pool test strips are better than many other pool test kits I've had. I noticed the packaging was airtight to prevent air from compromising the strips.

It goes without saying that the pool testing strips are easy to read; however, measuring Cyanuric acid was harder since the color didn't match anything on the provided chart. So if you want to measure cyanuric levels, you should try a liquid test kit.

A previous customer complained about bleeding; however, if you hold the test strip horizontally, the bleeding is minimal, and you still get accurate results. Of course, before using these water testing strips, ensure you have a liquid testing kit to verify your water's CYA, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Well-made strips
  • Easy-to-read results
  • Value for money
  • Accurate results

Cons:

  • Not accurate for CYA and alkalinity test

3) EASY TEST 7-Way Pool Test Strips

EASYTEST 7-Way Pool Test Strips, 150 Strips Water...
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Since using these test strips within the first 90 days is recommended for accurate results, I used them daily. Naturally, one of the first things I like to examine is bleeding. Of course, a little bleeding is fine if it doesn't prevent accurate reading.

However, I was surprised to realize that these strips don't bleed. You don't even have to shake excess water off. I was also pleased to know that the strips work even if you have a pool heater installed.

Image Source: miamiherald.com

Regarding reading the results, the color chart is not as vibrant as other swimming pool test strips. Even if you test a large pool-water sample, it won't give you a vibrant result on the chart. This makes it a little harder to read.

However, after a few tests, you get used to it and can use the strips occasionally for pool maintenance. The strips are still better than other liquid test kits I've come across.

If you don't need a 7-way test, you can get 3-way test strips of the same brand. They are the best strips to test for total chlorine, bromide, alkalinity, and free chlorine. However, they are not accurate for water hardness. Therefore, if you suspect or have water hardness, you should use a digital test kit for the best results.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Accurate
  • Excellent customer service
  • Multiple tests in one

Cons:

  • Hard to read

4) BOSIKE 7-in-1 Water Hot Tub, Swimming Pool & Spa Test Strips Kit

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BOSIKE 7 in 1 Water Hot Tub, Swimming Pool & Spa Test...
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These strips are perfect for hot tubs since they are specifically made for warm water, but they also do well in spas and swimming pools. After dipping your test strip in the water for 2 seconds, you should have results in 30 seconds. I didn't test this on my pool water or hot tub. I tested the strips at my nearest spa and was not disappointed.

Image Source: aliexpress.com

Of course, they aren't the best test strips. However, they are accurate. I noticed that the bleeding was too much on some strips and not others. I chalked it up to having gotten a bad batch.

However, after using about half the bottle, the rest of the strips worked just fine, even when I tried to test the water inlet of the above-ground pool filter that had been running for 5 hours.

I tested for multiple chemicals, including; total chlorine, Cyanuric acid, bromine, pH, alkalinity, and free chlorine. All the tests were accurate in the beginning.

However, each time you open the container to take out a strip, other strips are exposed to air and don't give the same results as a new strip. So you should also know that these strips are accurate when new and are better used as a backup.

Pros:

  • Accurate
  • Fast
  • Easy to use
  • Fast results
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Delicate to air exposure

5) AquaChek Salt Water Pool Test Strips

AquaChek Salt Test Strip Titrators for Pools - Salt...
  • WHITE SALT TEST STRIPS: Tests the salt (sodium chloride) levels...
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I was skeptical about these strips. However, after checking the results against a digital tester, I was pleased to find that they are very accurate. My pool converts to a saltwater pool; therefore, these come in handy when I require them. Additionally, the strips are dip-and-go, so I don't have to spend too much time testing my pools' salt levels.

Image source: lesliespoolsupplies.com

If you want a quick check or double-check your chemical levels, I recommend a pack of these test strips. Additionally, to check the accuracy of this strip pool test kit, I used 3 strips at once on samples of the same pool water. Each strip read the same reference point.

Naturally, there were no variations in any strip. I followed it up with a digital water tester, and it read the same. It is worth mentioning that I followed the instructions accurately.

I encountered a few people testing saltwater pools who complained about variations in the reading chart. It is true. No two kits have the same chart. However, if you use the chart with your strips, it is very accurate. It isn't recommended to read your strips on another kit chart.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Accurate
  • Easy to read
  • Versatile
  • Great for quick readings

Cons:

  • Only 10 strips in the pack

Factors to Consider When Buying Pool Testing Strips

There are multiple strip testing kits in the market, and every manufacturer always claims to have the best pool test kits. Therefore, before you buy a strip test kit, ensure you know what you want from it. Where will you be testing it? How many times do you test your pool? All these are questions to ask yourself before buying testing strips.

However, here are some factors you might consider.

a) Accuracy

If your test strips don’t provide accurate readings, then there is no point in buying them. Additionally, any test strips you buy should be able to calculate the true test readings for every parameter you test.

Sometimes, a close enough or decent range is acceptable in Chlorine pools. However, with test results, always aim for accuracy. Your best bet for accurate strips is reputable manufacturers.

Accuracy

Image Source: freshwatersystems.com

It is important to remember that pool owners should not use pool water test strips past their expiration date. Otherwise, you will get inaccurate results. If you doubt the accuracy of your kit, ask your nearest pool cleaners. However, you also must be careful (don’t shake the strips) when testing to eliminate human error.

b) Completeness

Complete kit

Image Source: youtube.com

Of course, you don’t need a professional test kit to measure the Chlorine, Bromine, pH, total alkalinity, total hardness, and cyanuric acid of your pool. However, there are basic components that should exist in your testing kit. They are:

  • Recommended ranges for each test measurement.
  • Test instructions
  • A Chlorine and Bromine test for health reasons. (It can be either of the two)
  • A test for pH for maintenance reasons.

c) Independent Manufacturer

Independent manufacturers

Image Source: aliexpress.com

Choosing a kit from an independent manufacturer that doesn’t make treatment chemicals is recommended. This is because they ensure an impartial presentation of treatment alternatives. For example, they won’t alter the test strips to show more Chlorine or Bromine than there is.

d) Ease of Use

Ease of use

Image Source: cloroxpoolandspa.com

As you have noticed, most of the reviewed products are easy to use. This is because there is no point in buying a test kit only for it to sit in storage because it is complicated to use or the liquid reagents need to be color coded. Therefore, selecting a kit, you will use often is important.

e) Results Consistency

Results consistency Water Rangers

Image source: waterrangers.com

When you buy a test strip kit, it comes with multiple strips that you will use over a couple of months. Therefore, the strips must all show consistency in their readings to be accurate.

You should note that if you log your testing and treatment routine, you need to replicate tests over days and weeks as accurately as possible. Since the goal is to monitor your pools’ chemistry, it would be helpful to have strips you can rely on.

How to Use Pool Test Strips

Using a pool test strip is easy. Of course, there are other options, like digital testers, to check your pH levels, but a test strip is the easiest and fastest way to get results. Here is how to use pool test strips:

  • Take a water sample and collect the water closer to the middle of the pool. Stay away from return jets, and dip the cup at least two feet into the water.
  • Dip the test strip for a few seconds and pull it out.
  • Lay it to rest horizontally, and don’t shake any excess water off, or it will cause bleeding.
  • Let the strip rest for 30-40 seconds.
  • Colors will appear on the strip. Line them up with the corresponding colors on the chart provided.
  • Using the readings, you can then determine whether to increase or reduce the chemicals in the pool.

Before settling on one test strip type, you should try other kits and decide what you will use for your pool.

The Bottom Line

Good pool test strips ensure your pool is balanced and everything works properly. Additionally, when test strips are used correctly, they are very accurate. Of course, many different products are available, especially since multiple test strips are available. Most tests are effortless and take less than four steps to complete.

You also have to consider what type of recreational body your test strips are for. For example, some test strips are specifically made for saltwater pool owners; others are made for spas, and most are made for pools.

Featured image source: miamiherald.com

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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