Swimming Pool Test Strips Vs Drops or Liquid Test Kits

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Swimming pool test strips are gaining popularity over the older drop or liquid pool testing kits. But which one should you use? Test strips or traditional drop / liquid pool water test kits?

In this article, we’ll look at the pros of cons of both these pool test kits.

Swimming Pool Water Test Strips Kit

pool-strip-test-kit-4-waySince strips are so easy to use, more and more people today are using them. They are suitable for regular testing of your pool’s water.

Pool test strips are accurate but the accuracy depends on a few factors.

1) Buy them from a reputable supply
2) Don’t use expired strips
3) And keep them out of moisture
4) Don’t touch the ends of the strips before use – you may contaminate the pad

Some pool experts say that strips can be more accurate than drop kits because with drop and liquid testing kits, there’s much more room to make errors. You only need to add one extra drop of liquid and your test will be inaccurate.

How to Use Pool Test Strips

They’re dead simple to use. Simply take a strip and dip it in your pool water for 5 seconds. Take it out and wait 10-15 seconds until the colours appear on the strip.

Compare the colours to the chart that comes on the package. This will give you the levels of each chemical.  Most strips test between 3 and 6 different things at once.

You’re done!

Pros of Pool Test Strips

  • Fairly accurate when used properly
  • Fast and easy to use
  • Require very little technique to use – simply dip in water for 10 seconds then compare colours with chart on instructions.
  • Tests for multiple readings at once – most test between 3 and 6 things at once including (Free Chlorine, Total Alkalinity, PH, Stabiliser (Cyanuric Acid), Bromine, Total Chlorine, Phosphate, Total Hardness)

Cons of Pool Test Strips

  • Can get contaminated – avoid by not touching pads and keeping them sealed.
  • Can go out of date
  • Not as accurate as taking a water sample to the pool store

Swimming Pool Water Liquid or Drop Test Kits

liquid-test-kitThis is the traditional way of home testing your swimming pool water’s chemical level.

Testing involves taking a sample of pool water, adding a set amount of the special drops that come with the kit to the sample.

The water sample will then change colours. It’s then a matter of comparing the colour of the water sample to a colour chart. You will need to repeat these steps for each chemical that you’re testing for.

Pros of Pool Liquid or Drop Test Kits

  • Fairly accurate when used properly
  • You can calculate how much of each chemical to add with accuracy

Cons of Pool Liquid or Drop Test Kits

  • Easy to get inaccurate results
  • Is fiddly and takes a bit of time to test for several things
  • Not as accurate as taking a water sample to the pool store
  • Drops need to be replaced regularly for accuracy – they have a fairly short expiry date

Liquid Kits Vs Strips Tests – Which to Use?

They both have their place. And they both do a similar job. Some people find liquid test kits more accurate.

You should be testing your pool water a minimum of 2-3 times per week. So based on that, I would personally recommend strips because it means you’re much more likely to test your water more often, since they’re so easy to use.

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