Most pool owners know the importance of testing their water to maintain appropriate chemical levels, but did you know there are many different kinds of tests?

Strip Tests

One of the easiest to use and most common varieties of water testing Pittsburgh kits are strip tests. They include a small piece of paper that gets dipped into the pool. The paper then changes color to indicate various chemical levels. When used right, they are very accurate, but they also expire quickly and are vulnerable to contamination.

Liquid Tests

These sets come with bottles of reagents and a color chart. All you have to do is add the specified amount of reagent to a small water sample and compare the resulting color to those on the chart to determine the chemical makeup of your sample. Liquid tests are also very accurate when used correctly. They can take a little longer than most strip tests, but they are less likely to get contaminated and produce inaccurate readings.

Digital Tests

Digital tests are the most expensive but also the simplest to use and interpret. They work similarly to liquid tests, in that they use reagents to measure chemical levels. The difference is that most digital tests result in numerical values that are more straight-forward and effortless to read.

Specialty Tests

The varieties above are typically formulated to test for the most basic elements, such as chlorine levels and pH. You will sometimes need to check additional components, such as calcium hardness or copper. In this case, you will need to purchase kits that are formulated to detect those specific chemicals. These specialty tests will still usually use strips, liquid or digital readers, but they will utilize different reagents.

Water Testing

Professional Tests

Pool owners should occasionally have their water tested by professionals even if they frequently measure at home. The experts will use more advanced methods, such as titration, that can produce more accurate results than commercially available tests. They can also check for a wider variety of elements, such as copper, so that you can avoid having to use specialty kits for individual chemical levels.

There are plenty of options on the market to allow you to choose the best type for you. It can be a good idea to use different types of kits from time-to-time to verify the accuracy of the results. No matter what variety you select, be sure to thoroughly read and follow the instructions.