Quick Definition:

Test strips are small strips of paper or plastic that serve as testing devices, and designed to test specific chemicals in swimming pool water.

What are Test Strips for swimming pools?

Test strips are used to perform different chemical, metal, water balance, and water quality tests in a body of water.  Tests strips often come packaged in a quantity, so repeated testing is easier.  Some test strips only test one level, such as pH, where others can test up to four values at once; pH, total alkalinity, free chlorine, and cyanuric acid.

The steps involved in testing with test strips are nearly the same for all test strip makers.  A test strip is taken out of the container, placed in the swimming pool water for an amount of time, removed from the water and placed on a flat surface and out of the sunlight.  The resulting color on the test strip is matched to a color chart provided with the test strips. The person testing can then estimate the test level of their pool water based on the color on the test strip.

Early creations of test strips were not as accurate compared to testing with a test kit, but modern quality brand name test strips are typically just as accurate as testing with test kits.  Although test strips are inexpensive per container, pool owners may go through several containers in one season, which can be at or above the price of a test kit.


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