Pool/spa: what is the best pH tester?

If you own a swimming pool or spa, you know how important it is to maintain water quality for a pleasant, healthy swim. There are several water quality testers on the market. The most common are disposable test strips, electronic testers or connected probes. In this article, we'll look at the advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.

All about pH - ICO by Ondilo

Get a reliable pH test for your pool or spa

The pH balance in your pool or spa is of paramount importance because of its impact on pool disinfection. The pH balance also influences the disinfectant's ability to effectively kill bacteria and harmful organisms in the water More info about pH here .

To test the pH of your pool or spa water, there are two main categories of testers. Chemical testers, such as test strips, and electronic testers, such as pH meters or connected probes. Here are their advantages and disadvantages.

Disposable strips

les bandelettes de test pour piscine et spa donnent des résultats peu fiables dont il faut interprèter le résultat. Un mauvais usage ( profondeur, localisation du test) peuvent fausser totalement le résultat. Optez pour une sonde connectée ICO pour plus de fiabilité

Test strips are disposable analysis tools that contain chemical reagents sensitive to various pool water components, such as pH.To use them, dip the test strip into your pool or spa water and wait for the chemical reagents to change color to indicate component levels.

    • Price (between 10 and 40 euros/100 tests)
    • Wide availability (e-commerce, boutiques)
    • Stand-alone solution (does not depend on a service/device
    • Storage: strips should be stored in a clean, dry place at a moderate temperature.
    • Reliability of measurements (a wrong depth or a reading taken in the wrong place distorts the result)
    • The reading of the result is temporary, to avoid reading falsified results due to oxidation of the chemical reagents.
    • User interprets the result and does not obtain an accurate measurement
    • Low ecological impact
    • Expiration date: once opened, strips oxidize.

As you can understand, test strips are fairly reliable and inexpensive tools. However, reading the result is an interpretation of the color indicated, so it's not a very precise instrument. If your water needs chemical treatment, it will be difficult to know the effective dosage of product to add. As a result, you run the risk of over-consuming chemicals or carrying out ineffective treatments. Finally, be careful about the strips you buy. You need to choose a test strip reference based on the type of water treatment you want to use (chlorine, bromine or active oxygen, salt).

Electronic pH-meter

The pH meter is one of the tools you can use to measure the pH of your pool or spa. Less reliable than a connected pH probe

Electronic testers or pH meters operate with an electrode tip and transmit information either on a dial segmented by different colors or on a digital display. Very simple to use, simply dip the probe manually into the pond water to measure the pH of your pond water.

  • Analysis accurate to tenths
  • Low cost (around €30)
  • Battery powered
  • Reliability of analysis (probe must be correctly immersed and filtration active to obtain a reliable result)
  • Regular calibration required

The precision of the results obtained with a pH meter and its price make this instrument a good ally for controlling the water balance in your pool or spa. However, to get a reliable result, you need to immerse the probe properly. However, unlike connected probes, measurements are taken manually and do not indicate the dosage of chemicals to be added if your water has a pH problem.

Connected pH sensor for pools and spas

la sonde connectée ICO possède une sonde pH qui mesure la qualité de l'eau. Cette solution est plus fiable que des bandelettes de tests

A connected pH probe is a smart equipment that uses technology to analyze pool or spa water with great precision. Results are displayed directly on a smartphone, making reading results easier and more accurate.

  • Automated measures
  • Reliability of measures: accurate results and trackable with a (mineral water test). Readings are taken at the correct depth at several points in the basin.
  • The sensors have a long service life (suitable for several seasons).
  • Environmentally-friendly: most probes are recyclable. Precise results mean fewer chemicals are needed.
  • Price: between 250 and 500 euros
  • Maintenance requires regular calibration, as well as regular humidification of the sensor during wintering.
  • Weakness
Sonde pH VS bandelettes - ICO by Ondilo

Review of pH testers for pools and spas

To conclude this article, remember that measuring the pH level of your pool or spa with a probe is far more accurate than with test strips or an electronic tester such as the manual pH meter. What's more, connected devices like ICO offer a much broader service than just measuring water quality. They also give recommendations for treatment dosages, when your pond water needs it!