How to use Pool Test Strips

Note: A newer and more up-to-date version of this article can be found here.

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will show you how to accurately use pool test strips.

  • For best results, run your pool pump for at least one hour before testing your water
  • Dip the test strip in the water for a few seconds, then wait 10 – 20 seconds for the strip to change colors
  • Compare the test strip to the color chart on the package
  • Electronic pool testing equipment will read the colors for you.
  • Store your test materials in a cool, dry place, and pay attention to the expiration date

Video transcription:

Hi I'm Peter with Leslie's swimming pool supplies and this video will teach you how to use water testing strips. Regularly testing your water is the best way to keep your pool clean, safe and ready to enjoy.

During the swim season, we suggest you test your water at least 2 times per week. Pool Water Test Strips are the easiest way to check your water chemistry. They’re simple use to and provide fast, accurate results.

While testers measure a variety of things, you want to concentrate on pH, alkalinity and sanitizer like chlorine and bromine. For best results make sure your pump has been running at least one hour before testing.

Dip the test strip in the water for a couple of seconds, then wait 10 to 20 seconds for the strip to change colors.

Compare the test strip to the color chart on the package. Be sure not to wait too long, this may cause the colors to keep changing and may give you an inaccurate reading. Refer to the package for specific instructions.

Occasionally, colors much can be hard to distinguish on the test strips. Using a meter like the Aqua check True Test Digital Meter will eliminate that issue and read the colors for you. The meter also keeps track of your readings so you can see trends in your water.

Water test should be completed before you add any chemicals to your pool. Also pool chemicals can take up to a day to have their full effect.

When you're not using the test strips, store them in a cool dry place and pay close attention to the product’s expiration date. In addition to testing your water at home, bring a sample to one of our stores every two weeks for a free test and analysis.LESL_BLOG_chemicals

If you have any questions about testing your water, visit

Leslie's Free 10-Point Water Test

Facebook  Twitter X  YouTube  Instagram
Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.