Reviews pool chemical testers

Published on January 10th, 2022 | by Roger Corbinetti

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4 Best Digital Pool Water Testers 2022: Reviews & Buying Guide

DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Shopping for the best digital pool water tester? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

The easiest way to check your pool water chemistry is to use a digital pool water tester. 

Digital pool water test units generate very accurate results in a short time and are generally very easy to use. 

That said, they vary in features and in the chemicals & metrics they can test, so it’s important to choose one that matches your specific pool water issues such as algae blooms, low chlorine, high mineral content, etc.

In general, you should check your water chemicals at least once a week – so make sure the unit you choose is high quality and reliable.


What’s In This Buying Guide

In this guide, we review & compare the best digital pool water testers sold online and recommend top picks for the most common needs & situations. 

After our top picks and reviews, we discuss the factors you should consider when selecting a digital pool water tester – including test accuracy, ease of use, reliability, and more.

Finally, we answer frequently-asked questions about digital pool water testers.

Hopefully, this guide will help you find the right digital pool water tester for your needs.

If you need any advice or another recommendation, please leave a comment below.


Best Digital Pool Water Test Units: Our Top 4

  1. Best TDS Tester: Digital Water Quality Meter
  2. Best for the Money: Apera Instruments Bluetooth Tester
  3. Best Smart/Connected Pool Water Monitor: WaterGuru SENSE
  4. Best Digital pH Meter: APLUSTE Digital PH Meter
ModelTests ForMode
Warranty
Digital Water Quality Meter

digital pool test kit
Dissolved Solids (TDS)On Demand
Apera Instruments Bluetooth Tester

Apera Instruments, LLC-AI3719 PC60-Z Bluetooth Multi-Parameter Smart Tester Powered by ZenTest Mobile App
pH
Conductivity
Temperature
On Demand
6 months
WaterGuru SENSE

WaterGuru SENSE
pH
Free Chlorine
Conductivity
Temperature
Automatic (Daily)
12 months
APLUSTE Digital PH Meter

Digital PH Meter, PH Meter 0.01 PH High Accuracy Water Quality Tester
pH

On Demand

1. Best TDS Tester: Digital Water Quality Meter

digital pool test kit

Amazon

The Digital Water Quality Meter from Jomuyee is a compact yet extremely accurate pool water tester. It features a lightweight pen-style design with a digital readout display on top and a sensor electrode on the bottom. 

It can measure the conductivity, TDS, and temperature. You can use it for on-demand testing. 

Key Features

Compactness

Unlike some other digital pool testing devices, this digital pool tester boasts a compact and lightweight design. It measures only 7.09 x 0.98 x 1.65 inches and weighs 6.4 ounces. It is basically like a pen, both in style and weight. 

The Jomuyee Digital Pool Tester comes with its own carrying case that protects the device from damage and keeps it from getting misplaced. 

Accuracy

The Jomuyee Digital Water Quality Meter is one of the most accurate devices currently available on the market. It can measure 3 water parameters: Total Dissolved Solids, water conductivity, and temperature. 

For TDS count, it is accurate up to +/-1 digit. For conductivity, the measurements have an error percent of ±3 F.S. And the temperature measurement can be off by ±1℃. 

This accuracy is made possible by premium-quality titanium alloy probes and by its reliable Automatic Temperature Compensation, which adjusts sensitivity based on environment.

Replaceable Probe 

Another great feature of this handheld device is its replaceable probe.

Although the Jomuyee tester is durable, if you manage to damage the probe you can get it replaced instead of purchasing a new unit altogether. 

The simple plug-in probe design makes it easy to remove and reinstall, adding to its user-friendliness. 

digital pool chemical tester

Limitations 

  • Only measures three parameters 
  • Batteries not included 
  • Does not work below 0 °C or higher than 50 °C

The Jomuyee Water Quality Meter is Best for You if… 

You need a compact and portable device for accurate water temperature, conductivity, and TDS measurements. 


2. Best for the Money: Apera Instruments Bluetooth Tester

digital salt water pool tester

Amazon

Apera is a manufacturer that specializes in instrument production. For three decades, the company has produced high-quality electrochemical equipment.

The Apera Instruments Bluetooth Multi-Parameter Smart Tester is our favorite budget pick for testing conductivity, temperature and pH

Key Features 

Simple Design

This digital pool water tester features a simple pen-shaped design that features a big, two-color, backlit digital LCD display with the probe on one end.

There is a mode button for switching between different modes plus a separate button for calibration. 

This pocket-sized test unit features one-handed operation and displays all readings on a single screen.

With its built-in Bluetooth connectivity, you can use it with the compatible app. or use it as a simple standalone tester.

Accuracy

For such an inexpensive unit, this device is one of the most accurate on the market. It boasts an accuracy rate of ± 0.01 for pH, ± 0.5 mS/cm for conductivity, and ±0.5˚C for temperature.

These numbers clearly show how accurate this device is. You can calibrate it according to your unique requirements or use it as-is for optimum results. 

AAA Batteries

The machine runs on four AAA batteries included in the package.

With regular use, the batteries will last up to 2 months or 1,000 hours.

Ease of Operation

In addition to its simple design, the Aptera Bluetooth Multi-Parameter Smart Tester is easy to use.

Just remove the protection cap, dip the probe in water, and read the results.

The display shows all measurements at once – you don’t need to conduct individual tests. 

digital hot tub water tester

Limitations

  • Bluetooth connection is not the best.
  • The compatible app is pretty limited.
  • Temperatures above 120°F can erode the platinum coating on the electrode.

The Apera Instruments Bluetooth Tester is best for you if…

You need a simple and easy-to-use device for a low price.


3. Best Smart/Connected Pool Monitor: WaterGuru SENSE

digital pool tester

Amazon

WaterGuru SENSE is an innovative smart device that connects to your home Wi-Fi and reports pool water chemistry daily in the cloud. 

In addition to being a completely hands-off monitoring solution, this is one of the most accurate digital pool water monitors we’ve reviewed.

Key Features

Simple to Use

The device is simple and easy to use. It comes as a complete kit with all the accessories included.

The WaterGuru Sense unit is attached to your pool skimmer with the sensor dangling under the water’s surface in the skimmer basket.

The Sense performs daily tests and reports results in the cloud. You view them using the WaterGuru App installed on your smartphone. The app is very easy to set up and use. 

The Sense runs on 4 C batteries, which should last up to six months.

Hands-Off Pool Water Monitoring

WaterGuru Sense digital pool test unit is a connected device that conducts daily water testing and displays a comprehensive report of pH, chlorine, and temperature levels as well as the flow rate through your pool skimmer.

Because it operates via the cloud, it maintains an ongoing real time record of testing results.

Since it is installed in your pool skimmer, it does not get in the way. The self-calibrating device is designed to be accurate.

It takes about ten to fifteen minutes for each test to report results. 

Reliable Results

To test your pool water, the unit contains a WaterGuru Cassette. Inside each cassette are strips of sensing pads that measure water chemistry. When it is ready to conduct a test, the device automatically dispenses a sensing pad.

It takes about ten minutes of water exposure for the sensing pads to stabilize the color change.

Then, the unit analyzes the pad and uploads a water chemistry report which is then displayed on your smartphone.

Although it does take time, the results are as accurate and reliable as any portable digital meter. 

Water Treatment Advice

The device keeps a record of your pool water chemistry. Based on this, it recommends precise and effective treatment advice.

Whenever your pool water goes out of balance, it not only notifies you but also suggests the steps you can take to restore its chemistry. It tells you what to add and how much to improve the quality of water. 

It also saves you from a last-minute trip to the store. Just enter the supplies you need with its one-click ordering feature. You can also sign up for automatic reordering, so you won’t run out of treatment supplies again. 

digital pool water tester

Limitations

  • The WaterGuru Cassette must be replaced. 
  • Takes up to 15 minutes for results.
  • Spot-tests can take up to 90 minutes if requested outside Bluetooth range.

The WaterGuru SENSE is best for you if…

You want the most accurate pool test results, solid treatment advice, and advanced logging & reporting features. 


4. Best pH Meter: APLUSTE Digital PH Meter

best digital salt water pool tester

Amazon

You will eventually grow tired of the guesswork & test strips required of conventional pH pool test kits. Luckily, there is a unit to put an end to it.

The APLUSTE Digital PH Meter is a convenient and simple way of testing your pool water pH. 

Key Features 

Easy to Use

Just remove the cover and dip it into the solution you want to test. The device will display the results almost instantly. Afterward, carefully clean it and put the cover back on for storage.

Not Just For Pool Water

The Apluste pH meter is a versatile device that can detect the pH level of almost any liquid. It can be used to measure swimming pool water – or for laboratory or beverage testing.

It has a measuring range of 0-14 pH with 0.01 pH resolution and ± 0.01 pH accuracy. So no matter what you test, the APLUSTE Digital PH Meter will display accurate results without wasting your time. 

Accurate

As mentioned earlier, the device boasts an accuracy of ± 0.01 pH, so the results it displays are almost always accurate.

Some users reported that when they were using it a lot, the tester started giving wrong results. However, a calibration resolved the issue. Otherwise, the device is spot-on with its results. 

Easy to Calibrate

Another noteworthy feature of this digital meter is that it comes as a complete kit consisting of not just the meter and its carrying case but also contains three packets of buffer powder for calibration purposes. Calibrating it is easy.

Just mix the buffering powder with a pre-measured amount of distilled water. Then dip the meter in the solution, and the device will auto-calibrate.

Affordable 

This digital pool water pH test unit is very affordable.

electronic pool water tester reviews

Limitations

  • Take care when handling the glass probe
  • Requires rinsing with distilled water for optimal results. 
  • Requires frequent calibration. 

The APLUSTE Digital PH Meter is best for you if…

You need a high-quality, affordable, and reliable pH water meter.  


Digital Pool Tester Buying Guide

The pool tester market is filled with hundreds of models, each that can test a variety of parameters with accuracy. However, digital pool water testers are the most accurate. 

They measure the water parameters and display extremely accurate results in the form of digits. Here is a buying guide to help you find the right one for your application. 

What is a Digital Pool Tester?

A digital pool tester is an electronic device that can measure and display the concentration of different elements present in the pool water. It typically consists of a testing probe to evaluate water samples and a digital display to present results. 

The most common parameters that a digital pool water tester can measure include pH level, water temperature, chlorine level, TDS count, salt content, and bromine. 

We all mix some chemicals, like pool shock, chlorine, algaecides, etc., into our pool water to keep it clean and healthy. The best digital pool water testers help us keep an eye on their quantities so that their concentration does not exceed healthy limits. 

How to Choose the Best Digital Pool Tester

A good pool water tester is key to maintaining a clean and safe pool.

However, figuring out the right tester for yourself can be a challenge with so many different features available.

Not everyone is a chemist, so we’ve compiled a list of features you should look for when selecting a digital pool tester for your needs:

Chemicals Tested

best digital pool water tester

For a well-balanced pool, the chemical levels should stay in the following ranges:

  • pH: 7.2-7.6
  • Free available chlorine: 1-3 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid: 30-50 ppm
  • Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
  • Bromine: 3-5 ppm

A complete hands-off digital pool water tester can determine the levels of all these chemicals. That’s why digital pool water testers should have a wide testing ability. 

The least expensive option, however, remains purchasing dedicated

Ease of Use

The primary feature of any digital pool water tester is its ease of usage. Earlier, pool testing kits used chemical reagents that you had to mix to obtain results.

But their digital counterparts are both very convenient and time-saving. When choosing one for yourself, look for a unit that is easy to set up and use.

Accuracy

Although digital pool water testers are known for their pinpoint accuracy, some units are not as accurate as they claim. Be sure to sieve out the accurate ones.

One way to do so is to purchase from a reputable brand. You can also try asking friends and family who also own swimming pools for recommendations. Also, read the reviews of the products you have shortlisted to get an idea of their accuracy.

Consistent Results

Consistent results are as important as accuracy. A device that keeps altering its results is not a reliable one. Inconsistent results raise questions on the device’s accuracy.

Therefore, look for a pool tester that not only gives you accurate results but also stays consistent in its reading. 

Durability

best pool testers

A digital pool water cleaner is an electronic device. Yet, it has to come in contact with water for operation.

So high-quality construction is a must. Obviously, it should be waterproof.

And since it will come in regular use, it should also be durable and long-lasting, so you don’t need to replace it very often. 

Finally, the batteries should last for more than a few months.

Speed

Just like a digital thermometer, a digital pool water tester should also give results quickly.

Old pool water testing kits are not that fast. That’s one of the big advantages of a digital tester. 

Display

The digital readout in digital pool water testers eliminates the need to visually compare your results to a color chart for determining the various chemical levels.

That’s why the display is an important consideration in a digital pool water tester. It should be big and easy to read. 

Pros and Cons of Using Digital Pool Testers?

While digital pool testers are certainly the most accurate pool water testers, there are some limitations to their use. Have a look! 

Pros

  • A most accurate method of pool testing because they present concrete and solid results in digit form
  • Eliminate the guesswork usually associated with strips and liquid pool water testing kits 
  • Generally compact and lightweight
  • Produce results faster than other pool water testing methods
  • Usually quite simple to use 

Cons

  • Most digital pool water testers are limited to measuring only one or two parameters
  • Cannot function beyond a certain temperature range  
  • Can report inaccurate pH levels at high water temperatures  
  • Digital water testers with glass probes require careful handling as the probe can break easily

FAQs

Are digital pool testers accurate?

Yes, digital pool water testers are quite accurate.

Most boast accuracy from 0.01% to 3%, which is more accurate than testing strips or liquid kits. That’s why they are a popular choice among pool cleaners as they take the guesswork out of the picture.

Just like robotic pool cleaners, digital pool water testers simplify the life of pool owners. 

How to read a digital pool tester?

Different pool testers are read differently.

A strip test is visually compared to the color chart given on the bottle. A liquid kit utilizes different reagents that you mix in sample water. The results are then read on a user-friendly comparator.

On the other hand, a digital pool water tester shows the reading on its display.

Some models also make use of Bluetooth and display the results on your smartphone via a compatible app. 

What is the most accurate pool test kit?

Amongst the three types of pool test kits – liquid pool testing kits, pool testing strips, and digital pool water testers – digital testers are the most accurate. They show the exact levels on a digital display, so there is no guesswork involved.

Because liquid pool testing kits and strips require you to use a visual color reference, there is a greater chance of error. 

How often should I test my pool water?

The answer to this question lies in how often you use your pool and the weather conditions.

If you are a regular swimmer, testing your pool daily is ideal. But if you don’t use it very often, test it once a week.

Here is a list of chemical levels you should check and how often to check them. 

  • Chlorine – 2 or 3 times a week
  • pH – 2 to 3 times a week
  • Total Alkalinity – once a week
  • Salt levels – as your salt chlorination system manufacturer recommends
  • Calcium Hardness – once a month 
  • Total dissolved salts – once a month
  • Metals – once every 3 to 4 months

What is the best digital saltwater pool tester? 

The best saltwater pool tester is not just accurate in its water testing; it is easy to use, simple to handle, and durable enough to withstand rough handling. It presents accurate and reliable results almost immediately. 

Plus, you should be able to use it to test salt content in pools, spas, ponds, and various other water bodies without needing any reagents or test strips. 


Final Verdict: What is the best digital pool tester?

After carefully analyzing over a dozen digital pool water test solutions on the market, we believe the WaterGuru SENSE is the best overall digital pool water tester for most pool owners. It’s a hands-free connected pool monitor that requires no monthly subscription and provides actionable advice.

On a budget? Our top value-for-money pick is the Apera Instruments Smart Tester

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About the Author

I’ve owned a pool for over 20 years. During that time, I have owned and reviewed dozens of pool cleaners, especially robotic pool cleaners. I created RoboticPoolCleanersCompared to help other home owners leverage my experience to select the right pool cleaner, pool heater, pool cover and modern pool appliance for their needs & budget.



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