The number one tester I would suggest if you are a homeowner and have a salt pool is a Salinity tester. That way you will know the salt level and can maintain your pool properly. Even if your salt system displays the Salinity level – that reading can be effected by a dirty salt cell and can give you a false low salt reading. In that case you may add salt when it is not needed and raise the salt level to levels that are not recommended adversely affecting your pool. Simply using a digital Salinity tester can eliminate that error.
A pH digital tester can be handy also but the reagent test is cheaper and accurate so I would only recommend that one for a pool service professional looking to compare readings – especially at a commercial pool account to make sure the pH is within range of the local Health Department regulations. This can be very helpful for hotel and apartment spas where the pH tends to drift down rapidly. The digital pH reading is the most accurate one and some Health Departments use digital testers themselves also.
ORP is a great way to test if the water is at the safest level to swim in. Again, if you service commercial pools this would be a great digital tester to invest in. If you are a homeowner and your child gets frequent ear infections or has a lower immune system – an ORP tester would be a good thing to have. That way before the pool is used you can see if the level is high enough, 650 or higher, to insure the fastest kill rate against bacteria and viruses. To learn more about ORP see the video link below.
I used a combination of the HACH and the LaMotte Tracer testers to verify the results. I also used the Color Q Pro7 and a Pentair automation to triplicate some test results. As you can see from the video the results lined up with each other in all the testing. There are many other brands of digital testing, these are the two that my local supplier carry and both brands are very good.
As more consumers and pool service professional purchase digital testers, the price has now dropped making them an affordable option. It is still a big investment but worth it if you need verifiable and spot on test results.
Bottom line, digital testing is accurate and reliable.
I have many videos on digital testing and to learn more see the links below:
ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit by Lamotte: Water Testing & Tips: https://youtu.be/YBwjMFy2BFU
ColorQ Pro 7 Digital Pool Water Test Kit - Review & Overview: https://youtu.be/2_HI3RI6VqE
HACH® Pocket Pro and Pro+ Testers: Overview of Features and Use: https://youtu.be/EVa0KnikDZY
HACH® Pocket Pocket Pro+ Multi 2 Tester for pH/Cond/TDS/Salinity: https://youtu.be/t-_Q0AqkQ34
LaMotte Pool Water Testing Products- Overview: https://youtu.be/UPU1E3k_Kls
ORP and Your Swimming Pool - Testing the Effectiveness of the Sanitizer: https://youtu.be/tanzbC6zdUw
Pocket Pro+ ORP Tester #9532100 by Hach®: https://youtu.be/6V6Np-B5r1o
Pocket Pro Salinity Tester #9531600 by Hach®: https://youtu.be/5J0pA6utj28
TDS: Total Dissolved Solids in your Swimming Pool, Salt Water Pool and Spa: https://youtu.be/eakv1fFeeTI
Total Chlorine TRACER w/ pH & ORP Sensor by LaMotte 1740-kit-01: https://youtu.be/X80tAtT5bOs
TRACER PockeTester with Carrying Case by LaMotte – Salt/TDS/Temp: https://youtu.be/T7jbvN1_e4g