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Spa Test Strips | HotSpring Spas

Spa Test Strips

What makes spa water so luxurious? Sure, the warmth helps, as do the jets that create soothing hydromassage via powerful streams of H2O.

The actual answer to this question is a little less obvious than heat and hydromassage, but absolutely critical to creating a sumptuous spa experience: the chemical balance.

To look clean and clear, and to feel soft, fresh and inviting, your spa pool water needs to have the right amount of sanitiser, the right pH levels, and the perfect calcium and alkalinity levels. And one way to check on each of these elements is with spa pool test strips.

What are spa test strips?

Spa pool test strips are strips of paper that have been embedded with a chemical reagent. This reagent is designed to change colour when it comes into contact with a certain chemical. The specific shade that the paper strip changes to will correspond with the level of that chemical present in the water.

Spa test strips are the most common method for testing spa pool water, as they are cheap, simple to use, and widely available.

How do you read a spa water test strip?

One of the biggest reasons that spa test strips are so popular – beyond their price – is how simple they are to use:

  1. The process of reading a spa pool test strip begins by dipping it in the water. You don’t have to hold it in for long – just enough for the paper to be wet through.
  2. When you take the test strip out of the water you’ll notice it begin to change colour. Wait for that colour to stop changing, which usually takes around 15 seconds.
  3. Once the colour stabilises, compare the strip to the colour comparison chart on the test strip packet. The differences in shade will tell you whether chemical levels are too low, too high or just right.
  4. If your spa water needs to be balanced, add the necessary chemicals, wait a few minutes for them to mix into the water – turning the jets on will speed up this process – then use another strip to re-test the water. Repeat this process until you get the balance right.

What is the most accurate way to test spa water?

The process outlined above hints at a couple of the disadvantages of test strips. Test strips are cheap and cheerful, but they aren’t the most efficient or precise way to balance your water. While the strips themselves might be simple to use, this same simplicity can mean that it can take multiple rounds of tests to properly balance your water.

Test kits, which see you mixing your spa water with a liquid reagent in a vial, can be slightly more accurate than test strips, but still face the same inefficiency in properly balancing spa water.

The most accurate way to test spa water is with digital equipment. Digital sensors take precise readings that don’t need to be interpreted – you get a hard number, which you can use to calculate the precise amount of chemical you need to balance your water.

But not all digital spa testing tools are created equal. For the ultimate in spa water testing technology, look no further than FreshWater® IQ: a fully automated system that conducts an ultra-accurate digital test of your spa water every single hour, analysing levels of chlorine, salt and pH, then working with the FreshWater Salt System to bring the chemical balance of your water to the ideal levels.



FreshWater® IQ: the end of spa test strips

Never touch a test strip again. That might seem like a bold promise, but it’s exactly what Hot Spring’s FreshWater® IQ system can deliver.

FreshWater® IQ is built on the idea that your spa pool should take care of you, not the other way around. This patented, first-in-world water testing technology automatically tests your water hourly—using ultra-accurate digital sensors, not test strips—then provides clear instructions, via a built-in digital display, if adjustments are ever needed. The result: you’ll enjoy soaking in perfect spa water every single time.

So you can say goodbye to manual test strips, and hello to ultimate precision and serious savings: spend far less money on water and chemicals, and spend far less time on spa maintenance.

What you do with all that extra time is up to you. Our recommendation: spend it soaking in the world’s most luxurious, most perfectly balanced spa pool water.


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