How to Get the Testkits You Need!
[ being updated - July 2018 ]

We constantly ask people to get the test kits they need, so they can stay out of the pool stores, and away from the sales tactics stores use to sell un-needed chemicals. We made this page because:
1. We want you to begin saving time, trouble, and money, with accurate testing (and our help learning to use those tests!).

2. Small details matter.
The Taylor K-2005 and K-2006 are very similar, but the K-2005 is NOT an adequate substitute for the K-2006.

3. The exact kits we recommend can be hard to find.
If you don't know where to look, it's easy to end up with the wrong kit. So, even if you don't buy using the Amazon links below, use the pictures to make sure you're getting the right kit.
Three additions:

Help videos
I've posted a number of videos from Taylor on YouTube, to make them more accessible. The first set covers basic kit use. The second set covers problems that arise when something interferes with the test results.
If you live in Canada, you can NOT get these Taylor kits shipped to you, and you may not be able to get them at all. Sorry!

Please share your thoughts, by posting below -- complements, criticism, corrections are ALL welcomed!

The kits below are in 3 groups:
A. Complete kits
B. Supplemental kits measure something not in the 'complete' kits, like salt or borates (borax)
C. Add-on kits that allow you to extend kits you already have.

If you use these pages to order from Amazon, please note the following:

1. We've tried to pick options that are shipped by Amazon, not a third party. Amazon is very reliable and (usually) has generous return options. But, some kits are may be available only from 3rd parties. So, pay attention to who's selling. Orders from 3rd parties will typically take longer to arrive, often include a shipping charge, and have a more complicated return process.

2. When you are ordering directly from Amazon, shipping is usually free if you order $50 or more at time. But if you order from Amazon frequently, like my family does, the Amazon "Prime" membership is worth considering. One option? Use the free 30-day Prime trial to order your kits, and then cancel if you don't want to keep it.

3. If you have a problem with a purchase made using any of these links -- any kind of problem at all -- please let me know. You can post in this thread, if you like. I can't necessarily help, but I can use that information to improve what we're doing.

Complete Kits


1. Taylor K-1000 OTO / phenol red kits -- ~$15 from Amazon, delivered.

If you need an OTO / phenol red kit TODAY, do NOT order from here. Instead, go to Walmart or Lowes or wherever, and get what you need. But you can use the picture, to get an idea of what you're looking for. Those kits are not as good as the K-1000, but it's often important that you get a reliable estimate of your chlorine and pH, and NOT wait for an Amazon delivery. (The Taylor pH reagent continues to work with chlorine levels up to 10 ppm, where all other kits we know about are not reliable above 5 ppm free chlorine.)

An alternative may be available locally. The HTH 6-way is a re-labeled Taylor K-1000 PLUS the CYA test, plus some less important stuff. It is available from Amazon, but also stocked locally at many Walmart stores (~$23 - June 2018).

from Amazon <== ==> from Walmart stores


2a. Taylor K-2006A complete kit, 3/4 oz reagent bottles -- ~$58 delivered. --- 2b. Taylor K-2006C complete kit, 2 oz reagent bottles) -- ~$99 delivered

<---- Taylor K-2006A /------\ Taylor K-2006C ---> [/CENTER]

To escape pool store testing, and sales tactics, these are the kits you need. The K2006C has about 3x the reagent for less than 2x the price. Which ever kit you get, don't over test. In particular, the CYA test is limited, about 9 tests in the K2006A model. But, that's enough -- your CYA only changes when you drain or add a lot of water, or when you add CYA or use a lot of stabilized chlorine.

Supplemental Kits

3a. AquaChek salt strips-- ~$9 delivered. /---------\ 3b. Taylor K-1766 salt test kit -- ~$24 delivered.

<--- AquaChek salt strips /----\ Taylor K-1766 --->

We usually don't recommend strips, but the AquaChek strips seem to work fairly well *IF* you follow directions. In particular, the strip must be immersed for at least 5 minutes. ALSO: every set of Aquachek salt strips is different; you MUST use the 'conversion' chart on the bottle to obtain your reading. The Taylor kit is a little more accurate, but is also fussy to use. If you want a test that's good enough (but no better) get the Aqua-Chek. If you want to be as accurate as possible, get the Taylor.


5. Lamotte Borate strips -- ~$10 delivered

The consensus among my moderators and contributors is that these strips are the best available borate (borax) test method.

6a. Taylor K-1106 Phosphate test kit -- ~$34 delivered. /--\ 6b. Hach Phosphate Test Kit (Aqua-Chek) test kit -- ~$10 delivered.

<--- Taylor K-1766 /--\ AquaChek salt strips --->

We usually don't recommend strips, but these AquaChek strips seem to work fairly well for PO4 levels below 1000 ppb. If you need a full range test, use the Taylor kit.

Add-on Kits

7. Taylor K-1515 FAS-DPD -- ~$34 delivered (Since Taylor raised prices, you are probably better off getting an entire K2006!)

This Taylor kit provides ONLY the FAS-DPD test method, and can be used to supplement a Taylor K-2005. It's usually sold by Amato.


8a. Taylor K-1721 CYA test -- ~$28 delivered /---\ 8b. Taylor R-0013-E 1 pint refill -- ~$17 delivered
<--- . Taylor K-1721 /---\ Taylor R-0013-E --->

The Taylor K-1721 allows you to add cyanuric acid testing, the R-0013 refill is the reagent used for that test, and can be used with the K-1721 OR with the K-2006 kits