Water test stripTests for Chlorine
How & why to test for chlorine in drinking water, wells, or septic wastewater

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Chlorine in water test:

How to test for chlorine or residual chlorine in water: this article describes methods for testing for chlorine in water: in drinking water, aquariums, pools, and in septic wastewater.

Testing water for chlorine or residual chlorine is important not only for health reasons but to detect cheating that occurs in some real estate transaction in which well potability tests are conducted as well as for detecting the mis-use of bleach or other chlorine products to subvert septic dye tests.

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How to Test the Water Supply or Septic Effluent for Evidence of the Presence of Chlorine

Hach water test for chlorineUse of Hach™ water tests for chlorine are inexpensive, are more sensitive to chlorine than the old pool chlorine test kit we tried first, and are readily available.

[Click to enlarge any image]

The Hach company sells various chemical reagents including water tests for chlorine in foil packets or as inexpensive test strips sensitive down to 0.5 mg/L.

I prefer tests sensitive to 0.1 mg/L or less. See the Hach Corporation website ( or call them at 800-227-4224 (To preserve my objectivity we have absolutely no financial relationship with the company or with any other companies or products you may see mentioned here).

I use the little Hach chemical packets (sensitivity is 0 - 3.5 mg/L) shown in the photograph here. The reagent is poured in to the water sample which is in a plastic tube provided by Hach (or any clean container of appropriate size). The Hach company provides good instruction manuals for each of their test procedures.

A suitable Hach test strip product for testing the level of Free and Total Chlorine in water is their Free & Total Chlorine Test Strips, 0-10 mg/L, 50 tests Hach Product #:2745050 - a larger set of 250 test strips is also available as Hach Product #2793944

Water testing for chlorine as an indicator of risk of merengue dezincification of brass PEX fittings (C) InspectApedia BB

The chlorine test kit shown above may permit inclusion of a water pH test. Also

Water test strip color chart

When to re-test a well that has been shocked with chlorine, Clorox™ or other disinfectants: This question is explained
at When to re-test a well that has been shocked with chlorine bleach or some other disinfectant".

Watch out: Testing too soon or testing water improperly after chlorine or other disinfectants have been in use is likely to give false results.

Sources for Kits or Equipment for Chlorine Tests in Waterof the binding problem also discussed

Prices for these tests typically run from under $8.00 to $15.00.

Watch out: tests for chlorine in water are not necessarily adequate for testing for chloramine, and vice vesa. Because chloramine remains stable for a longer period in water, and because (sticking around longer) that may permit chlorine molecules to bond with other materials, different tests may be appropriate for these two related substances. A test kit that you intend to use to screen water for chlorine should include a test for "total chlorine" not just "free chlorine" because

At CHEATING ON WATER TESTS we discuss using chlorine testing to detect cheating on water potability tests in real estat transactions.


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