What is NSF and Why is it Important

Having been in business for nearly 80 years and operating in 80 countries, The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is a leading body of third-party verification for a wide array of products. In 1960, NSF began their certification program for the accuracy and precision of pool and spa water testing equipment. An NSF certification mark can provide peace of mind that the product you are purchasing is of high quality. While the logo may be familiar, their various certification levels are less common knowledge. Can you be certain that the NSF certified product you have operates at the highest level of accuracy offered?


NSF at Palintest

At Palintest, we are proud of our NSF Level 1 accreditation. When seeking NSF accreditation for pool & spa water testing equipment there are three levels achievable, with level one being the most accurate. The Lumiso Pooltest 3 and 6 series not only adhere to but exceed the expectations of a level one rating. The table below is a comparison of accuracy tolerances between NSF Levels 1, 2, and 3. These tolerances differ depending on the concentration of the test solution, with lower concentrations having smaller tolerances than higher concentrations. While these differences may look small, a more accurate test method reduces the risk of unnecessary closures and costly disinfectant overdosing.

*Commonly used test strips and color comparator tests are only eligible for NSF Level 3 accreditation. Their tolerance is “within 1 increment of expected value.”

NSF in action

If commercial pool and spa water has a pH outside of 7.2 – 7.8, or the sanitizer is below the minimum standard, immediate pool closure is required. Below is a scenario of possible closure solely due to less accurate testing equipment. Given the values of an example pool sample, the results will fall within the tolerance range of the equipment’s NSF Level. As the range of possible results increases, so does the risk of falsely falling outside of regulation.

In the case of this pool that is well within regulatory limits, testing equipment with an NSF Level 1 accreditation is the only type that can ensure this pool remains open. When using NSF Level 2 or 3 equipment, there is a chance the measured value will fall outside of its acceptable range. Note that while you can maintain a chlorine concentration of 1.5 mg/L, NSF Level 3 equipment may alert you that there is only 0.7 mg/L of chlorine, forcing pool closure and an addition of chlorine. A similarly inaccurate cyanuric acid result may not require you to close the pool but can lead to unnecessary spending and overdosing.
Pool chemistry limits in this article are collated based on industry best practice. We would always recommend you seek advice on local regulations from your local advisory board.

Let’s go swimming!

When choosing test equipment to best suit your needs, consider the accuracy provided by Lumiso Pooltest 3 and 6. Mitigate the risk and cost of disinfectant overdosing or unnecessary closures. The Lumiso Pooltest 3 and 6 also reduce human error that is inherent of subjective test strip and color comparator methods, which are only eligible for an NSF Level 3 accreditation. Language free, on-screen icons and digital results create a simple interface suitable for any user. Its IP67 rating ensures a durable product that can maintain its accuracy in a humid environment typical of pools and spas.

For more details regarding our accuracy tolerances across testing ranges, feel free to contact us using the contact form below.




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