How To Find the Expiration on Test Reagents

Pool owners and operators know that testing their pool water is an important task for the safety and enjoyment of swimmers. If the pool’s chemicals are off-balance or used incorrectly, we can be at risk for accidents, health concerns, and shutdowns. 


Pool contractors, pool maintenance companies, and pool retailers should check your inventory now for any expirations. This is especially true for test reagents. Because just like the food we eat, reagents have a shelf life too. 


Whether in liquid, powder, crystal, tablet, or test-strip form, they can last for a long time if properly stored. But all good things do come to an end. Those of us in the pool operation industry should know how to find expirations on test reagents.  

How to find the expiration

Most pool test reagents will last a year at least. Some will expire after two years or longer. These timeframes are dependent on the reagent and the manufacturer. It’s also important to note that these expiration dates can change periodically depending on the company making them. 

Most reagents from major manufacturers like Taylor and LaMotte will have an expiration date printed on the label. The expiration date is critical to avoid chemicals past their shelf-life that can provide inaccurate test results. These companies advise us to be mindful of container size when purchasing reagents. Larger bottles may appear to be the better value, but if not used in a year’s time, reagents may need to be disposed of or risk exceeding their useful life.

What does it mean if it’s expired

Expired test reagents can compromise the quality and stability of test kits. Although expired reagents aren’t harmful, they may give inaccurate results when used to test the water and should be replaced before they hit their expiration date. For example, if some of the test reagents are left over after winterizing an outdoor pool, it may be better to discard them and buy new test equipment when the pool reopens.

What to do with expired chemicals

Reagent test chemicals can be disposed of safely at the pool. Pool chemical professionals recommend diluting expired test reagents with water and disposing of outside. The test chemicals themselves aren’t very strong. In fact, they’re weaker than many household cleaners. However, they should not be put back into the pool.

Test Reagent Professionals

Pool Contractors Supply is a leading distributor of pool and spa products serving dealers, pool operators, retailers, or contractors in Memphis and across the country. PCS is locally owned and managed and is a member of WINDO, the largest group of independent pool and spa distributors in the industry. They stock reagents and other testing supplies ready to be shipped to you the day of ordering.  

For more on how to find expiration on test reagents and to order pool testing supplies, contact Pool Contractors Supply at (888) 345-1470 or go to