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Thread: Salt Strips not reading correctly

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    Salt Strips not reading correctly

    I recently opened my pool. It was closed for 4 years and been a project (I have a post here all about with pics). Everything has gone great. I got all the numbers right (FC still slightly high at 6, but I figured that was good to get the SWG going).

    I bought the test kit here and also some salt test strips. I tested the pool to start with and the strips read ZERO salt (I expected that, it has been dormant for 4 years). Also, the SWG was flashing the red LOW SALT light. According to the Poolcalc, I need just over 300 lbs of salt to take it from 0 to 3400, so I started adding salt. I brushed it, disolved it all, let the pump run, etc. I added 160 lbs and waited several hours...brushing, etc. and then tested. It was barely registering on the strip, less than 1 and my SWG was now solid red low salt. I measured several times with the strips throughout the day and it never got to 2...So I added another 120 lbs and brushed it all in. I then shut off the pump for a minute and when I restarted it, the SWG went through its self test, blinking, etc. and (I since found out) tested the water (seems it only does this on power up and then like once a day). It was flashing green HIGH SALT...which means over 4200 ppm (if memory serves).

    So I let it run for 24 hours. Now, I tested it again with the salt strips and still just under 2! Which is like 500ppm or something. So, I assume that I got a bad batch of test strips here and, if my SWG is correct (which I hear they are pretty accurate) I am now oversalted.

    I noticed that the test strips are brownish and when it does goes up the strip, it turns white. The directions say watch the YELLOW strip and it DARKENS? They are dark to begin with (in fact, look exactly the same as the picture on the bottle) and then go white. Also, just to be clear on method, I put the test strip directly in the pool on a clip and held it underwater for 10 minutes as the direction say.

    So wife if off to find me some test strips that I can compare against. Definitely not working...

    Here's a picture...new strip on the right, old strip on left (hard to see the numbers, but you get the idea from the white). This is after 280 lbs of salt and 24 hours:



    A few questions if someone could help with I would appreciate it:

    Anyone have trouble with these test strips before?

    I love the test kit but the salt strips are not part of it, just an off the shelf brand I assume?

    Does high salt hurt anything?

    How long before it goes down on its own or do I have to drain water? I really hope that is not the case, I spent a boatload of time with this pool so I wouldn't have to drain water and now to be killed in the home stretch by some faulty test strips would be a real bummer.

    Thanks for the help.

    EDIT: I should have said, I am using Morton Pool Salt from Walmart, here's the link:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Morton-Sal...iews_limit=10&
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ulrick65; 05-11-2016 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Added salt type
    11K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, IntelliChlor Chlorine Generator

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    pinguy's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    The K1766 is the only way to know for sure. You should get it rather than the strips, it'll last several seasons.

    tftestkits.net/K-1766-Taylor-Salt-Test-p31.html
    Helpful Links: Pool Chemistry 101 - Recommended Levels - Recommended Chemicals - FC/CYA Chart - SLAM Instructions - Pool Math
    Test Kits:
    TF-100 - Taylor K2006 - SpeedStir Upgrade - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    My Pool:
    28k IG built May 2015 - Autopilot SWG - Pentair VS Pump/DE Filter/Heat Pump

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    ANY test kit or strip is pretty worthless after 4 years. You m,ust get a new kit before you will yield any meaningful results.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    High salt can hurt some salt systems. Some it will simply blow a fuse. Some work ok up to far above 3500ppm. In other words, your mileage may vary.

    You can use this salt and save some money:
    Diamond Crystal Solar Salt 40 lb. Extra-Coarse Water Softening Salt-100012454 - The Home Depot
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    strips look like not left in water long enough. The top yellow strip going across should be dark.
    Place the lower end of a test strip into the water sample and
    allow it to absorb the water. If there is NaCl in the sample, a white
    peak will begin to form. The yellow band at the top of the strip
    will turn dark when the test is complete. Typically, this takes 3 to
    4 minutes.

    http://www.aquachek.com/assets/1/7/AC_White_Insert.pdf
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    pinguy's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    High salt can hurt some salt systems. Some it will simply blow a fuse. Some work ok up to far above 3500ppm. In other words, your mileage may vary.
    Its funny, my Aqualcal says it will work fine up to 30,000 PPM. It seems like the intellichlors are a bit more sensitive though.
    Helpful Links: Pool Chemistry 101 - Recommended Levels - Recommended Chemicals - FC/CYA Chart - SLAM Instructions - Pool Math
    Test Kits:
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    My Pool:
    28k IG built May 2015 - Autopilot SWG - Pentair VS Pump/DE Filter/Heat Pump

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by pinguy View Post
    Its funny, my Aqualcal says it will work fine up to 30,000 PPM. It seems like the intellichlors are a bit more sensitive though.
    My CompuPool said up to sea water (35,000). My CircuPool says optimal 2500-3500 but no mention of peak. I've seen some (don't remember brand) that say never over 4000.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

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    Triplejnj's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown View Post
    strips look like not left in water long enough. The top yellow strip going across should be dark.
    Place the lower end of a test strip into the water sample and
    allow it to absorb the water. If there is NaCl in the sample, a white
    peak will begin to form. The yellow band at the top of the strip
    will turn dark when the test is complete. Typically, this takes 3 to
    4 minutes.

    http://www.aquachek.com/assets/1/7/AC_White_Insert.pdf
    What he said. And make sure you don't submerge the strip. I usually use a small cup, grab a sample , dump some so it's only about 1" of water, and let the strip stand in it. Usually takes several minutes, but the yellow horizontal line at the top will turn black when the test is done. Then look for the peak.
    Tom
    16k freeform IG vinyl | Hayward 2hp pump, 300lb sand filter, 250k btu heater | AquaRite SWG | Installed October, 2014

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Yeah, you're not supposed to submerge the strip, just the lower end and wait for the yellow line to turn black, I use the cylinder from my test kit with about an inch of water in it.
    8638 gallon 20'x52" Intex ultra frame round AG. 2650 gph Intex Sand Filter. Intex krystal Klear SWG. (newer model that includes copper ion generation) Hayward 1091LX skimmer, Kreepy Krauly lil shark. Taylor K-2006 w/speed stir and sample sizer. New this year, Intex PureSpa - dichlor-> bleach method for sanitizing.
    New pool, 16'x36' (approx 18000 gal) in ground pool, Haywood DE filter

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    ANY test kit or strip is pretty worthless after 4 years. You m,ust get a new kit before you will yield any meaningful results.
    The kit is brand new, I bought it here a few weeks ago.

    Thanks.
    11K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, IntelliChlor Chlorine Generator

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Thanks everyone! The directions were not clear, so I was submersing it! I watched a youtube video on how to use it and it is working now when I follow the procedure you all posted here.

    Now that I wasted all my strips...

    Thanks for the help!
    11K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, IntelliChlor Chlorine Generator

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    update???
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Salt Strips not reading correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown View Post
    update???
    Working fine after I figured out not to submerse them!

    Salt level is 3,660...so perfect.

    However, my SWG quite working over the weekend. No lights at all on the thing. Check power and the fuse...all good. Weird thing is that my chlorine level went from 5 when I left on Wednesday to 11 when I checked it today.

    I unplugged the thing and we will see how it goes...any ideas?
    11K gal, IG vinyl, 1 HP WhisperFlo pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, IntelliChlor Chlorine Generator

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