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Thread: Test strips

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Atlanta Ga
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    309

    Test strips

    These strips may not give absolutely perfect results all the time, but they gave me almost exactly the same results as the TF-100, and they are much easier to use, and I think they are cheaper.

    Aquachek 7-Way Pool & Spa Test Strips
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003A0 ... 02_s00_i00

    I will keep doing both kind of tests just to be sure.
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    lee872's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    Central Massachusetts
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    Re: Test strips

    I used strips for years, and started using the TF100 test a few weeks ago. I'm a convert! I like knowing the exact levels of my chemicals and being in charge of my pool. I did the AA test last week, and on day 2 I realized I was running out of DPD powder. Local stores don't carry it, so I needed to wait 3 days for mail. I did one drop test for FC each day, and used a strip at the same time. The strip was about 1 ppm off for FC. But it did serve my purpose of allowing me to check FC several times a day -- I just adjusted the strip reading based on my comparison test for that day. I used strips from 2 different containers of Aquacheck, and one set of strips was 1ppm less than the drop test, and the other set was 1 ppm higher than the drop test. Both containers were purchased this year, so I don't know about the consistency of the strips. I find the pH color in the strips hard to judge, and I think the CYA ranges on the strips are so wide that I really don't know what my CYA is. But I'll continue to keep some on hand for quick looks as needed.
    35,000 gallons - inground vinyl liner -- sand filter - 1 HP, 50.76 GPM - Aqua Rite T-Cell 15 SWG - Dolphin Apollo Plus - TF-100

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Test strips

    I found that if I used the TF100 and knew the answers, I could see that the strip was in that range (except when they were totally wrong, like CYA at 0 when it was 30). The problem was going in the other direction.

    Yeah, kinda pink with just a hint of orange, so CYA is on this side of 100 but not 50, so, um 75, 80, 90??? Then free chlorine is above 5 but below 10, chlorine is above 5 but below 10, um, what do I really need to do? Is there any CC? If I needed to keep FC 6 and 9 how do I know what to add?

    Then do the TF100 and see CYA is 80, FC is 6 and I therefore need to add 3/4 of a big jug of 6% bleach. So, yeah, the strip was perhaps right but indicating a range when what you need is an answer is just not enough.

    So when do I think strips are useful? If I had a SWG and wanted FC to be near 3, didn't care about CC, and needed CYA to be between 50 and 100 and would test for real with a test kit often enough that I would notice changes in CH and TA and CYA, maybe weekly or maybe monthly, depending on the area and water and particulars.

    For the pool sitter to see if there is chlorine in the pool, fine, use the strips. Just don't do anything but add bleach for a week and I'll see what is real when I get back.

    The worst thing is when your pool is NOT in the "IDEAL" zone with CYA of 30-50 and it says that TC of 3 is ideal and FC of 1 is OK. I went for awhile as a new pool owner, seeing that my CYA was "OK" at 100+ and FC was "OK" at 1, wondering why there was mossy green algae on the swim-out and steps.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Test strips

    These strips may not give absolutely perfect results all the time, but they gave me almost exactly the same results as the TF-100, and they are much easier to use, and I think they are cheaper.
    You are almost 100% correct. I am sure they are cheaper, they are no doubt easier and, for now, they are giving you good results. That said, you miss the whole point of this forum.

    I remember last October when you came onto the forum and, like all of us when we start, you didn't know a swimming pool from a hole in the ground. You floundered for months trying to get your pool fixed and then seemed to finally figure out what this forum is all about.......no more guessing and short cut methods, doing your own accurate testing and having faith in the results......and knowing what to do about the results.

    Now, you have decided that a better way is to go back to taking shortcuts and "saving money" (PS - that never works) by using and believing in the results of test strips. Thousands of people on this forum have proven that to be an incorrect path and I'm mildy surprised you haven't picked up on that fact.

    Some reading this will assume my stance is altered because I sell the TF-100....not true. My position is based on the posts from thousands of members who find test strips almost completely unreliable.

    Certainly each of us manages his own pool to the extent he is capable or interested. If test strips are good enough for you, TomAtlanta, that's fine but please don't advocate their use here on the forum. Too many people have proven over and over and over that you are incorrect.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Test strips

    I thought that the test strips were ok to test the FC level. Is that true at all? That's what I'm using now, I will however be buying the TF-100 to use for next summer. In the mean time I've been taking a water sample to a local pool store where they've tested it for me and everything was ok. Hence me not purchasing the TF-100 yet.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Jul 2010
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    Philly
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    Re: Test strips

    Going back to test strips would be like driving without my glasses. Test strips are the antithesis of what this forum is about. Along with a good approximation of CYA levels, the FAS/DPD test is the most important tool when it comes to safe, sanitized water. The other tests that use titration are likewise head and shoulders above strips or other color matching tests.

    Driving without my glasses may or may not result in an accident but I'll bet dollars to donuts that I miss a few exits and turns resulting in excess travel time and more gas money. Same thing gonna happen when driving my pool with test strips. Both will eventually end in an accident given enough time. I can envision some bad things happening by trusting a test strip CYA number and bringing a vinyl pool up to MA shock levels.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Mar 2007
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Test strips

    See this post for a comparison of test strip resolution compared to the drop-based test kits. There's really no comparison and that's just resolution, not error, which is even worse (as posted above). There are already so many errors possible in pool volume measurement, sample size, and test kit errors already that adding much higher test kit errors to the mix makes test strips barely useful.

    However, it's your pool and you can do whatever you want (of course).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Test strips

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ103
    I thought that the test strips were ok to test the FC level. Is that true at all? That's what I'm using now, I will however be buying the TF-100 to use for next summer. In the mean time I've been taking a water sample to a local pool store where they've tested it for me and everything was ok. Hence me not purchasing the TF-100 yet.
    Test strips can't measure at higher FC levels.
    8,000 gallon, in ground, fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Test strips

    Sorry, but I'll never go back to strips. The only reason you are comfortable they are close to being accurate is that you have a standard (the TF100) to check the results against. I'd rather use the $19 toward the $40 TF100 refill.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Aug 2012
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    Serbia (Europe)
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    Re: Test strips

    I'm a convert too, I have everything Aqvacheck including their digital reader, and I can say now that I started using a drop based PH/FC kit (I'm wiating for my K2006) im never going to test strips again.

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Jun 2012
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    Bolton Ontario Canada
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    Re: Test strips

    Yeah, it's just to bad that we in Canada are expected to pay an extra $100 for the same test kit. (or more)

    I refuse so I have been getting by with the Taylor Otto kit testing every day or two, and the odd Pool Store test for everything else. Luckily, my pool store testing seems to be quite accurate and consistent, so It's worked out for me, and has been very smooth sailing my first full year with a pool.
    16x32 vinyl
    80,000L chlorine
    21" Hayward sand filter

  12. Back To Top    #12
    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Test strips

    The test strips I have (aquacheck 7) seem to match my results with my test kit. I would use them in a pinch if needed. The trouble I have with them is what chem geek pointed out - resolution is poor.

    To confirm my water has not strayed from expected levels it is fine. It is a tool my father-in-law, wife, etc can handle. But my routine testing is w/my TF100.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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