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Thread: Chemical Test Strips

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    Chemical Test Strips

    I have been using Chemical test strips for testing my pool water. What is the consensus of other pool owners on this method?
    20,000 gallon IG recently re-plastered (dark), Jandy 580 Cartridge, 1 3/4 pump, Polaris 360 sweep. The pool was originally built in 1984; February 2013 underwent significant renovation. In my third home with an in-ground pool.
    Stockton, California

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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    I believe you will find that most of us who have switched to BBB (I did last year) that the key to BBB is a proper test kit. That generally consists of a kit with liquids that you use a drop at a time to find out EXACT levels of chemistry.

    Test strips can and will be flawed due to inconsistency of color in the human eye. Try this......look at a nice blue sky with your left eye closed, then try it with your right eye......slightly different colors? Test strips can get you in the ball park, I want to know exact numbers. Actually, YOU need to know your exact numbers, otherwise you are wasting money needlessly. Not many of us have that much money floating around just to "waste" on a pool.

    You have spent alot of money no doubt renovating your pool......I'll bet it looks spectactular.......keep it that way buy making the best investment you ever can, get a "real" test kit. It was the best money I have spent in a long time. Last year I could tell you EXACTLY why my pool water looked the way it did because I knew EXACTLY what my chemical levels were. Having good water added alot of enjoyment to the pool and I knew exactly why it was that way and how to keep it that way.........kids and wife had the best time ever last year because of it.

    Bob E.

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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    Accurate self-testing is sorta' the lynch pin of what we teach here on the forum. Generally speaking, test strips are simply not dependable and, surprisingly, most pool store testing is no better and sometimes worse.

    No one cares about your pool chemistry as much as you do. Arm yourself with the ability to test accurately and learn what the results mean and what action to take and you will never look back.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    You can purchase a high quality test kit, one that is the most popular amongst the members here, at www.tftestkits.net. The TF-100 is the best value for your money and is only available on that website.

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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    Barfo:

    +1 for going with one of the test kits we recommend on this forum. I look at purchasing one of these kits as an investment (provides a return) rather than an expense (cost). Want proof? Check out my post on how much I saved by switching to the BBB method: http://www.troublefreepool.com/bbb-s...ar-t54033.html. It all began by getting a good test kit (TF-100 in my case) and taking matters into my own hands.

    One thing that should be noted is that all of the recommended test kits on this forum include a FAS-DPD chlorine test which differs from a DPD chlorine test. The FAS-DPD test is the most accurate test for measuring chlorine (FC and CC) in general and the only test that will accurately measure chlorine at levels above 10 ppm which is important if you ever need to go through the shock process.

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    No one cares about your pool chemistry as much as you do. Arm yourself with the ability to test accurately and learn what the results mean and what action to take and you will never look back.
    This concept applies to pool management and many other aspects of life. Knowledge is power and no one can ever take that away from you.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    Quote Originally Posted by Barfo
    I have been using Chemical test strips for testing my pool water. What is the consensus of other pool owners on this method?
    They stink.

    Try this experiment, if you already have the strips. Dip one and take a reading at 5 seconds. Then look at it again in 15. Why so different? Dip another and do the instinctual thing and set it on the plastic chart to compare colors. The surface tension will cause the colors to bleed into each other. The color differences are not that great anyway, and you might find yourself wondering if you're at 500 or 1000 on hardness, for example, which isn't very accurate.

    Invest in a TF100 and a speedstir. Bookmark the http://www.poolcalculator.com/. Within two weeks you should have a handle on your pool's personality and your water will be perfectly balanced and crystal clear. I can toss a quarter into the deep end of my pool and call heads or tails from the deck. The water is that clear, all the time. It may seem like a chunk of money, but the kit and the speedstir will probably cost you less than one trip to the pool store if you have a problem. I've seen them helping people out to their car with a hand truck loaded with buckets of chemicals!
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    I can't do the eye test safetybob I'm blind in my left eye: however, I have owned homes in the past which had pools and I used drops and then tried the insert strips. The container says to wait 15 seconds for an accurate read....based on the above responses I'll switch back to chemical drops. Thanks all.
    20,000 gallon IG recently re-plastered (dark), Jandy 580 Cartridge, 1 3/4 pump, Polaris 360 sweep. The pool was originally built in 1984; February 2013 underwent significant renovation. In my third home with an in-ground pool.
    Stockton, California

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    Quote Originally Posted by Barfo
    I can't do the eye test safetybob I'm blind in my left eye: however, I have owned homes in the past which had pools and I used drops and then tried the insert strips. The container says to wait 15 seconds for an accurate read....based on the above responses I'll switch back to chemical drops. Thanks all.


    I have no doubt you will be happier with drops vs strips but please be sure to read up on which test kits are recommended here. These test kits have the FAS-DPD test which is required for the accuracy you will need for maintaining the pool using BBB.
    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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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    Anyone having a speedstir.......do you have that blue measuring tool also? Do you just move the plunger in and out to change from 10 to 25ml?

    Bob E.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Chemical Test Strips

    Quote Originally Posted by Safetybob
    Anyone having a speedstir.......do you have that blue measuring tool also? Do you just move the plunger in and out to change from 10 to 25ml?

    Bob E.
    No, you flip it over to push out the excess to the right level. And it only works on the skinny tubes with the graduations molded in, not the pill bottle type with the markings stamped on.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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