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Thread: AquaCheck TruTest

  1. Back To Top    #1

    AquaCheck TruTest

    Hi out there. I love this site. After a few years at the mercy of my pool guys, I feel like I'm finally in control.

    I thought I'd try to add to the discussion by talking about the AquaCheck TruTest. It's a meter that reads its own special test strips, and claims +/- .1 accuracy on Chlorine (total CL, I think), +/- .1 accuracy on pH, and I think +/- 10 on TA. I paid $42 for it at Amazon. It comes with 25 test strips -- I paid another $8 for 50 more. My meter says version 2.2.

    I like the idea, because I'm never sure how well I do the color matching in the K1000. It seems a much better alternative than a pH meter, which is apparently a pain to maintain, and overkill for a single pool.

    The gripe about the TruTest on the net is that it does not deliver consistent accurate results. I've found that if you don't consistently follow the directions, especially about cleaning and drying the slot, not shaking the strip after dipping, not sliding the strip along the glass and blocking strong ambient light, you will indeed get readings all over the place. For my test, I went poolside, dipped consistently and used a shoebox to block ambient light after inserting the strip. I wiped the slot dry between attempts. Here are the results:

    Trial CL pH TA
    #1 7.3 8.0 110
    #2 7.4 8.2 110
    #3 7.6 8.0 090
    #4 7.8 8.1 100

    For yuks, I tried one where I slid the strip along the glass while inserting, something the directions tell you not to do:

    #5 8.6 8.2 130

    Using the K1000 I got CL 3-6, pH 8.1 (slightly lighter than the 8.2 reference). Using the TFT100, I got FC 7.5 CC 0.0 TA 110.

    So, I conclude that when used carefully, the TruTest is easy to use and reasonably accurate. I would recommend it to people who have trouble matching colors or qualms about the disposal of the carcinogenic FC testing reagant Orthotolidine. (My pool guy dumps it back in the pool, which pisses me off.)

    I think most of the problems people have with the TruTest are due to ambient light. The directions say to use the blocker in strong sunlight. It's a black piece of cardboard a bit bigger than a credit card that you can put over the slot while it's working. I don't think the warning is strong enough. I think the meter works best if you try to get it in near darkness. Like I said, I cover it with a shoebox after inserting the strip, which works fine.

    I've been using it about a week now. I went back it my pool log to pull the two places where I used the TruTest and also did a K1000 or TFT100 test to compare:

    Date K1000 TFT100 TruTest
    7/29 CL 5-10 pH >8.2 FC 10 CC .5 TA 100 CYA 60 CH 260 CL 9.4 pH 8.4 TA 130
    8/1 CL 3-6 pH 7.5-7.8 FC 4.5 CC .5 TA 90 CL 4.9 pH 7.6 TA 120

    Hope this is useful to people out there. Thanks for the great site.

    SWG, 36,600 gallon gunite, dark plaster, ~3,000 gallon edge return tank. Opened 2009.
    Goldline controller, System 3 S7m120 cartridge filter, Jandy Levolor K1100.
    Variable speed pumps: Pentair Intellipro 4-160 (filter), Intelliflo 4-160 (edge).
    Geothermal + propane heat.
    Testing: TFT100+SpeedStir, K1000, Aquacheck TruTest

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: AquaCheck TruTest

    The results across many users are much worse than what you have experienced. It is very sensitive to the amount of time the strip spends in the water, and exactly how the strip is handled between removal from the water and insertion in the strip reader. It also suffers from the wildly wrong results that all test strips have occasionally (especially with CYA test results, but occasionally for all of the tests).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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