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Thread: Watch out with those salt test strips!

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    Watch out with those salt test strips!

    ...just added salt in prep for my Hayward AquaRite install. Used pool math and dumped in 6 bags, the included TEST strips showed low so I added another bag...still low. Added another bag. Low. Started up salt generator after running pump 24hrs and 5400PPM!!! It even tasted salty. Ran to pool store to verify, yup... 5000+
    Drained maybe 2,000gal of expensive florida water and its still 4100.
    My advise, throw out those test strips!!!

    Hoping it will be OK to run this high.
    Should I drain even more? (this is after I spent many days balancing the water of course)
    Thanks,
    ~10,200gal IG kidney plaster pool w/overflow spa
    AquaRite SWG
    Hayward Star-Clear 120cartridge, Hayward 1hp SuperpumpII
    Solar panels.

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    What brand? What is the expiration Date?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    AquaChek expires 08/2015. Came with my new Hayward generator. I used at least 5 of them...all read LOW. I mean like 2000parts low. Unreal. I had no idea.
    ~10,200gal IG kidney plaster pool w/overflow spa
    AquaRite SWG
    Hayward Star-Clear 120cartridge, Hayward 1hp SuperpumpII
    Solar panels.

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    My Hayward SWG also came with test strips. I also have a Taylor salt test kit. For me, the Aquacheck strips are more accurate, yielding results within 100ppm of the digital readout on the Hayward unit. My first test strip try came out low because I didn't look carefully for the top (somewhat faded) point. I watched their youtube video http://tinyurl.com/nhjnmph and now I get good results.

    Regarding too much salt, your SWG will shut down if you have too much (or too little) salt. When you drain to get into range, Hayward recommends that you favor the lower drain.

    George
    18K Pebble Tec pool & spa, Jandy Jep2.0 VS ePump, Jandy CS250 cartridge filter, Sta Rite Maxi Therm 333 propane heater, Hayward Aqua Rite SWG, Heliocol solar panels, remote fill/drain—All controlled by AquaLink RS8 One Touch

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I also was getting way low readings on the salt strips. When I watched the UTube video I saw you are only supposed to put the strip in an inch of water. It doesn't state this on the bottle so I was immersing the whole strip in a cup full of pool water. When I did it this way I got a much better reading although still lower than my salt kit I ordered from our host. They should really put this info on the bottle.
    18X36 Vinyl IGP, SWG,1HP Hayward Superpump, Sand Filter

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    Well, I have to defend the strips. We have sold these strips @ TFTestkits for about 7 years now and I have probably replaced not more than maybe 2-3 sets.....so few I can't remember. Obviously, there is an agenda here because I sell them so you'll have to judge how much that influences me.

    Did you give aqua-chek an opportunity to replace the strips for you?

    Did you give them an opportunity to review with you the test procedure involved?

    I really hate to see a product bashed unless it is VERY deserved and I don't think they deserve this. Reports here on the forum indicate they will consistently give results that are quite adequate. Many people prefer the increased accuracy (and increased cost) of the Taylor Salt Test but we have found the Aqua-chek strips to be a pretty decent value.

    As an aside, I will say that using them past the expiration date is very iffy but that was never an issue in this case.......just thought I would mention it.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I have seen several cases where people have added salt without getting it brushed in properly or otherwise not getting it fully distributed. When they tested the water near the surface, the salt read low. When the salt finally was fully distributed, the level came up to the expected level.

    Try the strip again to see if it gets a reading closer to the swg.

    In any case, if your test is significantly different from the expected value based on starting level, amount added and pool volume, have the water double or triple checked with another method such as a meter or drop test kit.

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I've had the same problem. Bought strips with the test kit from this forum, and also picked up strips at the pool store. Different brands, but I'm certain they are the same exact strip. Directions are almost nonexistent. Place in water, look at spike, use chart. Well, how much water, do you submerge entire strip? How long should the test take? I've left strips submerged for 20 minutes and still got a reading of 1500, when my SWG still says salt good.

    I'm going to try what was suggested above, and only submerge 1/3 to 1/2 of the strip. Still no clue how long I should wait.

    In the end, I simply won't add salt until my SWG says I should.
    37,000 gal IG concrete free-form, Hayward TriStar VS pump, Sta-Rite System 3 cartridge filter, Polaris w/ booster pump, CircuPool RJ60g SWG, Hayward OnCommand w/ remote

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I just put in one of those systems and the container of strips was partially open...and they have to be kept dry or they're ruined. Maybe that's what happened with yours too.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    8 bags of salt in a 10,200 gallon pool should raise your salt to about 4000 ppm. Did you have any salt in the pool prior to this? The reason I ask this is because some people add salt even when not using SWG just for the feel of the water.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    And the salt could have been up to 1000ppm just from years of chlorine use.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I too have found the salt strips to read low. But I have also found the pool store's electronic instrument to be way off in either direction.
    Apart from when you suspect SWG cell to be dieing I think what it reports is the most reliable.
    22650 gallon in-ground vinyl pool
    Hayward sand filter
    Aqua Rite SWG
    installed 6/25/09

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I wasnt bashing any brand, I was just meant as a general warning be careful with strips. I certainly didnt mean to offend anyone.
    Probably just a simple case of operator error.
    Anyhow not a big deal, I dumped more water and got it down, pool looks great now.
    ~10,200gal IG kidney plaster pool w/overflow spa
    AquaRite SWG
    Hayward Star-Clear 120cartridge, Hayward 1hp SuperpumpII
    Solar panels.

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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    I remember one year I got a batch of test strips that was reading off (but I don't think it was by a lot). Called the company and they sent me out a new bottle. With my SWG, I find that it always reads about 200ppm lower than test strips. But I guess no matter what the test strips read, it's the SWG's read that determines the generation of chlorine.

    Also, I'm surprised the directions weren't on your bottle. I know the ones I use (sorry can't remember the brand) had directions. I use a shot glass just for putting the test strips in
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: Watch out with those salt test strips!

    Friend lent me his test strips when I was getting ready to install my swg and it was like trying to match the number of freckles lol. I opted for the Taylor salt drop test kit


    13k IG pebble pool w/waterfall, 1hp whisperflow pump, pentair ccp320 cartridge filter
    Circupool SI45+ swg
    TF100 +speed stir Taylor 1766 salt test

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