Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Test Strips : How to read this

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Test Strips : How to read this

    While I wait for my TF Test Kit to arrive:



    Nearest I can tell :

    Total Hardness might be 400
    FC appears zero?
    PH seems above 8.4?
    TA above 240? (it's super blue not greenish blue?)
    CYA might be 30-50?
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Central Minnesota
    Posts
    5,079

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    That's the trouble with test strips. First of all, it's hard to properly match the color. Second, the ranges are fairly useless. Particularly the CYA. If your CYA is 30, you need a different constant FC level than you do at 50. If you're above 50 but below 100, required FC is WILDLY different. It's a very similar case for CH, TA... etc. It's basically an educated guess at best using test strips. More like just a guess. I've used them on occasion to check the FC in my spa, but that's all I'd ever even use them for and still would rather rely on the K-1000 or a FAS-DPD test if I really want to know.
    Joel - TFP Moderator - Minnesota - **Become a TFP Supporter!** Helpful Links: ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry - SLAM Procedure - Chlorine/CYA Chart
    40x20 Pool: 32K Gallons * Vinyl * Bleach Chlorination * Hayward S270T Sand Filter * Pentair SuperFlo 1 HP * Teledyne/Laars Heater * AquaVac Tigershark * TF-100 w/ SpeedStir
    Isolated Spa - 345 Gallons

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,499

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    I won't even use them for the spa anymore.

    Mindflux, skip the strips and just keep chlorine in the pool until the test kit shows up. With those readings the only thing other than chlorine I would even think about doing is add a little muratic acid to bring down the pH a little - but even that is a guess.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    I won't even use them for the spa anymore.

    Mindflux, skip the strips and just keep chlorine in the pool until the test kit shows up. With those readings the only thing other than chlorine I would even think about doing is add a little muratic acid to bring down the pH a little - but even that is a guess.
    Well I have a SWG, I added about 60 pounds of salt last night and ran the pump through this evening. Now I've got the SWG on boost mode for 24 hours (100% for 24h) to bring the FC up.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JVTrain View Post
    That's the trouble with test strips. First of all, it's hard to properly match the color. Second, the ranges are fairly useless. Particularly the CYA. If your CYA is 30, you need a different constant FC level than you do at 50. If you're above 50 but below 100, required FC is WILDLY different. It's a very similar case for CH, TA... etc. It's basically an educated guess at best using test strips. More like just a guess. I've used them on occasion to check the FC in my spa, but that's all I'd ever even use them for and still would rather rely on the K-1000 or a FAS-DPD test if I really want to know.

    I've used reagents before for testing (Salt water fish tanks) and I always have problems determining the colors they use (since they also use color charts) and then don't get me started on "how many drops was that? 8 or 9? I forget". So those types of tests aren't infallible either for sure.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,052

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    I agree with what Joel said. 100%. If it were possible to agree more than 100%, I would.

    But, turn the strip so that it's vertical rather than horizontal. It'll make more sense.

    The things that stands out is that your FC is way too low and pH is way too high.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    I agree with what Joel said. 100%. If it were possible to agree more than 100%, I would.

    But, turn the strip so that it's vertical rather than horizontal. It'll make more sense.

    The things that stands out is that your FC is way too low and pH is way too high.
    Working on it. Still don't believe that reagent kits are any better (other than sensitivity) since you can a) misscount drops, b) miss-match colors, c) not shake enough d) all the above.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,052

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Believe me they ARE better. Being able to trust the results is priceless.

    Miscounting? For FC, I typically have to count to 10. And let's say for some reason I wasn't able to count to 10 (would have to be a lot of barley pop involved!), if I miss by a drop, so what. So my FC is 4.5 or 5.5 instead of 5. That's not near the margin of error like you are seeing in the example you have pictured.

    When colors matter, there is a stark contrast. Pink turns clear. Blue turns red. It isn't red turning pink, or purple turning blue. It isn't subtle like what you are looking at there. You won't have to ask for assistance (this is where you say "touche").

    Not shaking enough, well that depends. For pH, you can tell quickly whether or not the dark red dye is integrated through the clear water. For FC, it isn't that big a deal, just stir it around a little. It's the CH test that really needs a good stir. My recommendation is get the SpeedStir and forget about any stirring issues.

    It doesn't matter too much in this case, but I can't tell if your CH is 200 or 400, and indeed the next step is 1000. Where is it?

    Is your CYA 20? 30? 40? 50? 60? Like Joel said, those little steps make big differences in the real world.

    Even if the strips are accurate (and they really aren't), the precision isn't fine enough.
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    Believe me they ARE better. Being able to trust the results is priceless.

    Miscounting? For FC, I typically have to count to 10. And let's say for some reason I wasn't able to count to 10 (would have to be a lot of barley pop involved!), if I miss by a drop, so what. So my FC is 4.5 or 5.5 instead of 5. That's not near the margin of error like you are seeing in the example you have pictured.

    When colors matter, there is a stark contrast. Pink turns clear. Blue turns red. It isn't red turning pink, or purple turning blue. It isn't subtle like what you are looking at there. You won't have to ask for assistance (this is where you say "touche").

    Not shaking enough, well that depends. For pH, you can tell quickly whether or not the dark red dye is integrated through the clear water. For FC, it isn't that big a deal, just stir it around a little. It's the CH test that really needs a good stir. My recommendation is get the SpeedStir and forget about any stirring issues.

    It doesn't matter too much in this case, but I can't tell if your CH is 200 or 400, and indeed the next step is 1000. Where is it?

    Is your CYA 20? 30? 40? 50? 60? Like Joel said, those little steps make big differences in the real world.

    Even if the strips are accurate (and they really aren't), the precision isn't fine enough.


    Stark color changes are better but I always have issues with "was that 9 or 10 before it turned?"

    Distractions always screw me up! Kids, dogs, wife, dinner, etc. heh
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    You are missing the point ... miscounting by one drop means a very minor difference versus the wild guessing required with strips. The only color matching required is pH and as long as it is orange/salmon and not bright pink or yellow you are fine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You are missing the point ... miscounting by one drop means a very minor difference versus the wild guessing required with strips. The only color matching required is pH and as long as it is orange/salmon and not bright pink or yellow you are fine.
    That's fine, but things like that stick with me for days.....

    I guess I'll see how it goes.
    heh!
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,499

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by Mindflux View Post
    That's fine, but things like that stick with me for days.....

    I guess I'll see how it goes.
    heh!
    That is what is great about this site, we give out the information and each user can apply or not apply the theories as they see fit.

    To quote Dave, Site Owner of TFP

    “Throughout TFP, you will read that we suggest certain levels that good science and practical experience has taught us fall within safe ranges.

    Further reading of posts here will draw you to the inescapable conclusion that these guidelines work.......in thousands and thousands of pools worldwide.

    You may or may not choose to use these methods and guidelines or you may use some and not others. Our goal is to teach you what has been proven time and time again and then let you use that information to your benefit.”
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Ok my pH must have even been above 8.2, I added (20 ish oz) of 31.45 Muriatic acid yesterday and re-tested pH today with my TF-100 kit and it's still off the color chart (which ends at 8.2).

    How much more MA should I add? Is there any way to get a diluted test (like the CYA?) to get a real PH reading?

    Images:

    http://imgur.com/rIqndF7,6t6F8uH
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,499

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    No diluted test. Just keep adding small amounts until it gets on your test scale.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    What is your FC?

    You can add the acid demand reagent and that will give you a better idea how high the pH actually is.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    What is your FC?

    You can add the acid demand reagent and that will give you a better idea how high the pH actually is.
    Somewhere between 1 and 2. Hard to tell on the yellow side. I need it do a full battery if tests but I was just checking out a little of the kit.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Chapin, SC
    Posts
    1,141

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Using the FAS-DPD is easier to accurately determine your FC/CC levels
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX
    Posts
    146

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by timerguy View Post
    Using the FAS-DPD is easier to accurately determine your FC/CC levels
    Indeed I'll use that soon.
    13,000 gallons w/ spa (in-ground) | Plaster pool surface
    2.5HP Jandy Stealth Pump | CL580 Filter | Polaris 480 Pro w/ Halcyon Pump | 400,000 BTU Jandy LT | Jandy Aquapure 3PPM | Jandy PS4

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Chapin, SC
    Posts
    1,141

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    I use mine exclusively, but I'm an accuracy nut. I'd rather use a little more reagent than worry about the colors of an OTO.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    389

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    What is your FC?

    You can add the acid demand reagent and that will give you a better idea how high the pH actually is.
    Absolutely agree 100%. I use with the chart in my K2006 kit for the pool all the time.
    Is there a factor for temperature. When I use the book to try to get the spa back in line it always seems to be off??


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Mesa, Arizona
    Posts
    180

    Re: Test Strips : How to read this

    The test strips do not have a very long shelf life either. Most have a shelf life of six months and must be stored in a cool dark place. You would also want to store a test kit like the TF-100 in a cool dark place. Personally, I don't like the test strips for reasons outlined earlier. Too much fluctuation between values and the CYA value in your test strip is probably the most important and the values listed for that are way too vague.
    IG Pebbletec Blue Tahoe; Paddock Pool PCC 2000 pop-up; 22,275 gal 32' x 16' Diving with Auto-Fill
    Pentair 420 Cartridge filter; 3 hp VS Whisperflo Main Drain, 1 1/2 hp Whisperflo Running Pop-Ups; Jandy AquaPure 1400
    1 1/2 Whisperflo dedicated to Rock Waterfall; TF-100; Taylor K-1766; Pool Built in 1997

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •