Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Union, NJ
    Posts
    125

    Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    I am a new pool owner and would like to know what is the difference between the test trips and the readagent testisg kit? I have been relaying on test trips, aquachek trutest digital reader and my pool supplier automated testing system. Some people recommend using a readagent kit.....How is this better than the testing trip? If we still need to color match? Is it a better and accurate alternative? I hate the color matching as I am afraid of reading misunderstanding the results. Please advice.
    20,000 Gallons, 33.9 x 19.9 free form inground plaster pool 7 feet deep with Spillover Spa, Salt Generator (Fusion Soft),Heat Pump, Single Speed 2 HP Pump, D.E. Filter. Zodicac PDA, IQ900RS Controller.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Defgufman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Savannah GA
    Posts
    577

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Drop based testing is much easier than color matching for me if that helps
    Inground 13,200 gal Vinyl, Pentair 3/4 hp pump, Pentair Sand Dollar filter, Polaris 280

    Pool School, Pool Math, CYA to FC ratio chart, Testing Kits

  3. Back To Top    #3
    n240sxguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Benton, KY
    Posts
    1,800

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    The reagent testing is actually color change, not color matching, so that makes I much easier. Take pool water, add this, color changes, and this until it changes to another color, when done you just have to know how many drops you added. The only color match is the ph. No way around that unfortunately. The reagent based tests are more accurate, repeatable, and you don't have to worry about moisture causing them to go bad like test strips.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Midland TX
    Posts
    15,001

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Welcome to TFP!

    Reagent testing isn't a color match system except for the pH, and one Total Chlorine test. The others including the best Free Chlorine tests are drop-wise count Titration tests. Very easy. You put in drops to change from one color to another and count the drops, then multiply them by a number to get your reading. Reagent testing is different in that is accurate. Strips are not, and supplier testing like you mention has been found wildly inaccurate almost without fail. If you want good control of your pool, you need a good drop-wise test kit with top quality reagents like we suggest here. Otherwise, you are flying blind and taking recommendations that may cause you a lot of grief, and may quite possibly be detrimental to your pool. It doesn't sound possible that stores or suppliers would do that to people, but we see it day in and day out here on the forum every season. Look around and read some of the threads and you'll see a lot of people coming on with the same question. If you have more of those, feel free to ask. Enjoy the forum.
    TFP Moderator
    Essential Links:
    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
    28K Gal IG FreeForm, CLI Quartz, Pentair 36"SF & VS Pump, Dolphin M5, Rheem

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,495

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Welcome to TFP!

    More than not being able to match the color using strips, the bigger problem is that they are wildly inaccurate. Add to that that they give you answers in wide ranges such as 5 - 10 for chlorine or even 50 - 100 for CYA means that they can't be used for our system of pool care. We base our chemical additions,to the pool on accurate testing so that we only add what the pool needs, when it needs it.

    Some people are successful at pool care with strips. I think more has to do with luck, but each person must decide for themselves how they will care for their pool.
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6

    In the Industry

    Donldson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    2,637

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Welcome to TFP!

    Everyone has pretty well summed up the reasons, I just wanted to chime in to say that there are a lot of examples on this forum dating back to the beginning that back up our opinion of test strips. Countless examples of "my numbers are perfect according to my test strips, why do I have algae?" Just as many people claiming that SLAM doesn't work when they have been at it for weeks based on test strip readings. The outcome is always the same, they either get the test kit and find they were doing it wrong the entire time, or they give up and head back to the pool stores with credit card in hand.

    For a new person it might appear that this site exists to sell TF-100s. Not an unfair thought, but it is the other way around. Dave created the TF-100 because there was only one test kit on the market (K-2006) that had the accuracy to properly maintain the TFPC method. The TF-100 improves greatly upon that kit and, as mentioned above, only contains 2 color matching tests (and you don't need to actually read the OTO chlorine test, it just verifies there is chlorine). While we all push the TF-100 it is an unpaid sponsorship. We just have experienced pool management both ways, and are 100% sold on the results.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Union, NJ
    Posts
    125

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Donldson,

    Thanks for the advice. What is the difference between the TF-100 and their competitor's? I asked because I have been seen other kits with great review which appear to have the same tests, items, etc as the TF-100, some priced around the same and other much cheaper as the poolmaster kits. Whenever I see a product much cheaper than their competitors I get worry as usually the reason is the quality of it. However, it's not always the case, as I have purchased products in the past based on the price and learned the hard way that more expensive not always mean better in quality.



    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Welcome to TFP!

    Everyone has pretty well summed up the reasons, I just wanted to chime in to say that there are a lot of examples on this forum dating back to the beginning that back up our opinion of test strips. Countless examples of "my numbers are perfect according to my test strips, why do I have algae?" Just as many people claiming that SLAM doesn't work when they have been at it for weeks based on test strip readings. The outcome is always the same, they either get the test kit and find they were doing it wrong the entire time, or they give up and head back to the pool stores with credit card in hand.

    For a new person it might appear that this site exists to sell TF-100s. Not an unfair thought, but it is the other way around. Dave created the TF-100 because there was only one test kit on the market (K-2006) that had the accuracy to properly maintain the TFPC method. The TF-100 improves greatly upon that kit and, as mentioned above, only contains 2 color matching tests (and you don't need to actually read the OTO chlorine test, it just verifies there is chlorine). While we all push the TF-100 it is an unpaid sponsorship. We just have experienced pool management both ways, and are 100% sold on the results.
    20,000 Gallons, 33.9 x 19.9 free form inground plaster pool 7 feet deep with Spillover Spa, Salt Generator (Fusion Soft),Heat Pump, Single Speed 2 HP Pump, D.E. Filter. Zodicac PDA, IQ900RS Controller.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    TFP Guide

    Azgirl71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Sierra Vista, Az
    Posts
    2,586

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    You will get the best bang for your buck with a TF 100. They include more in their test kits.
    Lisa
    Intex AG vinyl 15' x 48" 4,300 gallons due to skimmer install, Krystal Clear SF pump combo 2800 GPH, Krystal Clear SWG, Pool Blaster Max vacuum, Hayward thru the wall skimmer, TF 100 test kit with speed stir, K 1766 Taylor salt test, My SLAM Process

  9. Back To Top    #9

    TFP Guide

    AimeeH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Columbia SC
    Posts
    1,837

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    The TF-100 uses the Taylor reagents but as said above you will get more of them.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
    http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    8,495

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Here is a list of the recommended test kits. You are right, other kits are available at less cost, but we have not found them to be accurate or produce dependable repeatable results. Generally the best kits are based on the Taylor chemicals/reagents.

    The top two kits that most folks here on the forum have are the TF-100 and the K-2006. The main difference between the tow is that the K-2006 was designed for commercial pool operators and has the assortment of reagents that a commercial pool uses most. The TF-100 was designed for the residential pool owner and has more of what we use and less/none of the stuff we don't use.

    Be careful if you look at K-2006 kits, because they sell them in different configurations including some with abysmally small bottles of chemicals that need to be replaced quickly. If the price seems to be too good toe be true, it probably is.....
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

    In the Industry

    Donldson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    2,637

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    I agree, price does not always equal quality and savings does not always mean cheap. In the case of test kits the biggest problem is lack of knowledge from the sales reps. Many people are talked in to buying the K-2005 at a pool store by the sales rep claiming that it is the same as the K-2006. Once they get home, open it up and test their pool and report back to us, we get the unenviable task of telling them that are still lacking the proper FC/CC test. The K-2005 contains a DPD test while the K-2006 contains the FAS/DPD test, which is far more accurate and can test much higher levels. So now their attempt to save a buck means they have a kit they cannot return and still don't have the needed test. Side note, the DPD test is also a color match test, and I know how much you love those

    Another problem, as Tim pointed out, is reagent size. The biggest reason the TF-100 was designed was to give enough reagents to get through 1-3 years of typical maintenance, which happens to be the average life span of the chemicals. Dave also assures that everything in the box is fresh, so in this case the price does equal quality and longevity. I can't say the same for other online stores, neither that they do or don't.

    Really there are plenty of people who got the K-2006 elsewhere and are happily caring for their pools the TFPC way. The TF-100 isn't the only game in town, it just makes up for a lot of the negatives of the K-2006. To that end, I sheepishly admit that I used the methods here without a proper test kit for a couple of years. Those years also happen to be the last years I had any type of algae problems. Once I got the TF-100 four seasons ago I have not seen a speck of green in my pool, the FAS/DPD test really is that important. So I can honestly say that I have managed pools the pool store way (when I still lived with my parents), the Pool Frog way, the Big-Box way (HTH tests and products), and now finally the TFPC way. Someone couldn't convince me to go back to any of those other ways even if all the chemicals were provided for free.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

  12. Back To Top    #12
    gtemkin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    738

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    A lot of kits have a DPD chlorine test but the two recommended kits have a FAS/DPD chlorine test, which is different from the plain DPD test, and required for proper TFP care.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

Posting Permissions

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