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Thread: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Andrews, SC

    Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    This is my first pool & I have a Intex Ultra Frame 18'x48" AG pool (Setting up tomorrow) I did originally buy test strip for chemical checks. I know absolutely nothing about pool chemicals, their quantities, how to maintain levels etc. After browsing and studying TFP website Im more aware of the levels that are needed and how to calculate what to put in etc. Knowing this now and reading the forums I know the test strips will not work (ie CYA level is 'ok' for 50-100; in actuality it should be 30-50) I realized the test kiss are much better getting accurate readings to user in pool calculator to determine what chemicals to add and how much instead of a guesstimate. I researched different testing kits and the TF-100 is the best one I've come across. With all the extra readagent Oz & extra tests is worth the money I think..... my question is how long will the kit last before you have to buy refills????? I know it depends on how much you test.. this is a new pool so I'll be testing everyday for a couple weeks to get water balanced, then Regular maintenance and testing weekly.
    Intex 18'x48" Ultra Frame Pool

  2. Back To Top    #2
    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    DFW, Texas

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Welcome to TFP!

    I think the question everyone should ask with regard to the Recommended Test Kits is, How much $ will they save me from improperly dosing with chemicals, helping to avoid algae and the cost of eradicating it, and assisting in managing the overall water parameters so that my equipment and pool surface will last longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by jelalli629
    I know the test strips will not work (ie CYA level is 'ok' for 50-100; in actuality it should be 30-50)
    You hit the nail on the head as to what one of our biggest gripes is with multi-test strips - the ranges they give are not precise enough to manage your pool properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by jelalli629
    how long will the kit last before you have to buy refills?????
    Yes, it does depend on how often you test. But keep in mind that you do not need to test every parameter every day. Therefore, some reagents will run out sooner than others. The FAS-DPD chlorine test will be the one you go through fastest, followed (usually) by the pH reagent. So you will usually be purchasing refills for just one or two individual tests at a time.
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    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    The TF-100 comes with an 18 month freshness guarantee, which I find works out well with the typical refill cycle (note they usually do a spring refill special deal in March?) Of course there is variation from pool to pool, as well as how often you test, the important thing is to store the test kit in a climate controlled location, some of the reagents also have longer shelf life than others.


    p.s. I disagree with Bo about the pH being second, but that is due to my pool having very stable pH which is likely due to a combination of being a vinyl liner pool, plus fill water and being indoors. I would say CYA is the second one you are likely to run out of, but again every pool is different.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    DFW, TX

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    Welcome to TFP!

    Here are some of my fave Pool School articles in case you missed any of them.
    TFPC for Beginners
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Here are the Recommended Levels for your pool.
    Here are the Recommended Pool Chemicals and how to add them.
    Use PoolMath to figure out how much to add.
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

  5. Back To Top    #5
    chiefwej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: Test trips vs readagent testing kits

    There seems to always be a spring sale if you want to replace all reagents in the kit annually. With the sale price it's very affordable and insures you always have fresh reagents.

    Since I only use the OTO chlorine and pH test on my daily test, FAS/DPD and TA weekly and CH, CYA only monthly, my reagents last a very long time. The reagent cost is really pretty negligible in relation to other pool costs.
    Tucson, AZ
    19k gallon Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS (3 hp) 011018, Super II 2hp (for spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE filter, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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