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Thread: Test Kits/Strips

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Boerne, Texas

    Test Kits/Strips

    Thanks in advance. There is continued confusion in my head when trying to wrap my head around the whole CYA testing!

    To confuse myself further, I used a test strip because I just don't feel comfortable with my CYA testing abilities…did I see the dot? is it really there? I think I still see it? Maybe I don't? UGH!!!!!!

    My test strip says my CYA is LOW but using my TF-100 kits it says it's 90 (I think). Really bothers me that there is such a big difference. Anyone know why this is? Are test strips truly worthless?
    Pool size = 16,000 gal, IG Fiberglass, 2 speed hayward pump with cartridge filter

  2. Back To Top    #2
    April's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    Trust your TF-100 before the test strips.

    Are you doing the CYA test outside with your back to the sun?
    18ft Round AG, Vinyl, 100LB Pentair Sand Filter, 1HP, June 2012, TF-100 w/SpeedStir

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

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    I would not call test strips worthless, I would however call them one step better than a Ouji Board
    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
    Divin Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Longview, Texas

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    Did you watch the video of how to do it?
    Maybe this will help.

    Testing Cyanuric Acid with the TF-100 - YouTube
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge. Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    In the Industry

    Donldson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    NW Ohio

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    I like to say that test strips are great at measuring the distance to the bottom of the trash can, and I mean it.

    Just remember, the general opinion on the site regarding pool store tests and test strips is not without merit. The number of bad results from these methods over the years is staggering. You are doing fine, the CYA test is not the easiest. Watch the video Dave posted and remember you can pour it back and forth between bottle and tube to retry it a few times until you are more sure.

    You got this, if I can do it with my terrible eyesight, you can too!

    From my HTC One via Tapatalk
    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

  6. Back To Top    #6
    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    DFW, Texas

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    My biggest problem with the test strips is that a given dot on the strip represents a range. For example, one I saw recently had a "Good" range of 30 - 50. That's very comforting and all, but it doesn't tell me whether it's 30 or 50 or somewhere in between. If that isn't bad enough, the next dot on the scale represented a reading of 100. So if my actual CYA is 70, where will that show up?
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    CYA on a test strip is the least accurate. Really the only thing a 5 or 6 way test strip is good for is to show presence of chlorine and approximate pH. They measure total hardness so they are inaccurate for calcium levels.

    They are sensitive to humidity, temperature, and age. Unless they have been carefully cared for from factory to home a lot of factors can render them useless before they can be used.
    TFP Moderator
    Helpful links: TF Test Kits,TFP Pool School, PoolMath
    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    When testing CYA using your TF100, wiggle the bottom of the test tube while you're pouring in the solution. Our eyes are better at seeing movement than seeing subtle shades of grey behind a reflective surface. The movement of the dot avoids the persistence of vision problem, and gives you more consistent results.

    I rest the top of the test tube against the squeeze bottle with the poolwater/reagent solution (so I don't lose any), and wiggle the base just enough to see the black dot move. When I no longer see movement, I take my reading.
    25000-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster pool, Triton II sand filter
    750-gallon semi-public IG concrete/plaster spa, cartridge filter
    Volunteer pool caretaker for my condominium complex

  9. Back To Top    #9
    whataboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Re: Test Kits/Strips

    When I do CYA test with the TF-100 kit i get different results (20 then 35 then 30) using the instruction video. I keep doing it with the same sample 3 -4 times and just do an average from the test.
    Rick T.
    12,000 gallon IG Kidney shape,gunite,white plaster w/25% blue quartz (Chlorine)
    Jandy LED Multi-color pool light, ,Pentair VS Pump,Pentair FNS 48 DE Filter,Polaris 280 Cleaner
    TF-100 test kit, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Speed Stir, BBB Method, PoolMath, TFPC

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