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Thread: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

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    I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    I use a test kit with the 5 bottles for different types of tests and I also purchased the test strips. The test strips claim to check alkalinity and each time I have used the strips my readings are always in the OK range. I take a water sample to my pool guy and twice they tell me my alkalinity is high and I have to buy a bucket of (coreect 20 or something like that) baking soda. Whats the deal here? Is the baking soda a good way for pool companies to make extra $$$ without doing to much damage to the pool or are the test strips bogus? Just curious

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    Test strips, along with many pool store tests, can be notoriously inaccurate.

    A good test kit is what will put you in control of your pool. That is why we recommend only these test kits.

    The best bang for the $$ is the TF100 sold by duraleigh at http://www.tftestkits.net
    It is the best investment we made in our pool.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    Baking soda raises alkalinity. Sounds like you are being "pool-stored".
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    Re: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    OK maybe I got it backwards, new to this stuff, maybe my alkalinity was not high enough, but the strip still puts it in the OK range. I will look into getting one of these kits. Who is the MFG name or you just ask for the code number and the pool store knows it?

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    the pool store is not your friend. I would highly recommend the one from www.tftestkits.net as it is a much better value. also, most local pool stores don't carry the recommended taylor k-2006 kit.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    The kits recommended here (TF-100 and Taylor K-2006) are not found in stores. There is a link to the TF-100 in my signature.

    Sometimes you can find a Leslie's version of the Taylor kit in stores, called FAS-DPD Service Test Kit.

    The TF-100 is the better value, as you get more of certain reagents that you will use more of, and they have very speedy shipping.

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
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    Re: I have 2 different test kits why are they not accurate

    With test kits you get what you pay for. Your 5 bottle kit was probaby about $15 and your test strips were between $7 and $20 for a tube, depending on which ones you got. Consider how much your pool cost and then think if spending around $60 on a GOOD testkit that will accurately and precisely test the water parameters you need in the exact same way that professional pool maintenance people do is worth the money...or better yes, ask ANYONE who has bought such a kit!
    The answer is going to be yes.
    In the old days of computers there was a term, GIGO. I stood for "Garbage In, Garbage Out". This meant that if you had bad data input your results would be bad. With a pool your input data are your test results. If you cannot believe them or they do not have proper resolution for balancing water then you cannot balance your pool.
    Strips do not have enough resolution for balancing water, they cannot test CH but only test TH which si not a valid test for pool water, and are time dependent for a proper read.
    Cheap test kits only test total chlorine (yellow color comparator for chlorine test) and do not include CH or CYA tests, which are necessary for proper pool maintenance.

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