Clorox Pool & Spa Smart Test Strips - Save your $$

steveoFresno

Member
Apr 6, 2018
10
Fresno, CA
Hello all,

So I'm about to go out of town, right as the thermometer toys with hitting triple-digits. To make a long story short, I have to leave my pool in the hands of someone who has little pool care experience. I use and love the TF-100, but I find the colorimetric pH and TC to require a best-guess, and the rest of the kit can be a little intimidating at first glance. As I stocked up on chlorine at Lowe's, I happened to spy a strip-based test kit made by Clorox that lets you scan the strip with your phone, which then displays digital results for TH, FC, TC, pH, TA, and CYA. I figured if it was at least close it would be way easier for my friend, so I took the $12 gamble. It was super easy, and the results were easy to read, but I probably should have spent my $12 at the hotdog stand on the way out of the store because I'm disappointed (though I probably should have expected to be) and I'm hungry. I'll let you judge the results for yourself in case it saves you from succumbing to the temptation to waste your money on a quest for quick-and-easy test results. All results were in sunlight, per instructions:

TF-100
Clorox strip, scanned immediately after dipping (per instructions in app)
Second Clorox strip, scanned immediately after dippingThird Clorox strip, scanned after 15 secondsFourth Clorox strip, scanned after 15 secondsFifth Clorox strip, scanned after 30 seconds
FC5.53
3355
TC5.535555
TH250250250250250500
pH7.66.87.87.86.86.8
TA8040120120120
120
CYA4005050050
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,704
Tucson, AZ
Yeah, the concept of using a phone-based image of test strips has been around for a while and no one to my knowledge has gotten it to work right. Lighting and camera settings are just too variable to make it work with any kind of accuracy.

I’d simply hand the person a pH and FC test kit (I prefer the K-1001 which uses DPD instead of OTO for FC testing) and show them how to do the two tests. You should know your pool well enough by now to know how many ounces of chlorine it uses each day so I would setup a bunch of small containers and tell your friend to add one container each day. Don’t try to make him test and dose, just hand him the containers and tell him which ones and how many to add each day. Make it as stupid-simple idiot-proof as possible. Tell hi to test and record the numbers and only call you if something looks bad or off.
 

H-12 1/2 Mike

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 14, 2014
147
Highland Village, TX
I had the same experience with the chlorox test method after being talked into it by the person who supplies these kits to Walmart. It only took one day to figure out it was not going to work. So now it sits on a shelf with the AquaChek waiting to be thrown out.
 

Wellersl

Member
Oct 30, 2016
16
Tucson, AZ
IMHO - It's a shame that they haven't figured out how to improve this app significantly. Modern smartphones have cameras so good that they rival even some DSLRs. This app should at least be a close second to other methods of testing. The first thing missing is a calibration procedure that uses the phones flash so (from a hardware perspective) the results will be consistent irrespective of ambient light. Of course, if the strips are still wildly random, this is all moot.

Yet, I keep coming back to snake-oil solutions like these because I'm such a spaz. Dripping drops into tiny vials is something I don't do well.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,950
Tallahassee, FL
It is all the guess strips not being good :( Just too many variables like how to hold it going into the water, when it comes out of the water, how long to let the water sit on it before checking the colors, etc.
 

Reddcurrlz

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2017
113
Florida
Don't buy any of their pool products. They have "other ingredients" that you can't find. Their algaecide was 3% copper and 97% other ingredients. I took it back
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,271
NW Ohio
Don't buy any of their pool products. They have "other ingredients" that you can't find. Their algaecide was 3% copper and 97% other ingredients. I took it back
If the "other" scares you more than the "copper" in that ingredient list, then you need to spend more time on TFP. The "other" isn't what stains pools and hair.

(Also the other is mostly just water and stuff to keep the copper in suspension)