confused about test strips

May 28, 2008
2
Massachusetts
#1
This is my first pool and I went with the Intex SWG right away. I'm confused about the 3-way test strips that came with the SWG. I tested the water yesterday and the "free chlorine" was the only thing in the OK range. As instructed in the SWG guide I had added the correct amount of salt and waited 24 hours with just the filter running to make sure it had dissolved before switching on the SWG. When I set the SWG yesterday to run for 3 hours it did so, and when I checked it in the evening the last code to be displayed had been 93, so all is well.

What I don't get is if the SWG is not telling me the salt is too high or too low, then why are the 3-way test strips not accurate? I'm airing on the side of caution and won't use the pool until I'm sure it's safe. Can someone tell me if I need to have all 3 things on the test strip be in the OK range, or do I just care about the free chlorine levels with the SWG system?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
Welcome to TFP!

There are a number of different levels that need to be balanced. The SWG only helps you with the free chlorine level. You still need to adjust PH, TA, CYA, and salt manually.

You might want to try reading some of the Stickies. See the link in my signature or the sub-heading of every page. There is lots of good background material there. A good place to start is the BBB for Beginners article in the May 2008 newsletter, just below the Meet the Members introduction.
 

ivyleager

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 6, 2007
490
Raleigh-Durham,NC
#3
completenovice said:
This is my first pool and I went with the Intex SWG right away. I'm confused about the 3-way test strips that came with the SWG. I tested the water yesterday and the "free chlorine" was the only thing in the OK range. As instructed in the SWG guide I had added the correct amount of salt and waited 24 hours with just the filter running to make sure it had dissolved before switching on the SWG. When I set the SWG yesterday to run for 3 hours it did so, and when I checked it in the evening the last code to be displayed had been 93, so all is well.

What I don't get is if the SWG is not telling me the salt is too high or too low, then why are the 3-way test strips not accurate? I'm airing on the side of caution and won't use the pool until I'm sure it's safe. Can someone tell me if I need to have all 3 things on the test strip be in the OK range, or do I just care about the free chlorine levels with the SWG system?
Pssst....test strips are horrible! Fairly inaccurate. A good test kit is the way to go.
 

BIC

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2007
108
#4
I second that. Buy a test kit like the TF Test Kit. The link is in JasonLion signature.

I got it and it helped/helps me a lot.