Digital Pool Testing Kit

macdenewf

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2012
54
Spring, TX
Good Morning.
After 10 years, im finally going to start testing my pool chemistry and do the chemical service myself. With the increase in the price of chemicals, my service provider put the price up to 150 a month for the weekly test and chemicals and with the 50% increase in service its the tipping point for me to do it myself.
I have a salt water pool. we're in Houston so we keep the pool chemicals up all year...even though we don't use the pool much in the inter...we di use the hot tub attached. From what i could see the guy do on a weekly basis it was usually only some acid, maybe a chlorine puck when it was really hot and very infrequently some shock.

I do have a couple of questions...and im sure they were answered here before but didn't see exactly what i was look for.
- with a salt water pool...what conical need to be tested every week?
- would prefer to by a digital meter for testing vs a strip kit. I don't need a continuous monitor like the water guru...any thoughts on a digital meter that will give me the tests needed?
- lastly..if i know the volume of my pool....are there any good calculators for what chemicals need to be added..based on the levels of the chemicals from the tests?

thanks in advance. here's hoping that this doesn't cost me more than the 150 a month that the svs company charged.
Cheers
 
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TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
795
Tampa, FL
These are the test kit that are recommended on here. These come with instructions that tell you how to do the tests and which ones to do weekly vs daily. And there are some tests that I think only need to be done like monthly but I'm still learning myself.
TF-Pro *Salt with SmartStir-for pools with SWG or
TF-100 Test Kit ™ Need to add the TF-100 salt option

Also, get the Pool Math app on your phone (I think it's like $8)...it will tell you what to add based on your results and pool size.
 
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ccbill

Gold Supporter
Jul 23, 2021
182
Atascadero, Ca
Pool Size
23000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
You mentioned that you have a salt water pool but you think the service company was using chlorine pucks/tablets for chlorination? The equipment listed in your signature doesn't show a salt water chlorine generator - do you have one? Do you use it?

A Taylor K-2006C and K-1766 (for salt) are alternatives to the test kits at tftestkits.net.

You should start reading through Pool Care Basics.
 

Phookinl

Active member
Oct 11, 2021
38
NSW Australia
The test kits recommended here are very good. The instructions are pretty clear and there are lots of helpful souls on here who can help you out if you have difficulty. Taylors also have some videos on the internet that show you some of the tests too.

Test strips generally are not accurate enough. Digital meters, sound great but generally speaking they are far more expensive and require some investment of time as you need to understand how the tests work, what factors interfere with the tests and how to maintain and calibrate the instrument as well. If you have an issue with your color vision and can't use the standard test kit, then it's worth considering but aside from that the standard kits do the job well.
 
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Nikilyn

Bronze Supporter
Sep 3, 2018
1,321
Gilbert, AZ
Pool Size
17000
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
$150 a month 😱? That is a huge profit for the pool guy. A test kit won’t cost that much and you won’t use that many chemicals in a month so you will be getting a raise. A $12 box of acid should last you a couple of months in the summer and even longer in the winter. If you have a SWG then you will only need a $10 box of liquid chlorine every once in a while in the summer to bump up FC levels during high use times.
 
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poolnovice1

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2018
142
Houston
Good Morning.
After 10 years, im finally going to start testing my pool chemistry and do the chemical service myself. With the increase in the price of chemicals, my service provider put the price up to 150 a month for the weekly test and chemicals and with the 50% increase in service its the tipping point for me to do it myself.
I have a salt water pool. we're in Houston so we keep the pool chemicals up all year...even though we don't use the pool much in the inter...we di use the hot tub attached. From what i could see the guy do on a weekly basis it was usually only some acid, maybe a chlorine puck when it was really hot and very infrequently some shock.

I do have a couple of questions...and im sure they were answered here before but didn't see exactly what i was look for.
- with a salt water pool...what conical need to be tested every week?
- would prefer to by a digital meter for testing vs a strip kit. I don't need a continuous monitor like the water guru...any thoughts on a digital meter that will give me the tests needed?
- lastly..if i know the volume of my pool....are there any good calculators for what chemicals need to be added..based on the levels of the chemicals from the tests?

thanks in advance. here's hoping that this doesn't cost me more than the 150 a month that the svs company charged.
Cheers
Chemicals can get expensive in the summer months in Houston because of the heavy rains that cause chemicals to wash out. I probably spend around $70/mo in chemicals during the summer months and then maybe $20-30/mo the rest of the year. A couple of tips:
- Buy a TFT or Taylor kit. Test strips, digital and photometer kits have been a waste (I know because I have a bunch collecting dust)
- Test your own chemicals and ignore pool store recommendations. They're always peddling phosphate removers, algaecides, etc. The only things you'll need are liquid chlorine, baking soda, muriatic acid, and stabilizer.
 
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macdenewf

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2012
54
Spring, TX
Chemicals can get expensive in the summer months in Houston because of the heavy rains that cause chemicals to wash out. I probably spend around $70/mo in chemicals during the summer months and then maybe $20-30/mo the rest of the year. A couple of tips:
- Buy a TFT or Taylor kit. Test strips, digital and photometer kits have been a waste (I know because I have a bunch collecting dust)
- Test your own chemicals and ignore pool store recommendations. They're always peddling phosphate removers, algaecides, etc. The only things you'll need are liquid chlorine, baking soda, muriatic acid, and stabilizer.
Thanks. Appreciate the reply. 1st time i went to the store they used a pretty neat device to test the water..and apparently they lease them for 50 a month. but if you do lease it - they give you 50 a month in store credit. After doing a little research it looks like leslies are about 20% higher on their chemical prices than what i can get elsewhere so when its all said and done.....that unit will really only cost 10 bucks a month if i send the 50 there monthly. im thinking it might be worth it!
 

poolnovice1

Bronze Supporter
May 11, 2018
142
Houston
Thanks. Appreciate the reply. 1st time i went to the store they used a pretty neat device to test the water..and apparently they lease them for 50 a month. but if you do lease it - they give you 50 a month in store credit. After doing a little research it looks like leslies are about 20% higher on their chemical prices than what i can get elsewhere so when its all said and done.....that unit will really only cost 10 bucks a month if i send the 50 there monthly. im thinking it might be worth it!
My local Leslie's is always out of the things I need like liquid chlorine and muriatic acid. If you have a Pinch A Penny pool store near you, they're great. Anyway, no testing devices have worked for me as well as the Taylor kits. I hope the one you lease works for you.
 
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