Local pool store recommends test strips only. What the...

gale

Active member
Jul 14, 2009
41
north central Indiana
I went to get a CYA kit today because I ran out and didn't want to wait for it in the mail. They pointed me to their test strips and I said no, I don't want strips. One worker said it's only made in strips and the other said "no, you can get a regular test but it's not as accurate as the strips". Then he told me they recommend strips only for ALL testing as the strips are WAY more accurate than the other tests. The only way they carried the CYA non-strip test was in a 5 way kit and I think I have enough left for one more test so I passed. I know the pool stores aren't the greatest places for the type of info you get here but wow. Strips only? Even walmart sells some test kit components.

Needless to say, I'll be placing a refill order soon.
 

poolsupplysales

In The Industry
Jan 31, 2012
112
Tulare, CA
Re: Local pool store recommends test strips only. What the..

cya test can be purchased in the strips or reagent the accuracy of both are good it is a matter of prefrance to the consumer. the strips are easier not better
 

cramar

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 10, 2010
1,143
Sault Ontario
Re: Local pool store recommends test strips only. What the..

no their not, I've done back to back tests of reagent vs strips and the strips were lousy.
One testing system is better and customers need to gain the knowledge to understand the difference.
 

Speedo

LifeTime Supporter
May 4, 2011
636
Re: Local pool store recommends test strips only. What the..

The pool store I went to didn't quite get it either. I asked for a drop test kit (long time ago) and they pointed at the strips. They had some drops, but I think those might have been for hot tub testing. I couldn't tell from the reagent labeling what they were though.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Re: Local pool store recommends test strips only. What the..

poolsupplysales said:
cya test can be purchased in the strips or reagent the accuracy of both are good it is a matter of prefrance to the consumer. the strips are easier not better
The test strips are generally worse than the drop-based tests, but it really does vary by manufacturer of the test strip AND the specific test we are talking about. See this post for a comparison of test strip resolution (not even accuracy) compared to drop-based test kits.

For pH, test strips are probably comparable to the phenol red drop-based test. For Free Chlorine (FC) and Combined Chlorine (CC) or Total Chlorine (TC), the drop-based tests can be extraordinarily more accurate (0.2 ppm or 10%, whichever is greater) or more typically just more accurate (0.5 ppm or 10%, whichever is greater) which for those staying near the edge of the minimum FC/CYA recommendations can be important. Also, for doing an overnight chlorine loss test, test strips are useless as they do not measure with sufficient precision. They are also unsuitable for shocking and for some pools with high CYA where the FC must be kept higher (especially above 5 ppm). The TA with test strips has 4 times less precision and accuracy. The CH test doesn't even exist and only Total Hardness is measured on the test strips. The CYA test is very approximate and often not accurate.

So I very much disagree with your assertion that test strips are usable in general. If you've got nothing else, then OK, but one really should get a drop-based test kit if they want to have their water balanced reasonably to prevent algae growth and to protect plaster surfaces.