Nubbie trying to figure out what to trust

Renovatio_007

New member
Jul 5, 2020
4
Victorville
Hi All,

I just just setup a new Intex 32x16x52 saltwater rectangle pool, one of those costco deals where they throw everything in. I finished filling it up and began testing the water before putting in the salt. The pool came with test strips and I have a Taylor 5 way kit.

When I test the water the Taylor kit says my pH is 7.8 and it only took 1 drop on the acid demand test to bring it to normal levels. Alkalinity is 80 (it took 8 drops to clear the water), now the test strips show 6.2 pH and 80 for Alkalinity.

As I mentioned earlier this is fresh tap water. I also tested water from my faucet and I get the same readings from each Taylor kit and test strips.

My question is which should I believe? If I believe the stip that means that I would need to raise the pH and if I believe the Taylor kit I would lower the pH. Please help?
 

Wobblerlorri

Bronze Supporter
Trust the test kit. Test strips are notoriously unreliable -- we call them "guess strips". You may as well test your water by swishing it around in your mouth.

Pool store testing is equally unreliable, so stay out of pool stores, too.

Trust your own testing.
 

pjt

Gold Supporter
Jan 7, 2012
140
The Woodlands, TX
You'll need either a TF-100 or K-2006C test kit, plus a K-1766 for salt testing. A speed stir is also strongly recommended.

The test strips are worthless.
 

Renovatio_007

New member
Jul 5, 2020
4
Victorville
You'll need either a TF-100 or K-2006C test kit, plus a K-1766 for salt testing. A speed stir is also strongly recommended.

The test strips are worthless.
Thank you for the part numbers, I'll get one of those and the salt test kit. I was mistaken earlier as the test kit I have is not the Taylor one but the Poolmaster 22260
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
31,199
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
Both the Poolmaster kit and the test strip can be adversely effected by FC level. The Poolmaster pH test is invalid with FC above 5 ppm. The strip can be bleached out if the FC is above about the same.

Also, it is chemically impossible to have a pH of 6.2 and a TA of 80.

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

Renovatio_007

New member
Jul 5, 2020
4
Victorville
Trust the test kit. Test strips are notoriously unreliable -- we call them "guess strips". You may as well test your water by swishing it around in your mouth.

Pool store testing is equally unreliable, so stay out of pool stores, too.

Trust your own testing.
Thank you for that, I needed the laugh and your comment about swishing water in the mouth was hilarious. I learned my lesson very early in life with the "specialized" stores and their unreliable advice, just as bad as their overpriced items. I will stay away from pool stores as I have been reading this forum for a lot of information and everyone on here is wonderful and has great advice.
 

Renovatio_007

New member
Jul 5, 2020
4
Victorville
Welcome to the forum!
Both the Poolmaster kit and the test strip can be adversely effected by FC level. The Poolmaster pH test is invalid with FC above 5 ppm. The strip can be bleached out if the FC is above about the same.

Also, it is chemically impossible to have a pH of 6.2 and a TA of 80.

I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
I tested the FC level and it was between 0.6 and 1 on the Poolmaster kit. On the Test strip it pretty much said the same thing. I just finished filling the pool with I guess not so plain tap water and want to get the pH and Alkalinity level ready for me to introduce salt to the water. This is why I was testing with both, I figured I could double check results, but as many on here have said that the strips are pretty much guesswork, such as the pH showing 6.2 and TA at 80, I'll stick with the reading I get from the poolmaster kit. every time I test I've gotten the same thing:

FC ~ 0.6 to 1.0
pH ~ 7.8
Alkalinity 80 ppm

From charts I read for my pool size it is about 1.5 cups of Muriatic Acid. I'll start with less and keep checking throughout the day to see if pH is within range and then add the salt tonight so that I can run the pump to mix it in.

Again thank you very much for all the help.