Problems with TFTest

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
60
atlanta, GA
First of all, I have tremendous respect for and have benefited from the TFP forum, this is why I became a supporter and plan to continue contributing to the forum. I am saying all this because I feel that few established members of this forum may have vested interest in the TFTest and hope this feedback is taken constructively without taking anything personally. I just feel there is a chasm between the enthusiasm and dedication of people on this forum and business side of selling the TFTests. Here are the main points and further below is the full email exchange with the TFTest:

1) Most importantly: I pointed out a major issue in measuring FC (comparing with two other kits). There was no caring to find out what's going on, no "send me the sample of reagent to find out what's going on". Simply, here is the address for you to send it for refund. So, disappointing...
2) Its shame to leverage TFP and TFTest reputation to upsell accessories that are beyond poor quality. I bought salt strips and pH-Meter simply because of the reputation of TFTest and, like i said in the email, free salt-strips that came with my SWCG were 100-times better than what I received. Just sell the test kits and don't upsell inferior products because the reputation is hard to restore.
3) Although similarly priced, ergonomics of C-2006 (or even poolmaster kit) are significantly better than the TFTest: no color coding of reagents, no organization in the box, flat box with huge foot-print that is very awkward to use, instruction on a separate paper (rather than attached to the lid), etc. I have my 11 year old son engaged in pool testing and he loves doing it with K-2006 (we share subscription version of PoolMath software where he enters results). I couldn't trust him being able to do the same using the TFTest.
4) Acid/base demand test is lacking when compared to K-2006. It would be better to have this explicitly listed on the comparison page (even if one thinks these tests are not important).

Below is the full email:


On November 24, 2020 at 11:35 AM, "#### @TFTestkits" <[email protected]> wrote:

Dear ####,

I am sorry you do not like the kit an demeter. All products have a one year warranty. Please ship to address as below for a refund.

Kind regards,

TFTestkits
1221 Sophie Rd
Creedmoor, NC 27522

On Tue, Nov 24, 2020 at 11:05 AM ######## wrote:
Hello,

I have multiple issues with TFT kit and lease advise how to address these:

1) pH meter - seems very inaccurate and even the manual seems to be written in very poor English (machine translated from a foreign manufacturer?) - something that was probably outsourced with little QC. Specifically:

  • Bullet #4 from the pH Calibration instructions makes no sense and it's not clear what one is expected to do. "After about one minute, until the buffer solution value corresponding to the measurement temperature is obtained." So, it is not clear "after about one minute" what one is supposed to do.
  • To my best ability I followed the calibration instructions to regulate the trimmer with a screwdriver at with pH 6.86 solution. Then, cleaned the electrode as described in the instructions and then dipped it in the pH4.01 solution. Even after a minute or longer, the unit was showing 4.4 and never matched the 4.01.
  • I measured pool water with both K-2006 and this pH-meter: in the evening the K-2006 showed 7.6 and the pH-meter showed 7.2. Next morning, K-2006 showed 7.6 and the pH-meter showed 8.0. The other pH test that came with the TFT kit also agreed with K-2006 on both occasions.
  • At this point, I am not sure what do to with the unit since the results seem to vary greatly and they seem inaccurate.
2) FC test also seems to be very inaccurate although it uses the same reagents as the K2006. Two days in a row FC based on K2006 is 6ppm and TFT shows 8.5ppm. At this point, I trust K2006 more since it agreed with all other tests kits (I also have poolmaster kit and few test strip kits).

3) The overall packaging the content is little disappointing - K2006 is about the same price but its heads and shoulders above as far as the packaging and utility goes (not a huge flat generic organizer that is difficult to store/handle/find right reagent). I also didn't see the acid/base demand test that seems standard with much cheaper test-kits. Plus, because I have tremendous respect for the TFP site, I trusted that TFTest kit would include high-quality components and added salt-test strips to the order. They are much inferior quality than the free strips that came with my SWG and will probably throw them away - I don't think any pool owner who cares enough to join the TFPs to educate themselves and try to buy the best, would ever rely on these salt strips. These strips, and the pH meter, shouldn't be offered as an upsell along with the TFTest that is highly rated.

Please let me know how to resolve these.
Sincerely,
#######

P.S. I apologize for being so blunt - I am just terribly disappointed since I hold the TFP in such a high regard and purchased this kit based on their recommendation. I tremendously care about doing things correctly and this is my third kit (poolmaster, k-2006 and this); I use them concurrently to eliminate any mistakes and this kit has been such a letdown compared to others because I had such a high-expectations.


Begin forwarded message:

From: TFTestkits <[email protected]>
Date: 11/18/2020
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,837
Northern NJ
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Chlorine
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@OTPirate @Leebo

I don't see what can be better then offering a complete refund if you are unhappy with the product.

There is no business side to the TFP website. TFP is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit who displays NO advertising on our site nor is our advice compromised by financial incentives. TfTestkits is an independent business and members have a wide choice of vendors to get pool test kits from.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,195
Bedford, TX
M,

I can understand your feelings as I too find that almost every website I visit is always trying to sell me something.. :(

In my mind the difference is that everyone that "works" here, including me, are volunteers. We get nothing but enjoyment out of our recommendations.. I often recommend Pentair products, because that is what I have and what I have found works best for me.. I believe that is what we all do...

The same can be said about my TF-100 test kit.. I have tried several other test kits, and have found for accuracy, nothing can beat it.. We also recommend the Taylor K-2006C.. Our only concern is that we can compare apples to apples.. Both the TF-100 and the Taylor K-2006C should provide the same or vary similar results.. We do not care where you buy them, or which kit you buy, that is up to you.

I guess what I am trying to say is there are zero conflicts of interests in any of our posts, as there is just nothing for us to gain.

As they say... Every story has two sides... Neither is probably perfect..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
60
atlanta, GA
@OTPirate @Leebo

I don't see what can be better then offering a complete refund if you are unhappy with the product.

There is no business side to the TFP website. TFP is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit who displays NO advertising on our site nor is our advice compromised by financial incentives. TfTestkits is an independent business and members have a wide choice of vendors to get pool test kits from.
Ok. I guess i am looking at this through a different lens. Getting refund is given. The way i see it is that I buy from TFTest for three reasons (as opposed to Amazon that would offer better price on comparable kit with free return if something went wrong):
1) indirectly thanking for all the support and advise.
2) knowing that they really care and are not just reselling (this failed - i thought they would care why FC is 2ppm more to fix the issue moving forward or ID bad batch of reagent).
3)knowing that anything extra i am being upsold is the same high quality and necessary as the main kit as well, because TFTest is not in a business of reselling low quality stuff but rather helping pool owners (they obviously failed here too).

But, to your point, yes, i will get my refund after i pack everything and go to post office to ship it back. I was just dissspointed because people here are like angels and the store maybe taking the reputation for granted.
 

mvoltin

Silver Supporter
Aug 1, 2016
60
atlanta, GA
M,

I can understand your feelings as I too find that almost every website I visit is always trying to sell me something.. :(

In my mind the difference is that everyone that "works" here, including me, are volunteers. We get nothing but enjoyment out of our recommendations.. I often recommend Pentair products, because that is what I have and what I have found works best for me.. I believe that is what we all do...

The same can be said about my TF-100 test kit.. I have tried several other test kits, and have found for accuracy, nothing can beat it.. We also recommend the Taylor K-2006C.. Our only concern is that we can compare apples to apples.. Both the TF-100 and the Taylor K-2006C should provide the same or vary similar results.. We do not care where you buy them, or which kit you buy, that is up to you.

I guess what I am trying to say is there are zero conflicts of interests in any of our posts, as there is just nothing for us to gain.

As they say... Every story has two sides... Neither is probably perfect..

Thanks,

Jim R.
Thank you, Jim. I appreciate and understand your feedback.
 

OTPirate

Admin
In The Industry
Oct 2, 2013
1,596
Creedmoor, NC
@mvoltin per my emails to you, TFTestkits will provide a full refund and return label. I assure you members of TFP are all volunteers and I would never take advantage of them, I'm not sure how I could. TFP members can certainly recommend whatever they want.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
10,489
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
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Although similarly priced, ergonomics of C-2006 (or even poolmaster kit) are significantly better than the TFTest: no color coding of reagents, no organization in the box, flat box with huge foot-print that is very awkward to use, instruction on a separate paper (rather than attached to the lid), etc. I have my 11 year old son engaged in pool testing and he loves doing it with K-2006 (we share subscription version of PoolMath software where he enters results). I couldn't trust him being able to do the same using the TFTest.


🤫 🤫 🤫 🤫
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,012
Evans, Georgia
The reagents in the TF-100 and K-2006 are both by Taylor. Taylor reagents are like the gold standard. When we suggest the K-2006C test kit over the other sizes of the K-2006 is because the quantity of reagents is most comparable to the TF-100. So its easier to see that the TF-100 is a better buy in price.

Sure the box is different. The company that sells TF-100 is a Mom & Pop business working to keep the price down. You can put the elements into any type box you want. I've been fine with the flat box for years. Others have shared their creative changes to the box here many times.

Maddie :flower:
 

HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
1,536
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Also, the TF-100 reagents are color coded on the labels - not the top like in the Taylor K-2006 kit. However, I do see in the new TF-100 Pro version to be released in 2021 it will included color tops as well (from what I could see in the picture). If you test on a consistent basis, you will not need to worry about expiration dates because you will continue resupply as needed.

Furthermore, once you get into testing and acquire backup reagents, extra tube, addition of speedstir, extra spinners, a syringe, and pH meter to name a few, you will find that neither the Taylor K-2006 or the TF-100 can hold all of that. So you will need to add another box or simply go to a larger more roomy box. I transitioned to a tackle box (a flat version with a bottom compartment to hold the extras and the top compartment to hold what I use routinely) to hold all the items you start to accumulate after doing testing for long term. Look at both the TF-100 and Taylor K-2006 as started boxes if you are serious about testing.
 

dschlic1

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 5, 2007
697
Valrico, FL
I purchase my TF-100 many years ago. The instructions are on a label stuck on the inside lid of the box. The first thing I did was re-arrange the compartments of the box to make testing easier. I have seperated the box into several rows, the top contains all vials and reagents for TA testing, the second row contains all vials and reagents for CH testing. The bottom row is larger, on the lefts is chlorine testing, and on the right side is CYA testing. Works for me.

I also have a high end Hach chlorine meter. It tracks with the resukts of the TF-100 DPD chlorine test. One issue I had with the kit was the markings on the vials from TF-100 are wrong. Once I realized this, I made correct marks on the vials at the correct sample volumes. Perhaps you received vials with incorrect markings?
 

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wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
2,107
Spring Valley, NY
This is the way I use my box. Every customer of mine that has the TF-100 has it the same way so when I'm digging into a test kit wherever it may be it's all familiar and just reach for it .20200730_112143.jpg
 
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cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,897
Southern OK
After a year I had too much stuff and moved away from the box that was sent from TFTestkits as most people do.. The K2006 is the same, most have way more stuff and go to a bigger box... :)

As for where you buy supplies you can buy them anywhere you want, You can even buy the TF 100 on Amazon if you wish... We recommend the TF 100 because it is a great value but we also recommend the Taylor K2006C for the same reason...

 

MostlyCanuck

Bronze Supporter
Mar 19, 2021
58
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pool Size
18800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
First of all, I have tremendous respect for and have benefited from the TFP forum, this is why I became a supporter and plan to continue contributing to the forum. I am saying all this because I feel that few established members of this forum may have vested interest in the TFTest and hope this feedback is taken constructively without taking anything personally. I just feel there is a chasm between the enthusiasm and dedication of people on this forum and business side of selling the TFTests. Here are the main points and further below is the full email exchange with the TFTest:

1) Most importantly: I pointed out a major issue in measuring FC (comparing with two other kits). There was no caring to find out what's going on, no "send me the sample of reagent to find out what's going on". Simply, here is the address for you to send it for refund. So, disappointing...
2) Its shame to leverage TFP and TFTest reputation to upsell accessories that are beyond poor quality. I bought salt strips and pH-Meter simply because of the reputation of TFTest and, like i said in the email, free salt-strips that came with my SWCG were 100-times better than what I received. Just sell the test kits and don't upsell inferior products because the reputation is hard to restore.
3) Although similarly priced, ergonomics of C-2006 (or even poolmaster kit) are significantly better than the TFTest: no color coding of reagents, no organization in the box, flat box with huge foot-print that is very awkward to use, instruction on a separate paper (rather than attached to the lid), etc. I have my 11 year old son engaged in pool testing and he loves doing it with K-2006 (we share subscription version of PoolMath software where he enters results). I couldn't trust him being able to do the same using the TFTest.
4) Acid/base demand test is lacking when compared to K-2006. It would be better to have this explicitly listed on the comparison page (even if one thinks these tests are not important).

Below is the full email:


On November 24, 2020 at 11:35 AM, "#### @TFTestkits" <[email protected]> wrote:
I just joined this forum and literally just posted a similar note here: https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/tftestkits-transparency.226287/

I didn't see this thread before posting mine.. similar question indeed.

what i find strange is that all the most prolific posters idolize the same couple brands (tftestkits and the marina that sells dolphins)... those recommendations are literally on every other post. maybe those really are 1000s miles ahead of any other vendor... but realistically, that is odd.

i think this forum would be just as great, and credible, if there was a clear and transparent notice stating that the father runs the forum and the daughter sells the chem tests recommended in the forum (or whatever the relationship is)... this may still be the best advice and the best products, but why not be transparent and spell it out rather than pretending these two things are independent?
 

magiteck

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
386
Neenah, Wisconsin
Pool Size
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I just joined this forum and literally just posted a similar note here: https://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/tftestkits-transparency.226287/

I didn't see this thread before posting mine.. similar question indeed.

what i find strange is that all the most prolific posters idolize the same couple brands (tftestkits and the marina that sells dolphins)... those recommendations are literally on every other post. maybe those really are 1000s miles ahead of any other vendor... but realistically, that is odd.

i think this forum would be just as great, and credible, if there was a clear and transparent notice stating that the father runs the forum and the daughter sells the chem tests recommended in the forum (or whatever the relationship is)... this may still be the best advice and the best products, but why not be transparent and spell it out rather than pretending these two things are independent?
I’m a regular old member, just like you. I’ve been here going on a year, and have found that the recommendations you see here are generally based on personal experiences.

Marina Pool and Spa has no ownership connection to the forum. People recommend them because a robot is a big purchase, and history has shown them to be helpful and accommodating to members and providing a good experience. Most people suggesting someone make a $1,000 purchase want the buyer to feel good about that purchase. You’ll also see a lot of recommendations for The Pool Factory — again, because of user experiences. If I’m going to suggest someone spend $3000 I want to feel good about what I’m suggesting

When I post to help others, I recommend the TF-100 — that’s because I use it, it works well, and I’ve seen no viable/better alternative. The reality is you can’t go to Walmart and buy an FAS-DPD kit. So you are ordering online. When I was starting out, like you I was skeptical and almost bought a K-2006C because TF100 and TFP sounded “fishy”. But — follow the reviews and you see a lot of K2006 buyers on Amazon (where most would go) complaining about stale regents, short expiration, etc. So again - if I’m going to suggest someone spend $70 on a test kit, I’m going to recommend something I’m confident in the experience the user will have. If you can find a better deal, ounce for ounce, on fresh reagents — I’ll happily suggest it here, and I imagine others would too.

You’ll see a lot of other consistent recommendations, too, based on experience — like Pool Essentials chlorine from Walmart, or HDX from Home Depot. Again, these things get recommended because there just aren’t a ton of options to buy the right things and so people recommend what they know and can vouch for.

While yes, the same person owns TFP and TFTestkits, for me personally at the end of the day I don’t care. I know they’re distinct ventures. Rebecca owns a great forum maintained by a great Admin and cared for by some great Moderators. She also owns a convenient retailer of quality test supplies. Maybe that could be “clearer” to new users, I’ll concede— but I truly believe it has no influence on the recommendations you’re seeing, and at the end of the day, to me (and I’m guessing for most), it just doesn’t really matter.

Welcome to the forum. It’s a great community, and I do hope you’ll stick around.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,012
Evans, Georgia
I use the TF-100. When I joined this forum it was cheaper than the alternative test kit, and being a big supporter of Consumers Reports and being a good consumer I studied the difference in the kits. The vials of reagents in the TF-100 were bigger than the the K-2006 (the only other at the time). So I bought it.

When I bought my robot at Marina I was stunned that they sell it with free shipping and tax free. Who can beat that?! And having been to a local pool store I had seen how much they charged for the robots. I ordered it and it arrived in two days time. Of course I sing their praises!!

I bought my replacement cell at discountsaltpool.com..... had good service so again I suggest others shop there too.

I was helping someone here who showed a picture of an odd piece of equipment and was baffled. I sent the picture to INYOpools and asked them if they knew of it? Got a really nice response and information, and they *had* the mystery piece. So once again, I LIKE Inyopools.

That's about it. I could only dream of some kickback for all those recommendations! :laughblue:

Maddie :flower:
 

EricJ320

Active member
Mar 27, 2020
30
Tennessee
Pool Size
23000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool Edge-40
I get the OP’s point, and everyone else’s too. Yes, people recommending it are doing so without pressure from the owner and because it’s what they use, and that’s fine. What I tend to agree with the OP, or maybe stating in a way they didn’t, is the negative reviews of it. I would suggest people would be reluctant to say anything negative about TFTestkit because of the perceived close relationship between the forum and the store. How do I know? I have had an issue with the store and was at best reluctant to say anything, not for fear of forum discipline, but more so possibly offending the people and forum who have helped me so much. I think the OP, and me included, wish the relationship between the forum and store were more transparent up front to new people to see.

For some backstory, I admittedly purchased a K-2006 before I found this forum and realized the gem that it is. I have purchased numerous times from other sites, Amazon included, and haven’t yet had an issue with any of the refill reagents I’ve bought. Count me lucky I guess, although I do question many of the stale reagent reviews anywhere. How many times do people come here with problems and the answer is simple, “you have zero CYA/FC/etc.”. ?To the uneducated pool owner trying to do it them self that’s going to look like a stale reagent. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, I just try to parse the legit complaints from the ignorant ones. I myself was not sure if an unusual CYA test result was correct, I bought a 50ppm standard CYA sample from TFTestkit to help educate me on that crazy test, and after tips from people here we determined it was a dud sample, and since I’ve proven that to be true. I have no idea how much CYA was in the sample because it was so far below 30ppm there was no way to accurately test it. So what was supposed to help me solve a problem only created a new one for me. I’m not trying to rip on the store, I just ask those that recommend them, how would you have felt if your very first purchase there was a waste of money on a dud product? And like I said, I was reluctant to voice that criticism here, however right or wrong that reluctance may have been, it’s how I felt.
 

Bperry

Gold Supporter
Aug 20, 2020
242
Knoxville, TN
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I guess I don’t see the problem. I assumed there was a connection between the forum and the store, maybe because I didn’t realize the forum was a legal charity. Knowing that the forum is a separately run charity is kinda a nice surprise.

for future reference to the original poster (even though it’s old), asking a retailer “what can we do to remedy this problem?” generally means that you want a refund but aren’t expecting to be able to get one. For the store owner to offer the refund straight up is about the best thing they can do. All the other complaints about the test kit except for the FC test issue are just personal opinions of the product, not something that’s defective.

Ps, I prefer the box of the 2006C as well, and agree about the pH meter. But I may get the TFT refill kit next time and use it with the 2006C box.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,837
Northern NJ
Pool Size
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Ps, I prefer the box of the 2006C as well, and agree about the pH meter. But I may get the TFT refill kit next time and use it with the 2006C box.

Note that TFT now has the TFT PRO kit with a very nice box. And my understanding the box will be available for separate purchase soon.

 

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