recommendation for salt meter?

abfab

Well-known member
Nov 12, 2012
97
Ontario, Canada
#1
Is there an inexpensive meter for testing salt water that you recommend? All I want is to do an occasional sanity check (a couple of times a season) to make sure that my panel reading is ok. In the past it has been pretty close to the pool store but since I do my own testing now I don't want to take it there.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
Central California
#2
TFP experts will recommend the Taylor K-1766, which is what I have. Fairly easy to use.

But I'm wondering: I used to use something like this in my marine aquarium, specifically to adjust the amount of salt the tank needed. Does anyone know why something like this isn't available for a pool? Is it measuring the wrong thing?

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 9.37.25 AM.jpg
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,674
#3
The K-1766 is a good choice.

If you want a meter, consider the Hayward GLX Saltmeter or the Myron L salt pen.

If you get a meter, get some calibration solution to make sure that it's properly calibrated.
 

abfab

Well-known member
Nov 12, 2012
97
Ontario, Canada
#4
The K-1766 is a good choice.

If you want a meter, consider the Hayward GLX Saltmeter or the Myron L salt pen.

If you get a meter, get some calibration solution to make sure that it's properly calibrated.
Does the calibration solution expire? I considered the K-1766 but reagents are expensive in Canada so I'm looking for a cheaper alternative.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,349
Tucson, AZ
#6
TFP experts will recommend the Taylor K-1766, which is what I have. Fairly easy to use.

But I'm wondering: I used to use something like this in my marine aquarium, specifically to adjust the amount of salt the tank needed. Does anyone know why something like this isn't available for a pool? Is it measuring the wrong thing?

View attachment 73355
This will not work. It's designed for saltwater aquariums where the salinity is 35,000ppm not 3,500ppm. Hydrometers and refractometers only work in high salinity applications.

To the OP - if the K-1766 is too expensive to get, then you can use a digital TDS meter but you will need to calibrate it against a known standard as JamesW suggests or else you'll find yourself hundreds of ppm's off and no better than test strips. Unfortunately, most salt standard solutions tend to be for aquariums where the salinity is 10X higher (or more) than pool water salinity. You may be able to find a lower concentration standard from a specialty retailer but then I suspect you might find yourself spending just as much on the digital meter as you would on the K-1766 kit.

Do know that the K-1766 reagents are very stable if properly stored and it will give you many, many years of use.
 

abfab

Well-known member
Nov 12, 2012
97
Ontario, Canada
#7
Do know that the K-1766 reagents are very stable if properly stored and it will give you many, many years of use.
No I didn't know that. I thought all reagents were only good for one year (although I have have gone longer and not noticed a difference). If that's the case then I would prefer that approach.
What is the proper storage? I keep my K-2006 kit in the house to guard it from heat.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,349
Tucson, AZ
#8
No I didn't know that. I thought all reagents were only good for one year (although I have have gone longer and not noticed a difference). If that's the case then I would prefer that approach.
What is the proper storage? I keep my K-2006 kit in the house to guard it from heat.
Same as your other kit. Just keep it indoors.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
Central California
#9
This will not work. It's designed for saltwater aquariums where the salinity is 35,000ppm not 3,500ppm. Hydrometers and refractometers only work in high salinity applications.
Thanks, Matt!

Bummer. I suppose if this gizmo could be adapted for a pool's lower salinity, then there'd be one. So maybe not enough PPM to get it to work reliably? Too bad, they're so easy to use, and consistent, and fast, no guessing...

Sounds like the OP's got his solution.

Are salt meter readings subject to the same issues that SWG salt readings have, that they change their value based on temperature? Because when my now-fired-pool-guy was trying to get a handle on my SWG not working, he kept measuring the salt with some sort of electronic device, from week to week his results were all over the place. Like 1000s off.

And are K-1766 drops "temperature independent?"
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,674
#10
A good meter uses temperature compensation.

I don't think that the k-1766 test is affected in any significant way for temperatures in the normal range of pool temperatures.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
Central California
#11
Well, this was the same guy who couldn't perform a Taylor TA test correctly, and gave me a number that was 50 away from actual TA, so maybe he just didn't know how to use his salt meter, or his boss gave him a crummy one. Probably both. More evidence to support taking care of your pool water yourself, and never trusting any test results but your own...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,349
Tucson, AZ
#13
The Taylor test uses an precipitation titration where silver ions reacts with the chloride ion and form an insoluble compound (silver chloride). The indicator simply changes color (yellow to brick red) when all of the chloride is consumed. Therefore, the test result is insensitive to temperature - all temperature will do is slow down or speed up the precipitation reaction but the overall concentration changes will be fixed. At normal pool water temperatures, there is no need to be concerned with sample temperature.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 13, 2017
4,375
Central California
#14
So just to support the OPs decision to go with the K-1766 (and mine!)... between calibration, temperature issues, batteries, breaking out a separate tester, cost, reliability, storage, etc... I can't see wanting a salt meter when the K-1766 is so fast and easy and something you'd do while you're already all set up for your other drop tests.

Now when they start shipping TriCorders, that I could just wave over my pool and have it tell me and Jim and Bones the exact chemical analysis of my water, then I'll convert!