SALT reading using Aquacheck Strips very low

embeleco

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2019
46
Florida, USA
Is it possible? My strips are coming very low around 1680 but still my SWG is still running and no warning. Couple months ago the strips were coming back with 2930 and I though it was ok giving that they are not that accurate.
The strips are brand new. Weird.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,033
Tucson, AZ
A K-1766 salt testing kit costs less than $30 and is far more accurate than either your test strips or your SWG reading. You can certainly continue to use the strips but they are not very accurate and they are easily spoiled by humid weather if not kept in a cool, dry place. Only the K-1766 can give you the most reliable and accurate reading because it is based on direct chemical measurement of the chloride ion (Cl-) concentration whereas all other methods (srtrips, meters, etc) use a proxy (conductivity or density differences) to infer the salt content. The K-1766 can perform over 100 tests and the reagents are very stable and will last years. Well worth the investment of $30.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,802
Evans, Georgia
Being that you're in FL with frequent rains and occasional need to drain off water in. your pool, your salt *could* be lower than you expect.

I never had any luck with strips, but the Taylor test is easy to read and reproducible so I trust it mucho!

Maddie :flower:
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,782
Stuart/FL
I used strips and they were, well OK about +/- 500 ppm. When I ran out I replaced with K-1766 since it's highly recommended by all our experts. I didn't have an issue like you have and I wouldn't be comfortable diagnosing and correcting any problems based on salt strips and salt cell readings. Salt cell readings are notoriously inaccurate and you can damage your cell if your real salt level is way off. I'd get the right kit and get your salt level right. The drop test is the easiest one you'll ever do. Extremely repeatable and I think +/- 200 ppm accurate. Even though he can be a little off the deep end Matt is always right when it comes to chemistry.:laughblue:

Chris
 
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setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,782
Stuart/FL
Thanks team. I just ordered the K-1766... I'll post my reading once I get the Kit. Any salt brand you recommend? Good price and easy to get?
Just make sure there are no additives for iron etc. The lower purity will have a little sand residue and may take a little longer to dissolve. Dump it in the shallow end since that's easier to brush if you have to.
 

YonnyPiscinas

Active member
Jan 10, 2020
29
Uruguay - SA
I was using Pentair test strips with my new pool until I found out I needed a level of 6000 for the SWG.
the strips don't read this high level.

Is this K-1766 able to read beyond 6000? Guess it won't last long with the number of drops I'll use up.
 

YonnyPiscinas

Active member
Jan 10, 2020
29
Uruguay - SA
Wow! What brand and model swg do you have?
Yes this is correct - Justchlor J100SC (South African brand).
6000 ppm. It was producing no chlorine at all when the level was at <4000 then suddenly it came to life when I added more salt.


6.4. Ensure minimum salt level 0.6% (6000ppm) by adding minimum 60 kg IODENE FREE salt per 10 000 litres water. Too little salt will result in premature element failure and the voiding of the Warranty; ensure that your salt calculation versus pool size is correct - rather more salt than too little.


I guess one day I will replace it for a new SWG that requires much less salt as it's like swimming in the ocean!
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,782
Stuart/FL
Yonny,

Thanks for the info. I learn something new every day. I was aware old technology for swg's required much higher salt level because the anode coatings did not have the advantage of new catalysts. Just haven't seen anything on them in the US. If it were me, I'd be sure you have the right salt level asap, turn off the swg and use liquid chlorine 'till you get it right. My experience with test strips was +/- 500 ppm accuracy but I never tried them close to your range. I'd use the drop test and double check with a diluted sample 50% sample plus 50% distilled water. Then just double the result. If the diluted sample gives the same result you can save drops if you're worried about that. But once you get the salt right you won't test often and the drops will still last a LONG time. Let's see what our expert thinks about this approach. @JoyfulNoise . If Matt disagrees do what he says.

Chris
 
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YonnyPiscinas

Active member
Jan 10, 2020
29
Uruguay - SA
Chlorine is spot on at the moment so no liquid chlorine necessary imo. I use Pentair strips and also phenol drops to double-check.
I'm raising the TA a little more with sodium bicarbonate as it's only at 60. PH is good at about 7.4

The equipment has calibration instructions to test the salt level at 6000 ppm (it has its own test setting also).
Level 2 on the equipment is showing 50% and level 3 75%.

Thanks
Yonny (Chris)