Test strips


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 26, 2007
Covington, Georgia
:?: Is it recommended for water tests to be done with test strips? We did a test today with strips and these are the numbers we got. :?:

TC 8
FC 3
PH 7.8
ALK 180

We used the 6 way test strips.
13,600 gal AG vinyl
Hayward sand filter

What tests does the water testers from TF test kits I see sold on here test for and are they more dependable readings?


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Test strips are not all that reliable, (except the salt test from AquaChek which works a different way). It is often difficult to read the colors and they have a fairly large variability from test to test (the same water can give different readings each time you test it).

The TF Test Kit does TC, PH, FC, CC, TA, CH, and CYA. They use the Taylor chemistry which is the best available (ignoring lab equipment which requires constant recalibration).

If your TC is really 8 and your FC is really 3 then you CC is 5, which would mean you need to shock the pool. But test strips are not reliable enough for me to be at all sure of that.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2007
Poughquag, NY
You need a kit for accuracy. Testing with a kit should be done weekly or so. But, though it is not a popular opinion, I think the strips are OK for in-between testing, especially if they match your test kit (and primarily just for testing PH and FC). I think it is better to use the strips on a regular basis (again, with some idea that they match to your test kit) than to not test at all.


LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2007
Hi TizMe

I'm really new at this pool thing. First time pool owner this season.
I started testing a few times a week with the AquaChek Select Test Strips when my pool was built. Taking the water to my pool store for "more accurate" :roll: testing every couple of weeks.

Well it turns out that my local pool store weren't testing properly and I was having trouble differentiating between the colors on the test strips. Particularly with the shades of purple for Calcium Hardness. In the end my pool got into such a state that even I knew something wasn't right and I ordered the TF100 kit. Turns out my CH level was 2-3 times higher than it should have been and I had a scaling problem. I could not have got that resolved without the help of folks on this forum and the test kit.

Now I've ditched the strips and test with my TF 100 daily (not all the tests though!). When I think of all the money I literally pour in to the pool in terms of chemicals the TF100 was the best $80 I've spent so far.

If you are looking for a rookie success story for getting a test kit and ditching the strips I am one of them (and I believe that there are a few more knocking about on these forums). Good luck with whatever you decide to do.


TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
South Carolina
Hi Tiz,
It seems your pool is keeping you out of trouble and on the road to a complete recovery from your heart attack! Is it your therapy? :)

To reiterate what the others say, please do yourself a favor and order the test kit. It is the BEST investment we made in our pool. AND, Dave (duraleigh) is right here to answer any questions you may have about it!

If we had followed "suggestions" from the pool stores, we would have a very large garden area in the backyard.

Take care, and order that kit! :wink: