Pool Test Kits - Further Reading

Complete Test Kits

TF-100

1211.jpg

The TF-100 is a complete test kit packaged by TfTestKits using Taylor reagents and has the same tests as the K-2006C. The quantity of each reagent is a bit different than the K-2006C. The TF-100 is better sized for the frequency of tests you do following the TFPC Methods.

The TF-100 is able to test for Free Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and CYA. It allows the user to test for chlorine using both a FAS-DPD kit as well as the OTO Kit. The FAS/DPD test allows a user to test chlorine well above 5 ppm, up to 50 ppm, and is performed by counting drops to change the sample color from pink to clear, instead of trying to color-match to a comparator, making it very accurate to get your true FC and CC levels. The OTO test is a quick way to check for the presence of chlorine making it great for in between FAS/DPD tests.

If you are planning to do a lot of chlorine testing due to algae, performing the SLAM Process, or doing a Baquacil conversion, then you may want to order the XL Option and have additional reagents for the test. The K-2006C will not have enough reagents for these either and additional reagents should be ordered.

Taylor K-2005 / Leslie's 81330

The Taylor K-2005 is a test kit that gets pushed by many larger “pool stores”. It tests pH, TA, CH, CYA VERY well, but it’s shortfall is how it tests chlorine levels. The K-2005 uses a “DPD” chlorine test which has three very large pitfalls:

1. The DPD chlorine test will NOT show accurate results above 5 ppm. This is an issue if you wish to follow TFP methods, as we teach that it’s best to maintain a ratio of chlorine to CYA, see the Chlorine/CYA Chart, not just a firm 1-4 ppm.

2. The DPD chlorine test uses “color-matching.” You add a few drops of reagent to the water and then match the pink sample color to the comparator. It’s easy to mismatch the true levels.

3. Perhaps worst of all, the DPD chlorine test's pink sample color can "bleach out." If the chlorine is well above the 5 ppm limit, the pink sample color after the reagent is added can fade out or even remain clear. This can lead one to believe the chlorine level is MUCH lower than reality, potentially leading to adding even more chlorine to the pool.

In short, the K-2005 is a good kit.........it’s just not very accurate in chlorine testing.

TFP Methods requiring FC of more than 5 ppm, such as the SLAM Process and higher CYA levels, cannot be tested with the DPD chlorine test in the K-2005. You need the FAS/DPD chlorine test found in the TF-100, Taylor K-2006 or K-2006C.

If you have the K-2005 you can separately buy the FAS/DPD Chlorine Test to make your kit equivalent to the K-2006.

Taylor K-2006 / Leslie's 81329

The K-2006 is a step up from the K-2005 test kit. It contains the same pH, TA, CH, and CYA tests just like in the K-2005, with the upgrade to the “FAS/DPD” chlorine test. This allows a user to test chlorine well above 5 ppm, up to 50 ppm, and is performed by counting drops to change the sample color from pink to clear, instead of trying to color-match to a comparator, making it very accurate to get your true FC and CC levels.

This is a complete kit and is the “minimum” a user should consider. The pitfall of the K-2006 is the small amount of reagent supplied for the FAS/DPD and CYA tests. Users who buy this kit often need to order refills rather quickly, especially if dealing with a problem in their pool.

Taylor K-2006C

The K-2006C kit is the next step up. This kit is complete and contains all the same tests as in the K-2006, but has “supersized” reagent quantities. It does a good job giving you accurate results PLUS contains more reagents.

You’re not going to run out of test supplies for a while with this kit. However, the K-2006C is the most expensive recommended test kit and many of the reagents may expire prior to using them up, especially for some of the less frequently required tests, like CH and CYA.

LaMotte ColorQ

The LaMotte ColorQ is not recommended as your primary test kit.

The ColorQ works fine for routine tests. The problem with any test system that uses the color of the water to determine a test number is that several things can interfere with the accuracy. For the ColorQ, the test tubes need to be newish with no scratches and the inside of the test device, which has a light and a receiver, must also be clean and not scratched.

The TF-100/K-2006 do not rely on the actual color of the sample, but rather when the color suddenly changes from one color to another. The actual color is not all that important.[1]

You can use the ColorQ to give a feel for any changes to the balance of your pool water. As an example, if you really don't care if your FC is 7 or 8 ppm, you can see what your FC is today vs. the last time you tested. This test info lets you know if you need to increase or decrease the amount of FC in your pool. In most cases this is all the accuracy that you need. When you need to know for sure exactly what your FC is, you should use your TF-100/K-2006C FAS/DPD chlorine test.

ColorQ Limitations

LaMotte actually measures Total Hardness and not Calcium Hardness, no matter what LaMotte calls it in their paperwork. Total Hardness depends on a lot of other hardness factors other than just Calcium. Total Hardness depends a lot on your local water.

You can use your TF-100 to get an accurate reading on CH measurement and then from the same sample use the ColorQ to measure hardness. Then use the difference to adjust what the ColorQ says is the CH to what the actual CH should be if you are not looking for absolute accuracy. So, if the TF-100 says the CH is 300 and the ColorQ says 350, then when you use the ColorQ to test CH, you always subtract 50 ppm. You can then test your actual CH with your TF-100 a couple of times a year to confirm that difference is still valid.

The ColorQ does not test FC levels above 10 ppm (reads high). This makes the ColorQ useless for doing the SLAM Process or other tests where your FC can be above 10 ppm. This should not happen very often and the ColorQ can be used for routine tests and the TF-100 used when FC range or accuracy is needed.

Test Kits Compared

You can see a breakdown of how many “tests” you can expect from each kit at Test Kits Compared.

What is the Difference between the K-2006 and the K-2006C?

Both the K-2006 and the K-2006C do the same tests.

The K-2006 has:

  • 0.75 ounce ("A" size Taylor) bottles of reagents
  • only 4 cya tests
  • enough FAS-DPD reagent for normal testing. You will need a refill if you do the SLAM Process

The K-2006C kit has:

  • 2 ounce ("C" size Taylor) bottles of reagents
  • tape foam double size .25"X.5"
  • insert,1.75"SQX2" thick foam
  • a bigger case

What is the Difference Between the TF-100 and the K-2006C?

The TF-100 reagents are sized for the frequency of tests you do following the TFPC Methods.

The TF-100 reagent bottles are 1 ounce except for the large CYA reagent bottle versus the K-2006C 2 ounce reagent bottles.

The TF-100 comes in a white plastic case with the bottles laying horizontally versus the K-2006C with the bottles stored upright. Some people prefer the K-2006C case for it's extra storage.

What Difference Does the Reagent Bottle Size Make in the Test Kits?

The reagent bottles have 24 drops per ml.[2] That means the:

  • 0.75 ounce ("A" size Taylor) bottles has 532 drops
  • 1 ounce TF100 bottles has 710 drops
  • 2 ounce ("C" size Taylor) bottles has 1420 drops.

For tests that use 10 drops (100 ppm TA or 5 ppm FC with a 10 ml sample or 2 ppm FC with a 25 ml sample) divide these drop counts by 10 to get the number of tests. Most of the indicator dyes use 5 drop.

For a comparison by test see Test Kits Compared.

Special Tests

Salt

If you chlorinate your pool with a Salt Water chlorine Generator (SWG) you should independently test the pool water salinity and not rely on the reading from the SWG. The salinity reading on the SWG is often the first to fail and can lead to adding salt when it is not needed.

See Salt Testing Kits for more.

Phosphates

See How to Test for Phosphates in Pool,

Borates

See How to Test for Borates in Pool Water

Test Kit Accessories

Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer

The Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer makes testing easier, more consistent, and more accurate by automatically mixing the pool test water and reagents instead of hand swirling tests after each drop. It also contains a light which makes the color changes more visible, especially in low light.

Speedstir Magnetic Bars

These are used with the Speedstir to "mix" the water. Some people like to purchase extra bars to thus allowing them to preform multiple tests without having to wash off everything between each test.

Obtaining Test Kits Outside the US

How to Buy a TF-100 outside the USA

Check legality, if legal: Have a friend buy it in the US and send it to you or ship to PO Box/will-call near border and pickup yourself or use an international forwarding service if you can find a trustworthy one.

How to Buy a K-2006 or K-2006C Outside the USA

  • Canada: only Lowry & Associates in Newmarket, Ontario (905-836-0505) or info@lowryassociates.ca.
  • Spain & Portugal: only BEHQ SL (34-93-846-53-36) or mfelices@behqsl.com.
  • Rest of the World: pretty much only HornerXpress Worldwide in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (954-938-5355) or hxworldwide@teamhorner.com.

How to Buy LaMotte 7002 FAS-DPD Commercial Series Kits (FAS-DPD Commercial 7 Kit)

  • UK: poolandspacentre.co.uk or sword-scientific.com or pro-swim.co.uk

How to Buy Palintest

  • SP 315C (similar to K-2005) AND/+ SP 300 FAS-DPD chlorine test
  • UK: Tel: +44 (0) 191 491 0808 ext. 208 Email: gary.mccreadie@palintest.com or camlabworld.com or pool-chem.co.uk

How to Buy Lovibond test kit

  • UK: pro-swim.co.uk or lovibondwater.com or leisureteq.co.uk

Clear Choice Labs - Australia

Clear Choice Labs Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Fresh Water or Total Pool Water Testing Kit, Salt Water is similar to the TF-100 Test Kit. @BrettClearChoiceLabs is on the Forums.

The Speed Stirrer is handy to have but hard to find in Australia. Check eBay.

Water Testing Instructions

Water Testing Instructions

Extended Test Kit Directions

Not Recommended Tests

LaMotte Waterlink Spin Touch

Many pool stores are using LaMottes Waterlink Spin Touch system. The disks are preloaded with reagents that are then filled from a syringe. These disks are spun for a set time frame and then light is shined through and the colors are compared to set parameters. This uses a colorimeter. The store can then program the software to spit out recommended chemicals and quantities.[3]

The Spin Touch can test:

  • Free Chlorine (DPD) 0-15 ppm
  • Total Chlorine (DPD) 0-15 ppm
  • Bromine (DPD) 0-33 ppm
  • pH 6.3-8.6
  • Calcium Hardness 0-800 ppm
  • Total Alkalinity 0-250 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid 5-150 ppm
  • Copper 0-3.0 ppm
  • Iron 0-3.0 ppm
  • Salt 0-5000 ppm
  • Phosphate 0-200 ppb

Being able to test Free Chlorine up to only 15ppm may be adequate for normal water management but is inadequate for clearing algae with the SLAM Process if the CYA is 40 or above when the SLAM FC level is over 15.

While the tests can be very accurate for certain readings like CYA or Free Chlorine, they are brutally off on pH and TA. The result is you end up leaving the store with chemicals you either don’t require, or far too much of them.

Being precise with a digital printout of test results does not mean the results are accurate. NOTHING BEATS THE ACCURACY OF TITRATION TESTING.


.