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Thread: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

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    Default How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    We constantly ask people to get the test kits they need, so they can stay out of the pool stores, and away from the sales tactics many pool stores use to sell un-needed chemicals. We made this page because:
    1. We want you to begin saving time, trouble, and money, with accurate testing (and our help learning to use those tests!).

    2. Small details matter.
    The Taylor K-2005 and K-2006 are very similar, but the K-2005 is NOT an adequate substitute for the K-2006.

    3. The exact kits we recommend can be hard to find.
    If you don't know where to look, it's easy to end up with the wrong kit. So, even if you don't buy using the Amazon links below (we get 4% when you do), use the pictures to make sure you're getting the right kit.

    4. To support the forum.
    As I mentioned, we get 4% when you buy from Amazon, IF you use the links below. Disclosure: “PoolForum.com (and PoolSolutions.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”


    Three additions:

    Help videos
    I've posted a number of videos from Taylor on YouTube, to make them more accessible. The first set covers basic kit use. The second set covers problems that arise when something interferes with the test results.
    http://pool9.net/tk-guide/
    http://pool9.net/tk-interfere/
    1. If you live in Canada, you can NOT get these Taylor kits shipped to you. You'll either need to have a US friend buy them, and then you carry them back. (We've heard that inspection does not object to these, even without Canadian WHIMIS safety papers) or you'll need to find a Canadian company to sell them to you. In the past, we've recommended Piscines-Apollo.com, owned by a long-time PoolForum member, but currently the status of that site is in question. Regardless, if you buy them in Canada, they will cost much more, due to old Canadian monopoly distribution rights held by "Lowry & Assoc" .

    2. An alternative option to the K-1000 (shown below) is the HTH 6-way testkit, sold by many Walmarts. This kit is a re-labeled Taylor K-1000 + the CYA test, plus some less important stuff. Amazon has some links for a 5 or 6 way HTH kit, but the photos are wrong, and the descriptions are mixed up . . . so buying there would be risky. (NOTE: Since Walmart 'went over to the Dark Side, a few years ago, and began selling Aqua-Chem products, we do NOT recommend their pool chemicals. But, baking soda, washing soda, and borax from the DETERGENT section are fine.) But, the HTH 6-way is currently (2014) a great product at a good price.

    Please share your thoughts, by posting below -- complements, criticism, corrections are ALL welcomed!
    -------------------------------------------

    The kits below are in 3 groups:
    A. Complete kits
    B. Supplemental kits measure something not in the 'complete' kits, like salt or borates (borax)
    C. Add-on kits that allow you to use K-2005, for example
    -------------------------------------------

    If you use these pages to order from Amazon, please note the following:

    1. Where we can we've tried to pick options that are shipped by Amazon, not a third party. But, many of these kits are ONLY available from 3rd parties, including the primary kit, the K-2006. So, pay attention to who's selling. Orders from 3rd parties will typically take longer to arrive, often include a shipping charge, and have a more complicated return process.

    2. When you are ordering directly from Amazon, shipping is usually free, if you order $50 or more at time. If you order from Amazon frequently, like I do, the Amazon "Prime" membership, for $99/yr, is worth considering. For Prime members, you get free TWO-DAY shipping on almost any order from Amazon, regardless of size. I've been a member for several years, and have come to depend on it.

    3. If you have a problem with a purchase made using any of these links -- any kind of problem at all -- please let me know. You can post in this thread, if you like. I can't necessarily help, but I can use that information to improve what we're doing.

    ==================================================
    Complete Kits

    ==================================================


    1. Taylor K-1000 OTO / phenol red kits -- ~$15 from Amazon, delivered.


    If you need an OTO / phenol red kit TODAY, do NOT order from here. Instead, go to Walmart or Lowes or wherever, and get what you need. But you can use the picture, to get an idea of what you're looking for. Those kits are not as good as the K-1000, but it's often important that you get a reliable estimate of your chlorine and pH, and NOT wait for an Amazon delivery. (The Taylor pH reagent continues to work with chlorine levels up to 10 ppm, where all other kits we know about are not reliable above 5 ppm free chlorine.)

    ==================================================


    2a. Taylor K-2006A complete kit, 3/4 oz reagent bottles -- ~$55 delivered. --- 2b. Taylor K-2006C complete kit, 2 oz reagent bottles) -- ~$95 delivered

    <---- Taylor K-2006A /------\ Taylor K-2006C --->

    To escape pool store testing, and sales tactics, these are the kits you need. The K2006C has about 3x the reagent for less than 2x the price. Which ever kit you get, don't over test. In particular, the CYA test is limited, about 9 tests in the K2006A model. But, that's enough -- your CYA only changes when you drain or add a lot of water, or when you add CYA or use a lot of stabilized chlorine. These kits may be available from Amato, USA General, or VM -- I haven't heard of problems with any of those three, over the last year.



    ==================================================
    Supplemental Kits
    ==================================================


    3a. AquaChek salt strips-- ~$10 delivered. /---------\ 3b. Taylor K-1766 salt test kit -- ~$25 delivered.

    <--- AquaChek salt strips /----\ Taylor K-1766 --->

    We usually don't recommend strips, but the AquaChek strips seem to work fairly well *IF* you follow directions. In particular, the strip must be immersed for at least 5 minutes. ALSO: every set of Aquachek salt strips is different; you MUST use the 'conversion' chart on the bottle to obtain your reading. The Taylor kit is a little more accurate, but is also fussy to use. If you want a test that's good enough (but no better) get the Aqua-Chek. If you want to be as accurate as possible, get the Taylor.

    The K1766 is usually from Amato; the strips from Pool Supplies. Amato has been a reasonably good vendor; I don't know anything about Pool Supplies. VMInnovations is not a pool company, but is some sort of Internet marketing company - they know NOTHING about the kits they are selling, and can be a bit difficult to deal with, if there's a problem.

    ==================================================

    5. Lamotte Borate strips -- ~$12 delivered
    Amazon alternatives (we haven't tested this company, but Amazon is not stocking at present): diywatertesting.com


    These are also usually sold by Pool Supplies. The consensus among my moderators and contributors is that these strips are the best available borate (borax) test method.



    6a. Taylor K-1106 Phosphate test kit -- ~$23 delivered. /--\ 6b. Hach Phosphate Test Kit (Aqua-Chek) test kit -- ~$8 delivered.

    <--- Taylor K-1766 /--\ AquaChek salt strips --->

    We usually don't recommend strips, but these AquaChek strips seem to work fairly well for PO4 levels below 1000 ppb. If you need a full range test, use the Taylor kit.



    ==================================================
    Add-on Kits
    ==================================================


    7. Taylor K-1515 FAS-DPD -- ~$19 delivered


    This Taylor kit provides ONLY the FAS-DPD test method, and can be used to supplement a Taylor K-2005. It's usually sold by Amato.


    ==================================================

    8a. Taylor K-1721 CYA test -- ~$28 delivered /---\ 8b. Taylor R-0013-E 1 pint refill -- ~$17 delivered
    <--- . Taylor K-1721 /---\ Taylor R-0013-E --->

    The Taylor K-1721 allows you to add cyanuric acid testing, the R-0013 refill is the reagent used for that test, and can be used with the K-1721 OR with the K-2006 kits

    ==================================================

    ==================================================
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 05-30-2014 at 12:40 PM. Reason: update links

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK View Post
    If we go to Amazon via a PF link will any purchase we make result in a commission to PF or must it be pool items only?
    Yes! As long as you start through that link. you can navigate to other pages within the Amazon website and any purchases you make will still result in a little $$$ for the Pool Forum. Everybody shops on Amazon, right? If we all would just remember to start with that link for any shopping we need to do ......
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 04-28-2012 at 09:15 PM. Reason: turn off sig

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    It's probably worth mentioning that if a user has the popular Adblock+ addon for Firefox or Chrome, then the Amazon links don't show up. Users would have to disable adblock+ or just set it to disable on poolforum.com in order to see the links.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watermom View Post
    Yes! As long as you start through that link. you can navigate to other pages within the Amazon website and any purchases you make will still result in a little $$$ for the Pool Forum. Everybody shops on Amazon, right? If we all would just remember to start with that link for any shopping we need to do ......
    I didn't know that. I shop on amazon.com a LOT. I'll have to remember to hit the link first!
    rectangle 11.5K gal IG concrete pool;; 125sf cartridge filter; 2hp 1 speed pump; K-2006, k-1766; PF:10

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    Do you have Adblock? Can you test that?

    I use NoScript, but if you turn scripting off for PoolForum.com, it breaks vBulletin, and you can't see or do much of anything. I know Adblock kills the Google ads, and I can't complain -- I use it elsewhere. But the links are local simple HTML links with no scripting, and the pictures are on Picasa, mostly. Since I've used Goo.gl to shorten the links, I suppose that could be an issue. However, I can move the pictures to PoolForum.com, if I have to -- it's just more work.

    I checked -- it IS allowed for folks here to click one of my Amazon links, to turn on my 'commission', and then go buy stuff, even if they don't buy the stuff in my links. (But, I can't do that, or I am violating the agreement.)
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 04-28-2012 at 09:18 PM. Reason: turn off sig

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    I use FF and Adblock Plus. I'll send you a screen shot of what the Amazon link in your sig looks like.

    ABP is enabled on my machine for nearly all sites. Another pool forum displays ads by Google which I, fortunately, don't have to see. I'll send a screen garb with ABP disabled, as well.
    Oval 12.5K gal AGP; Hayward 19" sand filter; Pentair Dyn 1 HP 2sp pump on timer
    My Pool Pages

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kelemvor View Post
    It's probably worth mentioning that if a user has the popular Adblock+ addon for Firefox or Chrome, then the Amazon links don't show up. Users would have to disable adblock+ or just set it to disable on poolforum.com in order to see the links.
    Hi. I'm a very techy trained individual on home PCs and wanted to chime in. I switched from Firefox to Chrome after a virus snuck through last year. I loved NoScript, but it wasn't compativle with Chrome and I had to install "NotScripts" instead - which was the first alternative for Chrome. It has a little pyramid icon that sits up by the right side of address bar. If you have this too, GET RID OF IT! It's not as heavily maintained anymore and delivers constant headaches. I recently changed to "ScriptNo" (chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/oiigbmnaadbkfbmpbfijlflahbdbdgdf) which is FAR superior and I haven't had any headaches with HTML5 storage errors or constant blocking of various things I need to see. I also don't have to "teach it" by constantly allowing/rejecting things in the beginning. ScriptNo allows everything unless it's on a master list of theirs for known ad/spam/dangerous-links/and scripts. You then only have to "deny" any script or ad or image when you want to or "allow" those scant few that get blocked but you really need. Your selections as you browse are remembered.

    Using Chrome with ScriptNo, there are no problems with this post's links or pictures with or without Adblock+ being turned on. I tried it both ways and the only differences were:
    Adblock+ turned on: ScriptNo automatically allowed 5 scripts for poolforum.com, 1 for google-analytics.com and 2 for ajax.googleapis.com. It blocked only 1 script for pagead2.googlesyndications.com.
    Adblock+ turned off for this page: ScriptNo automatically allowed the same pages as before BUT had to block 4 scripts from doubleclick.net and 10 from pagead2.google syndication.com.

    Seems like Adblock+ is doing it's job well and not blocking needed things on this page. ScriptNo is very effective as well and provides a good backup for any ad scripts which slip through Adblock.
    Combination of both does not hamper this page.

    ===================================

    ooops, when you go to poolsolutions.com/testkit-order-links.htm you will have to click on ADP icon and disable for the site. Adblock Plus blocks s.amazon-adsystem.com frames which display the pictures on the poolsolutions.com page. ScriptNo allows these resources automatically so you will see them once disabling ADP and reloading.

    JuJuBee
    Last edited by PoolDoc; 04-28-2012 at 09:14 PM. Reason: combined posts

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    I've had my pool for several years and I've always used a Taylor 2005 to check chemicals. I see here you recommend against the 2005 in favor of the 2006. Would you elaborate as to why the 2005 is not adequate?
    - Mike
    13,500 gal, gunite, white plaster, Aquarite SWG, 2 ft Waterfall and Ledge Bubbler

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    Quote Originally Posted by mphare View Post
    Would you elaborate as to why the 2005 is not adequate?
    It lacks the DPD-FAS test, which is essential to running chlorine levels appropriate for stabilizer levels over 30ppm . . . which includes just about all outdoor pools. The Best Guess chart page (link in my signature) explains all this.

    Also, DPD color match tests bleach out to show ZERO chlorine, somewhere between FC = 10ppm and FC = 20ppm. This causes no end of problems with people unable to get their chlorine level above zero, when it's actually above 20 ppm!

    Just get the K-1515 add on, and you'll be in business.

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    Ben, I wanted to report to you that I got my Taylor 2006C kit from Amazon in a couple of days ago. Just a little growing pains getting used to use it, but not really. Watching the videos really helped. I have never used a pool testing kit before in my life....so as they say, if I can do it, anyone can. Yup, that pretty much describes my impression of using the kit.

    I also added the salt water testing kit too since I have a SWCG system on my little pool.

    A little testing and reading of manuals and it is amazing what you can learn about the equipment. Fine tuning right now as we speak.

    After playing around with this kit, I don't know how in the world you would want to use anything else to test your pool. Just pitched all the test strip crap in the trash.

    Thanks again Ben for the information and link to the Taylor kits. Worth EVERY penny I spent.....and how long has it been since you've said that about anything you bought lately?

    Bob E.
    Intex 10' x 30" metal frame pool, Intex 2500 gph filter/pump, Intex Saltwater generator, SwimMax 11KW heater, 2 x Small Game Solar Domes.

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    Default Re: How to Get the Right Testkits for your Pool

    Thanks for the response, Bob.

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