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Which Test Kit Is Right?


macgd016
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Before any one suggests a Taylor test kit let me say that they are almost unobtainable in Europe and if you can find one they are very very expensive as are the Plaintest Pooltester kits! So we are forced to use strips, OTO or tablet based kits. I have given up with strips as they are a complete waste of time but now use a bog standard OTO bottle kit that measures Total Chlorine and pH and a tablet kit that reads pH, TA and Free Chlorine. However, I still can't get to a position where I am happy with the readings I am getting. I find the OTO kit easy to read or at least it is easy to differentiate between 4 & 2ppm chlorine and it is easy to see the difference between 7.2 and 7.4 pH. However, as OTO only reads Total Chlorine I bought a tab based kit so that I could read Free Chlorine and TA. The problem I find with this kit is that I find it very difficult to see much difference between 2 & 5ppm chlorine, the TA reading is very subjective as none of the colours I get really match the test colours although I am getting more used to this one, but the main issue I have is pH.

My pH tends to drift up from 7.4 to 7.8 using my bottle tester but my tab kit, which has a very similar colour gradient, shows 8.0 all the time, until recently that is. My last bottle reading showed a VERY clear 7.2 and the tab kit then showed a VERY clear 7.8. I emphasise the VERY because just for once the readings on both kits were very clear indeed. So which kit should I trust, if any? I have tended to trust the bottle kit for pH and double checked the OTO chlorine with the DPD tabs but its irritating to have to use two kits and still be unsure of the readings!

I am beginning to think that an electronic reader might be better, does anyone have views on the Aquachek TruTest?

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What you are describing is common with inexpensive test kits which is why we recommend such brands as Taylor , LaMotte, and Palentest (and only certain kits in their lines) so I want you to ask yourself two questions:

1) How much did your pool cost you?

2) Is the price of a Palentest or Taylor kit "too expensive" when you consider it is probably the one most important piece of maintenance equipment needed and when you consider how much you have invested in your pool?

As far as the Trutest (or any other electronic tester for that matter), IMHO, they are not really worth the money. Trutest is still using a strip and strip readers are notorious for results that are not repeatable on the same sample of water.

As far as whch test kit is right...toss a coin.ohmy.gif It's really impossible to say. IF the pH reagent does not have a chlorine neutralizer built in then the pH can read higher than it really is when the chlorine is above about 3 ppm. IF it has a separate chlorine neutralizer reagent that you need to add then be aware that the chlorine neutralizer reagent can cause the pH of the sample to go up.

There are electronic pH meters available but they do need to be calibrated on a regular basis, the electrodes need to be replaced periodically and usually need to be stored wet, and they are expensive. Inexpensive ones are NOT worth the money

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What you are describing is common with inexpensive test kits which is why we recommend such brands as Taylor , LaMotte, and Palentest (and only certain kits in their lines) so I want you to ask yourself two questions:

1) How much did your pool cost you?

2) Is the price of a Palentest or Taylor kit "too expensive" when you consider it is probably the one most important piece of maintenance equipment needed and when you consider how much you have invested in your pool?

I don't disagree with your view but there is expensive and then there is EXPENSIVE! I have only found one supplier in Europe and they want $200 plus postage for the basic K-2005, I have found one supplier on eBay who is selling the K-2005C for $99 plus $41.70 postage but if I'm going to spend that sort of money I would prefer to have the K-2006. I guess I will have to keep looking or get someone to bring one back for me.

Thanks for the info on the impact of high chlorine on pH readings though, I wasn't aware of that.

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Specifically, the Palintest SP 315C kit?

I tried to find Palintest kits a year ago but no one seemed to stock them in the UK or Europe. Palintest will sell them direct but they were unhelpful at best and had a minimum order value of $80 plus postage. A friend of mine is going to the US in December so I think I will get them to bring a Taylor kit back for me.

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That's fine, though you should also send a PM to teapot (see this post) just to see what it would cost to get the kit from him and possibly refills for your Taylor kit in the future.

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  • 5 months later...

That's fine, though you should also send a PM to teapot (see this post) just to see what it would cost to get the kit from him and possibly refills for your Taylor kit in the future.

I have failed once again to find a suitable test kit, I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to find a supplier in the US who will ship a Taylor K-2006 to the UK but none will, I've tried ‘teapot’ as you suggest here but he is not able to help with any kits at the moment as he has family commitments and I have just sent an email to Palintest in the UK to see if they are now able to supply a SP 315C although I have been unable to find out exactly what and how the SP315C tests. The Palintest pdf seems to suggest that it is a block tester without a colour comparator wheel and does not test TA which is odd. Hopefully I will hear back from Palintest soon.

In the meantime I have been looking at what IS available here in the UK and would be interested in your views. Although I appreciate the inadequacies of the OTO tests I have found them very easy to read and determine the test result whereas I have found test blocks, similar to Lovibond, difficult to match colours. I am not sure if this is to do with the colours on the test block, the tablets used or the difference between liquid and tablets, however, whichever it is it has left me wondering whether I should invest in a photometer type or one with a comparator slide/wheel rather than a basic colour block. I have found the following test kits that are available in the UK and would value your views:

Lamotte DL 51

http://lamotte.com/pool_spa_water/pool_spa_professional_products/combination_kits/dipcell_series.html

Lamotte Pool Manager 3368 PM51-NJ

http://lamotte.com/pool_spa_water/pool_spa_professional_products/combination_kits/pool_mgr_series.html

Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7

http://www.lamotte.com/pages/common/newprod/colorq.html

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I spoke to a US supplier today , who had an international phone number, to see if they could ship a Taylor kit to the UK, the reaction was similar to requesting a shipment of N****** weapons to Iran !.

I then spoke to Taylor and it appears that they have a deal that all international sales/distribution is via HornerXpress.

I'm waiting for a response to an email from them.

Did you try to contact them ?

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I spoke to a US supplier today , who had an international phone number, to see if they could ship a Taylor kit to the UK, the reaction was similar to requesting a shipment of N****** weapons to Iran !.

I then spoke to Taylor and it appears that they have a deal that all international sales/distribution is via HornerXpress.

I'm waiting for a response to an email from them.

Did you try to contact them ?

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I spoke to a US supplier today , who had an international phone number, to see if they could ship a Taylor kit to the UK, the reaction was similar to requesting a shipment of N****** weapons to Iran !.

I then spoke to Taylor and it appears that they have a deal that all international sales/distribution is via HornerXpress.

I'm waiting for a response to an email from them.

Did you try to contact them ?

Yes I have spoken to HornerXpress and they put me in touch with their sole European outlet in Barcelona but they wanted something like £125 plus £40 postage which for something that costs $50 in the US is a rip off. I have done extensive research and found the kits above are available and I have just heard back from Palintest and they can supply the SP315C for £74, however, it is unclear how many tests this kit will do and getting info from Palintest is like pulling teeth!

I have also been in touch with Lamottes wholesaler in the UK and they have been very helpful, strangly they have told me they supply many retail outlets in the UK but I have to say I can't find them. As you will have seen from my post I have shortlisted 3 test kits and I am waiting to get some feedback from Chemgeek and Waterbear before making a choice. From previous posts Waterbear seems to feel that Lamotte products are accurate enough so they should be a safe choice but I am undecided whether to go down the Liquid, Tablet, Color Wheel or Photometer route and could really do with hearing about other peoples experiences.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although this has been posted elsewhere for completeness I will post the Lamotte pricing I have received from Sword Scientific in the UK.

FAS-DPD Commercial 7 Test Kit (Code 7022) - £79.84 + VAT

FAS-DPDÂ (Chlorine) Test Kit (Code 7514) - £27.58 + VAT

Multi-Test DL Series (Code 7013) - £45.81 + VAT

ColorQ PRO 7 - CODE 2056 - £112.26 + VAT

ColorQ TesTabs PRO 7 - CODE 2057 - £112.26 + VAT

ColorQ PRO 7 PLUS - CODE 2064 - £135.48 + VAT

Pool Manager 3368-NJ/PM-51-NJ - £54.84 + VAT

Postage is about £5.50

The Sword website is www.sword-scientific.com

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The LaMotte 7022 is functionally equivalent to the Taylor K-2006. It is an FAS-DPD chlorine test with pH/acid and base demand and liquid reagent titrations for TA and CH. They use a tablet based CYA test using the 'disappearing dot' method much like the Taylor one, which uses a liquid reagent.

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LaMotte 7022 arrived today , pretty impressive kit. most of the reagents are 60ml / 2oz .

The color comparator for pH is quite good, this seems to be the hardest thing to read off test strips.

One question that springs to mind , since the test tube for the FAS DPD test has lines for .2 and .5

why don't they put other lines for say .5ppm and 2.5ppm for bromine rather than using a multiplication factor of 2.25 ?

I'm sure that would make things easier.

The other thing I've noticed is that the sample turns back slightly pink if left , does this mean I should have added an extra drop , or is this correct.

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You don't want to wait too long. If it starts turning pink sometime after (say, 30 seconds) the first part (FC) of the test, then the pink that develops may be bleed-through of combined chlorine into the FC test. Just continue on with the CC portion of the test.

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  • 1 month later...

DaveH24, where did you get your test kit from in the end?

Did you get any response from HornerXpress?

I'm currently looking for a supplier in or to Germany, but going via UK will probably add too much overhead.

Does anyone know, whether the chemicals in the Taylor K-2006 and LaMotte 7022 are safe&legal for airline travel in checked or carry-on?

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DaveH24, where did you get your test kit from in the end?

Did you get any response from HornerXpress?

I'm currently looking for a supplier in or to Germany, but going via UK will probably add too much overhead.

Does anyone know, whether the chemicals in the Taylor K-2006 and LaMotte 7022 are safe&legal for airline travel in checked or carry-on?

HornerXpress are in Barcelona, I got in touch with them a year or so ago but the Taylor 2006 was mega expensive and the postage was also very expensive.

I discovered Sword Scientific just by chance but they are a great company, very helpful. They charge postage at cost but they are the European agent for Lamotte so they should know who they supply in Germany, worth a phone call anyway. They are not al all pushy but they have twice tried to steer me towards the ColorQ kits but also mentioned that they have started stocking the 7022 kit after recent interest!

Regarding transport via aircraft, it is defiantly prohibited on aircraft out of the US but I have found no restrictions in Europe but then perhaps I didnt look hard enough.

PS. I have just started using the 7022 and it is fantastic, having struggled with strips and tablet systems for years I just cannot believe how easy it is to get clear readings with this kit, well worth the money

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PS. I have just started using the 7022 and it is fantastic, having struggled with strips and tablet systems for years I just cannot believe how easy it is to get clear readings with this kit, well worth the money

Which is what I was trying to tell you initially when you started this thread! When you consider how much you paid for your pool or spa a good test kit is well worth the price, even at European prices!

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Which is what I was trying to tell you initially when you started this thread! When you consider how much you paid for your pool or spa a good test kit is well worth the price, even at European prices!

Always good to get an 'I told you so' post, thanks waterbear :D However, you were right and despite yet again being ripped off on price here in the UK the 7022 is a quality bit of kit that gives clear unequivocal readings, something that none of the strips or tab based kits achieve in my experience.

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HornerXpress are in Barcelona, I got in touch with them a year or so ago but the Taylor 2006 was mega expensive and the postage was also very expensive.

I discovered Sword Scientific just by chance but they are a great company, very helpful. They charge postage at cost but they are the European agent for Lamotte so they should know who they supply in Germany, worth a phone call anyway. They are not al all pushy but they have twice tried to steer me towards the ColorQ kits but also mentioned that they have started stocking the 7022 kit after recent interest!

Regarding transport via aircraft, it is defiantly prohibited on aircraft out of the US but I have found no restrictions in Europe but then perhaps I didnt look hard enough.

I just phoned international sales at LaMotte and they were very helpful. Turns out that Sword Scientific is actually their only dealer in Europe. Also, you are correct: the dangerous substances contained in the kit make passenger air transport a definite no-no.

The guys at HornerXpress in Florida also seem to determined to make the sale for one of their dealers - there is actually one close to my location in Germany, whom I will contact today.

One more question just occurred to me: As I understand it, the two kits are similar in quality, ease of use and reliability of test results. But how about quantity? Are they similar there as well or will one of them yield a substantially higher number of tests that needs to be considered when comparing prices?

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I can't comment on the Taylor kits but here is the full specification for the Lamotte 7022 http://www.lamotte.com/component/option,com_pages/lang,en/mid,/page,230

From a user point of view one difference between the K-2006 & the 7022 is the Octa-Slide comparator for pH. I find this particularly useful as I have always found it difficult to read pH on the normal comparators, with this I can see straight away which colour is closest.

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I just phoned international sales at LaMotte and they were very helpful. Turns out that Sword Scientific is actually their only dealer in Europe.

But Sword Scientific may supply retailers in Germany and postage from the UK to Europe is not too expensive in any case

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Both Taylor and LaMotte make a quality test kit. Either one would suite your purpose. Here in the US the Taylor K-2006 is less expensive and has been around for my longer than the LaMotte 7022, which is a farily new kit for LaMotte. However, the availabilityand cost of replacement reagents would be a primary condiseration since the FAS solution does need to be replaced yearly (and the DPD powder perhaps evey two years if stored properly).

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...something that none of the strips or tab based kits achieve in my experience.

THIS is the point that is so difficult to get across until you actually experience it. It's not about the money! Even at the price points you have to pay the kits are a bargain because of this!

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DaveH24, where did you get your test kit from in the end?

Did you get any response from HornerXpress?

I'm currently looking for a supplier in or to Germany, but going via UK will probably add too much overhead.

Does anyone know, whether the chemicals in the Taylor K-2006 and LaMotte 7022 are safe&legal for airline travel in checked or carry-on?

HornerXpress passed my details on to their agent in Barcelona, never heard a thing from them.

I bought a 7022 lamotte from sword, thoroughly recommend it.

I also have a FAS DPD from palintest + their SP315C which is tablet based.

I prefer the drop test to the tablet , but OK.

As waterbear says , It aint about the money. Using a quality product is far better than messing about with strips.

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