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Taylor K-2006 - ph test. Accurate? Interferences?


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Greetings all! I've had my first hot tub for about ten months now, and for this most recent re-fill I'm trying out the Dichlor-then-bleach method. (My last batch of water I only used Dichlor and started having water-cloudiness issues, which I'm attributing either to the way-too-high CYA level or to excessive TA, which I struggled to keep up in the tub manual's suggested 125-150 zone, as well as what became very, very high TDS levels.)

So, for this most recent refill I've added Borates (should be right around 50ppm now) and used Dichlor for the first week or so. My test strips are...inconclusive on the CYA level but I also just got a Taylor K-2006 kit, which is telling me my CYA is just a touch higher than 30ppm. Otherwise my TA is currently 80-90ppm and CH is about 210-220. 

But my big question is this - Taylor K-2006's ph testing. I know, I know, test strips are notoriously inaccurate, and everyone is probably going to tell me to just trust the Taylor kit. But there seems to be a big difference in Taylor's results vs. all my test strips, of which I have like five different brands (for various reasons). 

Those strips all say my ph is quite low right now (after adding Dichlor and MPS yesterday, so it makes sense for the ph to be low because the MPS is acidic, correct?), in the range of 6.6-6.7. I use one of the Aqua Check readers with the TruTest strips, as well as strips from three other companies, and all the others that don't give me a digital reading also return a color hue that says ph is low. 

However, my Taylor test kit says my ph is 7.4. I ran the test twice on the same batch of water and viewed into clear, natural light from the north. 7.4 ph, unmistakable. 

The water then sat for a couple of hours and cooled a little. I just ran the test twice again and Taylor reported a little higher, somewhere between 7.5-7.6 ph. Aqua Check / TruTest strips returned ph values of 6.8-6.9 from the same sample. So cooling the water drove ph up a little, but the gap between the tests and the Taylor kit remains roughly the same. 

So, what's the deal here? What should I trust? Is there anything that might be causing my Taylor kit to read the ph high? Borates, MPS, the tub's temperature, etc.? Or something causing the strips to read low? 

Obviously if the difference were somewhat minimal I wouldn't mind much. But in this case these reading make the difference between adjusting the ph or not. So, any input here? What does everyone think?

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