properly perform spa and hot tub water testing? Proper water
management starts with the analysis and
balancing of the spa or hot tub water. Tests
such as pH and sanitizer need to be performed by
the spa owner, on a frequent or daily basis,
depending upon the sanitizer choice and usage
conditions. If Chlorine is used, it should be
tested by a method that measures Free Chlorine,
as it is the most important. Tests such as total
alkalinity and calcium hardness are performed
occasionally and can be done by a spa owner or
dealer. Tests for heavy metals such as iron,
manganese or copper should be performed at the
initial filling or at the first indications of
spa water discoloration or a spa surfaces
staining problem. These tests are usually
performed by a spa professional. Maintaining or
balancing proper spa or hot tub water chemistry
is important to help assure optimum water
quality and to maximize the "hot water"
experience. For most spa users an
all-digital ColorQ Tester is all they need,
to take control of the water chemistry. If problems arise, refer to the
Page, as a source of problem-solving
information, broken down into various
categories. Scroll down the page and click on the linked
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
Water Testing With A Salt Chlorine Generator?
I just added a
salt chlorine generator and want to be certain, that I get
the right testing information. I would like to use the
#2056 ColorQ PRO 7 photometer kit. It seems to be just
what I was looking for. Can I to use a ColorQ in a
saltwater spa? Can I benefit from a separate salt
tester? Thank you for the information.
Deer Park, 3/6/2017
Analyzers are ideally suited, for use with
generators. It will perform all of the important
tests, with the exception of
the salt level. Salt levels need to be maintained
within the range, suggested by the equipment's manufacturer.
Proper salt levels help assure proper performance and
extends the life of the salt cell. A digital salt
tester is the best and easiest way to monitor the salt
level, as it changes over time. We offer several models of
all-digital electronic salt testers. I hope that
this information will be helpful.
If this website was helpful,
in solving your problem, please consider joining our
E-Letter Mailing List.
You'll receive 1-2 E-Letters a month, with helpful
information, new product updates, suggestions and sale
announcements. I hope that I have
provided the solution.
ORP Testing And A Salt Chlorine Generator?
bought a new hot tub. Have had it set up for about 2 1/2
weeks now. It has a salt chlorine generator. It's 450
gallons. I have a
6-in-1 digital tester. My 1st set of readings have
Chlorine is good
pH is 7.8
SALT is 3300 ppm
TDS is 5100 ppm
ORP is 684 mv
My salt is suppose to be 2600-3900. My question is why
is TDS so high? How do I fix this? I don't know
what ORP is suppose to be. My water is clear.
Any suggestions or help appreciated. Thanks in
The ORP of a swimming pool
should be between 650 mV and 750 mV. It measures the true
state of chlorine activity. The ORP varies
inversely with pH level. When the pH increases, the ORP
decreases. When the pH decreases. the ORP will increase. The
ORP reading should be measured, when the pH is within the
7.2-7.8 range. A blow ORP means more chlorine has to be
added. A high ORP reading means that there is excessive
amounts of chlorine. Your
6-in-1 tester does
not directly measure chlorine, but uses ORP to determine if
the chlorine level is low, ideal or high. Your salt
chlorine generator will raise the pH, as chlorine is
produced. Acid needs to be added, on a regular basis. Try
and keep the pH at 7.2-7.8.
TDS is always higher than the salt level, as it measures the
sum total of all dissolved material. The water, used to fill
the spa, should be tested, as a point of reference. The TDS
is higher than one would expect, but that is probably due to
the source water, in large part. Replacement with softer
water is the only way to lower the TDS and get it closer to
the salt level.
Nothing in the test results points to a problem. I
hope that the information provided was helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/17/2016
Bromine Tester For The Color Vision Impaired?
wondering which digital tester you recommend to a person who
is pretty much color blind. I have a 4 year old spa Twilight
and I use bromine sanitizing chemicals. I can no longer read
test strips and itís becoming a problem. Thank you.
Vincent B., 10/23/2014
The ColorQ testers
will eliminate the color matching and guesswork, as they are
all digital. I would suggest either the
PRO 7 or the
PRO 6. They do the same tests and the only difference is
that the #2072, uses a tablet, for the calcium test, as
opposed to liquid reagents. Calcium is not a test that is
run frequently and the liquid calcium reagents have a
shorter shelf life. For this reason, I suggest the #2072
ColorQ PRO 6, which uses calcium hardness tablets, with a
2-3 year shelf life. This is more in line with the
chemicals, for the other tests. The prices, for both
testers, are the same. I hope that this will help with
the decision making.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/23/2014
► Choosing A Bromine
My hot tub is on the 2-part bromine
system. What is the best way to test for bromine. Can I use
a swimming pool test kit? I see a lot more of the test
strips around these days. I've never used them. Are they
reliable? Thanks for any help you can offer.
Vicky S., Coconut Creek, FL, 2/4/2014
I would not suggest that you use a swimming pool test kit,
unless it is specifically made to test for bromine! Bromine
can interfere with the pH test and give a false high test
result, if the pH test materials are not formulated
properly. Test strips have come a long way in terms of
reliability, accuracy and the number of different tests that
can be performed. The majority of test strips can test for
chlorine and bromine and the convenience and lack of liquid
chemicals makes them a choice of growing popularity. If you
would prefer to eliminate all of the color-matching, an
all-digital ColorQ Water Analyzer would be an excellent.
Browsing through the archives on this topic might be a good
idea. Glad to help.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/4/2014
► How Often
To Test Spa Water?
Everything that I read seems to give a
different answer to the question of how often spa water
should be tested. What's your take?
Alec, Marlboro, NJ, 6/23/2017
There is a lot of subjectivity on this topic. My feeling is
that it is better to test more often than less often! I
suggest that the sanitizer level and pH be tested prior to
each use of the spa. If the sanitizer level is too low, it
should be adjusted and at least 1/2 hour should be allowed
to pass before the spa is used. In addition, I would test
the spa after each use. This will allow the sanitizer to be
replenished on an as needed basis, decreasing the
possibility of bacterial growth between uses of the spa. If
the spa is only used occasionally, it should be tested at
least weekly, just to make sure that the sanitizer level is
being adequately maintained. The proper balancing of spa or
hot tub water will, in the long run, avoid many problems. At
least occasionally, to better assure proper overall spa
water chemistry, visit a pool or spa store that has a very
reliable, professional lab such as a
WaterLink SpinTouch Lab, rather than a less accurate test kit or strip
reader. To locate a dealer near you, go to:
LaMotte Professional Testing Center Locator I hope that I have shed
some light on the subject. Enjoy the spa.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/23/2017
Sampling For Test Strips?
How is it best to sample the water,
when using test strips?
Chad, New Jersey, 1/4/2012
While is good practice to test the water before using the
spa and afterwards, how the water is sampled is important.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions! Always shut off the
pump and never immerse the
test strip in front of a moving
jet. To do so might wash the chemicals out of the test strip
and give false readings. The new LaMotte strips are simply
dip and read, It's that quick. I hope that I have been of help.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/4/2012
► Which Test
Strips To Choose?
I have been using test strips ever
since I got the hot tub about 2 years ago. They seem to do a
pretty reliable job. I have been using bromine, with an
Ozonator. I have seen another brand of strips that are much
less expensive. Are they as good? Thank you.
Ed M., San Jose, CA, 4/23/2013
I don't want to say that the other strips don't work because
I don't know anything about them. But this I do know! Test
strips are not simply chemicals on paper. Test strips, for
spas, hot tubs and pools, grew out of the medical testing
industry: where they were developed to run certain blood and
urine tests. Some pretty sophisticated technology is
involved - even in test strips for this industry - in order
to produce testing materials that can provide accuracy,
reliability and have a reasonably long shelf life. Not all
of the strips out there meet this standard. Sometimes, even
a thing as simple as how they are packaged can make a big
difference. Test strips must be protected against moisture,
in order to maintain their reliability and shelf life. While
all test strips may have a drying aid inside to help absorb
moisture, the LaMotte Insta-Test Strips have included a more
effective, moisture-absorbing, desiccant liner in the
package, for added reliability and shelf-life. Because so
much depends on the accuracy and reliability of the test
results, I would stick with the brand that has gained your
confidence and satisfaction. When using test strips always
remove the strips with dry hands and reseal promptly. Keep
the unused strips away from heat, moisture and light. I hope
that I have been helpful. Please browse through the archives
on this and related topics. Enjoy the hot water experience.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/24/2013
I would love to be able to test my spa
water, but I am color blind. I have to keep after my wife to
read the test strips. We have an ozonator and the dealer
suggested that we maintain a 1-2 PPM chlorine level. I can't
read the chlorine or pH colors, so is there any other way to
test the water?
Bill J., 2/17/2009
Help has arrived. The
ColorQ Labs are a group of
hand-held, photometers, that you can use to test for Free
Total Chlorine, Bromine, pH, Alkalinity, calcium Hardness
and Cyanuric Acid. Some models test for biguanide, biguanide
shock, copper and iron, as well as some or all of the other
tests. One will be right for you. It is done simply, quickly
and without having to look at any colors or look up charts.
Just read the answers on the LCD Display. The price is
reasonable and it will put you in complete control. The
proper testing of spa water helps to make the hot water
experience a more pleasurable one, by helping to improve
water quality and sanitation. I hope that it works out for
you and that the website was helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/18/2009
► UV, Ozone
And Water Testing?
I ordered 3 of the
LaMotte ColorQ PRO
7 digital meters, from your website, a while back. Don't
know if the results would approach laboratory standards, but
it's far more accurate than the old eye interpretation.
LaMotte has outdone themselves. And it's so easy to use!
The 2 biggest problems I see are it may be better in a
water tight (or close to) case, but mainly more people need
to know about it. Do you spend much time marketing these
things? I think they would sell well, if more folks knew
about them. But, the real question. Still playing with well
water . Going to add Chlorine by injection. Had bought and
was going to install an ultra-violet light. Don't need it
now. Has anyone reported on its use or is it just a plain
stupid idea to put it in my hot tub? I sure can't notice a
difference with the hot tub ozonator. In your spa book, you
mention filling the spa with softened water. I couldn't
agree more. And with the help of the LaMotte ColorQ, I now
know how much calcium to add. Thanks for the books and
Rodger P., Tampa, Florida, 2/19/2008
Thanks for the purchases and your comments. Sales of the
ColorQ Water Analyzers, and the new additions to the line,
are going well. My website reaches a considerable number of
people, but there are lots more out there. With a reasonable
price and the capability to perform up to 11 different pool
or spa water tests, I think the handy case does what is
required: organizes and keeps everything in its proper
place. Word of mouth seems to play a big factor, as I am on
so many favorites lists, according to many of the writers.
UV sanitizers make a lot of sense, especially, if you
understand their limitations. While it kills virtually
everything, in the return flow, including some of the worst
microorganisms, it cannot be used alone. You need oxidation,
such as chlorine, bromine or an ozone generator. Even if you
add an ozone generator, you might not kill all the
microorganisms on the underwater surfaces. That is where
chlorine and bromine come into play. If your
working properly and is used for enough time, it will reduce
the required amount of, chlorine or bromine, to a fraction
of what it would be, otherwise. With the proper use of UV
and ozone, almost any measurable level of free chlorine will
suffice. The system is redundant and should not be subject
to rapid bacterial growth. The problems begin, when people
try and eliminate all of the chlorine or bromine. Minimizing
should be the goal. And you have the ColorQ to do the
testing. While an analytical laboratory could produce more
precise answers, it would be overkill. The ColorQ provides
all the accuracy a pool or spa test requires, while
maintaining simplicity and ease of operation. I hope this
information is helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/19/2008
Lighting Affect Readings?
The spa water test readings, seem
quite different, viewed in the spa area (Commercial Spa),
with the sodium vapor lights. When I go into an area with
regular lighting, the colors seem different. Is it because
of the color of the light? Thanks.
Laura. R., 10/1/2007
The color of the light could be the problem. Test strips and
comparator colors can be influenced by lighting and sodium
vapor lights are probably the most troublesome. Any colored
or dim lighting can be a factor. It is best to read under
bright natural light or white lights. One way to avoid all
of these problems is with the LaMotte
Analyzers. There are several models and one would be right
for your situation. I hope that this will help provide more
consistency and help solve the testing difficulties.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/2/2007
► A ColorQ
Digital Analyzer or a Test Strip Reader?
I am not good at matching colors and I
like the idea of the digital ColorQ water Analyzer. I saw a
test strip reader and that seems quite easy to use. How
would you compare them? Thanks in advance, for your valued
Jerry G., Dallas, TX, 6/23/2008
Photometers, such as the
ColorQ Digital Water Analyzers are
capable of better reproducibility and accuracy than any test
strip. A quality test strip, such as the
products, are able to provide test results that are
reasonably and suitably accurate. The problem comes about in
trying to match the colors to the color swatches. Using a
strip reader does not impart greater accuracy and actually
adds a few more variables. How long did you wait, before
inserting the strip in the reader? How wet was the strip?
Did water run, from one test pad to the another? What was
the temperature? All of these variables, and more, affect
the test results. An instrument, such as the ColorQ, is
based on the same technology used in laboratory instruments
and has a long history of successful use. Test strip readers
may be convenient and fast, but are not capable of matching
the performance of a quality photometer based tester. The
feedback about the ColorQ line of testers has been highly
favorable. The same cannot be said about dealer/consumer
experience with test strip readers. I hope that this
information will help you make the right choice.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/24/2008
► Spa Test
I have been using dichlor in my hot
tub and have been using test strips. They seem to be labeled
for pools or spa and chlorine or bromine. Is there a problem
using this product? Thank you.
Mike, Summerlin, NV, 1/9/2004
Because you are using chlorine, it is important to test for
Free Chlorine: the active sanitizing form of chlorine. This
is more important than Total Chlorine. So long as the
Strips measure Free Chlorine, I don't see a problem. I would
not recommend that you use an OTO test kit. Try and keep the
Free Chlorine at 1-3 PPM. The Total Chlorine reading should
be no more than 1-2 PPM higher, at most. If the Total
Chlorine is much higher, you might have to shock: a
non-chlorine shock should be effective at converting the
combined chlorine into Free Chlorine. Don't forget to test
for the pH on a daily basis and the TA and calcium hardness
on a regular basis. This will help keep the spa water
chemistry in balance and help maintain proper water quality
and clarity. Enjoy the hot tub.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/10/2004
Test Turning Orange?
My hot tub holds 300 gallons and the
water has only been used 2 times since it was changed. The
temperature right now is 102 degrees. My chemical test kit
is giving me a reading of 7.5-7.6 pH and Alkalinity in the
normal range. However, my bromine test result is a dark,
burnt orange. I have had the hot tub for 2 years and never
encountered this before. What is the problem? Too much
Bromine? What do I need to do to correct? Do I have to
change the water again? The bromine in my floater seems to
be dissolving faster than ever. Please advise. Thank you so
Jen G., 4/1/2007
This sounds like you are using an OTO test kit and that the
bromine level is very high. I suggest that you mix 4 parts
of tap water with one part spa water and test immediately.
Multiply the answer by 5. A better way to test water would
be with the LaMotte Insta-Test strips,
as they perform best with high chlorine or bromine content.
Scale back on the amount of bromine being added. You might
replace some water to lower the bromine level, if water has
not been replaced recently. Otherwise, there is a bromine
neutralizing chemical that you can add. The addition of a
mineral sanitizer is something that you should consider, as
it will make maintenance easier and produce higher quality
water. It will reduce the chemical consumption. All you
should need is a very low level of bromine, 1-3 PPM. I hope
that this information is helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/2/2007
► Added No
Excellent website, very informative
for the "chemistry challenged" people like myself. Hoping
you can help? We just purchased our spa within the last
month and were given starter chemicals: dichlor, shock, test
strips, pH buffer. These are the only chemicals we are
using. The original test strips tested for Chlorine, Total
alkalinity and pH. When I ran out, I purchased a different
brand of test strips that also happened to test for bromine
besides chlorine. Now these test strips are testing positive
for both Chlorine and Bromine, although we don't even own
any Bromine chemicals. I went to have water tested where we
purchased the spa and received the same results. They
too were puzzled saying that it shouldn't show positive for
Bromine but didn't seem concerned. Any suggestions? Also
while there, they said that our pH was too low and that we
needed to add more chlorine which I did yesterday. All
readings are now very high. I am showing 5 for Bromine, 5
for Chlorine, 180 for TA and 8.4 for pH. Should I be
concerned or will the pH lower itself? Thanks.
Barbara, Bloomfield NJ, 6/10/2007
The test methods for chlorine and bromine are, basically,
the same. It is the color comparison charts that are
different. You did not add bromine and, therefore, you
should ignore the bromine reading. There is nothing to be
concerned about, just maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3
PPM. The pH of 8.4 is too high and should be lowered. A high
pH will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine and could prove
irritating to bathers. A pH of 7.2-7.6 is recommended for
chlorine maintained spas. Enjoy the spa.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/10/2007
I received my LaMotte # 2058 ColorQ
Pro 11 test kit last week and like it very much. However, I
would like to confirm with you how I should consider results
that may disagree with my local retailers. Acknowledging
that even using proper protocols there are bound to be
variances in results by different test kits, tests done at
different times, etc., I guess I would like to know if
LaMotte calibrates the instrument before shipping and
whether a properly stored instrument and reagents should
give more reliable results than our local vendors over time.
My sense is that the answer is yes to both questions, but I
need to confirm because of the results I received yesterday
from carefully controlled water samples.
Victor B., 6/30/2017
A recent trade article found that the dealer testing of
calcium hardness was the parameter subject to the greatest
errors. This was especially true of the simple drop count
testers and test strips. Photometers, of which the
water analyzers are examples, were found to be of the
highest accuracy. Adding a test strip reader, in my opinion,
can further decrease accuracy and reproducibility. There
are things that you can do to both increase reliability and
reproducibility. Make sure the dropper bottles are held
vertical and that distinct drops are formed. In addition,
the plastic test tubes should be clean, dry on the outside
and free of scratches. The ColorQ Blank procedure analyzes
the LED output when the little flashing bar is going across
the screen. For best results make sure the tubes used for
all the tests have comparable clarity to those used for the
blank, since that is the self calibration step. Special
color dyes are used to check the calibrations before
shipping. The algorithms are locked in and, if the dyes meet
the test protocols, the instrument goes to final assembly
and is released. Some dealers use professional testers,
such as the LaMotte WaterLink
SpinTouch Lab, which provides the
best test efficacy, when used properly. Reliable testing
will save on chemicals and help avoid problems. I hope that
this information will be helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/30/2017
Thanks Alan. That is exactly what I
hoped and believed would be the case. I have every
confidence that the ColorQ Pro is providing the most
accurate test I can get and the check against the retailers'
tests reinforces my belief. The instrument is a solid
Regards, Vic, 9/30/2008
► Are The
Great site for info. We have recently
purchased a hot tub and tried chlorine, then bromine with
little success. The hot tub has an ozonator and we bought a
mineralizer to use in conjunction with ozonator, hoping to
reduce greatly or eliminate chemicals like chlorine &
bromine. Problem we have, is knowing whether the devices are
working, as the test strips are for the chemicals. Would
appreciate any info on ways to test the devices or water to
be sure THEY ARE WORKING. I should add that we drained,
cleaned and refilled tub when we installed purifier and now
back to chlorine daily & non-chlorine shock weekly. Thank
you very much for any help.
Joyce S. in New York, 2/10/2005
Sounds like you have tried everything. The problem is that
you that didn't mention if you actually had problems. You
should be able to get ideal water quality, by using the
ozonator and maintaining a 1-3 PPM level of bromine. There
should be little chemical presence. Make sure that the
ozonator is operated for at least 4-2 hour periods, spread
throughout the day. This will provide the necessary
oxidation of waste products
and make it easier to maintain
the bromine level with fewer chemicals. There's no problem
testing for bromine:
test strips are fine. The ability to
maintain a satisfactory level with a minimum use of bromine
can be taken as confirmation that the ozonation is proper.
When the cover is removed, you might be able to smell ozone:
the scent of crashing waves? For information click
here. You should not require chlorine or a
MPS should only be added, if there is a loss of water
quality or after periods of heavy bather usage. Adding a
small amount of MPS, after each use, will help restore the
bromine level. It just seems a matter of putting some trust
in the test results and your own observations. The water
should be clear and there should not be any slimy film on
the underwater surfaces, as these are signs that sanitation
might be inadequate. I hope that this information helps to
put your mind at ease. Enjoy the spa.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/11/2005
► Testing For
I have a spa (500 gal) equipped with
an ozonator and silver ion cartridge in the one filter. I
shock the spa about once a week with two tablespoons Sodium
Dichloro-S-Triaznetrione Dihydrate and add 2 tablespoons of
MPS before or after each spa use. The spa is one year old.
About six months ago, I stopped smelling ozone and the
dealer replaced the ozone generator. I smelled ozone
strongly for about 5 months whenever I took off the cover,
but suddenly it stopped again about two months ago. I
decided to purchase an Ozone test kit and have the LaMotte
Model EC-63 (Code 3547) which I used today and got a strong
positive reading. But I am wondering if that might be a
false test due to the presence of other oxidizers (Cl2 and
MPS). Before I get the dealer out here again, can you tell
me if it is likely these other oxidizers gave a false
reading? If so, what might I do to actually test ozone
output? Thanks very much.
Owen G., PHD, Florida, 8/24/2008
The kit should indicate that oxidizers can interfere. DPD
will react with the Dichlor and MPS remaining in the spa.
There more sophisticated and expensive methods to
Ozone, in the presence of other oxidizers, but they involve
a colorimeter with indigotrisulfonate. If the chlorine and
MPS are allowed to dissipate to zero (MPS won't take long),
then a sample can be taken near the outlet to capture an
ozone reading. Basically leaving the spa uncovered a day or
so, could get the chlorine level down to zero. Verify the
result is zero, then without adding any chemicals, make sure
that the ozone generator is operating (pump should be on low
speed) and take a test. If ANY color shows up the ozonator
is operating. I hope the information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/25/2008
► Bromine Or
Hi Alan. My spa chemicals came with
test strips. The readings are Bromine levels, Free Chlorine
levels, pH, and TA. In a Bromine sanitized spa, is there
supposed to be free chlorine? If so, my other readings are
all good, but there's never any free chlorine. What should I
John M., 11/16/2009
The same test strips are used to test for either chlorine or
bromine. In a bromine-maintained spa there is no chlorine
present - it's all bromine. You should disregard the
chlorine readings, as they are meaningless, in your case.
Enjoy the spa!
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/17/2009
Testing pH In A Biguanide Spa?
Alan, I use biguanide for the spa and
their test strips. For some reason I find the results hard
to read. Especially pH always appears high, but when I have
had the water tested at the spa dealer it appears to be in
the correct range. Is there another test strip or kit I can
use for the biguanide system that will test pH, TA,
Hardness, Sanitizer? I have had problem with calcium & high
pH that resulted the circulation pump going bad. Thanks for
Jeff Y. Bonita Beach, FL, 12/27/2007
The strips are convenient, but some are not as good as other
test methods, when used in a biguanide-maintained spa. The
more traditional testing materials, used prior to the test
strips, seemed to provide good results and are probably
still being used by the dealers. For a better testing option
consider using the
ColorQ Biguanide PRO 5 Water Analyzer. It
is all-digital, requires no color matching or look-up charts
and it's affordably priced. In addition to testing for
biguanide, it performs the pH. total alkalinity, calcium
hardness and Biguanide Shock tests. It is the perfect
tester, for those with any color vision impairment. I hope
that this information will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/27/2007
► Need To
I think that I goofed. I was actually
in my spa, when I reached over and grabbed the test strips.
I may have gotten a drop or two of water on the strips. Can
this cause a problem?
Ron S., 1/5/2008
It is a real probability. The test strips are usually
packaged with a drying aid inside. This is done to help
protect against the deteriorating effects of moisture.
Always remove test strips with dry fingers, reseal the
container and store away from light, moisture and heat.
There is no way for me to determine, if the strips are still
reliable. Most test strips have expiration dates and are
packaged in quantities that make regular replacement
routine, if the spa water is being tested on an
appropriately frequent basis. To be safe, replace all
testing materials at least yearly or whenever something
appears different. I hope that I have been of assistance.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/5/2008
Chlorine Test Kit?
My spa came with a test kit that uses
2 liquids for the pH and chlorine test. What is the best
test kit to use with my spa? I am running out and need to
but replacements. It is 275 gallons and I use sodium
Andy M., CA, 1/6/2005
If the test kit that you are using contains OTO for the
chlorine test, it is not one that I would recommend. It is
important that you test for Free Chlorine and OTO cannot do
that. I suggest that you use either
Test Strips or a DPD
Test Kit that is labeled for chlorine use. These products
will probably test for both Free and Total Chlorine. In
either case, you'll be much better off, than with an OTO
Test Kit. I hope that I have been helpful. Please browse
through the archives for more on this and related topics.
Enjoy the spa.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/6/2005
I have realized that my key challenge
with my spa is pH. Unfortunately, the traditional test
strips are difficult for me to read. Are the pH testers in
your store really more accurate? What else would I need to
order in addition to the tester itself?
Chris N. Reno, NV, 11/1/2006
Some people do seem to have color perception problems and
for them an electronic tester is just what is needed. The
LaMotte ColorQ Water Analyzers test for pH, free and total
chlorine, total alkalinity calcium hardness and cyanuric
acid. These kits includes everything and there are no colors to
match and no look up charts! The test results come right up
on the digital display. The instrument is hand-held and
perfect for spa or pool side use. Accuracy is better than
most other test methods. I hope that this information proves
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/1/2006
► Wrong Test
Thanks for your quick reply. I think
you may have misunderstood me in my question just a little.
I already added the baking soda to raise total alkalinity
and pH, as my pH was reading 7 according to the strip I was
using. This strip was called pHydrion Vivid 6-8. They
weren't meant for hot tubs, but figured they should read the
same. I understood most of what you suggested but was
wondering if my readings were artificially high being that I
took my water sample to the spa store only 20 minutes after
adding the baking soda? Is muriatic acid ok to use as I have
some already? If it is could you suggest amounts? Thanks
Darren H., 4/21/2009
You're right, I did misunderstand you and I wasn't aware of
what you were actually describing as a test strip. You are
not using a test strip, at all. You are using an industrial
pH paper that is only intended
to be used as a ballpark
figure and not to test pool or spa water. That's why there
was no agreement with the pool store. I suggest that you
use pH reducer granules. If you insist on using muriatic
acid, add no more that a few ounces at a time and retest
with an appropriate spa tester: something like the
Insta-Test strips would be ideal. Remember, you can always
add more -- you can't take out! I hope that I have been
helpful and help set the record straight.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/21/2009
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