FAQ

Questions you may have about AquaChek

Pool & Spa Owner

Retailer/Distributor

Service Professionals

Chemistry Problems

Pool & Spa Owner

Q: Do test strips really work?

A:

Yes. Test strips were developed for the medical diagnostic industry in the 1960s. Since then, they have replaced liquid reagent tests for urine and blood testing. AquaChek Test Strips use this same, trusted technology to provide accurate results regarding water contaminants.

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Q: I am getting an ER2 message on my TruTest Meter, what should I do?

A:

If you receive ER2 messages, the cause could be excessive light entering the system and interfering with the operation of the unit. To protect against this, the strip window area should be shielded from light either by a blocking cover or your hand. To receive such a cover that can be connected to the wrist strap of the meter for convenient use, email us at aquachek@hach.com with the word "cover" in the subject line."

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Q: What is the difference between free and total chlorine?

A:

Free chlorine refers to both hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and the hypochlorite (OCl-) ion or bleach, and is commonly added to water systems for disinfection. When ammonia or organic nitrogen is also present, chloramines known as monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine will quickly form. Chloramines are also known as combined chlorine.

Total chlorine is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine. The level of total chlorine will always be higher than or equal to the level of free chlorine.

Free chlorine is typically measured in drinking water disinfection systems using chlorine gas or sodium hypochlorite to find whether the water system contains enough disinfectant. Typical levels of free chlorine in drinking water are 0.2 - 2.0 mg/L Cl2, though levels can be as high as 5.0 mg/L.

Total chlorine is typically measured to determine the total chlorine content of treated waste water, often for discharge purposes. If you are required to measure and report chlorine levels to a regulatory agency, we advise that you check with your regulator to find whether you are required to measure free chlorine or total chlorine.

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Q: How accurate are test strips?

A:

Test strips offer comparable accuracy to liquid color comparator tests. You may find that results are even more accurate because liquid kits require measuring samples and counting drops of reagent, which allows for a higher margin of human error.

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Q: What is the shelf life?

A:

Most AquaChek products are good for at least 24 months from the date of manufacture. Additionally, each bottle of AquaChek test strips is clearly marked with an expiration date. We can not guarantee the accuracy of the test strips beyond the expiration date on the bottle and therefore recommend replacement for out-of-date strips. Storage in high heat or humid conditions will shorten expected shelf life. Ideal conditions are noted on the bottle.

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Q: What is the difference between AquaChek and the other pool and spa test strips available on the market?

A:

AquaChek is the top-selling brand of pool and spa test strips in the world since the early 1980's. Experience as well as continued product improvement keeps AquaChek ahead of the competition.

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Q: I purchased an AquaChek product but have lost the color block comparison chart or it has faded. How do I get another chart?

A:

Please use the link that can be found on the home page header area called, "Request Color Chart".  Filling out the form will automate and expedite a replacement chart mailed to you as soon as possible.

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Q: How often should I test my Pool or Spa?

A:

You should test your pool or spa at a minimum of 2-3 times a week. A spa should be tested before each use due to the higher water temperature. Pool and Spa testing is also advised after heavy swimmer use (i.e party), after animals have been in the pool, after a heavy rain, after fertilizing, etc. It is also advised to test your pool or spa 24-48 hours after chemicals have been added to ensure accuracy in rebalancing.

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Q: What is the best way to care for my AquaChek Strip kit?

A:

Store your test kit in a cool, dry place and avoid touching the test strip pads prior to testing, as this could affect results. It is important to keep the lids of pool/spa test strips bottles securely tightened when not in use and not to remove the dessicant (moisture protection pillow) in the test strip bottle.

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Q: What is pH?

A:

pH is the intensity of acid or alkaline materials in the water of your pool or spa.

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Q: What can cause pH levels to fluctuate?

A:

Many things can cause pH levels to change, including rainfall, dust, covering your pool or pool additives used.

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Q: What is Total Alkalinity?

A:

Total Alkalinity measures the amount of alkaline substances (primarily bicarbonates and carbonates) in your water. Alkaline substances buffer your water against sudden changes in pH so that your water chemistry is more easily controlled.

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Q: What is Free Chlorine?

A:

The purpose of a pool or spa disinfectant is not only to sanitize, but to disinfect and oxidize as well. Free Chlorine is the form of chlorine that is available in the water to do all three: sanitize, disinfect and oxidize. It is important to maintain Free Chlorine at a sufficient level to treat potential contaminants. If the Total Chlorine level exceeds the Free Chlorine level a super chlorination or "shock" is needed. This is because unwanted ammonia or nitrogen compounds have combined with Free Chlorine to make the sanitizer less effective and can cause a strong, offensive odor and swimmer irritation.

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Q: What is Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)?

A:

Cyanuric Acid (sometimes called Stabilizer or Conditioner) makes Chlorine more stable in the sun's UV rays, acting like a sunblock for your sanitizer by keeping it from degrading as quickly as it would otherwise. Chlorine levels can drop from an ideal range to zero in less than two hours without Cyanuric Acid. If the Cyanuric Acid levels are too high it can cause Chlorine to be inefficient.

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Q: What is Total Hardness?

A:

Total Hardness refers to the amount of Calcium or Magnesium in your pool or spa water. When Total Hardness is too high scale can form, causing pool filters or plumbing to clog and water to appear cloudy. If water is too soft, or low in Total Hardness, it will become aggressive and slowly dissolve plaster walls and corrode metal fixtures. Swimming pools and spas should have a Total Hardness of 250-500ppm.

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Q: The pH pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned a bright yellow. What does this mean?

A:

The pH level is very low — it is URGENT to bring the pH back up into the “ok” range. A low pH can cause swimmer discomfort in the skin and eyes and can cause corrosion of pool fixtures and equipment, leading to costly repairs. Please refer to a pool professional or AquaChek calculators for assistance in raising or lowering pH levels.

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Q: The pH pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned purple. What does this mean?

A:

The sanitizer level (chlorine or bromine) is very high and needs to be brought down to the "ok" range, then retested for pH and Total Alkalinity. An excessive level of Chlorine can bleach hair or bathing suits and can cause eye irritation.

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Q: The Total Alkalinity pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned a royal blue color. What does this mean?

A:

There are two possibilities. If your pH pad turned purple as well, the sanitizer level is probably very high. Lower the sanitizer and then retest. If your pH pad did not turn purple, the Total Alkalinity level is high (about 300ppm). Lower the Total Alkalinity and then retest. Remember, if your cyanuric acid level is high, it can contribute up to 1/3 of the Total Alkalinity reading.

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Q: The Total Chlorine or Total Bromine pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned brown or orange. What does this mean?

A:

The bromine level or chlorine level is higher than 20ppm and is very high. Remove any bromine tablets from your pool or spa until the level is back in the “ok” range.

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Q: What is algae?

A:

Algae are microscopic plants and like all plants require nutrients. Algae obtain their food from leaves, plants and all organic matter (including swimmers).

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Q: Why does my pool have algae?

A:

Algae can be caused by one or more of the following: no Free Chlorine available, poor or inadequate filtration, poor circulation (leaving "dead zones" of stagnant water), presence of elevated phosphates in the water, incorrect pH levels, excessive Cyanuric Acid/Stabilizer levels, or failing to test pool water regularly and adjust parameters.

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Q: How can I treat algae in my pool?

A:

The treatment of algae depends on the type present in the water (black, green or yellow). Most algae blooms can be addressed with algaecide and/or shock treatment. However, this does not effectively treat all algae. Therefore, consult your pool or spa professional for treatment recommendations.

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Q: What are phosphates?

A:

Phosphates are a main food source for algae or any other plant life. Phosphates are present in most plant and lawn fertilizers. Phosphates can be introduced to your pool or spa from various sources: fertilizer overspray or leching, plant remnants (such as leaves or grass clippings), animals in the water, precipitation, or the source water that is used to fill your swimming pool or spa.

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Q: My water has a foul, strong odor and when my kids swim they complain of itchy skin and burning eyes. What could be wrong with the water?

A:

There may be a high level of combined Chlorine and/or a very low level of Free Chlorine. The first step is to get the pH level back in the ideal range of 7.2-7.8 ppm (pool). Secondly, add additional Chlorine or non-Cholorine shock to eliminate combined Chlorine. Water reentry can occur when Free Chlorine levels drop below 5ppm.

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Q: What is scale formation?

A:

Scale formations are crusty, white deposits on pool surfaces that signal a high level of pH, Calcium Hardness, or Total Alkalinity, or low levels of hardness. The scaling may not only make pool surfaces rough, but can form on pool components and decrease water flow in filter/plumbing systems. The first step is to decrease pH and Total Alkalinity, since the Calcium Hardness is more difficult.

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Q: Why is my pool or spa water cloudy?

A:

There are several reasons why pool or spa water can be cloudy: no Free Chlorine available, incorrect pH or Total Alkalinity, inadequate poor filtration, failing to test regularly, or an Algae infestation.

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Q: How do I clean my filtration system to see if it causing cloudy water?

A:

It is recommended to backwash the system first to see if this adjusts pressure back to normal operational level, then clean the filter according to manufacturer directions. If you have additional questions regarding filter maintenance, consult your local pool or spa professional.

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Q: Why add Chlorine to a salt water pool?

A:

A salt-water chlorinator is designed to maintain residual Chlorine by dosing small amounts of Chlorine into the water when the filtrating system is on. At times of heavy use, the cell needs cleaning, heated pool water, or inadequate amounts of Cyanuric Acid/Stabilizer acid levels the chlorinator may struggle to maintain those residual levels. The extra dose of Chlorine helps the chlorinator during thse conditions.

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Q: How do I read the salt level on the AquaChek Pool & Spa Salt Titrators?

A:

First, fill a small vial with about one inch of pool or spa water, then remove a strip from the bottle (replacing cap immediately). Insert the lower end of the strip into the water, making sure NOT to immerse the yellow completion band at the top of the strip. The strip should remain in the water until the test is complete (when yellow band turns dark, typically 3-4 minutes). Note where the top of white peak falls on the number scale-read the top of the peak to the nearest 0.2 division. Next, locate the sodium chloride concentration next to that reading on the table printed on the AquaChek White bottle.

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Q: How should I clean my TruTest Meter?

A:

A simple, non-abrasive wiping of the test strip window and all other surfaces with clean, fresh water should clear any residual chemicals remaining from pool testing.

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Q: I need a new battery clip for my TruTest Meter, how do I get one?

A:

Contact Hach ETS via email on the "Contact Us" tab on www.AquaChek.com to request a replacement. Please include your name and mailing address with your request for new battery clips.

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Q: What will happen if my TruTest Meter falls into my pool or spa?

A:

The meter was designed to withstand this kind of accidental submersion and should float upon entry into the water. Simply remove the meter, take out the batteries from the battery compartment, dry the compartment thoroughly, and replace with dry batteries. The meter should return to full performance.

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Q: Should I "place" or "slide" the TruTest test strip onto the TruTest Reader strip window?

A:

It is very important that you DO NOT SLIDE the test strip onto the window. This action will result in inaccurate readings. A simple method is to place the first pad (nearest the top of the strip) onto the window first, then lower the rest of the strip down onto the window. This will ensure the strip is all the way in and down onto the window.

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Q: I have a salt water pool, how do I determine if I have the right amount of salt in my pool?

A:

AquaChek White Salt strips will help determine the actual level. Compare the test results to the manufacturer's suggested level in your salt chlorine generator owner's manual.

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Q: What is Total Alkalinity?

A:

Total Alkalinity measures the amount of alkaline substances (primarily bicarbonates and carbonates) in your water. Alkaline substances buffer your water against sudden changes in pH so that your water chemistry is more easily controlled.

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Q: Can I use Chlorine in my Biguanide Pool?

A:

No

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Q: I purchased the meter and strips about 8 months ago. Hadnt measured for a couple weeks, now I get "LO" on ALK line, and nothing on ph and CL. No value. Blank. Is this an error? Is my meter faulty? My chem test kit says Cl is fine, Ph is out of whack.

A:

"LO" in the area where total alkalinity results appear, is a message concerning the battery voltage/power is not sufficient.  In this case replacing the batteries with fresh batteries will correct the issue.

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Q: What is the difference between the red test strips and the yellow test strips

A:

"Red" test strips are for testing bromine based pool or spa water.  "Yellow" test strips are for testing chlorine based pool or spa water.

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Q: I have a spa "inside" my house and I use the Aquachek meter. The first reading is "CL" for Chlorine except I use Bromine instead! Is there a conversion, multiplier etc that I can calculate/convert the Chlorine "CL" reading to Bromine? Thank you,Paul

A:

When using the TruTest Digital Test Strip reader with bromine water samples, the display value must be multiplied by 2.2 to convert the value to a bromine value.  This is the relationship between the two halogens.

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Q: What do the different colours mean on the test strips. There are three pads on the strip. When I dip the strip I get three different colours. What does it all mean?

A:

When using a test strip, there are dry reactive pads on the test strip support.  After following the instructions on the product on how to dip, remove, and compare, one compares the reacted pads to the provided color chart.  In this way, one receives a test result for the 3 parameters tested and then can use these results to perform water treatment as needed or recommended.

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Q: I purchased an AquaChek Select test kit. I now want to purchase only the refills but my dealer only carries the kit. Where can I purchase the refills only?

A:

Many online retailers will carry the refill sku for the Select kit.  The part number is 541640A and is referred to as the Select Kit Refill.

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Q: what is the Cyaanuric acid and how to fix if showing too low?

A:

Cyanuric Acid is a chemical that will sometimes be added to help protect the chlorine from sunlight degradation in pools or spas under direct sun exposure.  It is commonly referred to as "conditioner" or "stabilizer" and can be sold separately or in combination with a chlorine product.  It may be something you review with a pool professional prior to adding.

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Q: The last color on the test strip is ppm stabilizer. Mine is showing low? What do I do.?

A:

Typically, a low level of stabilizer is corrected by adding the chemical to the water following the product label instructions.  It is usually advised to only use stabilizer in pools and not hot tubs.  It helps to prevent quick chlorine loss due to strong sunlight degradation.  

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Q: I purchased Aquachek select with pool guide. Pool guide is defective having been assembled missing pages 5-8 and duplicate 9-12 pages. Is there a PDF available?

A:

Most inserts and product documentation is available on the website next to the product information.  Please go to the product page for the AquaChek Select and there is a link for the product manual/guide.

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Q: You used to have a link where you could put the test strip results in and it would tell you what you needed to add to the pool. Can you send me the link or tell me how to get to it. Haven't been able to find it on website. Thanks

A:

The water balance calculator is on the page titled, "calculators". From the home page, choose that option and it will take you to the page.

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Q: if using chlorine tabs, should i use test strips for free chlorine or bromine? retailers arent much help.

A:

Typically, you would purchase test strips labelled to test for Free Chlorine when using chlorine tablets.

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Q: is Chlorine and bleach the same thing?

A:

Bleach contains chlorine in the form of hypochlorous acid, "free chlorine".  Typically, it is at a level of 4 to 6% hypochlorous acid.

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Q: Where can I buy TRUTEST Test Strip REFILLS ? My Zip code is 02886. Not all stores on your locator list carry this item. Please tell me which ones actually carry this item. (Also, can I purchase refills on-line? If so, how?)Thank you for helping me.

A:

It can be difficult to know if a particular dealer carries each sku.  If you can look for it on-line, you might try some of the more well known on-line retailers, or searching for it in a search engine such as google.

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Q: Why do I get different readings when I test the water in different spots? Is one spot better than another for testing the pool water?

A:

It is recommended by most pool professionals to test the water at several locations of your pool, at least at both ends.  Differences can be cause by inadequate filtration, circulation, and/or the depth differences.

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Q: I am using AquaChek FREE CHLORINE "yellow" 4 in 1 test strips and AquaChek PRO. The colors change after waiting 15 secs and will give different readings 1, 2 or 3 minutes after test dip. What timing is most accurate?

A:

The test strips use a color chart that has color blocks matched or calibrated to sample concentrations for the timing instruction listed on the product.  The reactions are to be matched at the timing listed on the label and not later even if the chemistry still continues to change. 

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Q: The test strip chart on the bottle of the salt test strips does not correspond to the chart used in your You Tube video. Do the charts on the bottle only correspond to the test strips from the bottle they came in?

A:

The test strip chart on each bottle of the salt test strips is unique for the batch of product enclosed in the container and should be used only with the strips corresponding.

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Q: When I first take the strip out, my ph reads low (orange), but after 30 seconds or so darkens to the OK range, then in a few minutes,turns to a bright red (high). Is this normal? Which is the most accurate reading?

A:

The pH pad on the test strip should be compared to the color chart at the time specified in the instructions.  That is the time the test was calibrated against and reading earlier or later will likely not be accurate. 

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Q: Is posible to use test strips several time (two or more times)? Thank you very much.

A:

It is not possible to use the test strips again after they have been wetted with sample.  The chemistry is depleted after the first use and the test strip should be discarded.

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Retailer/Distributor

Q: Do test strips really work?

A:

Yes. Test strips were developed for the medical diagnostic industry in the 1960s. Since then, they have replaced liquid reagent tests for urine and blood testing. AquaChek Test Strips use this same, trusted technology to provide accurate results regarding water contaminants.

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Q: How accurate are test strips?

A:

Test strips offer comparable accuracy to liquid color comparator tests. You may find that results are even more accurate because liquid kits require measuring samples and counting drops of reagent, which allows for a higher margin of human error.

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Q: What is the shelf life?

A:

Most AquaChek products are good for at least 24 months from the date of manufacture. Additionally, each bottle of AquaChek test strips is clearly marked with an expiration date. We can not guarantee the accuracy of the test strips beyond the expiration date on the bottle and therefore recommend replacement for out-of-date strips. Storage in high heat or humid conditions will shorten expected shelf life. Ideal conditions are noted on the bottle.

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Q: How often should I test my Pool or Spa?

A:

You should test your pool or spa at a minimum of 2-3 times a week. A spa should be tested before each use due to the higher water temperature. Pool and Spa testing is also advised after heavy swimmer use (i.e party), after animals have been in the pool, after a heavy rain, after fertilizing, etc. It is also advised to test your pool or spa 24-48 hours after chemicals have been added to ensure accuracy in rebalancing.

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Q: The pH pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned a bright yellow. What does this mean?

A:

The pH level is very low — it is URGENT to bring the pH back up into the “ok” range. A low pH can cause swimmer discomfort in the skin and eyes and can cause corrosion of pool fixtures and equipment, leading to costly repairs. Please refer to a pool professional or AquaChek calculators for assistance in raising or lowering pH levels.

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Q: The pH pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned purple. What does this mean?

A:

The sanitizer level (chlorine or bromine) is very high and needs to be brought down to the "ok" range, then retested for pH and Total Alkalinity. An excessive level of Chlorine can bleach hair or bathing suits and can cause eye irritation.

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Q: The Total Alkalinity pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned a royal blue color. What does this mean?

A:

There are two possibilities. If your pH pad turned purple as well, the sanitizer level is probably very high. Lower the sanitizer and then retest. If your pH pad did not turn purple, the Total Alkalinity level is high (about 300ppm). Lower the Total Alkalinity and then retest. Remember, if your cyanuric acid level is high, it can contribute up to 1/3 of the Total Alkalinity reading.

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Q: The Total Chlorine or Total Bromine pad on my AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strip turned brown or orange. What does this mean?

A:

The bromine level or chlorine level is higher than 20ppm and is very high. Remove any bromine tablets from your pool or spa until the level is back in the “ok” range.

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Q: The bromine level or chlorine level is higher than 20ppm and is very high. Remove any bromine tablets from your pool or spa until the level is back in the “ok” range.

A:

First, fill a small vial with about one inch of pool or spa water, then remove a strip from the bottle (replacing cap immediately). Insert the lower end of the strip into the water, making sure NOT to immerse the yellow completion band at the top of the strip. The strip should remain in the water until the test is complete (when yellow band turns dark, typically 3-4 minutes). Note where the top of white peak falls on the number scale-read the top of the peak to the nearest 0.2 division. Next, locate the sodium chloride concentration next to that reading on the table printed on the AquaChek White bottle.

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Q: What is the difference between AquaChek and the other pool and spa test strips available on the market?

A:

AquaChek is the top-selling brand of pool and spa test strips in the world since the early 1980's. Experience as well as continued product improvement keeps AquaChek ahead of the competition.

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Q: AquaChek is the top-selling brand of pool and spa test strips in the world since the early 1980's. Experience as well as continued product improvement keeps AquaChek ahead of the competition.

A:

Contact Hach ETS via email on the "Contact Us" tab on www.AquaChek.com to request a replacement color chart. Please specify the product you need the color chart for and your mailing address. Color charts can not be provided electronically because there is no guarantee the colors on your monitor or that print from your printer would match the actual color blocks, and AquaChek wants to ensure that you get accurate results. Please remember to always keep strips in the original bottle with dessicant for effective testing.

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Q: What is the best way to care for my AquaChek Strip kit?

A:

Store your test kit in a cool, dry place and avoid touching the test strip pads prior to testing, as this could affect results. It is important to keep the lids of pool/spa test strips bottles securely tightened when not in use and not to remove the dessicant (moisture protection pillow) in the test strip bottle.

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Q: What is pH?

A:

pH is the intensity of acid or alkaline materials in the water of your pool or spa.

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Q: What can cause pH levels to fluctuate?

A:

What can cause pH levels to fluctuate?

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Q: What is Free Chlorine?

A:

The purpose of a pool or spa disinfectant is not only to sanitize, but to disinfect and oxidize as well. Free Chlorine is the form of chlorine that is available in the water to do all three: sanitize, disinfect and oxidize. It is important to maintain Free Chlorine at a sufficient level to treat potential contaminants. If the Total Chlorine level exceeds the Free Chlorine level a super chlorination or "shock" is needed. This is because unwanted ammonia or nitrogen compounds have combined with Free Chlorine to make the sanitizer less effective and can cause a strong, offensive odor and swimmer irritation.

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Q: What is Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer)?

A:

Cyanuric Acid (sometimes called Stabilizer or Conditioner) makes Chlorine more stable in the sun's UV rays, acting like a sunblock for your sanitizer by keeping it from degrading as quickly as it would otherwise. Chlorine levels can drop from an ideal range to zero in less than two hours without Cyanuric Acid. If the Cyanuric Acid levels are too high it can cause Chlorine to be inefficient.

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Q: What is Total Hardness?

A:

Total Hardness refers to the amount of Calcium or Magnesium in your pool or spa water. When Total Hardness is too high scale can form, causing pool filters or plumbing to clog and water to appear cloudy. If water is too soft, or low in Total Hardness, it will become aggressive and slowly dissolve plaster walls and corrode metal fixtures. Swimming pools and spas should have a Total Hardness of 250-500ppm.

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Q: What is algae?

A:

Algae are microscopic plants and like all plants require nutrients. Algae obtain their food from leaves, plants and all organic matter (including swimmers).

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Q: Why does my pool have algae?

A:

Algae can be caused by one or more of the following: no Free Chlorine available, poor or inadequate filtration, poor circulation (leaving "dead zones" of stagnant water), presence of elevated phosphates in the water, incorrect pH levels, excessive Cyanuric Acid/Stabilizer levels, or failing to test pool water regularly and adjust parameters.

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Q: How can I treat algae in my pool?

A:

The treatment of algae depends on the type present in the water (black, green or yellow). Most algae blooms can be addressed with algaecide and/or shock treatment. However, this does not effectively treat all algae. Therefore, consult your pool or spa professional for treatment recommendations.

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Q: What are phosphates?

A:

Phosphates are a main food source for algae or any other plant life. Phosphates are present in most plant and lawn fertilizers. Phosphates can be introduced to your pool or spa from various sources: fertilizer overspray or leching, plant remnants (such as leaves or grass clippings), animals in the water, precipitation, or the source water that is used to fill your swimming pool or spa.

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Q: My water has a foul, strong odor and when my kids swim they complain of itchy skin and burning eyes. What could be wrong with the water?

A:

My water has a foul, strong odor and when my kids swim they complain of itchy skin and burning eyes. What could be wrong with the water?

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Q: What is scale formation?

A:

Scale formations are crusty, white deposits on pool surfaces that signal a high level of pH, Calcium Hardness, or Total Alkalinity, or low levels of hardness. The scaling may not only make pool surfaces rough, but can form on pool components and decrease water flow in filter/plumbing systems. The first step is to decrease pH and Total Alkalinity, since the Calcium Hardness is more difficult.

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Q: Why is my pool or spa water cloudy?

A:

There are several reasons why pool or spa water can be cloudy: no Free Chlorine available, incorrect pH or Total Alkalinity, inadequate poor filtration, failing to test regularly, or an Algae infestation.

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Q: How do I clean my filtration system to see if it causing cloudy water?

A:

It is recommended to backwash the system first to see if this adjusts pressure back to normal operational level, then clean the filter according to manufacturer directions. If you have additional questions regarding filter maintenance, consult your local pool or spa professional.

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Q: I have a salt water pool, how do I determine if I have the right amount of salt in my pool?

A:

AquaChek White Salt strips will help determine the actual level. Compare the test results to the manufacturer's suggested level in your salt chlorine generator owner's manual.

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Q: Why add Chlorine to a salt water pool?

A:

A salt-water chlorinator is designed to maintain residual Chlorine by dosing small amounts of Chlorine into the water when the filtrating system is on. At times of heavy use, the cell needs cleaning, heated pool water, or inadequate amounts of Cyanuric Acid/Stabilizer acid levels the chlorinator may struggle to maintain those residual levels. The extra dose of Chlorine helps the chlorinator during thse conditions.

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Q: How should I clean my TruTest Meter?

A:

A simple, non-abrasive wiping of the test strip window and all other surfaces with clean, fresh water should clear any residual chemicals remaining from pool testing.

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Q: I need a new battery clip for my TruTest Meter, how do I get one?

A:

Contact Hach ETS via email on the "Contact Us" tab on www.AquaChek.com to request a replacement. Please include your name and mailing address with your request for new battery clips.

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Q: What will happen if my TruTest Meter falls into my pool or spa?

A:

The meter was designed to withstand this kind of accidental submersion and should float upon entry into the water. Simply remove the meter, take out the batteries from the battery compartment, dry the compartment thoroughly, and replace with dry batteries. The meter should return to full performance.

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Q: Should I "place" or "slide" the TruTest test strip onto the TruTest Reader strip window?

A:

It is very important that you DO NOT SLIDE the test strip onto the window. This action will result in inaccurate readings. A simple method is to place the first pad (nearest the top of the strip) onto the window first, then lower the rest of the strip down onto the window. This will ensure the strip is all the way in and down onto the window.

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Q: What is the difference between free and total chlorine?

A:

Free chlorine refers to both hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and the hypochlorite (OCl-) ion or bleach, and is commonly added to water systems for disinfection. When ammonia or organic nitrogen is also present, chloramines known as monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine will quickly form. Chloramines are also known as combined chlorine.

Total chlorine is the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine. The level of total chlorine will always be higher than or equal to the level of free chlorine.

Free chlorine is typically measured in drinking water disinfection systems using chlorine gas or sodium hypochlorite to find whether the water system contains enough disinfectant. Typical levels of free chlorine in drinking water are 0.2 - 2.0 mg/L Cl2, though levels can be as high as 5.0 mg/L.

Total chlorine is typically measured to determine the total chlorine content of treated waste water, often for discharge purposes. If you are required to measure and report chlorine levels to a regulatory agency, we advise that you check with your regulator to find whether you are required to measure free chlorine or total chlorine.

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Service Professionals

Q: What information supports the accuracy of test strips?

A:

AquaChek test strips are manufactured and released against standard reference procedures from the 17th Edition of Standard Methods For the Examination of Water and Waste Water.

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Q: Why aren’t there more values on the color charts for AquaChek products?

A:

AquaChek products are designed to be user-friendly for pool and spa owners. To make them easy to use and understand, we ensure that color values can be clearly differentiated so accurate decisions can be made regarding water treatments.

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Q: What is the difference between AquaChek and the other pool and spa test strips available on the market?

A:

AquaChek is the top-selling brand of pool and spa test strips in the world. AquaChek test strips undergo stringent release qualification. Constant monitoring of the manufacturing process ensures that the finest test strips are available for your use. In fact, our company has earned the internationally recognized ISO 9001 certification by following strict quality standards.

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Q: My DPD test kit shows I have 3 ppm Free Chlorine while my AquaChek test strips say I have 0 ppm Free Chlorine. Which test is correct?

A:

If there is a high level of combined chlorine in your pool or spa, it is likely the DPD test is showing a false positive for free chlorine and your AquaChek Pool & Spa Test Strips are giving an accurate reading. For more detailed information, please visit the following link to the technical bulletin about test kit differences.

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Q: Is DPD more accurate?

A:

The DPD test for chlorine can be affected by interferences, such as an over-abundance of monochloramines or potassium monopersulfate (used for shock-treating pools). These can give a false positive reading for free chlorine with the DPD chemistry. Recognized technical studies are available to support these claims. In addition, the DPD test requires careful technique and several steps to get the best test.

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Q: What is test strip shelf life?

A:

We ship most of our products with a 24-month shelf life, at a minimum. A few of our speciality products, such as test strips for Iron and Copper have no less than an 18-month shelf life. Each bottle is noted with an expiration date. Even though the effectiveness of all liquid test reagents and test strips degrade over time, some of our competitors do not date their product. Dating the product is just one way AquaChek ensures product performance and quality.

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Q: How accurate are the test strips?

A:

Test strips are at a minimum comparable in accuracy to liquid color comparator tests. AquaChek strips are more convenient and we believe they actually deliver greater accuracy. The strips reduce the chances for human error associated with liquid kits, which require measuring samples and counting drops of reagent.

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Q: I have added a significant amount of Chlorine and the AquaChek test strips still read 0 ppm for Free Chlorine-why?

A:

If testing for Free Chlorine using a DPD test kit, be aware that high levels of combined Chlorine, or Chloramines can cause false positives when using DPD #1 test for Free Chlorine. In order to confirm this is taking place, take a small sample (3-4 cups of water) out of the pool. Add a small amount of Chlorine (e.g. a teaspoon of bleach or several dichlor granules) directly to the sample to be sure that a Chlorine residual can be established. You should be able to measure the Free Chlorine right in the sample almost immediately after the Chlorine has been added. This is representative of the rest of the pool. If a Chlorine residual can be established in a small sample, then you will know that the actual pool can be treated in the same way. Additionally, the DPD or OTO test will measure the same as the strips at this point confirming that the combined Chlorine was causing a false reading for the liquid/tablet test.

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Chemistry Problems

Q: Test strips for ph, alkalinity and bromine all turn brown. Water smells highly chemical. What do I do?

A:

In the case where the pads turn brown or do not turn expected coloration, it is quite likely that too much chemical product is present in the water (most likely the sanitizer).  One way to check is to dilute the sample in question.  One can dilute by taking 1/4 cup sample and adding 3/4 cup or more of fresh untreated water to the sample.  This diluted sample can be checked with the strip to see if the values will match values on the color chart.  This may give an approximate idea of how much chemical is in the water.

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Q: What does'TDS' mean in the Aquachek digi test strip instruction leaflet???? My pool water is cloudy and I can't find a reference to this acronym? Not good!

A:

TDS is Total Dissolved Solids, defined as all inorganic and organic materials dissolved in water.  If it is too high, cloudy water can present itself.

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