Frequently Asked Questions

Which test kit should I buy?

If your pool or spa utilizes a saltwater chlorine generator, choose either the TF-Pro Salt or the TF-100 Salt. Both kits enable you to test for the five key parameters noted below as well as salt levels for your generator.

If your pool or spa does not utilize a saltwater chlorine generator, choose either the TF-Pro or the TF-100. See below for the differences between our kits.

All of our complete test kits contain the supplies and hardware necessary to test for the five most important pool and spa water parameters: pH, chlorine level, total alkalinity (TA), calcium hardness (CH), and cyanuric acid (CYA) level. Control of these parameters is the foundation of Trouble Free Pool Care, popularized by our friends at Trouble Free Pool. Using one of our test kits allows you to take a hands-on approach to caring for your pool, and to avoid unnecessary purchases at pool stores. The size, location, and construction type of your pool or spa does not matter with regards to choosing the best test kit. The most important factor when choosing a test kit is how your pool or spa is chlorinated.

What are the differences between the TF-100 and TF-Pro with Smart Stir?

  • The TF-100 is packaged in a plastic tackle-box. The TF-Pro is packaged in a water-resistant polyvinyl case with a custom-made foam insert to organize and protect your supplies.
  • The TF-100 does not include a magnetic stirring device, either the Smart Stir or Taylor SpeedStir, by default. This device is not necessary to complete testing, but it makes testing significantly faster and easier by mixing your reagents automatically with the push of a button. The TF-Pro includes a magnetic stirring device by default.
  • The TF-Pro includes higher-quality testing cylinders and better plastic hardware.

How do I get free shipping?

Free shipping is available for orders totalling greater than $100. All items are marked as "eligible for FREE shipping" which means they count towards that $100 total.

How do I perform the tests included in my test kit?

Please see our video tutorials found here on YouTube, or consult the test kit directions here.

I have my test kit, now what do I do?

Please see our TFtestkits Starter Guide for a brief overview of the tests in your kit. Then, review Trouble Free Pool's Pool School to become acquainted with the basics of maintaining your swimming pool. Check out our app, PoolMath, or the calculator here to determine what you need to add to your pool to achieve optimal levels.

Which add-ons should I buy with my kit?

You might consider adding a Smart Stir or Taylor SpeedStir to your TF-100 (one is already included in all TF-Pro kits) if you are new to managing your pool and want testing to be as simple as possible. These magnetic stirring devices save you a significant amount of time by mixing your testing instantly and more consistently than swirling your cylinders by hand.

You might consider adding the SLAM Option, which includes additional R-0870 DPD powder and R-0871 FAS/DPD reagent, to your kit if you are fighting an active algae problem. The additional reagents will offset the more frequent testing you will perform as part of the SLAM process (Shock, Level, and Maintain).

You might consider adding Taylor borates test strips to your kit if you choose to utilize optional borates in your pool. More information regarding the use of borates can be found here on Trouble Free Pool.

You might consider adding Taylor salt test strips to your kit if your pool or spa utilizes a saltwater chlorine generator. Drop-based tests for salt (included in TF-Pro Salt and TF-100 Salt) are more accurate, reliable, and cost efficient. However, there is no denying the simplicity and ease of using a test strip, which is why we offer both drop-based tests and test strips for salt.

You might consider adding the Standard Sampler to your kit if you are a newcomer to drop-based testing and want to verify that your methods and results are accurate and free of interference. Standard solutions take the place of your pool water and contain known water parameter levels, as opposed to your pool water which is unknown until tested. The standard solutions can also assist with the more subjective pH test and CYA test, demonstrating the expected color or turbidity endpoint so you know how to read your testing perfectly. 

You might consider adding the pH Tester to your kit if you are looking to simplify your daily pool testing process. The pH tester produces a pH reading that is accurate to +/- 0.1 pH in about 15 seconds. Using the pH tester is as simple as turning it on and dipping it into your pool. The LCD screen is backlit and easily read, and the package includes calibration materials so that you can ensure the accuracy of your tester. The batteries on the unit are also replaceable so this tester can be used for future pool seasons. If you are SLAMing or plan to SLAM, this tester will allow you to keep track of your pH even when your FC is high.

You might consider adding the C-600 multifunction meter to your kit if you are looking to simplify your daily pool testing process and explore more advanced topics in pool water chemistry. The C-600 tests for a variety of water parameters including pH, temperature, salt, total dissolved solids (TDS), conductivity (EC), redox potential (ORP), and specific gravity (SG). Using the C-600 is as simple as turning it on and dipping it into your pool. Then, in just a few seconds, the C-600 can tell you the pH and salt levels in your saltwater pool! Salt testing reagents are expensive and this meter provides an alternative method for testing your pool's salt levels. If you are SLAMing or plan to SLAM, this tester will allow you to keep track of your pH even when your FC is high. The meter can also function as an instant read thermometer, useful for calculating calcium saturation index once you are more versed in balancing your pool's water. This factory-calibrated meter is usable straight out of the box, but also includes pH calibration solutions for future recalibration. TDS, EC, ORP, and SG are not parameters that we routinely test for, however these may be indicators of sanitary conditions and may correlate with how quickly your pool consumes chlorine.

Do the reagents expire?

All of our reagents are from Taylor Technologies and they recommend, as a general precaution, replacing reagents more than one year old, or at the beginning of a new testing season. Please make sure you store reagents away from direct sunlight, and in a consistent temperature between 38-80 degrees F.

Do you ship to Canada?

No, we do not ship to Canada because Taylor Technologies, our reagent manufacturer, has an exclusive relationship with a distributor in Canada. However, other Canadian customers have used reshipment services like Shippsy with success.

Do you ship overseas?

Please email us at TFTESTKITS@GMAIL.COM with any international shipping inquiries. Include the items you want to purchase and your address for faster service.

When will my order ship/arrive?

We ship every business day unless otherwise stated on the homepage. Check your email and spam inboxes for a USPS tracking number sent by our shipping software, Shipstation.

I have an issue with my order, what should I do?

Contact us at

I have an issue with my pool and/or my test results, what should I do?

Please post your question/concern on the forums at Our experts will respond quickly and guide you through any potential issues.