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 with Smart Stir 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.

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 a pH meter to your kit if the color-based pH test with R-0014 and comparator block (included in all of our test kits) proves too subjective for your taste. The pH meter, once calibrated, provides an accurate pH reading in a few seconds and can greatly simplify and expedite your daily testing.

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. 

What is the difference between the Smart Stir and the Taylor SpeedStir?

The Smart Stir and SpeedStir are quite comparable in function but the TF-Pro was designed around the Smart Stir. The Smart Stir’s notable advantages are the superior stirring bar, the increased speed at which it stirs, the automatic power-off function, and the overall build quality.

You can read more on this question here on Trouble Free Pool’s forums.

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.

Do you ship overseas?

No, due to shipping regulations regarding our kit's reagents, we do not ship overseas.

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, Endicia.

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

Please 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.

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

Contact us at tftestkits@gmail.com.

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 troublefreepool.com. Our experts will respond quickly and guide you through any potential issues.