Test Kit Instructions and Tips

Please Read This First
Before you start on the tests, there are a few things you should remember to ensure accurate results:

1. Keep your chemistry clean and dry (especially the R-870 powder)
2. Keep your Test Kit out of the sun, heat and rain
3. Measure everything carefully
4. Rinse your equipment before and after each test
5. Reseal all chemistry tightly
6. Collect all your pool water samples about a foot under the surface.

Careless measuring, handling or testing procedures will usually result in inaccurate results.
Daily pH and Chlorine Testing (or as needed)
The comparator block, either as part of the K-1000 test kit (in older TF-100 kits) or our TF model with red and yellow caps, is used to test daily for chlorine and pH. If your pool is well maintained, this chlorine test is much more cost efficient than using the expensive FAS-DPD reagents to determine chlorine levels.
1. Rinse the test block and fill both sides up to the thin black line about ¼” from the top (doesn’t have to be perfect).
2. Next, add 5 drops of R-0600 to the yellow side and 5 drops of R-0014 to the red side. Replace the caps and shake well.
3. Hold the test block about 2-3” away from a white sheet of paper as a backdrop or hold up to a light.  Match the colors of the solution to the colors printed on the test block. It is not necessary to record results, as this is simply a frequent "reassurance" test that chlorine is present in your pool and that the pH is consistent.

FAS-DPD Chlorine Test

The FAS-DPD chlorine test is used to find the level of free chlorine in the pool water. It uses a powder to show the presence of free chlorine in the sample pool water followed by liquid drops to determine the total amount of free chlorine in the sample of pool water. It is very important to know the amount of free chlorine in the pool water for swimmer safety and water cleanliness.

  1. Rinse the sample tube with pool water.
  2. Fill the sample tube with pool water to the 10 ml mark. The top of the sample will be curved. This curve is called a meniscus. The bottom of the meniscus should be level with the 10 ml mark.
  3. Using the small spoon shaped end of the dipper, add one heaping dipper, or two level dippers, of R-0870 and swirl to mix. If the sample turns pink for a moment and then turns clear again, or if it turns brown, add another dipper of R-0870. If the sample remains clear the entire time, your FC level is probably zero, however it is best to verify that with an OTO chlorine test, since the FAS-DPD test is prone to the occasional false zero.
  4. Swirling constantly and counting the number of drops as you go, add R-0871 one drop at a time. Continue adding drops until the color changes to clear. The pink color may become extremely faint before it goes away. Make sure that the sample goes completely clear.
  5. Multiply the number of drops by 0.5 to get your FC level.
  6. Add 5 drops of R-0003 and swirl to mix. If the sample remains clear, your CC level is zero.
  7. If the sample turns pink again, add R-0871 one drop at a time, swirling constantly and counting the number of drops as you go. Continue adding drops until the color changes to clear. The pink color may become extremely faint before it goes away. Make sure that the sample goes completely clear.
  8. Multiply the number of drops by 0.5 to get your CC level.
  9. Dispose of the sample safely. It is best to pour it down the drain with the water running. Do not add it back to the pool.
  10. Rinse the sample tube with tap water and store for next time.

  • Hold the dropper bottles vertically and squeeze gently, so that drops come out slowly and seem to hang on the tip of the dropper bottle for a moment before falling.
  • The exact amount of R-0870 powder used is not critical. The goal is to add more than you really need rather than using too little. Using too little R-0870 powder can throw off the results of the test. You need to use enough to bind to all of the chlorine that is present. Adding extra, within reason, has no effect. At very high FC levels it is likely that you will need to use more than the normal amount.
  • If left sitting on the counter, the sample will turn pink again one or two minutes after the test is completed. This is normal.
  • When measuring high FC levels, or measuring FC when the CC level is relatively high, it is important to move through the test quickly. Drops should be added about once per second, or slightly faster, swirling the entire time. You can slow down a little at the end of the test, to give you time to watch for the end point.
  • In rare cases the sample may turn cloudy. If this happens the test is still valid. You add drops until the sample turns cloudy white, i.e. the red/pink is completely gone, rather than waiting for it to turn clear.
  • Any MPS in the water will count towards the FC reading. Taylor R-0867 Deox Reagent can be used to eliminate this interference.
  • Over time, it is common for a cloudy residue to build up on sample tubes used for FAS-DPD chlorine testing. The residue can be removed by filling the sample tube with bleach, letting it sit for several minutes, rinsing, and then wiping throughly with a paper towel.
  • There isn't normally any reason to do this, but if you need more precision you can do this test with a 25 ml sample of pool water and multiply the number of drops by 0.2. In most situations the added precision is useless and simply wastes reagent.
  • R-0870 is DPD powder. The indicator in the powder turns pink when bound to chlorine. R-0870 powder gets darker over time and eventually starts to clump up. If it is clumped up, you should crush it back into a slightly lumpy powder before using it.
  • R-0871 is FAS-DPD titrating reagent. It should be a clear colorless liquid. If it turns a dark yellow color, it has gone bad.
  • R-0003 is DPD Reagent #3. It should be a clear colorless liquid. If it turns yellow, it has gone bad.
  • The precision of the measurement is plus or minus one drop when up to 10 drops of titrant are used, or plus or minus 10% of the final reading, when more than 10 drops of titrant are used.

Total Alkalinity Test

TA has a buffering effect on pH, preventing it from moving suddenly. Good TA readings will be around 70-90 for saltwater pools and 100-120 for normal pools.
1. Rinse and fill the clear plastic cylinder to the 25ml mark
2. Add two drops of R-0007 and mix. Then, add 5 drops of R-0008 and mix again. Solution will turn green.
3. Add R-0009 one drop at a time, swirling between each drop. Wipe the tip of the bottle after every drop with a damp cloth. Continue ‘til color changes to red. Multiply the number of drops you added times 10. (11 drops = T/A 110) Record it.  TA can vary widely. but a range of 70-120 normally works well.

NOTE: In the presence of high chlorine, initial color may be blue and shift to yellow. Test is still valid.

Calcium Hardness Test

Too much CH in all pools is harmful, whether vinyl, fiberglass or masonry.  It can cause cloudiness in your water or scaling onto pool surfaces.  Too little CH affects masonry pools as it can leach calcium from the walls or grout. CH readings in the 250-400 range are considered ideal.
1. Rinse and fill the clear plastic cylinder to the 10ml mark
2. Add 10 drops of R-0010 and mix. Then, add 3 drops of R-0011L and mix. Red indicates the presence of Calcium.
3. Add R-0012, one drop at a time and stirring/mixing  between, until color changes to blue. Multiply number of drops times 25.  Record.

NOTE: If the pool water contains known copper, add two drops of R-0012 PRIOR to adding R-0011L and continue. Count the two drops in your R-0012 total. Record.

CYA Test
CYA is an important additive to your pool. It stabilizes the chlorine in your pool and prevents the chlorine from being QUICKLY consumed by sunlight. Opinions vary, but a range of 30-80 seems to be right for most pools. This test is the most subjective and may take a time or two to “get” it.

1. If you have a TF-100 or TF-100 Salt test kit: Fill the red-capped CYA mixing bottle to the bottom of the label with pool water. Now, fill the bottle to the top of the label with R-0013. Mix, then wait at least 30 seconds. Shake once more.

If you have a TF-Pro or TF-Pro Salt test kit: Fill the red-capped CYA mixing bottle to the 7.5mL mark with pool water. Then, fill to the 15mL mark with R-0013. Mix, then wait at least 30 seconds. Shake once more.

2. Next, get the clear tube marked “CYA VIEW TUBE” and, holding it at waist level, (so you can look down into the tube) slowly fill the view tube with the solution you have mixed. Keep filling until the black dot in the bottom of the tube is completely obscured.  Bring the tube back to eye level and note fill level of the view tube. The gradation closest to the fill level indicates your CYA reading. Record it.

Salt Test (Taylor K-1766 or TF Salt Test Kit)


For 1 drop = 200 ppm Sodium Chloride

1. Rinse and fill the plain graduated cylinder to 10 mL mark with water to be tested.

2. Add 1 drop R-0630 Chromate Indicator. Swirl to mix. Sample should turn yellow.

3. Add R-0718 Silver Nitrate Reagent dropwise, swirling and counting after each drop, until color changes from yellow to a milky salmon (brick) red. Always hold bottle in vertical position. NOTE: Do not add enough R-0718 Silver Nitrate Reagent to give a brown color. First change from yellow to a milky salmon (brick) red is the endpoint.

4. Multiply drops of R-0718 Silver Nitrate Reagent by 200. Record as parts per million (ppm) salt as sodium chloride (salt water).

Tips for Trouble Free Testing

  • The R-0870 powder is very susceptible to moisture and will absorb it, darken and clump.  We find that it still works. Store in a dry place and put jar lid back on immediately after opening. Some people have put a little sealed desiccant pack in with the jar to prevent powder from absorbing moisture. 

  • We have two cylinders in the test kit because one should be used for Chlorine testing only. This is because the nature of the R-0870 powder is to stain EVERYTHING (don't spill it). It will stain cylinders, the blue spoon, etc. You can clean them off with rubbing alcohol. Just remember to rinse well after you clean them. You can buy replacements for these at tftestkits.net under "kit hardware". 

  • The tips of the bottles can pop off and be put back on. If you feel like something is preventing your tip from working, you can pop it off, rinse with distilled water and put it back on. Never try to "jab" something in the tip opening. 

  • Snip the tip off the CYA mixing bottle (it is the one with the red cap on the tip) 

  • As a general precaution, we recommend replacing reagents every year. However, we will guarantee reagents for up to 12 months from date of purchase. If you have a reagent that you think has expired, contact us and we will provide support or we will send you out a new reagent. 

  • Contact us for any questions at tftestkits@gmail.com