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Unfortunately, we’re not as clean as we think we are. The chemical balance of the water is changing constantly thanks to bacteria from our bodies–sweat, skin, lotions. Even mold, algae, and viruses can travel through the air and infiltrate our relaxing oases. Hot tub test strips help you keep tabs on your hot tub chemicals…but you have to use the right kit.
Are you using the right test strips? If you’re not, you are likely getting inaccurate reads on chemical levels and compensating poorly. If you’re sanitizing with chlorine, be sure to use a test strip specifically for chlorine, such as the AquaCheck Chlorine Test Strips. Using bromine? Make sure your test strip is for bromine, like the Leisure Time Spa & Hot Tub Test Strips-Bromine. Some, like our new Spa Frog Test Strips, measure both.
Other test strips, such as the Nature2 Spa Test Strips, measure monopersulfate (mps). Monopersulfate is a non-chlorine shock treatment that reduces the amount of time users must wait before reentering the hot tub. It also reduces odor and skin irritation due to chorine. However, using a monopersulfate test strip in a hot tub that has been treated with chlorine or bromine can cause inaccurate reads. It is best used with mineral purification systems such as Frog, SpaFrog, Nature2, or SpaRx.
What else do test strips measure? Most of our test strips also measure pH (alkaline versus acidity) and calcium. Too low or too high, a lopsided pH level can lead to scale buildup or eroded plumbing, both of which reek costly havoc on hot tub parts. Too much or too little calcium (“hardness”) can cause water foaming problems and corrode equipment.
Some test strips, like the AquaCheck Test Strips for Chlorine, also measure cyanuric acid (CYA). The level of CYA impacts the strength of the chlorine, which in turn impacts the ability of the chlorine to destroy bacteria. Too little CYA, and the chlorine oxidizes too quickly. Not only does this increase the amount of chlorine you must add in order to keep up, but it also creates an unpleasant odor. However, with too much CYA, the chlorine does not kill bacteria and waste particles quickly enough.