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AquaChek FAQs

There are many FAQs when it comes to AquaChek products - and we have compiled them all below! This includes AquaChek Test Strips and the Tru Test Reader.

General Questions

Where can I find a replacement AquaChek chart?

You can find a replacement AquaChek chart on our AquaChek Color Chart page! We've recreated the chart as a digital, high-quality, printable PDF. 

AquaChek Test Strips Questions

What is the shelf life of an AquaChek test strip?

AquaChek products are typically good for at least 24 months from manufacture date. Every bottle you see of the test strips are clearly mark with an expiration date. Beyond the expiration date, we highly suggest getting rid of the items and buying new updated ones for accurate results.

What is the difference between AquaChek and other test strips?

Since the 1980's, AquaChek has been one of the highest quality and top-selling spa and pool test strips on the market. AquaChek's products are continually improved to stay on top of the game.

How should I store AquaChek test strips?

Keeping AquaChek test strips stored in a dry area without exposure to heat or humidity will expand the shelf life. Again, the bottle definitely mentions this information as well. 

One of the test pads on the AquaChek test strip doesn't match the color chart. What might be happening?

There are different colors that may be happening on the test strip that don't match your chart. Here are some common colors associated with different chemistries that may be off - and what it could mean!

  • Free Chlorine: Color - Pink

    This may be due to high base conditions or high acidity. Check the pH and Total Alkalinity levels as they could very well be very high or very low.

  • Total Chlorine/Total Bromine:  Color - Brown or Orange

    This means the bromine/chlorine level is higher than 20ppm - which you can see by the color chart is very high. At this time, remove any and all bromine tablets from your spa until it's gotten to more appropriate levels.

  • pH:

  • Color - Bright Yellow

    This means your pH levels are extremely low, and it's very important to get the levels up to the 'OK' range. If it stays at this level, there will be skin and eye discomfort, corrosion of spa equipment/fixtures, etc. 

  • Color - Light Pink

    Light pink coloring on the pH strip can be caused by your sanitizer level being very high. The color can also be more violet and have the same issue.

  • Color - Black

    When there are high concentrations of bromine sanitizer, the pH level can turn black.

  • Color - Purple

    Purple means the sanitizer level (whether that be chlorine or bromine) is high and needs to be brought back to the "OK" range. Once this is done, you need to retest the pH and Total Alkalinity to make sure levels are good.

  • Cyanuric Acid: Color - Yellow

    Low pH and low alkalinity can cause the stabilizer/cyanuric acid section to turn yellow. To get this section in proper range, be sure the pH is between 7.0-8.4 and alkalinity of 240ppm or lower.

  • Total Alkalinity: Color - Royal Blue

    Your total alkalinity could be royal blue due to two things: If it is royal blue and turns purple also, the sanitizer level is most likely very high. If this happens, lower the sanitizer. OR - if your pH section did NOT turn purple, the alkalinity needs to be lowered. Regardless of which reason it is, once you fix, retest to make sure proper levels are shown.

What is the difference between the red test strips and the yellow test strips?

When testing bromine, you use the red test strips. When testing chlorine, you use the yellow test strips.

How far do I need to submerge the test strip in my hot tub water?

Dip the test strip elbow depth into the water, and away from the jets of your hot tub. This is the best way to ensure the strips are fully saturated.

I am using AquaChek test strips and noticed I get a different reading on the test strip when I wait several minutes to read it rather than waiting 15 seconds like the instructions indicate. Which timing is most accurate?

AquaChek test strips have color strips that correlate to color blocks on the instructions. After dipping the test strip in the water and letting it dry for 15 seconds (unless the bottle indicates differently), the colors should be the most accurate and can be compared to the color chart.

Is it possible to reuse AquaChek test strips several times (two or more times)?

After they are in water, the AquaChek test strips should not be reused. The test strip should be discarded after ONE use, as the chemistry is depleted and won't be accurate.

Can I use AquaChek test strips in a hot tub with a salt generator?

Yes, AquaChek test strips can be used in hot tubs with salt generators and systems. They won't work for extremely high-salt areas (like float tanks) but will everywhere else.

AquaChek TruTest Questions

I am getting different readings when testing with my TruTest meter. Does my meter need to be recalibrated or what could cause the difference in my readings?

There is a factory set calibration that will last for the life of your TruTest meter. There can be some slight variations between readings when using the meter. However, the readings it shows will be equal to the accuracy of using an regular AquaChek Test Strip.

BUT, if your readings don't seem to make sense, here are some items you can do to troubleshoot:

  • Use TruTest test strips (not another brand)
  • Lightly shake, don't wipe the test strip before putting it in the meter
  • Put the strip on the test screen and do not slip the strip in. Be sure you to place the first pad by the top of the strip, onto the window, then lower the rest of the strip down onto the window.
  • Shade the meter with your hand during the reading (or use the sun shield)
  • Take a cotton swab or cleaning item and lightly tap the back of the test strip to ensure the test pads are making contact with the testing window.
  • Make sure there are no scratches on the testing window. 
  • Be sure the glass is clean - residual from other tests can cross-contaminate.
  • Clean the window making sure the mad makes contact with the testing window.
  • Store strips in cool/dry place (as mentioned above)

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

When excessive light enters the system it can interfere with the TruTest Meter. Try shielding the strip window by blocking the light in order to protect against this. 

I’m getting a "LO" on ALK and no value for pH or CL on my TruTest meter. Is this an error? My chemical test kit says Cl is fine and the pH is out of range.

If there is an error code that says "LO", that means the battery power is low. Replace the batteries and it should correct the problem.

How should I clean my TruTest meter?

Using a simple wipe on the test strip window, and water on the other surfaces will effectively clean the TruTest meter.

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

DO NOT slide the test strip into the window. This is a sure way to get inaccurate readings. Place the first pad near the top of the strip, onto the window first. Once you do that, lower the rest of the strip onto the window.

What will happen if my TruTest meter falls into my pool or spa?

Your meter is meant to withstand this kind of issue. It will float when it hits the water - so If this happens, remove the meter and take out the batteries and dry completely. Replace with dry batteries and it should return to its full performance!

Can I use the TruTest meter in a hot tub with a salt generator?

YES, both TruTest meters (blue and red) can be used in hot tubs with salt systems. As stated with the test strips, this system also won't work in extrmely high-salt applications.

What is the difference between the red TruTest and the blue TruTest readers?

The red TruTest gives results for total bromine, pH, and Total alkalinity -  while the blue TruTest gives results for free chlorine, pH, and total alkalinity.