When you test your swimming pools water to determine the chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and calcium levels; it sometimes is not easy to determine the exact levels with just an eye test. This can make it difficult to know whether adjustments are necessary to maintain healthy water, or the current conditions are within the proper ranges.
Smart test strips take the guess work out of trying to match the shades of color when reading the test strip. Some colors, especially yellow are hard identify the exact shade of brightness when matching to color charts.
To test your swimming pool water using Clorox test strips, simply place the test strip several inches under the water for about 1 second. Remove it and shake it 1 time to remove excess water from the test strip. Open the Clorox Pool & Spa app and scan the smart test strip immediately.
Steps to test water with clorox smart strips
Read all the steps before beginning. Once the smart strip has been placed under water, you should scan it with the app within about 15 seconds. Therefore familiarize yourself with the steps first, that way you will be able to complete the scan quickly and get the most accurate readings.
You can test your pools water without using the mobile app if you prefer matching the colors to the chart that is provided with your kit. I however, prefer using the Clorox Pool & Spa app, that is what the smart strips were invented for.
Remove test strips from bottle
When you are ready to test your water it is important to be careful how you pull the test strips from the bottle. If you have been swimming, cleaning or pool, or doing anything that has caused your hands to get wet be sure and dry them off.
Grab a test strip from the bottom with dry hands and make sure you do not get any of the other strips wet. Premature wetting the smart strips that are being stored will cause inaccurate readings, or damaged strips.
Place the lid back on the bottle and store remaining strips in a cool and dry location.
Be cautious when using your smartphone around the pool water. To avoid accidental water damage or dropping your phone in the pool, have it at a location away from the pool water.
Dip the smart strip in the water
Grab the black end of the test strip with your fingers. Place it under the water several inches beneath the pool surface. If you can get elbow deep enough your elbow gets wet you are definitely deep enough.
You will only need to place the smart strip under the water for 1 to 2 seconds. Bring the test strip out of the water and shake it just once above the water to remove excess water from hanging on the strip.
Put it on a solid white background
Included with your Clorox smart strips is an attachment that can connect to the bottle. One side contains a color chart that you can match to your strip, the other side is solid white.
Place the color chart face down so that the white portion is on top. Place the test strip that you quickly put under water on the the white board so that the strips colors are on the top.
Launch the mobile app
If you have not already done so you will need to download and register the Clorox Pool & Spa app either from the Google Play Store or Apple Store depending on the phone you will be using. The app is free.
Once you have installed the app and completed necessary registration, you will be ready to scan your test strip.
- Launch Clorox Pool & Spa App.
- Select Test Strip Testing.
- Click Scan to Test.
- Choose Scan Now and line your phone up with the test strip that is on the solid white background until it says the scan is successful.
Once you have scanned the test strip and it will immediately show you the results of the test.
If you get an error, simply click try again. When using the smart strips, test during the day and in bright sunlight for the phone to be able to read the strips easier.
Below is a video from my YouTube channel that shows how the Clorox smart strips work.
Can a test strip be used more than once?
No, you cannot use a smart test strip more than one time. After you have completed the test you will need to dispose of it and use a new one when you are ready to test the water again.
This also applies to any test strip that has accidentally got wet and why you must keep them in a dry location during storage.
Once a test strip has become wet, it likely is no longer going to be able to provide the accurate results that a dry, never used or wet strip will be able to. If you are out and need to get a replenished supply, you can visit this link -==> Clorox Smart Strips on Amazon.
How accurate is the clorox pool & Spa App?
The accuracy you will be receiving when using this app is far greater than that of a human eye that is attempting to match two colors identically. Colors have thousands of different shades and is impossible to be very precise.
Using the app will get more exact readings as it scans and detects the exact shade of color. There are a few things you can do to help insure you are getting the most accurate reading when using the app to scan your smart strips.
Improve accuracy by following these simple rules:
Avoid testing at night time.
During this time of day it will be too dark for the camera on your smartphone to get a clear picture quality and may not get an accurate reading. Also if it is too dark, the app may fail completely.
When scanning the strip, have it in a bright area.
I find positioning myself in a way that I do not become a shadow over the test strip helps. Try and have a clear view to the sky giving your phones camera the best shot available.
Natural sunlight is the best when scanning the smart strips.
Scan the test strip within 15 seconds.
The quicker you scan the strip with your smart phone the better. I always have my phone ready with the app. As soon as I dip the strip I am ready to do the scan.
Do not wipe water off prior to scanning.
After removing the strip from the dip in the pool, shake it, do not wipe it with a cloth or you fingers. This will cause an inaccurate reading.
What can be tested with the smart strips?
The 6-way test strips will test all the important parts of the water conditions in your swimming pool at one time. This will make it a breeze to find out what areas of your pool need adjusting.
pH, Total Alkalinity, Hardness, Free Chlorine, Total Chlorine and Stabalizer are all tested with the 6-way smart strips.
The amount of acidic in your swimming pool will affect your pH levels. I have an article I wrote about this a long time ago with full details if you would like to check it out, click here.
It is recommended to keep your swimming pools pH levels in a range of about 7.2 to 7.6. When your not within these ranges and readings are too low damage to your pool parts such as the pump, ladder and a liner can be negatively affected reducing there life.
Also when the pH levels are too high it can affect the swimmers experience. High pH is known to cause itchiness, burning sensation and an overall uncomfortable swim when in the water.
Cloudy water is also another sign of high pH in your swimming pool. If you cannot seem to figure out why your water is staying cloudy when your chlorine is in check. You pH could be too high and need adjusted.
Lowering your pH can be done with muriatic Acid and to raise it Borax or Washing Soda may be used.
Notice on the smart strips the lowest reading is 6.2 on the pH smart strip. If you are being presented with that number when testing your water it is possible your reading is 6.2 or lower.
The amount of water than can neutralize acids in your pool is alkalinity. Typically once you get your pH levels in check it will be easier to adjust your alkalinity and have a more stable reading throughout the season.
When your pH changes it can affect your alkalinity as well. When attempting to raise or lower your pH, the alkalinity may also raise and lower as well.
It is important to keep your levels at around 90 to 150.
To raise the alkalinity levels, add Baking Soda. If you have to high of a reading, it is a little bit trickier to lower your alkalinity.
To lower your alkalinity you will need to lower your pH to 7.0 to 7.2 and then raise your pH again. Repeat this process until you finally get a the results your are looking for. As your pH lowers, so will your alkalinity.
The water in your pool must be harder than that of your water hose. Soft swimming pool water will lead to corroding. Your swimming pool lader, walls and all other pool parts need hard water to insure a long lasting product.
When the pool water is too soft it may begin to attach calcium to your pool parts and walls which will lead to damage.
Your pool hardness should be around 250.
Increasing the hardness in your pool is extremely easy. Clorox makes a product that will get your water harder quickly. If you would like to check it out on Amazon, click here for Clorox Hardness, and stop further surface damage of your pool.
There are 3 types of chlorine that you will hear of when it comes to your swimming pool. The chlorine that is working hard to keep your pool sanitized is free chlorine.
When you add chlorine to your swimming pool you are adding free chlorine which works to rid bacteria and keep your pool sanitized.
Your free chlorine should be between 1 and 4 for the best sanitation of the water and safety of swimming guests.
The total chlorine is all the chlorine in your pool. Once your chlorine has been used up a portion of it will remain in your pool. The portion that remains in your pool is called combined chlorine.
Combined chlorine is no longer working hard to keep your pool sanitize, but remains int he water.
To determine the total chlorine you will use the following formula:
Free Chlorine + Combined Chlorine = Total Chlorine
To ensure the water is sanitized properly, the free chlorine should always be higher than the combined chlorine.
The Clorox test strips do not give combined chlorine results, but rather give total and free chlorine results. You can simply use this formula if you want to know your combined chlorine after testing with these smart strips.
Free Chlorine – Total Chlorine = Combined Chlorine
If your combined chlorine becomes higher than your free chlorine your not getting the proper sanitation for your pool. To cure this problem you need to shock your swimming pool. Adding a high dosage of chlorine about 5 to 10 times its current level should rid the pool of the combined chlorine.
I have more information on shocking your pool in another article I have written. Click here to learn more about shocking your pool water.
The amount of stabalizer you have in your pool will reduce the amount of chlorine burn off. if you have no stabalizer the sun will remove the chlorine from the water faster and reduce the chlorine’s effectiveness.
If you have ever been sunburned you know that if you wear sunscreen it will reduce the chance of a sunburn. Also the higher SPF you have the better the sun will be blocked.
This is the same analogy as stabalizer for you pool. The higher the stablizer the less chlorine that will burn off. Be careful though, too much stabalizer will prevent the chlorine from escaping the pool and can lead to too high of levels.
The recommended levels are 30 to about 100. I prefer to keep it on the lower side, but if you remain in this range you will have better sanitation with your chlorine.
If you have too much stabalizer in the water, draining your pool will lower it. Therefore, every time you backwash your pool or have a pool leak, the stabalizer is being reduced.
These smart strips are an easy and convenient way to get the most accurate results when testing your pools water.
There have been times when the test was unsuccessful due to the phone camera being blurred or not enough natural light, but these are far and in between. For the most part you use these steps while in natural light with your smartphone you will get more accurate readings than what you did when using the “eyetest”.