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Thread: Learning how to use my test kit....

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    Learning how to use my test kit....

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    I followed the instructions inside my Taylor k-2006c kit trying to do a pH test, and this was the result I got before doing the base or acid demand test (I did this test twice). At first I did a base demand test as I figured I needed to raise the pH from under 7.0 to something like 7.6. I added 10 drops of R-0006 and the color did not change at all, so I'm guessing the pH is just THAT low? So in order to fix this, for a 25,000gal pool with my TA at 40ppm I should probably add around 15lb of baking soda, correct?


    pH has always been confusing to me, so I am trying to figure out if I am doing this right or wrong.



    *edit* My TA appears to be 40ppm.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    I hope this doesn't sound like a silly question back to you, but I have to ask ..... for the PH test, did you in-fact add 5 drops of the R-0014 (red)? That's typically what I am used to seeing used for the PH test. Just wanted to make sure.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Yeah, be sure you didn't put the wrong colored cap on the wrong bottle of reagent by mistake. I recall adding huge amounts of reagent to the CH test before realizing the TA stuff wasn't going to make it change colors.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Yep I am. Following those directions under the lid to the T and here are the results I have so far:

    40ppm Total Alk test
    Under 7.0 pH test
    110ppm calcium hardness test
    1ppm FC
    1ppm CC

    According to the watergram it says my saturation is -1.7 to -1.8 whatever that means. (I did that guessing my pH was 6.5)


    So it looks like I need to shock my pool and add baking soda

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    It would help us help you a lot of we had some idea of how big your pool is and what its made out of. That's why we ask people to fill out the signature line.

    Right now, propably the best thing is to add Washing Soda aka Soda Ash aka pH Up, but how much is anyone's guess. The alternatives are baking soda and borax. Again, how much of each is anyone's guess.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Wow, than that does appear to be low. I found this from another thread in our database:

    The colors going from low pH to high pH are yellow 6.8 and lower, yellow orange 7.0 , orange 7.2, orange red 7.4-7.5, red 7.6-7.8, red violet 8.0 , violet 8.2 and higher
    If the color is orange red to red with no pink or violet you are golden.
    That said, treat accordingly with the Poolmath calculator . I would go in stages though just to make sure you see the progress you want.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Check your TA. If the test turns red immediately, then your pH is very low at 4.5 or below. Otherwise, it's between 4.5 and 6.8, so still too low.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    So it looks like I need to shock my pool and add baking soda
    No.

    pH up - 20 mule team borax - THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

    pH down - Muriatic acid

    TA up - Baking soda

    TA down - aeration and acid...it's process found in Pool School that you must read to make TA change quickly and permanently

    Simply assume your pH is 6.6 and go to Pool math and ask it to bring your pH to 7.4. Add that borax in the amount poolmath suggests and test again in 30-60 minutes (pump running)

    Repeat that process until your pH comes in range of the comparator block. It might take a couple of tries but it maight come into range on the first dosage, too.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Wow! Base demand of 10 drops with NO change... Yikes 😮😱!
    That is really, really low pH.

    I think it's worth completing the base demand test, adding however many drops it takes to get a result that is in range. Don't stop at 10, or even 20....I think I'd go up to 30 before I stopped.
    And even then, only if there was still no change at all! If it was getting closer to being in range, I'd keep going.
    It's rare to have to do the acid/base demand tests, so you don't need to be worried about running out of those reagents.... And they are really cheap to replace.

    Most of the time, the A/B demand tests are unnecessary, because it's just a matter of small adjustments to bring pH into range...
    But yours is a situation where the demand test is actually helpful, and can tell you something useful!

    There's a table in the booklet that came in your kit, that equates the drops used in the demand test to the amount of "ph up" (borax) needed to correct the problem. It may be a little off from PoolMath, but it ought to be close....

    Just don't add the whole amount of borax in a single dose... Split it up into at least two additions, or even three... And test before making another addition.

    Good luck

    Last edited by AprilsZoo; 07-19-2015 at 08:09 AM. Reason: clarify wording


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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    Yeah, be sure you didn't put the wrong colored cap on the wrong bottle of reagent by mistake. I recall adding huge amounts of reagent to the CH test before realizing the TA stuff wasn't going to make it change colors.
    Richard, this is exactly the kind of bonehead thing I would do, and then I'd re-read the instructions a few times, and try the test again, before I thought to actually check the bottle labels to make sure I had the right stuff!

    But this is also one reason I never set a bottle down uncapped. (The other reason is because I'm a grade A klutz and I would manage to knock the bottle on the ground and then proceed to step on it while I was trying to find where it landed! )

    I hope it's not blasphemous to say, but I prefer the k-2006 over the tf-100 because of the way that Taylor "color coordinates" each of the tests-- With the caps of the bottles matching the color of the instructions for that test-- I have found it to be quite useful to my scatter-brain!


    🌵 April 🌸
    Some of my posts may be long... but they're *always* worth it! 🙃

    👙 Intex UltraFrame 21' x 52" {~10,000 gal.} 🐠 Krystal Klear 16" Sand Filter 🐳 Pentair Intelliflo 1.5 hp Variable Speed Pump🐬 Borates @ ~50 ppm 🐚 Taylor K-2006 test kit & SpeedStir🌀



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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I bought 4 boxes of 4lb of borax, added 3 of the boxes last night and this morning did another test. Still needed 10 drops of reagent before getting the perfect color. I added the last box right after. Trying to find another excuse to run to the store for more borax this morning haha. $6/box this sucks bad. According to that chart in the booklet I would need to get 2 more boxes from the store to be at the perfect level.


    Also one thing I noticed the past couple days, I've been flocing my pool (3rd attempt now) and when I wake up in the morning the bottom of the pool is covered black (as it should be with floc) and I use my polaris robot vacuum, and all it does it shoot the black stuff out the back and disperse it through the pool (whereas before I was too busy to watch the vacuum after starting it and see it doing this) so I'm waiting for my pool to settle down with the pump off now and I'm going to use my standard manual vac w/ hose to the filter and hopefully finally be rid of that cloudy mess, then I'm going to take apart the ec75a filter and hose it down and give it that acid bath.

    My next problem though, is the 90deg plastic fitting where the check valve goes at the bottom of the filter. I cannot get that thing to come off at all. Any tips on removing that thing?
    25,000gal pool with vinyl

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Floccing to me means there is something a miss in your pool water chemistry and you are using floc to cover it up but you never cure the source. Your multiple use of floc suggests that.

    Can you post a complete set of water test results? We can wean you off that flocculant if you are interested.

    Do you have a pic of that filter fitting?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Floccing to me means there is something a miss in your pool water chemistry and you are using floc to cover it up but you never cure the source. Your multiple use of floc suggests that.

    Can you post a complete set of water test results? We can wean you off that flocculant if you are interested.

    Do you have a pic of that filter fitting?
    I manged to hammer out that 90deg fitting. (Part #23b here Hayward Perflex EC65, EC65A, EC75 & EC75A Filter Parts
    ) and got the check valve replaced now.

    Here are some pics of the filter tubes. It had some sort of sludge on it which is the first time I've seen that. Of course if there is no DE to absorb it I imagine it would sludge up. I gave it a quick rinse down and also took another pic of the nest. Currently it is sitting in 3gal of muriadic acid mixed with water in a tub. Hopefully this pure acid will do better than that walmart "filter cleaner" stuff I used last time.


    I think I did post up full test results above in this thread? I am certainly interested in getting this pool in balance with the last amount of $ spent.






    11169467_10155758006790459_5552882777370594156_n.jpg11750690_10155758006865459_6163569042371461364_n.jpg11742675_10155758006935459_7968510548632350632_n.jpg
    25,000gal pool with vinyl

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    I forgot that you posted results. You have your pH up in the 7's now, is that correct?

    You have no chlorine in your pool (to speak of). Inadequate chlorine is the single biggest cause of pool water issues. On another subject that "sludge" in your filter is very probably because of the flocculant you have been using.

    Here's what I would suggest. read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. It seems simple enough and it's a quick read but it is the foundation for everything we teach at TFP. Then read "SLAM" in the "How To" section up in Pool School. Be prepared to SLAM your pool when you have absorbed that info. The good news is you already own one of the few kits that is capable of carrying you through a SLAM.......you'll just beed chlorine....lot's of it.

    What does your water look like?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I forgot that you posted results. You have your pH up in the 7's now, is that correct?

    You have no chlorine in your pool (to speak of). Inadequate chlorine is the single biggest cause of pool water issues. On another subject that "sludge" in your filter is very probably because of the flocculant you have been using.

    Here's what I would suggest. read "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. It seems simple enough and it's a quick read but it is the foundation for everything we teach at TFP. Then read "SLAM" in the "How To" section up in Pool School. Be prepared to SLAM your pool when you have absorbed that info. The good news is you already own one of the few kits that is capable of carrying you through a SLAM.......you'll just beed chlorine....lot's of it.

    What does your water look like?
    My pH is almost in the 7's. I have not added that borax yet as I've been running all over the place getting things done today.

    Recently in the past few weeks I slammed my pool from a algae invasion I had while I had my filter taken apart. My water is cloudy but perfectly blue now. I think part of the issue with this filter was that I am not adding the correct amount of DE. Coupled with various other problems throwing me off (water leaks and suction air leaks which are now fixed), I think that must be the issue with this filter clogging.

    Unfortunately the previous home owner did not leave me with a DE scooper and instead left me with the two in the picture below. I have no idea how many scoops with either of these is required for a ec75a :/ I've been guessing and I feel that I'm guessing wrong. I think tomorrow I'm going to go buy a box of DE as the box that came with the house is low now, and I'll get the proper scooper this time around.


    25,000gal pool with vinyl

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    LOL to the "scoopers" that you were left.... Frugality at its finest... Waste not, want not, and all that.
    All bow to the goddess of cheap... <<<(that's me btw, just ask my family... )

    Is there a manual for your filter? If not you should be able to google the make and model # for your filter and find one online... That will tell you how much DE the filter is designed to use.
    Then you can either buy yourself a more traditional scooper (dollar stores around here always have several varieties of scoops, with the measurement on the tag usually...I got a couple nice ones in the pet section, they were labeled as dog food scoops)
    Or you could use the non-traditional alternatives that you inherited, and simply determine how much they hold and how many scoops to add based on that determination...

    No matter which scoop you use, it might be good to use a sharpie and write on it somewhere how many scoops to use.

    Good luck.


    🌵 April 🌸
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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Quote Originally Posted by AprilsZoo View Post
    LOL to the "scoopers" that you were left.... Frugality at its finest... Waste not, want not, and all that.
    All bow to the goddess of cheap... <<<(that's me btw, just ask my family... )

    Is there a manual for your filter? If not you should be able to google the make and model # for your filter and find one online... That will tell you how much DE the filter is designed to use.
    Then you can either buy yourself a more traditional scooper (dollar stores around here always have several varieties of scoops, with the measurement on the tag usually...I got a couple nice ones in the pet section, they were labeled as dog food scoops)
    Or you could use the non-traditional alternatives that you inherited, and simply determine how much they hold and how many scoops to add based on that determination...

    No matter which scoop you use, it might be good to use a sharpie and write on it somewhere how many scoops to use.

    Good luck.
    Quote from the manual:
    PRECOATING
    For the EC65A Scoop 6 lbs. (2.7
    kgs.) of diatomite into the
    system through the skimmer as fast as the plumbing will take
    it. For the EC75A Scoop 7 lbs. (3.2
    kgs.) of diatomite into the
    system through the skimmer as fast as the plumbing will take
    it. Note and record the pressure gauge reading after the
    diatomite has been added.
    This is the
    "precoat pressure."

    Mine is an ec75a so 7lb of DE. So I'm guessing with that folgers can 8.6 scoops is how many I would need?


    I retested my water today and here are the results:

    FC 6ppm
    CC .5ppm
    PH = 7.4 (finally!)
    Total alk = 130ppm
    Calc hardness = 180ppm

    Hows that sounding now? Perfect?
    25,000gal pool with vinyl

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Well filter clogged in less than 24 hours .....sigh. bottom of the pool has this sludge that forms when nothing is moving the water around. Guess it's that floc? Is there a better way to remove that stuff? I don't have a vac to waste option in my piping other than opening the drain pipe on my filter and vacuuming with that open and losing a ton of water.

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Well after several vacuum to waste sessions, the pool is crystal clear, chemicals were -.01 off in saturation off that water wheel, and then all of a sudden I started losing water out of my pool. It would go from perfectly full (mid section on the skimmer) to almost starving the pump 24 hours later. I dove in the pool and found 3 tear drop sized rips in the pool at the deep end. I can only guess that friends that came over and jumped off the diving board pushed hard off the bottom and ripped it somehow? Either way I put 3 square/rectangle shaped patches over the holes and am waiting for morning to see if the pool drops even more. :/ God this pool is too old.
    25,000gal pool with vinyl

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    Re: Learning how to use my test kit....

    Did you ever get your pH in range? Were you able to get a sense of what it was down to? How many drops of base demand reagent did you add, all together? I'm sure there is some sort of algorithm or formula that can use the total number of b.d. drops you added (from all your tests, added together) to get to 7.x pH, and calculate out what the starting pH was...
    In other words, each drop of b.d. reagent represents x amount(points?) of rise in pH ?
    but that is a Chem Geek question-- if anyone would know he would.

    You can help raise it faster by doing something to aerate your water. If you have a waterfall, spillover, or other water feature, you should turn that on... and point your return eyeballs upward so that there is some "disturbance" or rippling on the surface of the water.
    A bunch of kids in the pool splashing around works, too.

    You can save a little on borax this way.

    Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any way to "calculate" how much your pH will go up from aeration. ... but I know that most people seem surprised by how much of a difference it makes.
    Once again, Chem Geek may have a "formula" for figuring it out.... you could try pm-ing him... (if you do, point him to this thread so he can tell us all... ok? )

    Obviously, it isn't a feasible alternative when your pH is as low as yours was at the beginning.... but when you are almost there, but out of borax... it can help.

    You also had a TA that was essentially 0ppm, right? Did you get that up also? (or am I getting you confused with someone else? )


    🌵 April 🌸
    Some of my posts may be long... but they're *always* worth it! 🙃

    👙 Intex UltraFrame 21' x 52" {~10,000 gal.} 🐠 Krystal Klear 16" Sand Filter 🐳 Pentair Intelliflo 1.5 hp Variable Speed Pump🐬 Borates @ ~50 ppm 🐚 Taylor K-2006 test kit & SpeedStir🌀



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