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Thread: Shopping for a test kit

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    Dtaylor113's Avatar
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    Shopping for a test kit

    I'm looking at getting the tf100 kit, among others, but I'm not understanding why it comes with an OTO test and FAS/DPD if so many people say they don't use the OTO. Am I missing something?
    24ftx50in 13,500 gal Summer Escapes AG, stock one speed pump w/ cartridge filters

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Basically, the OTO can be convenient when in a pinch and on the run just to make sure you have "some" FC available. But no doubt the FAS-DPD is more accurate and gives you the readings you need at higher levels based on your current CYA. I love my TF-100 with speed stir!

    Maybe this will help as well: Pool School - Test Kits Compared
    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: Shopping for a test kit

    I use an OTO kit on a daily basis, testing every day for chlorine. I really only use FAS-DPD every couple of weeks (multiple times daily during a SLAM, however).

    However, this is practical since I have CYA around 30; wouldn't really work reliably with high stabilizer levels.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

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    swoopman's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Once you have your pool dialed in and properly balanced daily care becomes easy with TFP methods.

    For example my cya is 40 so my recommended range is 3 - 7 for FC. Normally I loose 1.5 to 2ppm FC daily depending on weather (cloudy = less loss, sunny = more, windy = more due to debris). So when I test I am normally at 4 - 4.5 FC before I make the daily chlorine addition.

    That is within the range for OTO testing and some people in my situation do use the OTO test for their daily testing which is fine. Personally I find it easier to use the FAS-DPD where you add drops until the water is no longer pink as opposed to the OTO color matching so I use the FAS-DPD for my daily testing. The kit gives you options once you reach this point.

    The OTO test container is also a part of the pH test container so they give you reagents for both.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    For daily testing, I use the Taylor K-1001 Basic test kit. The total chlorine test in that kit uses the DPD color comparator (pink/magenta) which I find easier for my eyes to discriminate color as opposed to the OTO yellow color. For more advanced testing I use my Taylor K-2006. For most pools and people with lives (unlike me, as I'm a stay-at-home Dad who obsesses over his pool ), doing a quick daily test of pH and TC with a color comparator block is all that you really need. The advanced testkits (TF-100 or K-2006) are really more for troubleshooting problems and for keeping an eye on some long-term water parameters like TA & CH. Also, you absolutely need the CYA test in those advanced kits so that you can target the proper FC/CYA ratio.

    So, in the end, you may or may not find the OTO test useful. But it's there if you need it and it makes the TF-100 a better value than buying a K-2006/K-1001 separately.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    I'm in the same boat as swoopman. I think I've used the OTO chlorine test twice. I like to keep my chlorine on the high end of the recommended level of 3-7 ppm (CYA @ 40 ppm, so I usually target 6 ppm FC).

    Since the OTO test doesn't read past 5 ppm, it's just easier to use the FAS-DPD test daily.

    I will second the recommendation of the SpeedStir. It makes life quite a bit easier and, IMO, makes the testing go faster.
    25,000 gallon freeform gunnite/plaster, built in the 1970s/80s; Sta-Rite 9463004 575-lb. sand filter; Sta-Rite DuraGlas/Max-E-Glas (P2RA5F-125L) single-speed 1.5 HP pump, manufactured 12/1993 (1M93M).
    Helpful links: TFTestKits; Pool School; ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry; Chlorine/CYA Chart; PoolMath; SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by COBrien View Post
    I'm in the same boat as swoopman. I think I've used the OTO chlorine test twice. I like to keep my chlorine on the high end of the recommended level of 3-7 ppm (CYA @ 40 ppm, so I usually target 6 ppm FC).

    Since the OTO test doesn't read past 5 ppm, it's just easier to use the FAS-DPD test daily.

    I will second the recommendation of the SpeedStir. It makes life quite a bit easier and, IMO, makes the testing go faster.
    You could do a 1:1 dilution with distilled water and then use the OTO (or DPD in my case) for spot checking. Sure it's not as accurate as the DPD-FAS test, but then you don't need to be super accurate for daily testing. At 6ppm FC, a 1:1 dilution would put you right in the middle of the OTO block. You should have enough test data by now to make a very good educated guess as to your daily FC consumption.

    Just my two cents opinion for what it's worth....
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Dtaylor113's Avatar
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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    The whole test kit area is overwhelming to me, even after reading pool school 500 times. I thought OTO tested TC not FC. TC on its own isn't much help is it or do you accept that (for the daily testers) until you have cloudy water, chlorine smell, or something like that? Then you break out the FAS/DPD?
    24ftx50in 13,500 gal Summer Escapes AG, stock one speed pump w/ cartridge filters

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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    If you know you don't have CC then you can assume the only thing the OTO is seeing is FC. It does test total chlorine, you are correct. If you want to minimize the FC drop test, then you can test with it a couple of times a week to be sure you are on the right track. Don't wait till you have a problem. I suggest using the drop test daily until you are confident in what your pool does, and needs. This usually takes most people a few weeks to get a solid handle on.
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Shopping for a test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Dtaylor113 View Post
    The whole test kit area is overwhelming to me, even after reading pool school 500 times. I thought OTO tested TC not FC. TC on its own isn't much help is it or do you accept that (for the daily testers) until you have cloudy water, chlorine smell, or something like that? Then you break out the FAS/DPD?
    OK, so the OTO test is for Total Chlorine ONLY. [EDIT] As pointed out above, OTO tests for both FC and CC through a deepening color change overtime. I personally never got this to work right but others have. [END-EDIT]

    In the Taylor test kit product space, there's different comparator blocks and tests. The DPD-only test of the K-1001 measures FC and uses the color comparator for reading the ppm's. This test requires two reagents (R-0001 & R-0002). If you follow the instructions on the K-2005 kit, you can also add the R-0003 reagent to get total chlorine (TC). Then subtract the two to get CC. Here's how it works -

    Fill the #9056 comparator block with test water sample.

    Add five (5) drops of R-0001 and five (5) drops of R-0002

    Invert to mix and read the color, this is the FC.

    Add five (5) drops of R-0003, mix and immediately read the color, this TC

    CC = TC - FC

    So with the Taylor DPD-only kit, you can get approximate values for FC, CC and TC as long as you are good at reading different hues of pink/magenta.

    The old OTO test is yellow colored and it purely measures TC with no discrimination of FC and CC.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    There has been some good info above, one nice thing about the OTO test is it makes a nice sanity check if you suspect your reading with the FAS-DPD test is wrong. As to the TC vs FC question, the OTO test can be used to estimate the FC and CC (which make up TC), by looking for a color shift some number of seconds after the initial reading. However if you are looking at economics of these things, the OTO test makes little difference as it is one of the cheapest in the test kit, in fact the whole K-1000 kit with the OTO test, the pH test, comparitor block and case sells for only about $10.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    There has been some good info above, one nice thing about the OTO test is it makes a nice sanity check if you suspect your reading with the FAS-DPD test is wrong. As to the TC vs FC question, the OTO test can be used to estimate the FC and CC (which make up TC), by looking for a color shift some number of seconds after the initial reading. However if you are looking at economics of these things, the OTO test makes little difference as it is one of the cheapest in the test kit, in fact the whole K-1000 kit with the OTO test, the pH test, comparitor block and case sells for only about $10.
    I'm curious, have you ever gotten the OTO test to work for estimating both FC and CC? I had used the OTO for many years and all the instructions said to wait for a few seconds to see the yellow color change. I never once got it to work. Therefore I only ever used it for TC and then abandoned it entirely for the Taylor DPD chemistries. But I do agree, it is the cheapest and simplest chlorine test by far.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Hmmm...I thought the simple answer was that the oto comes bundled with the pH test in the taylor kit...doesn't mean you need it or have to use it. I use the pH side...never the chlorine side.
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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by robertmee View Post
    Hmmm...I thought the simple answer was that the oto comes bundled with the pH test in the taylor kit...doesn't mean you need it or have to use it. I use the pH side...never the chlorine side.
    Just trying to see the benefit/uses of the OTO. Like I didn't realize that was the same test for pH. It's a little confusing trying to find all the info I'm looking for online because I can't look at the kit in person.
    24ftx50in 13,500 gal Summer Escapes AG, stock one speed pump w/ cartridge filters

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    Re: Shopping for a test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Dtaylor113 View Post
    Just trying to see the benefit/uses of the OTO. Like I didn't realize that was the same test for pH. It's a little confusing trying to find all the info I'm looking for online because I can't look at the kit in person.
    Well, I realize the thread wandered a bit but I think it's safe to say that the bottom line is the TF-100 is probably the best kit out there on the market for residential pool owners in terms of getting the optimal amount of solutions for the tests that you are going to perform the most. The test kit thing does seem daunting at first, but most people get the hang of it pretty quickly and discover in pretty short order exactly what tests techniques and frequency they prefer. Then, reordering supplies is really easy.

    It seems like a lot of money but, when you compare it to what you'll spend on trying to do pool care without it, it is the best investment you'll ever make in your pool.

    Just my opinion. Mileage may vary...


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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