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Thread: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

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    Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    I took my water sample to the pool store, and to my surprise, they used test strips to test for copper and iron. The results came back with zero for both. Should the results be trusted?
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    There are test strips for metals that should at the very least tell you if you have some metal in the water. Not sure about the different brands reliability or how specific they get with those readings. Drop testing with reagents are typically more accurate, but for the amount of times they are rarely used, it may be a bit pricy for the average pool owner. I suspect if the store showed no metal at all, you should be okay. With your pool that dates to 1992, if you had metals in the water, I suspect you would've known it by now with staining or discoloration (tinting) in the water.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    Have you knowingly used any copper based algaecides or other products in the pool?
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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by YippeeSkippy View Post
    Have you knowingly used any copper based algaecides or other products in the pool?
    I personally have not, but I recently bought the house, and the previous owner may have.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    I found this at http://www.culator.com/are-metal-sta...ls-preventable

    "Dissolved metals typically exist in two forms: the free form, and the complexed or sequestered form. It is absolutely essential that both forms are measured when determining the total metal concentration of pool water. Make certain the metal test kit contains a releasing agent that is added to the water sample. Generally, common liquid dropper or strip format tests involving one-step procedures only measure “free” metal concentration, while two-step testing procedures measure “total” metal concentration."

    Sounds like test strips only measure free metals.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    Can anyone recommend a test kit which will measure sequestered metals? I'm going to do an ascorbic acid treatment, and want to see what the results are, so I know what to do afterwards.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    If you're using Jack's Magic, they sell this...pricey: Sequest Test Kit - #TK044 - Test Kits and Stain ID Kits - Our Stuff - Product Catalog - Jack's Magic Products, Inc.

    But I don't think you ever answered my question on another post about whether or not you're on well. If your not on well water, the above would be overkill by far, because if you're not on well and if the staining is metal, and your source water is low in metals, you will not need more sequestrant than typical maint on bottle...AND you could resolve it by dilution

    Your money might be better spent on a decent metal test kit -- I don't use it but suspect the Taylor iron and copper kit is better.

    You asked about stips...strips with the tablet (eg Lamotte, which I use, cheap eg $20) will show low metals in my pool, but even the pros have a hard time with metal testing when there is sequestrant in the pool, as you will see in this convo between tree fiter (a tech/pool service member) and chem geek
    Testing for Iron with Sequestrants in the water

    YMMV, but my now rather extensive experience with metals in the pool has me rely more heavily on proof positive approaches to metal testing and sequestering.

    Eg. Does a stain respond to AA?. If yes, it's metals.

    Is the water city water? If yes, it's either "introduced" metal from the environment, eg. Fertilizer (iron) or decayed worm (yes, blood has iron), Copper from an algaecide, etc. OR the city water supply having a brief rise in metals if switching source (sometimes happens.)

    In this case, specific stain removal, one-off sequestrant thereafter, and dilution will likely take care of it without much fuss.

    If well water, then test the well first, which will not have sequestrant, and which will test correctly. If source water has metals, particularly iron, copper or maganese, THAT is the time to go deep on sequestering and testing and investing in remedy or trucking in water -- or in my case, now using only softened water on the pool, which allows me to operate on the very low side of .3 - .5 ppm on iron and copper, which is in my case, easily handled by once a month dosing.

    Even with metal in the well, my best sign that its time to dose up on sequestrant (in the case of iron) is slight discoloration on steps which immediately resolves with addition of sequestrant.

    At the low levels I'm down to this year, that never actually happens

    So I feel that after your AA treatment, you'll see immediately if you've had mild staining or not apart from your specific stains. If your entire pool is a few shades lighter and you're on well, and intend to continue sequestering, then the pricy Jack's kit makes more sense

    If by contrast those stains were environmentally introduced, you release the stain and sequester, over time dilution will likely ensure your ppm drops to negligible and non staining level. Then the kit is wasted, because the amount of sequestrant needed is related to the ppm of metal, and you already have a "zero" baseline from pool stre
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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    Swampwoman, I have been off the board for a few days. Thank you for your detailed response. I am on city water, so generally low in metals. I put some Vitamin C tablets on some stains, and with some of them large plumes of black emanated. The plaster around the tablet for about a foot was lighter. I'm thinking copper staining at this point, with the brown stains, along with an overall dark look to the plaster. I got this pool with the house, so it may have had sequestrant in it when I got the house, and it has worn out.

    I am preparing to do a AA treatment. Can I put the sequestrant in early?
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael1 View Post
    Swampwoman, I have been off the board for a few days. Thank you for your detailed response. I am on city water, so generally low in metals. I put some Vitamin C tablets on some stains, and with some of them large plumes of black emanated. The plaster around the tablet for about a foot was lighter. I'm thinking copper staining at this point, with the brown stains, along with an overall dark look to the plaster. I got this pool with the house, so it may have had sequestrant in it when I got the house, and it has worn out.

    I am preparing to do a AA treatment. Can I put the sequestrant in early?
    You should follow the Ascorbic Acid Treatment Process EXACTLY for best results.

    The basic steps are these -

    1. Lower FC to 0ppm
    2. Lower pH to 7.0-7.2
    3. Add AA and allow it to remove metals (24 hours or more)
    4. Add sequestrant AFTER the stains are gone (use an HEDP/PolyAcrylic Acid-based sequestrant, Jack's Magic is highly recommended)
    5. Monitor pH and bring your FC up SLOWLY to avoid return of stains

    If you add sequestrant BEFORE letting the AA do it's magic, then you could make the process harder.
    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: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    JoyfulNoise, Thank you for the tips! I definitely want to do it right.
    Michael

    20,000 gallon in-ground gunite/plaster pool (1992), attached spa with spillway, Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump, Smith booster pump for pool sweep, Pentair 2000 DE filter, Sta Rite Max-E-Therm 400 heater, Silencer Blower 2 HP for spa, Polaris 280 pool sweep.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Store Tested for Metals with Test Strips - Any Good?

    Hi Michael1.
    I suspect your copper theory may be correct, and as such, if you haven't already started, I wanted to share that AA is not always effective or ideal in handling copper stains - BUT if the AA worked in your test, then go ahead - your call...just giving you options as metals can be mystifying

    In this comment, a former admin, Jason Lion, said this about copper and AA, and Jason always seemed to have a good handle on metals:
    Ascorbic acid works best with iron stains. AA is not a good treatment for copper stains, which may appear somewhat similar to iron stains. When you use AA with copper stains, the stains may lift off, or they may turn black. When black they are often even more difficult to remove then they are when tan/brown. Turning black is a result of a change in the oxidation level of the copper. Several oxidation levels are possible, resulting in several possible colors for copper stains. The best treatment for copper stains is an acid wash.
    So if in you AA test, it dispdnt completely REMOVE the black, I'm gonna suggest another option:
    1. Try spot treating with acid in applicator I linked to in your other thread first
    OR
    2. Try jack's stain ID kit to confirm copper, then use their copper stain treatment product.
    Note: I haven't used it and Msds doesn't say what's in it, but if its for copper and from jack's its likely best option next to an acid wash. http://jacksmagic.com/pdfs/FAQ-Stain2-Treatment.pdf

    Hoping to help, not confuse
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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