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Thread: Hi from Australia

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    Question Hi from Australia

    Hi,

    I'm a relatively new pool owner in Brisbane and wanted to know if other people use pool shops exclusively for their water testing or as a back up to their own water tests?

    A few times now I have taken water samples to three different pool shops on the same day (for giggles) to see how they compare...

    One shop uses a computer to test, one uses test tubes and the other a combination of the two. Ironically, every time the test results are all over the place from each shop. Some readings are similar and some are way off.

    One shop is telling me to add more buffer and the other is telling me it is good... One is telling to boost the SWG the other is saying its good...

    I'm happy to test my own water to keep a check - but was hopping the pool shops would give more consistent results then my cheap test kit.

    Anyone else find the same?

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    G'day squib and welcome.

    I'm in Melbourne and have been on here for about a month now and have learned an awful lot from the good folks here so I strongly advise you to settle in and look around.

    You will find that the #1 piece of advice here is always do your own testing, using a good kit and you will never need to go back to the pool shop again.

    My first piece of advice would be to get a *good* testing kit. You will find a lot of threads here discussing good test kits and the summary is roughtly, in no particular order:
    TF-100 - a very good kit from a small company, the owner of which is very active in here and I think may have even started the site.
    Taylors K-2006 (or its upsized variant, the K-2006C) - this is what I have just bought.
    Clear Choice Labs

    Of those 3, only Clear Choice Labs is directly available in Australia. There are a couple of Aussies here who use this kit and they speak very highly of it.
    The Taylors kit can be ordered from a number of US based online stores many of whom will ship to Australia.
    The TF-100 can only be got to Australia via a freight forwarding company who will ship to a US address and then on-forward for you. Aussie Post do this and I think they call it Shopmate.

    Get yourself 1 of those 3 kits and you will never look back.

    I have been using pool shop testing for the last few years since I inherited my pool with the house and I finally got sick of not understanding what they were telling me - I like to know what I'm putting in my pool. Even if you know nothing about pool chemistry, spend some time here - I strongly recommend Pool School, there are some great bits of advice in there.

    You will also find alot of good advice in here where folks will advise you to use numbers quite different to what the pool shop does. Remember that the pool shop has one main objective - to keep selling you stuff. You are the only one with a truly vested interest in your own pool and you really can learn a lot by loitering around here.

    Good luck and by all means sing out with any specific questions.

    Sal
    39,000 litre (10,000 US gallons) IG vinyl salt water, Waterco S600 Sand filter, Zodiac Tri Chlorinator, Hurlcon E Series 230 pump, Taylors K-2006C Test Kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Hi and YES! I had the same thing happen here! It went from $75 to $150 to "fix" my water! LOL

    Welcome to TFP and the best way to care for your pool-your own test kit and knowing what it takes to balance it.

    Just in case you have not found this:

    Pool School - Pool School

    We would LOVE to see your pool and know what you are doing to care for it!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Hey,

    Thanks for all that info. Really appreciated. I had a look at the clear choice labs but it doesn't contain a ph test any more.....
    I've seen a lot of talk about the Taylor 2006 on here and it seems to be the bench mark.

    What additional (k2006) refills would you recommend buying at the same time as the kit bearing in mind (i think) the reagents have a shelf life?

    Cheers
    Squib

    Ps I'll post some photos of the pool later Kim. Building the pool was an amazing experience for us!

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Welcome! I bet Sal can really help you out with the Australian end of things. Also, Jezza listed a discount code for ordering on post#17 of this thread: Need so much help!!

    How does your water look now? Any signs of algae? That's two separate questions, btw... I am asking because if your water has issues, you will need more of certain reagents right away.

    It would also help us if you add a signature which you can do through the settings tab at the top right of this page.

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Hi from Australia

    I would try to get the TF-100 if at all possible as they set this kit up based on what is tested the most.

    If you get the Taylor 2006 get these extras:

    -R-0004 (Ph tester)
    -R-0013 (CYA tester)
    -R0870 (powder for FC testing)
    -R-0871 (Regent for the FC test)

    I would LOVE to see your build story with pictures!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Kim is spot on with the list of reagants to double up on squib.

    I decided to up-size to the 2006C because it was better value for money. It was less than double the cost and you get more than double the key reagants.
    I got 2 tubs of R-0870 powder and 3 bottles of the CYA reagant. All the bottles are bigger than the base kit as well.
    The reason Marian asked about your current condition is that if you have a potential algae problem, or even if you want to do an OCLT (Overnight Chlorine Loss Test) [which is well worth doing if you want to do a health check] then you'll find yourself doing quite a few FC tests to keep an eye on things - which is why those reagants are good to stockpile. In an ideal world you should probably test FC and pH daily, more frequently if you are troubleshooting.

    Regarding Salt - the trick is to hunt out your SWG manual and aim for what it says as the recommended number. It seems that our Australian units seem to be a bit higher than for our Northern friends. Mine says 4000ppm, you'll read stuff on here talking about 3000-3200. They key that you will also read on here is to aim for 200-400ppm above what your manual says. In my case I aim for 4200-4400. The Taylors 2006 kit doesn't do salt, but they have a separate kit that does. I'm just using salt strips for now which is pretty good. You can be a bit relaxed about salt in my view. As long as you have enough to keep your unit happy, you should be fine. CYA, FC and pH are the keys. I'm currently battling with very low CYA which makes my FC drop quicker than I want, but I'm on the right track to fixing it thanks purely to very sound advice from here.
    39,000 litre (10,000 US gallons) IG vinyl salt water, Waterco S600 Sand filter, Zodiac Tri Chlorinator, Hurlcon E Series 230 pump, Taylors K-2006C Test Kit

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Welcome Squibcakes.

    You have been given some good advice regarding the test kit. It really is the only way to go if you want to accurately measure the the key elements of your pool. Your experience with the pool store is one in which most of us are familiar. Taking control of your pool is empowering and rewarding as well.

    Ask any questions you may have but reading up on Pool School while your waiting for the test kit is the next best thing to do
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by squibcakes View Post
    Hey,

    Thanks for all that info. Really appreciated. I had a look at the clear choice labs but it doesn't contain a ph test any more..
    Hi Squibcakes,

    Welcome fellow Aussie,

    I use the clearchoicelabs testkit with the pH test from the 4n1 kits available at the local store, they have recognized an issue with their pH kit and have withdrawn it until it is fixed, hence I use the other pH test , however the rest of the clearchoice labs kit is very good, the advantage of their kit locally is free express service, so you'll have it in a couple of days, their service is fantastic. I also am in the process of obtaining the TF-100 kit through Shopmate , which is currently enroute to Australia, so i'll be able to provide a review of them both as a comparison shortly.

    Any of those recommended kits here will do you fine, each are great, its a matter of how long you can wait and how much you want to spend (on shipping) generally.

    You'll be so much more satisfied after reading the useful information in Pool School and doing your own water testing and avoiding the pool shop irregularities and sales pitches!

    Good Luck, looks like we'll be seeing you around!
    3yr old 60,000L (15.8k Gal) Fibreglass IG, Viron eVo P600 pump, Hayward Pro Series Filter (glass media), Zodiac SWG, Zodiac VX55 4WD, Solar Heated

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Hi all,

    The pool water is in very good condition and haven't had any water quality issues. My local pool shop actually accused me of micro managing the pool! Which is true - but why wouldn't I after spending hard earned money on it?

    Looking more at the test kits and I realise clear choice labs are actually just across town from me so for on going refills it makes sense to start with their 'total kit'. I like how they add a salt meter in the kit. btw my swg runs at 3750 ppm although the pool shop readings are around the 4000 mark.

    The shipping from the US even with shop mate is steep! My old man is cruising there atm. Are Taylor test kits available in store which he could pick up or are they online only?
    58,000L Pebblecrete, PureSilk SWG 25G, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Hayward TriStar VS Pump, Astral RolaChem RC1 acid feeder, Maytronics Dolphin M4 Cleaner

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    You can buy the Taylor kits in some stores BUT make sure it is, at least, the 2006 if not the 2006c. They have the better tests. The 2005 does test as much or as high.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by squibcakes View Post
    Hi all,

    The pool water is in very good condition and haven't had any water quality issues. My local pool shop actually accused me of micro managing the pool! Which is true - but why wouldn't I after spending hard earned money on it?

    Looking more at the test kits and I realise clear choice labs are actually just across town from me so for on going refills it makes sense to start with their 'total kit'. I like how they add a salt meter in the kit. btw my swg runs at 3750 ppm although the pool shop readings are around the 4000 mark.

    The shipping from the US even with shop mate is steep! My old man is cruising there atm. Are Taylor test kits available in store which he could pick up or are they online only?

    Clearchoicelabs would be your logical starter then, just grab the 4 n 1 test kit from a local pool shop and use the pH test in that, from what I hear it is as good as the Taylors pH test, that's also what I do. Use the recommendation from your SWG manufacturer + 3-400ppm rather than the generic 4000 that the pool shop tests all recommend.

    I believe poolandspawarehouse.com.au sell the Taylor Kit, however the only issue is getting the refills, which I don't think they have, so you wouldn't want to re-buy the whole kit again! so its easier to get it shipped from overseas (or from your family contact if they are in the states!)
    3yr old 60,000L (15.8k Gal) Fibreglass IG, Viron eVo P600 pump, Hayward Pro Series Filter (glass media), Zodiac SWG, Zodiac VX55 4WD, Solar Heated

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by squibcakes View Post

    ...

    The shipping from the US even with shop mate is steep! My old man is cruising there atm. Are Taylor test kits available in store which he could pick up or are they online only?
    Geday Squib,

    There's a good chance that one of the reagents is not allowed on a passenger airplane. I haven't read through the msds sheets for the Talor kits but one of the reagents in my LaMotte kit was prohibited for carrage on a passenger plane.

    One of my LPS's uses and supplies the Talor kit so you may be able to get it local.

    I suspect that a variation in test results from shop to shop is quite common and have found that to be the case myself. The most variable for me has been salinity, probably due to a lack of regular calibration. If your not up to testing yourself than just sticking with one shop that your happy with would be the best.

    Regards, Steve.
    Steve.
    30,000L (8,000g) Pebblecrete | Davey 3sp Eco pump | Poolrite sand filter & SWCG |
    Waterco solar panels & Astral E140 pump| K2006, CCL reagents, BlueDevil pH, Salt meter & K1766 | Town water - pH 7.2, TA 50, CH 60 | Esky full of coldies |

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawknz View Post
    I believe poolandspawarehouse.com.au sell the Taylor Kit
    They do indeed sell the Taylors, but at a ridiculous price. I bought the K-2006C with express shipping from a store in the US - all up it cost me $AUD177 and arrived within a week.
    poolandspawarehouse have that same kit for $AUD339 - plus shipping.

    Sounds like CCL plus the 4-in-1 for pH is the go for you until CCL get their new pH kit out there.
    39,000 litre (10,000 US gallons) IG vinyl salt water, Waterco S600 Sand filter, Zodiac Tri Chlorinator, Hurlcon E Series 230 pump, Taylors K-2006C Test Kit

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Ok I found CCL is on sale at present and have discount code till end of year plus free shipping. All in $150.

    I'll give this kit a go and report findings later which maybe the experts can give some feedback on.

    Do you guys also buy chemicals from local pool shops or from online suppliers?
    58,000L Pebblecrete, PureSilk SWG 25G, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Hayward TriStar VS Pump, Astral RolaChem RC1 acid feeder, Maytronics Dolphin M4 Cleaner

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    I think that is easier to buy direct and from the little research that I've done not that much cheaper anyway buying online.

    When you get your levels right the 3 major chemicals you will need to buy are stabiliser, HCL and possibly some liquid chlorine to help your SWG during summer. Occasionally you might need a few other things but I would just buy them on a needs basis. Everything that you will need are usually cheapest at Bunnings or Masters but worth looking at a local pool store as some stuff they sell might be cheaper.

    Post up your results when you get your CCL kit and we can see how your sitting.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    So I received the CCL test kit already. Thumbs up for the speedy service from the owner who hand delivered the kit to my front door on the public holiday!

    They have also included the new pH test kit too!

    I did a first round of tests yesterday. Below are tests results from CCL and previous test from Pool shop on 23/12.

    Test CCL (29/12) Pool Shop (23/12)
    FC 6.5 3.9
    TC 6.5
    CC 0
    pH 7.5 7.7
    CH 250 198
    TA 125 58.7
    CYA 38 35
    SALT 3550 4470


    Notes:
    I did add some buffer to boost the TA after the pool shop test.
    We did have a heavy drop of rain which raised the pool level by about 2" also.
    I also turned up the SWG form 50% to 80% which is why there has been a boost in the FC.
    I added 500gms of CYA after the pool shop test.
    58,000L Pebblecrete, PureSilk SWG 25G, Hayward 24" Sand Filter, Hayward TriStar VS Pump, Astral RolaChem RC1 acid feeder, Maytronics Dolphin M4 Cleaner

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    G'day Squib - Congrats on your new kit - another story of excellent service form the CCL guys, you're lucky to have them so close !!

    I'm absolutely no expert and those far more qualified than me will give you better feedback on your numbers, but it looks to me like you're on top of things and your kit is working already !
    I've just wound my SWG down from 80% to 60% as my FC was rising, but its time to test again now.

    Conventional wisdom here suggests that it can take a week or so for CYA additions to start appearing in your test results. Its not easy to lower CYA, but it is easy to raise it so I would say go slowly on the CYA and add it gradually. I measure mine about every 3-4 days ATM until I get it around the 70 mark, then probably weekly.
    39,000 litre (10,000 US gallons) IG vinyl salt water, Waterco S600 Sand filter, Zodiac Tri Chlorinator, Hurlcon E Series 230 pump, Taylors K-2006C Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    Wow hand delivered- that's customer service.

    Your numbers are pretty good and with a few tweaks you will be on the way to getting your pool perfectly balanced. How is the water looking- is it clear?

    First of all I would add CYA with a target of 60. Then retest in a week's time and top up to bring your level up to the recommended 70-80 for a SWG. Easier to add extra later on than have to drain water with too much CYA.

    I would also add some calcium to bring your CH level up to 350 which is the minimum for your pool. Retest and then you can then add some extra to bring it up a bit further if you need to.

    Your TA would appear to be too high -(pity that the pool store told you to add buffer but this is often the problem) and you will eventually want to bring it down as your pH will have a tendency to rise more than it has to. Have you read the article on 'Lowering Total Alkalinity' which is in the How to section of Pool School?

    But I would focus on the CYA and CH levels first- see what your pH is doing over the next few of days by testing daily.
    11 000 gallons, IG, Fibreglass, Monarch Sand Filter, Davey Typhoon C100M 1HP pump, Davey Chloromatic Mc16CTO ESR SWG, Davey Pool Wall Climba Robot, Daisy Solar Cover,
    K-2006

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Hi from Australia

    I'm in Australia and have a K-2006 kit also. However where are you guys getting your replacement reagents from? I went to my local shop that has some Taylor kits (no spare reagents though) and they can get what ever I want, provided it is boxes of 12!

    F
    Kidney shaped pool (90,000 liters), Pebble Crete, Hurlcon RX400 Sand Filter (Sand Media)
    Dolphin X 40 Plus Robot, Viron P600 EvO Pump, CrystalClear RP4000 Chlorinator
    Taylor K2006 , Recommended levels from poolcalculator.com try to be maintained
    Pool has a crazy cave with a waterfall over it :)

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