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Thread: Test kit battle!

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    Test kit battle!

    Weighing the K-2006 vs the TF-100.
    I just feel like the OTO test is kinda silly, since I'll never not have chlorine in my pool. Am I crazy?
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    Nope, not silly at all. We can help. While both kits are great, you get more value from the TF-100, and it's Taylor products anyways. Please see this page: Pool School - Test Kits Compared.

    And whatever you order, please consider the Speed Stir so you can mix like a pro. Makes it so much easier.
    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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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    The OTO kit does provide a good sanity check against the FAS-DPD, and while it is not good at giving exact chlorine levels it is VERY good at telling, no chlorine, low chlorine, high chlorine and insanely high chlorine. At to this that it is one of the cheapest tests out there, the K-1000 with the OTO test, the pH test, the comparitor block and case retails for only about $10, and OTO only refills are less than $2. It is cheap insurance
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    The OTO test is actually quite useful a season in. You'll know your pool's appetite, and a daily testing for FC and TC will seem like a massive overkill, and that's when you use the OTO test. Run the FAS-DPD and the OTO side-by-side for a while and learn what the right shade of yellow should be. And then you just check it when you check pH and conserve the FAS-DPD reagents for twice a week tests.

    Also, people have reportedly used too little powder or they have an algae bloom that hasn't showed up and the FAS-DPD test never turns pink. Then the question is, are the reagents bad, is there so much FC that it's bleached out, or is there no chlorine at all. The OTO test will answer that for you.

    The TF100 has bigger bottles of reagent, notably the CYA test solution. That's what I'd recommend.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    I'll be a regular who agrees that the OTO is the pits. I have much better luck using the Taylor K-1001 DPD-only residential test kit. I find the gradation of pink/red to be easier to see and more accurate. When I had OTO drops, I could NEVER get them to read anything other than 2-3ppm. I'd have to have my FC at 10ppm for them to even develop any kind of deeper orange color that would be equivalent to a 4ppm reading. As well, you can get true FC from the DPD drops and then actually get CCs by using the R-0003 reagent. OTO only shows TC and I never saw it change colors with time. So, in my humble opinion, I agree with the OP that OTO is useless.

    However, that does not reflect on the TF-100. The TF100 is a good buy because it gives you more of the reagents you will use most. If you go with Taylor kits, then you really need a K-2006 & K-1001 as well as a few extra bottles of the R-0013 CYA reagent.




    Matt
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    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
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Ok. That's a really disturbing and freaky picture. I will now have nightmares tonight.


    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: Test kit battle!

    Joyfulnoise, with all due respect there is a flaw in your thinking about using the K-1001 DPD, namely that both it and the FAS-DPD test can bleach out at high FC levels, the OTO kit will not bleach out, it may look burnt orange, or brown, but will not bleach out. Now lets consider a real world situation where this can come in handy, someones SWG timer goes crazy and starts running at 100%, or the well meaning teenager adds way too much bleach to the pool. Now you get home and test the pool with the FAS-DPD, then the DPD as backup and both show little or no chlorine no, so you add even more, still showing none, you think you have something starting to grow in your pool, so you add even more, .... This is where the OTO kit can be a life saver, not in telling exactly how much chlorine you have, but telling if it is little/none or a whole lot. (pale yellow, vs schoobus yellow, or safety orange)
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    Since you will need to SLAM to get your pool looking like a jewel it is an easy pick for you-----TF-100 XL. That way you will not run out of the testing stuff you need.

    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: Test kit battle!

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    The OTO kit does provide a good sanity check against the FAS-DPD, and while it is not good at giving exact chlorine levels it is VERY good at telling, no chlorine, low chlorine, high chlorine and insanely high chlorine. At to this that it is one of the cheapest tests out there, the K-1000 with the OTO test, the pH test, the comparitor block and case retails for only about $10, and OTO only refills are less than $2. It is cheap insurance
    Other than special circumstances, IMHO, the OTO is just excess baggage..... I'll accept the "insurance" argument as a valid argument, because I test for Borates and Phosphates for the same reason.

    However, since most people test once a day, or less frequently, more information is needed than, "Do we have chlorine?"

    To me, the number one question is, "Do we have adequate sanitizer in the pool?" Followed closely, by the second most important question, "Despite our best efforts, do we have an unacceptable increase in CC?" The OTO is ill prepared to answer the first question with FAS/DPD accuracy and not recommended to address the second.

    As for cost, all things considered, I believe that my FAS/DPD tests run a bit less than the OTO, per test.

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    Re: Test kit battle!

    So here was my (and others) thinking why the TF-100 has both FAS/DPD and the OTO chlorine test. The OTO is used to test for the PRESENCE of chlorine and the FAS/DPD is used to test for the precise amount of chlorine.

    Many, many people test with this scenario. The OTO test is just a 60 second test that tells some chlorine is in your pool. It's fast and it's cheap. If it's VERY pale or very orange (or brown) it alerts you to a problem.

    The FAS/DPD is used weekly to tell you precisely how much chlorine is there. If you had 6 ppm FC last Saturday and you have 14 ppm this Saturday, you need to work on your dosages.
    As for cost, all things considered, I believe that my FAS/DPD tests run a bit less than the OTO, per test.
    I have never done the math but the OTO test has to be about 1/4 or less the cost than FAS/DPD. The OTO bottle contains about 80-100 tests for maybe $3-4.

    It is important to understand that all of us test in a different routine and what works for you is what you should use. TFP's job is to teach Why you test and what to do about your results......not dictate a precise pattern.
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    If your are looking for the best buy/value to the dollar, the TF100 can't be beat. As for OTO, I don't use it because I don't care for the results I get. I seldom test daily, but when I do test, I want the best number for FC I can get. For me, that's the FAS/DPD.
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    OTO daily, FAS-DPD a couple times weekly is my routine. Running with a fairly low CYA because of my location (usually 40 ppm) the OTO test is very useful since my minimum and target FC levels are both within the range of the OTO. The OTO is fairly imprecise but if you test with the OTO and with your FAS-DPD a few times, you can get a good eye for the shade of yellow that matches the FAS-DPD tested level.

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    Re: Test kit battle!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    The OTO test is just a 60 second test that tells some chlorine is in your pool. It's fast and it's cheap. If it's VERY pale or very orange (or brown) it alerts you to a problem.

    The FAS/DPD is used weekly to tell you precisely how much chlorine is there. If you had 6 ppm FC last Saturday and you have 14 ppm this Saturday, you need to work on your dosages.
    Then, maybe, I am missing something. It was my understanding that the OTO tests between .5-5 PPM of total chlorine. According to Pool School, Target FC exceeds that amount for all non-SWG pools with a CYA of 50 or greater. Ditto, minimum chlorine of CYA 60 or greater. I just don't get how the OTO test gives useful information, in those cases.....

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    +1 with Joel. I have to test PH every few days anyway and the OTO is just sitting right there. I can get my eyes calibrated each spring to read the shade of yellow to tell if there is roughly 9-10ppm chlorine that I expect.

    TF100 with XL option is the way to go the first time and then you can buy refills after that.
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    I will check later, but I thought my TF-100 came with the Taylor basic OTO anyway.
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    This thread is an excellent example of the collective versus the individual. Each person uses the collective knowledge to tailor the care of their pool to their specific situation. There is not a one size fits all nor a "best" (there might be a one size fits most, however!). I know this is a little frustrating for folks just beginning as that is when you want hard and concrete rules in order to purchase just the right thing etc. The great news is, no matter which test kit you go with (TF 100 or Taylor 2006 [C]), you can easily supplement down the road for minimal resources if you find you need/want something for your particular situation. Take a deep breath and trust it will all be OK.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: Test kit battle!

    To true, Otter

    I use the OTO mostly on the hot tub, and occasionally for the pool. I can't imagine not having it to simplify testing at times. But of course I also still need the kit just to test the pH, right?
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    Re: Test kit battle!

    YippeeSkippy, I do the same, I find the OTO kit works great for the low volume of water in the hot tub where there are major FC swings before and after use, unlike a typical day in the pool
    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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    Cool Re: Test kit battle!

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    It is important to understand that all of us test in a different routine and what works for you is what you should use. TFP's job is to teach Why you test and what to do about your results......not dictate a precise pattern.
    I love this thread too and agree with the sentiment above. TFP is all about making choices based on the best available information and having options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    Joyfulnoise, with all due respect there is a flaw in your thinking about using the K-1001 DPD, namely that both it and the FAS-DPD test can bleach out at high FC levels, the OTO kit will not bleach out, it may look burnt orange, or brown, but will not bleach out. Now lets consider a real world situation where this can come in handy, someones SWG timer goes crazy and starts running at 100%, or the well meaning teenager adds way too much bleach to the pool. Now you get home and test the pool with the FAS-DPD, then the DPD as backup and both show little or no chlorine no, so you add even more, still showing none, you think you have something starting to grow in your pool, so you add even more, .... This is where the OTO kit can be a life saver, not in telling exactly how much chlorine you have, but telling if it is little/none or a whole lot. (pale yellow, vs schoobus yellow, or safety orange)
    Unfortunately, for me, this is a weak argument (or "reason" if you don't like the word "argument"). First of all, it's an argument from the extremes - there is really no possibility of either of those situations occurring in my pool. Not only would the SWG not really be able to produce FC levels that high (since my pool is mostly uncovered) but anyone adding bleach to my pool to a level that would fade the reagents is doing so with intentional malice and not "accidentally" as it would take many gallons of bleach to get the FC that high.

    While it is true that OTO will not bleach out, it also true that both the DPD-only and FAS-DPD reagents have fairly high fading points. For the DPD-only test, once can reliably test up to 10ppm FC and go even slightly higher using 50-50 dilutions without the reagent fading at all. Above 20ppm, you might have a problem with fading. As for the DPD-FAS reagents, those are stable up to 50ppm FC and I know this for a fact because I have measured FC's nearly that high.

    What OTO could not do was give me a reasonably accurate FC level (and this seems to be the consensus opinion about OTO's accuracy). Just the other day, with just my DPD test reagents, I eyeballed the pink color to be between 5 and 7.5ppm on the color block. I called it 6ppm. I then measured the same exact water sample with the DPD-FAS test and it titrated out to 6.5ppm. I have also been able to distinguish the 4ppm color block quite easily as that would be the minimum FC level for my SWG pool. So, not only does the DPD test give me a GO/NO-GO visual of chlorine presence, I can also get a fairly reasonable estimate of my FC level that I'm confident in. I also have both the "High FC" comparator block (0-10ppm FC) as well as the midget comparator (0-5ppm FC) which makes doing dilution testing very easy. For people with non-SWG pools who run their CYA at lower levels (and use lower FC levels), the DPD only test is even easier to see color distinctions with at the low end (one can easily distinguish between 2-, 3-, or 4 ppm)

    So, for me and my pool, I like to have a fairly quick and easy test to do daily that lets me ballpark my FC level rather than just get a visual confirmation of chlorine presence. Because OTO was not able to distinguish chlorine levels for me, I find the DPD test to be very beneficial for my daily pool care routine and the K-1001 retails for $7 on Amazon which, in my book, is a small price to pay for a very reliable test. And, as Dave said, isn't that what we are all really talking about here - what's the best way to take care of your own pool? I have no problems with anyone that chooses to use OTO as part of their daily routine. I did not find it useful for my routine and wanted something a little bit more accurate and I'm very glad that Taylor has a solution for that.

    SO if the OP is looking for something to replace the OTO test with that is fairly reliable and accurate and not as burdensome as doing a full titration test, the K-1001 is a pretty good way to achieve that end, in my opinion.

    Respectfully,
    Matt
    Matt
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