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Thread: Test Results

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    RecurveArcher's Avatar
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    Test Results

    We purchased a house over the winter with a large IG pool; have not had a pool since I was 15, so I've been doing quite a bit of research, and have read through a great deal of the info on this forum as well as others. I got the pool opened over Memorial day weekend and some chemicals tested pretty high, so played around with those a bit over a week and finally started using the pool yesterday.

    I've seen a number of posts saying to ignore pool store test results, but still wanted to share my numbers, some of there's, and confirm I'm on the right path.

    pH has always been pretty good, my results comparable to store results, but my initial TA reading was about 220 compared to 186 at the store. Over the last week I've done a lot of acid, added borax (from 0 up to 30 - plan to add a little more but bought all 18 boxes they had at Target), and done a lot of aerating to try and get the TA down a bit. Today's results with pH at 7.6 has TA at about 170. I'd gotten it down to 155 (store showed 130), but did another round of acid & borax since then.

    FC was testing around 16 initially, but only 11 at the store. I later found the detailed instructions on this site and with those adjustments (and adding some Chem Out) have brought my results slightly more in line with the store reading. This morning my FC reading was 8.5.

    CH tests for me around 425, very close to one store, but another store came back with 275.

    CYA is one of my main questions. I get a very consistent reading of 70 every time I do it, even doing the diluted then double method from the forum, but one store has tested it consistently around 100 and another I had test once came back with 137. As this appears to directly affect the FC level that we need, I want to make sure I'm on the right track. The site says it's easy to mess up, but usually going over whereas my results are well under the stores, and yet both the main store (has done 3 tests for me) and the 4 tests I've done myself are all consistent. I also see the off factor on the test listed as 15-30, which could put me at the 100 from the store. That store BTW has said nothing about increasing FC to compensate, the other (with 137 reading) said to target FC of 5-7, and the chart on this site says target 8 @ CYA of 70. So should I stick with the 70 and target FC at 5-8, or go a little higher? I'm also thinking of adding a SWG, which looks like it would benefit our high CYA as well, put us more in line with the recommended value.

    Questions:
    - What CYA reading should I go by, any what FC should I target? With FC this high to compensate for the CYA, will it still bleach clothes, etc., or does the CYA counteract all of those properties?
    - Should I continue trying to lower the TA, especially if I'm planning to add a SWG? Our well water is very high (like 350 I think), so I was going to try and target 100 initially so that it stays < 120 when adding more water.
    - With the CH borderline high, should I use softened water for any refills to counteract it (our unfiltered well water is like 800)?
    - Anything else I've missed?

    Thanks,
    Sean
    40 y/o IG L-Shaped Clayton & Lambert Diving Pool, 40K gal, SS walls, gunite floors, & auto cover
    Sta-Rite S8M150 450 sqft 125 GPM Cartridge Filter, Sta-Rite PHK2RA6E-102L 1 HP Pump
    Pentair MiniMax NT 250 DV 250K BTU Heater, Filled w/ filtered well & testing w/ TF-100

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results

    I've seen a number of posts saying to ignore pool store test results
    There's good reason for that. As you are experiencing, they are just not accurate enough to work with.
    (and adding some Chem Out) have brought my results slightly more in line with the store reading
    Who suggested that? Why are you trying to line up with pool store results?

    1. Yes, use that softened water for your fill source.

    2. Leave your TA alone.....you're fine

    3. Use 70 for your CYA result. That's what you tested for and that's what it is.

    This is going to sound harsh but I hope it helps you. You REALLY REALLY need to stay OUT OF THE POOL STORE. I think you have a decision to make....Stop taking any of our advice, stop using the best test kit on the planet and go to the pool store for all your pool needs.

    OR, trust your testing....trust your test kit, and trust the advice on this forum. We have no agenda in telling you this but you are doing yourself a huge disservice when you go into the pool store and have them test for you.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    RecurveArcher's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    This is going to sound harsh...
    Not at all, it's what I expected, just wanted to confirm. CYA was my main holdup because it determines the FC target and the instructions say it's very subjective. I definitely have reservations about the pool stores, little desire to visit, mostly have been going to see if their results change at relative rates to mine, and then visited a 2nd store just to see if results were anywhere close to either of the others, and for the most part weren't.

    As for the ChemOut, that was my idea. My initial FC tests showed 16; might not have been using enough powder, so could have been slightly high, but still a ways off from the target of 8 based on the 70 CYA. Had been leaving the cover open as much as possible, but wasn't dropping very fast (had been cloudy), and the family was anxious to swim, so added some ChemOut to get the FC closer to target level a bit quicker (wasn't sure how high was too high for the little ones (2 & 3).

    Anyhow, thanks for the vote of confidence, will stay away from the stores.

    Thanks,
    Sean
    40 y/o IG L-Shaped Clayton & Lambert Diving Pool, 40K gal, SS walls, gunite floors, & auto cover
    Sta-Rite S8M150 450 sqft 125 GPM Cartridge Filter, Sta-Rite PHK2RA6E-102L 1 HP Pump
    Pentair MiniMax NT 250 DV 250K BTU Heater, Filled w/ filtered well & testing w/ TF-100

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Test Results

    Good work, Sean. You know we will stay right with you every step of the way as you begin this journey of acquiring knowledge. All of us here take great pride in giving solid advice and getting our newbies on the track to success.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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