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Thread: Trusting Your Own Readings

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    Trusting Your Own Readings

    I felt like I had to share my story from the last week as it demonstrated to me the lack of reliability you get from a tech at the typical Pool Store.

    First, weve had our first ever pool for a total of 3 months so Im still learning about pools and equipment in general and still learning how to perform and trust the results of my own water analysis with my Taylor 2006 kit. So, every other week or so I was running a water sample up to the well-known pool store under the idea that Id get those more experienced folks to tell me how my numbers were also.

    Heres the story:
    June 9th the pool store tells me I have 2.4 ppm of free chlorine in the pool with a CYA of 30 and suggests I put 2 pounds of stabilizer in the pool which I do.
    June 17th the pool store tells me I have 0 ppm of free chlorine and a CYA of 100. Because once before - when I had accidently turned the chlorinator off - I was low on chlorine I was able to get the chlorine level back up fast using super chlorinate for 24 hours so I decided this time to jack up the chlorinator to get the chlorine back up.
    From June 17th through June 23rd Im puzzled daily when despite the chlorinator being increased Im making no progress on chlorine production and even asking the pool builder to check to make sure the salt cell it working correctly.
    June 23rd, after my chlorine level per my testing - went from 1.4 on June 22nd to 0 on June 23rd I decide to take another water sample to the pool store who confirms I have 0 free chlorine and tells me I have 10 CYA to which I tell them that just 6 days ago you said I had 100 CYA. The owner comes out and says there is no way you went from 100 CYA on the 17th to 10 CYA in just six days, looks in the computer and verifies that was what they said, and proceeds to tell me one of his guys basically screwed up and is going to address the issue with the employee. Of course, I then get the recommendation to buy a bag of stabilizer and 3 bags of shock to get the pool back to where it would have been if I hadnt been given a false CYA of 100.

    While Im glad things seem to make sense now as to why the chlorine was disappearing and the chlorinator could not keep up to produce enough chlorine, I also learned what a lot of people seem to say the idea that the pool store folks work in a pool store doesnt make them experienced or even accurate.

    With time and experience Ill begin to trust my own pool testing readings. But even with my limited experience Im not going into the pool store anymore with the idea that they can tell me if my numbers are right Im going to go into the pool store as an occasional double check with the mindset that my numbers are right. Lessoned learned.
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings



    Yep! That's the truth!
    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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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    Well, this begs the question.... What is your CYA and where did the 2 pounds you added go? If they are claiming your CYA is 10, you just put in 2pounds which should have raised your CYA by 17 over the 30 they say you started with.

    So, obviously not one but two (maybe all three) of their employees messed up.

    What did YOU say your numbers were with your K-2006?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    I agree with your taking a sample in from time to time to see what they say. I actually did that today and proved that my test kit is far more detailed and accurate even though I think my pool store in town has semi-competent people working there. The test kits they recommend on here are worth their weight in gold, totally worth it to do it yourself.
    Above ground 24 ft diameter
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    I can agree,with this
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle.Ganz View Post
    I agree with your taking a sample in from time to time to see what they say.
    ONLY if you understand this
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle.Ganz View Post
    proved that my test kit is far more detailed and accurate. The test kits they recommend on here are worth their weight in gold, totally worth it to do it yourself.
    Hypothetical - you are unsure of your testing. You test your CYA at 90 and the pool store tells you its 30. With a salt water pool do you drain water based on your test to get it to 70 or do you add CYA to get it to 70 based on their test?

    Do I go to the pool store, yes - for amusement only. I laughed when the last employee told me to add 60 pounds of their fancy label baking soda because my TA was 60. When I told her I kept my TA there to slow pH rise she told me one had nothing to do with the other. They are trained that if X is low sell them Y with absolutely no understanding of how they interact.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Well, this begs the question.... What is your CYA and where did the 2 pounds you added go? If they are claiming your CYA is 10, you just put in 2pounds which should have raised your CYA by 17 over the 30 they say you started with.

    So, obviously not one but two (maybe all three) of their employees messed up.

    What did YOU say your numbers were with your K-2006?
    I'll test my CYA when I get home tonight. They claim my CYA was 10 yesterday (after claiming it was 100 six days before). The 2 pounds of stabilizer will have been in 24 hours by the time I get home. I'll test and report back.
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    I would suggest that no one ever go to s pool store again. This is a slow turn around for me over the years I have always favored small busines but I can no longer do that with pool store.

    So what if a very few are right? For every one that is right, we can name 10 more that are dead wrong....both in their testing and especially in their advice.

    Stay out of the pool store. Just as Tim5055 says above, What if they test differently than you? Are you going to take their results? I sure hope not.

    Stay out of the Pool Store - a tenant of TFP Pool Care.
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    I can honestly say I haven't been to the pool store for more than a new net and 150 lbs of sand... They tried to sell me this and that to "fix" my pool but I wasn't even ready to clean it at the time.. Knowing what I know now, I want to take them a sample of my water just to see if they are actually one of the good ones or if I can have some fun with them
    Inherited 24' Muskin Above ground
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    Trusting Your Own Readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawtyger View Post
    I'll test my CYA when I get home tonight. They claim my CYA was 10 yesterday (after claiming it was 100 six days before). The 2 pounds of stabilizer will have been in 24 hours by the time I get home. I'll test and report back.
    Here are the results of my T2006 tests:

    FC - 3.6
    CC - .4
    PH - 7.2
    ALK - 60
    CAL - 220
    CYA - Under 30
    Salt - 3258 (per Omnilogic)

    Notes about the above numbers that may be relevant (or not):
    - We got 30 minute of solid Tampa thunderstorms that look to have added at least and inch to the pool and actually caused the overflow to kick in.
    - for the CYA, I could still see the black dot even when the tube was full at the reading number. I'm not sure how (if you can even do it) figure out the CYA number with the T2006 if the CYA is under 30 since that is the lowest reading on the tube.
    - Chlorinator was at 100% during the day and I have since put it down to 50%.
    - visually looking at the pool water today, I can confirm it was a bit cloudy 24 hours ago.

    Any thoughts on the above are appreciated. At least I have chlorine again.

    On the CYA "dot" test where the instructions say add the mixture "until black dot on bottom 'just' disappears when viewed from top," I take that as the dot does disappear so since it didn't, all I know is I am under 30 CYA. Here are pics of the CYA reading:
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    Correct, your CYA is less than about 35ppm (look at the meniscus).
    So you should really bring that back up to 70-80ppm.

    Also note that you should start using 10ml of water for the FAS-DPD test. Each drop will be 0.5ppm and you will save a lot of reagent.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    Will do in the FAS-DOD test.

    Regarding the CYA - and I think it was the pool store that told me this (so that's what it is worth) - it sounded like the stabilizer could take 72 hours to get an accurate reading. I put around 2 pounds, or just a bit more, in 24 hours ago. Should I be considering adding more today? Or should I wait and see what the CYA number ends up in the next day?


    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    How did you add the CYA? If you dumped it into the skimmer, then it might take a few days to a week to fully show up. If you add it like we suggest, in a sock in the skimmer or in front of a return, then it shows up on the test within a day of it dissolving out of the sock.

    As was mentioned above, the 2 pounds would have only added 17ppm.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Trusting Your Own Readings

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    How did you add the CYA? If you dumped it into the skimmer, then it might take a few days to a week to fully show up. If you add it like we suggest, in a sock in the skimmer or in front of a return, then it shows up on the test within a day of it dissolving out of the sock.

    As was mentioned above, the 2 pounds would have only added 17ppm.
    Dumped it slowly into the skimmer. Still very new at this. . . Today when I took the reading was actually the first day I felt, or at least started to, like I knew what I was doing.

    I missed or overlooked the "sock in the skimmer" or "in front of a return" methods. I'll go back through the pool school section as I assume it must have been there.

    Also sounds like adding more stabilizer is warranted.
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    While more CYA is probably needed, give it a little time for the stuff in the filter to dissolve and register
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Trusting Your Own Readings

    Update on CYA - Took a reading this morning. CYA is still under 30 as I can still see the dot, but, it has gone up some since I added the stabilizer because the dote was much closer to disappearing.

    Obviously, as mentioned previously it can take some time to fully show up.
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    Update on CYA - It is up to 50 - there is still some in the sock also.

    FC is at 8 (which is probably due to the chlorinator still being set to 100% which I have backed down to 50%).
    PH is 7.4
    AKL is 60
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    I'm assuming you have a salt water generator so your CYA target is 80? If not, see my next statement:

    If your target is 50, you'll want to pull the sock asap. There may still be a little in the pool that hasn't dissolved and will register higher in the next few days.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    Quote Originally Posted by triptyx View Post
    I'm assuming you have a salt water generator so your CYA target is 80?
    Yes, I have a SWG. Based on the recommendations here I am trying to get to the target CYA suggested.

    Newbie here - quite a balancing act.
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Re: Trusting Your Own Readings

    You're doing great! I just wanted to make sure you weren't targeting 50 with a sock full of stabilizer still in there. Keep at it!
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Trusting Your Own Readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawtyger View Post
    Update on CYA - It is up to 50 - there is still some in the sock also.

    FC is at 8 (which is probably due to the chlorinator still being set to 100% which I have backed down to 50%).
    PH is 7.4
    AKL is 60
    Update - Still some dissolved stabilizer in the sock. My numbers today are:

    FC 6.5
    PH 7.5
    ALK 60
    CYA 42

    My CYA tested number went down from yesterday. I'm figure this may have occurred because when I read the test this time I was out in the sunlight as opposed to under the porch where it was darker (after reading the extended test section - Stand outdoors with your back to the sun and hold the view tube at about waist level. If sunlight is not available, find the brightest artificial light you can). Either that, or I messed up when reading the 50 number yesterday.

    Should I be trying to get my ALK up from 60 to as well or am I fine sticking at 60?

    Lastly, my two .75 oz bottles of CYA R-0013 sure didn't last long, lol. Need to buy more before I can test CYA again .
    Gallons 13,860 / IG Pebble / Hayward OmniLogic / Hayward Swim Clear Filter / Hayward EcoStar / Hayward TriStar VS (for water features) / Hayward HeatPro Heat Pump / Date of build 3/11/16 / Other features: Spa / Hayward Colorlogic LED lights (2 in pool / 1 in spa) / Pentair LED Bubblers (2 one on each sun shelf) / Pentair Color Cascade Laminars (4 around pool) / Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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