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Thread: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

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    buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    I know this sounds ridiculous, but I'm one of those people who insists on getting the best bang for the buck. It seems like tftestkits.net has a flat rate shipping of $10.50, so I'm interested in getting my TF100 test kit, plus the reagents I will need refills on first - while also keeping in mind the expiration of those reagents.
    Some background on the pool - we're closing on a house at the end of august that has a beautiful gunite pool built in 2000. Based on my limited knowledge of pools and a walkthru with the owners (which unfortunately took place before i discovered TFP and Pool School), it has a DE filter, a polaris vacuum, heat pump, and a tablet chlorinator (did i miss anything?).
    Previous owners had weekly maintenance checks by a local pool guy (at $75/week, eeks!) and he closed and opened the pool for them for $350/each (another eeks!). Obviously, since I'm already being irrationally frugal about spending $10.50 on shipping, you can probably imagine that I am planning to perform maintenance and closing/opening the pool on my own.. although I'm leaning towards having the pool guy close it once just to see what he does. They also showed me their test kit, but it looked nothing like the ones suggested on TFP and she was low on most reagents. Also, chemicals in their pool shed include: Dicalite, Omega Chlorine Free Shock, Phoenix Giant Tabs, Phoenix Reserve (Raise Calcium Hardness), muriatic acid, BlueShield pH decrease, Mega algaecide 60, and Bioguard Off the wall cleaner. During our walkthru, she only mentioned dicalite, omega shock and the chlorine tabs so I'm not sure how frequently the others are used (or at all).
    Also, not sure if it makes a difference, but we are in north/central Massachusetts.
    So, I think that's it .. how ridiculous am i? which reagents can I stock up on now?
    Btw, I'm feeling awfully uneasy about maintaining this pool.. still have a lot of reading up and re-reading to do on Pool School.

    Thanks, I love this place! sorry for the long post - thanks for reading!
    BTW, I don't know the # of gallons yet
    27,500 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2002 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    My advice would be none so late in the season, as you are in Massachusetts & your TF-100 will easily carry you thru the rest of this season, all of next season & beyond.

    Any extra reagents you buy now will be old by the time you need them.

    If you lived in an area where the swim season was longer like Florida, Texas or Arizona I would still advise you to wait as the TF-100 is well stocked.

    Just my opinion, it is not gospel

    Bob
    I consider myself very lucky I found this site before the pool store found me-pool owner since Nov 2008- Stunningly clear 17,000 gal fiberglass pool, thanks to this site, installed in 1982-24" 3.1sq. ft sta-rite sand filter, 250# new sand -1 hp sta-rite dura glass pump-TF-100

  3. #3
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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Hi, Pat,

    Generally, Bob's assesment is pretty accurate.

    If you were taking over a swampy, green pool, I would suggest a few things but it sounds like the water chemistry is in decent shape.

    YOur CYA will probably be excessive (but not necessarily) and you'll need to drain some water and refill to lower it. If it's much above 60, I would suggest a couple of extra bottles of R-0013.....that'll give you plenty of tests to make that adjustment and still have plenty left for next year.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
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  4. #4
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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Just to give a little experience related advice. I bought my kit when we got the pool. fill water was perfect.

    The first thing I ran out of was CYA reagent then a couple weeks after that I used up all the FAS-DPD reagent.

    A couple weeks after I got the kit I ordered the R-0013-2 and an R-0870-1 and a R-0871-1.

    I recommend ordering extra CYA reagant at least. The reason is, that first it's a hard test too master and second you'll probably test frequently until you get the levels adjusted.

    When I first started I tested the FC twice a day and figured out that the OTO test was useless to me. That's the reason I ran out of FAS-DPD o fast. I test once a day now.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    You can stop SLAMing your pool when you pass the OCLT (You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & You have .5ppm CC's or less) & your water is clear.

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    I ordered my kit last year about this time, because I had lost my pool to the green monster and the pool stealers were not helpful. The only item I had to reorder was the CYA chemical, because my CYA was thru the roof (surprise!) after using the pucks. It took a few tries to get it figured out, and I had to do the drain/refill/test dance to get my levels down to where they need to be. Every other test is still going strong from the original supplies, and there will be enough to get me thru the rest of the year for sure.
    WV Girl

    Custom "L" shape IG gunite pool, 36K gal., main drain, 2 skimmers, 3 returns, hayward heat pump, hayward 1.5hp pump with booster pump, ozonator, 4 cartridge filter.
    one dear hubby, two waterlogged kids, and lots of good times!

  6. #6
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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Thanks for the feedback - I'm leaning towards a TF100 test kit with CYA re-fill. Although, I am wondering if a Taylor K 2006-C (2oz reagents) would be a better bang for the buck. The reagents would probably go bad before I used them all, right?
    27,500 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2002 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    I guess it depends on how much you can get it for. have you seen this article? pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    I guess it depends on how much you can get it for. have you seen this article? pool-school/pool_test_kit_comparison
    Hi reebok - yes - I saw that - but I wasn't sure about the general expiration dates on the reagents. I read the taylor site and it indicates that there aren't dates, and how it's more dependent on conditions and usage of the reagents. I'll probably just get the tf100 kit.
    27,500 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2002 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

  9. #9
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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Taylor says to replace all of the reagents every year. But in practice they will last two to four years if stored in a cool (not freezing) dark place.

    The quantities in the TF100 are usually enough for two years of typical usage. But some situations can use up one reagent or another. A baquacil conversion or a particularly extended bout with algae will use up the R-0871. Problems with CYA levels can use up the CYA reagent. But for most people/pools most of the time you won't need anything refilled for the first two years.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    TFP Admin. Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  10. #10
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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Thanks - I finally decided to go with the TF100 with the add'l CYA reagent.
    27,500 gallon gunite pool with waterfall (built 2002 - owner as of 2009), Aerotemp / Aquacal heat pump AT12000-A, Hayward DE4800 Filter, AOS UST1202 Motor, Hydro-King T104P201 Timer, Meyco pool cover, Pentair Model 320 Auto Chlorine Feeder. Located in Massachusetts.

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Quote Originally Posted by patplh
    Thanks - I finally decided to go with the TF100 with the add'l CYA reagent.
    Good choice. The CYA test is much easier with the larger view tube in the TF100. It's the most difficult test for many. Here is a tip, when you do the CYA test, you can actually practice with one test several times for about an hour. Just pour the mixture back into the mixing bottle from the tube and then repeat the view tube test. Besides, it's a test that once you get your CYA to your target level, you don't need to test daily or even weekly. Monthly would be the most often and in some areas perhaps not even that often is necessary.
    Buggs

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    I've had my Taylor for many years now. It's a K-2000 upgraded piecemeal with CYA and FAS-DPD kits to become a K-2006. I date each reagent as I replace it; by now, everything has a date. I have been testing for consistency between results on identical samples using the last of each old reagent and then using the new one coming in. I have yet to find any reagent that exhibited a repeatable difference. Some, such as alkalinity reagent (the green one) went five years. YMMV, but the 'switch every season' is just $$ in Taylors pocket, IMHO. I replace when empty or after five seasons, whichever comes first.

    I store in my wet bar, which cool and dark all year long.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Durk
    I've had my Taylor for many years now. It's a K-2000 upgraded piecemeal with CYA and FAS-DPD kits to become a K-2006. I date each reagent as I replace it; by now, everything has a date. I have been testing for consistency between results on identical samples using the last of each old reagent and then using the new one coming in. I have yet to find any reagent that exhibited a repeatable difference. Some, such as alkalinity reagent (the green one) went five years. YMMV, but the 'switch every season' is just $$ in Taylors pocket, IMHO. I replace when empty or after five seasons, whichever comes first.

    I store in my wet bar, which cool and dark all year long.
    Thank you for the first-hand information.
    16 ft x 32 ft Rectangle 20k Gal, in ground, gunite plaster
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    Chemicals: BBB. Tayler K-2006 test kit. Located in Andover MA.

  14. #14
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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Hey, Durk,

    That's a good post. Many of us have long suggested the reagents will stretch farther than Taylor says but you have documented that probably better than anybody to date. The key to longevity of any of these is proper storage. Heat, humidity, and sunlight are killers.

    I have these random thoughts.....

    I don't think Taylor's sole purpose is to line their pockets. Certainly they are in business to make a profit, but like any business, they have to be prudent as to what they "guarantee". They would be poor business people to suggest five years shelf life when they cannot control how their products are stored. I think they are being more safe than sorry.

    Secondly, it would appear that you are wasting valuable bar space storing that kit in there. I suggest you purchase more adult beverages to fill that space and take the kit inside.
    Dave S.
    Site Owner 42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter, No SWG
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    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: buying a tf100 test kit, which reagent refills should I get?

    Dave--When I was drinking, there would not have been space for the test stuff! But I got sober 13 years ago and the inside wet bar gets little use and is a great place for chem tests. I just worry about some drunk using my 1 pint bottle of CYA reagent to make a drink with.

    I agree with your thoughts about why they are conservative about shelf life. Annual rollover should be proof against all but the most abusive storage. However, they could be more forthcoming about which reagents have better shelf life. They do concede on their website that powders and acids are the most stable. I would like to know which are the least stable. I'm betting on R-0871.
    Current: 28,000G 18'x36' I/G AnthonySylvan Plaster; Waterway 60 sq.ft. DE Filter; 1.0hp x 1.65 SF Two-Speed (B2982) WhisperFlo; 2004-Present
    Previous: 40,000G 20'x40' I/G Koven unlined WWII salvage 5/8" marine steel; Lomart Stainless Sand Filter; 3/4hp Hayward SuperPump; 1946-2003 (managed by me from about 1964)
    Ancient Taylor K-2000, upgraded with Taylor CH, TA, and FAS-DPD, and TFT CYA tests.

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