Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Importance of testing yourself

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Toms River, NJ
    Posts
    151

    Importance of testing yourself

    I've been a member for a little but recently found my way back, and happened upon the BBB method.

    I've got a SWG supplemented with an automatic feeder, and I'm interested in switching over with what chemicals I do need (as my SWG is not reliable). Namely, using bleach to shock it instead, although my pool store's shock prices seem to be almost identical to the prices I see for bleach (and they run a 20% off sale every March or April).

    Anyway, I was looking at the test kits recommended, but I have a few questions.

    1. Testing two to three times per week, how long can I expect the supplies to last?

    2. My local pool store (actually, there are three or four within one mile of my house) has pretty accurate tests - it's very close to my house (walking distance, if I really wanted to). Assuming they use the same Taylor Chemistry tests that I would purchase, why couldn't I just take a quick trip there during the summer once or twice a week?
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,879

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    1) That depends on the test kit, and what happens with your pool. The TF 100 typically lasts about two seasons, the K-2006 about one season. But those will both vary depending on how high some of your particular levels are on average (higher levels use up more titrant on each test). Also the different tests (FC, TA, CH, etc) tend to last noticeably different amounts of time.

    2) The most important thing when testing the water is consistent results. If you have different employees at the store doing the tests you are likely to get different results using the same water. If you always do the test yourself, or always get the same employee, that isn't a problem. Some pool stores are really good, but many pool stores give wildly wrong test results. There isn't really any incentive for them to do the test correctly.

    Another problem with many pool stores is that they tend to pressure you to buy expensive chemicals that you don't need. If you don't have any reason to go in, they don't have a chance to sell you something you will never use.

    Finally, if you follow our advice, you will save lots of money by buying most of your pool chemicals at the grocery and hardware stores. Pools stores typically don't like people who come in all the time and never buy anything.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SouthWest Alabama
    Posts
    22,333

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    Welcome back. When you say your SWG isn't reliable do you mean it doesn't work reliably or it doesn't keep the algae away?

    Can you post a full set of test results, even if it's from the pool store.

    Now on to your questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by baudilus
    1. Testing two to three times per week, how long can I expect the supplies to last?
    I have the Tf-100 test kit and if I only tested that often it would last a season or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by baudilus
    2. My local pool store ... has pretty accurate tests ... . Assuming they use the same Taylor Chemistry tests that I would purchase, why couldn't I just take a quick trip there during the summer once or twice a week?
    A) If you spend some time reading here you'll find out that most of the time pool store test results are very suspect. It's not just the chemical kits that are important, it's the process used. Not measuring the sample carefully, not counting drops accurately, not carefully determining the end point, etc. are just some of the things I've seen at the pool store test counter. B) IMHO there's nothing like the piece of mind I get knowing the testing is being done correctly. There are also times that you'll want to test something more often than normal and if you have your own kit you can test as much and as often as you like.

    You also don't feel any obligation to buy pool store chemicals.

    Jason and I were writing at the same time but saying basically the same thing.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Toms River, NJ
    Posts
    151

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    I can't post test results as the pool is currently closed and under a foot of snow.

    I will update my location, forgot to do that.

    Regarding the store, maybe I am lucky to be near this store because whenever I go in there, they just take the water and ask me how the water looks, run the tests, and give me a printout of the results. They sometimes tell me what things I should add to the water but it doesn't really seem like they care if I actually buy anything - I've walked in and out with nothing but the test results and they don't seem to care.

    There is another store that is a little bit out of the way (6 miles), but the lady is meticulous about their tests and they charge I think 1 or 2 bucks. I was in there buying something unrelated (i think I was getting a lawnmower blade sharpened in the other half of the store) and I heard a woman asking why they charge for the test when all the other pool places are free, and the lady behind the counter said something like "that's what it is, we test accurately. You can go get a free test and buy all the stuff they want you to buy or I can tell you what your pool really needs."

    I may give that store a whirl again when I sharpen my lawnmower blade - they may even sell the Taylor test kit. Given how much I'll save using BBB (over ProTeam Supreme Plus alone!) it will pay for a test kit and then some, so if I can't find it locally I'll be ordering next week.

    Thanks for the elaborations!
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    530

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    You'll save a bunch applying what is on TFP.
    Those pool stores do not care about your pool & wallet the way you do.
    Get one of the 2 kits advised in Pool School is my advice. Most here, me included, love the one from Duraleigh, TFTestkits
    19,800 gallons (closed/winter 18,654 gal); plaster; 18x34 Ft kidney bean shape, Depth 3Ft-5Ft. Built 1992
    Pentair Whisper Flow Pump 1HP. Winter safety cover w anchors.
    Sand filter, Pentair Sand Dollar Top Mount Model SD80; Effective Filtration Area 3.5SF
    - FlowRate 75GPM, 8Hr 36,000, 10Hr 45,000, 12Hr 54,000; Pressure Weight 50PSI
    BBB (Hayward Chlorinator when leave town). Polaris 360 cleaner.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    I can only comment on my experience. I test my own water and get consistent results because I do it the same all the time, the correct way. I some times go and have tested at a Pool Store just to get a ball park figure (it saves on reagents) and noticed that they do not measure accuratly and always get wide ranges of results.

    I proved it to a friend that had an algea problem. We got 2 samples from the same pool and told the pool guy that they were from 2 different pools and got 2 different results for each test. The variances were not small either. For FC one was .5 and the other 3.

    Sooner or later, you would want to test yourself.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Toms River, NJ
    Posts
    151

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny B
    You'll save a bunch applying what is on TFP.
    Don't I know it - and I haven't even started yet!

    This year I want to buy all (or almost all) of the chemicals I'll need on hand for the whole season before I even open the pool. I've been going around getting prices and adding everything up, and so far I'm right around $550 (Bleach [enough for two good shocks], salt, borax, Muriatic Acid, and let's not forget my TF100). I may be missing a few things, but all in all that's a far cry from previous years where I was spending $200-300 per month for a 5 month season.

    The savings on borax alone over Pro Team Supreme is enough to pay for a good test kit.

    My wife thinks I'm now obsessed, but I can't wait for her to see that sparkling water.
    45,180 gallon 26' x 53' IG Vinyl, irregular shape. Hayward sand filter / pump. Polaris AutoClear SWG, supplemented with a Hayward Automatic Chlorinator (In-Line). Hayward 400K BTU heater. Paramount "turnover" system. Polaris 480 PRO cleaner.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,344

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    My wife thinks I'm now obsessed...
    You are. We all are.
    In a good way.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SWSuburban Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11,965

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    My wife thinks I'm now obsessed...
    You are. We all are.
    In a good way.
    Absolutely.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Importance of testing yourself

    Quote Originally Posted by baudilus
    This year I want to buy all (or almost all) of the chemicals I'll need on hand for the whole season before I even open the pool.
    Bleach and liquid chlorine lose their strength over time, so it is best to buy that weekly or so, and not 3 or 4 months worth at once.

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •