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Thread: Testing Water

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    Testing Water

    Kit came in yesterday along with other goodies like SpeedStir etc. that i ordered. Want to become a Pro at doing this myself.

    What is the best time to do a sample?
    With the SpeedStir it has a light so should i do my readings in a less lighted place?
    What is the best lighting to get true numbers?

    What else should i do to help a beginner in doing my own testing?

    Thanks
    27' Radiant Metric, 17,100 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp 220v
    Circupool RJ45, Sand Filter, Borates
    Dolphin DX6 Robotic cleaner
    TF 100 Kit

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Testing Water

    just tested indoors using light from SpeedStir and Florescent lighting in kitchen.

    FC 7
    CC 1
    TC 8
    TA 100
    CH 150
    CYA 40 added 4 lbs. of stabilizer yesterday
    PH BETWEEN 7.2 and 7.5
    BORATES 50
    SALT 3300
    TEMP 85
    27' Radiant Metric, 17,100 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp 220v
    Circupool RJ45, Sand Filter, Borates
    Dolphin DX6 Robotic cleaner
    TF 100 Kit

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    Re: Testing Water

    Best time; probably early evening, since chlorine added then will last all night. Also, filter needs to have been running about an hour before taking a sample and running about an hour after adding chemicals. But really, just do it regularly and keep notes on the results and what you add. I also note what my target levels are, since FC target changes as CYA changes and MA volumes to get to a given pH change as TA changes, for example.

    SpeedStir; I don't think less lighting makes any difference. I think consistent lighting is most important so I take the samples inside to the laundry room where I have a sink and a countertop and do most tests there. That is away from the mosquitoes, comfortable in the winter, and near the computer so I can check the Pool Calculator for volumes to add. Also that is where I store my test kit.

    True numbers; just know that you want to count all drops that change the colors. That means that when you think you are "clear" or "red" or "blue" add one more drop and be certain. Later on you will be able to know how red is "red". The SpeedStir helps quite a lot with that, but if you are not using that then hold the vial up to a white surface. Sometimes looking at it with a white cabinet or wall behind it shows the difference between "clear" and not quite clear.

    Your numbers look OK in some areas, depending on what sort of pool surface you have. CH is probably low for plaster, OK for vinyl or fiberglass. For SWG pools your CYA needs to be higher so let us know what that addition of CYA ought to give you. Assuming that the target is between 60 and 80 then you are OK. Keep it near 7 or 8 until the CC goes down. I assume you might be trying to lower the TA with the pH a bit on the low side so if you aerate the pH can rise a bit. Not sure that is really important, depends on your pool surface I think.

    You can add you pool info to your profile and it will show up on your posts. Very helpful for those who want to offer advice.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: Testing Water

    It doesn't really matter what time of the day or night you check. The tests for everything but PH are based on color change, not a specific color so as long as you can see the color change or go to clear then you have enough light.

    If you are wanting to check for chlorine loss, then the best way is to do a check late in the evening.. not necessarily dark but after the sun is no longer shining on the pool, maybe just at sunset.... and then check again the morning just at sunup before sunlight hits the pool directly. That way you eliminate how much FC the sun in consuming and if you are losing anything over .5 ppm then you need to shock the pool.

    Which comes to the next point... you have 1ppm CC... so you need to shock now. You want CC's to be 0. Use the pool calculator to check shock levels. And I would go probably 5ppm over that since you just added 4#'s of CYA yesterday. Don't test your CYA level's again for another 3-4 days as you're just wasting your reagents. It takes almost a week for CYA to full dissolve and show up during testing.

    What type of pool do you have? Do you have a vinyl liner?
    24' x 52" AGP = 13.5k gallons
    Dynamo 2.0 HP pump,Sand Dollar sand filter
    Polaris 65 vacuum (good when there are a ton of leaves on bottom), Pool Rover Jr. (LOVE it, but power box dead right now), AquaCritter (an excellent suction side cleaner)

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Water

    Quote Originally Posted by kpromero
    Kit came in yesterday along with other goodies like SpeedStir etc. that i ordered. Want to become a Pro at doing this myself.

    What is the best time to do a sample?
    With the SpeedStir it has a light so should i do my readings in a less lighted place?
    What is the best lighting to get true numbers?

    What else should i do to help a beginner in doing my own testing?

    Thanks
    A white lab coat goes well with the speed stir and all the vials.

    I find the best lighting is sunlight with something white to view against. My pH can change dramatically if the background is the blue sky, the tan fence, or even an overcast sky. I have some white plastic chairs that are handy. Just hold the sample up with a chair that has direct sun on it as the background.

    Keep a log. It's real easy to forget the numbers from even a couple days ago. You'll also gain a feel for what you need to add, over time.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Testing Water

    I have an above ground pool 27' round, 4' deep which should be 17,200 gallons or so.

    I also have a AquaRite SWG.
    27' Radiant Metric, 17,100 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp 220v
    Circupool RJ45, Sand Filter, Borates
    Dolphin DX6 Robotic cleaner
    TF 100 Kit

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Testing Water

    When I test CH, the blue color is pretty faint, and I found that the builtin light on the speed-stir washed it out. So I tend not to use the light. Decent ambient light and a white background works really well for the color-change tests.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Testing Water

    I did notice the vials in my kit are a little crooked and at angles. Is this a problem?
    27' Radiant Metric, 17,100 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp 220v
    Circupool RJ45, Sand Filter, Borates
    Dolphin DX6 Robotic cleaner
    TF 100 Kit

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Testing Water

    If it's from tftestkits, check out this post and if it's the same problem, send a PM to duraleigh and he'll get you new ones.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    Louisiana
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    Re: Testing Water

    2nd weekend test results.
    FC 6
    CC 0
    TC 6
    TA 110
    CYA 50
    SALT 3500
    PH 7.2 - 7.5
    BORATES 50
    TEMP 86 F


    I have been going with the vial that came with the SpeedStir.
    27' Radiant Metric, 17,100 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp 220v
    Circupool RJ45, Sand Filter, Borates
    Dolphin DX6 Robotic cleaner
    TF 100 Kit

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Water

    Your numbers are looking very good. Since you have a SWG, I would work on lowering TA, but that doesn't need to happen right away.
    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

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Water

    Just in case you haven't seen it, here's a link to the Water Balance for SWGs article in Pool School.
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    mickey4paws's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320
    Keep a log. It's real easy to forget the numbers from even a couple days ago. You'll also gain a feel for what you need to add, over time.
    When I got my TF100, I photocopied the log that is on the top of the kit's case. I made about 20 copies so should last me a season or two.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: Testing Water

    Quote Originally Posted by mickey4paws

    When I got my TF100, I photocopied the log that is on the top of the kit's case. I made about 20 copies so should last me a season or two.
    I found that I needed a bit more info so I made a spreadsheet on Excel and expanded that log to include what chemical I added, what strength, volume, and my goal for that addition and room for a comment. i.e. Cal-Hypo/ 73%/ 28 oz./ goal FC 6/ MA/ 2 cups/ goal pH 7.4/ rained
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Testing Water

    Thanks all for your help. You are all making it easier and helping me understand my pool better. Love this site.
    27' Radiant Metric, 17,100 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5hp 220v
    Circupool RJ45, Sand Filter, Borates
    Dolphin DX6 Robotic cleaner
    TF 100 Kit

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