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Thread: Why are my test results so different than the pool store?

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    Why are my test results so different than the pool store?

    I bought a Taylor K-2006 based on recommendations here. However, the results I'm seeing are wildly different than what I got at Leslies... and I'm wondering if that's normal or if maybe I'm doing something wrong. Examples:

    pH: Leslie's: 7.1 Me: 7.4
    TA: Leslie's: 110 Me: 180
    CYA: Leslie's: 40 Me: off the charts high (not even approaching the 100 marker on my tube)

    Hints? Guesses?
    19000 gallon IG installed in 2003, owned by me since 2010, vinyl liner, 18x36, Sta-Rite PLM-150 cartridge filter, 1hp AOSmith motor on <brand unknown> pump, automatic cover, BBB since August 2011

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    It is frighteningly common for pool store test results to be wildly wrong. I'd bet on your test results over theirs every time. That doesn't mean I'm certain that you didn't make any mistakes, just that the odds to them making mistakes are higher than the odds of you making mistakes. Trust your own testing and things will turn out better in the long run.

    On the TA test, you might want to do the test again, but this time wipe the tip of the dropper bottle with a damp tissue every couple of drops. Sometimes static electricity builds up on the top which can throw off the results.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    It is normal to question your test results when your test results differ from the results of the “experts”. However, was your “expert” a high school kid that has never maintained a pool? Did your “expert” use a test strip which cannot provide an accurate test?

    Watch these videos for how to test with the Taylor K-2006 test kit. http://www.taylortechnologies.com/produ ... deshow.asp
    Read this description on how to conduct the CYA test: http://www.taylortechnologies.com/Chemi ... ntentID=44

    You may now know more about accurate testing than the “expert” that you talked to at Leslie's.

    The color match pH test will provide you with good results to maintain your pool.
    The CYA test requires a learning curve to be comfortable with your result. I generally do the test twice with the same solution. If I see the black dot disappear +-5 then I accept my result.

    Remember you are trying to maintain your pool water; you do not need scientific accuracy. Soon your results will be much better than the hurried results from a pool store. I have not been in a pool store for 3 years.
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    I was just about to post the same thing...

    I'm finally getting around to the Liquid Chlorinator. I cleaned the filter and the LQ today. Then I took a baseline test.

    pH - 7.7
    FC - 1-2 with the yellow drops
    FC - 3.5 with the drop test
    CC - 0 with the drop test
    CYA - 75 ish

    I went to pool store #1 to pick up some Chlorine

    Her hand results were

    FC - 2
    pH - 7.6 - 7.7

    The computer results:

    FC - 1
    CC - 0
    pH - 7.4
    CYA - 48
    Alch - 76
    Adjusted Alch - 62
    Hardness - 286
    TDS - 800

    Based on that she wanted me to add a bunch of Balance Pak 100 to raise the Alch and 2 pts of Acid to counterbalance the pH.

    I had to return some empty HASA bottles to another store. The guy didn't give me any numbers, but told me to add about 2 pts of Acid (he doesn't have ANY idea on the size of my pool) and he wanted some more Chlorine because of the time of the year... He did the CYA test in a little white tube with a cane. He said he came up with a little over 75. He also is not a fan of Liquid Chlorine, he thinks I'll need to add a bunch of acid to the pool every couple weeks.

    The only result that concerns me is my CYA. If it really is up at 75 then I don't have enough FC
    40x20 Free Form IG Pool (aprox 29,000 Gal, 140 Perimeter, depth 3'6"-7', Baja Shelf, 8x8 Free Form Spa) - Gunite Shell, Pebble Plaster Finish, Poured Concrete Coping - 3 Deep Heat Returns - Jandy LXi400 Gas Heater (400,000 Btu) - Jandy Variable Speed Pump JEP 2.0 - Jandy CL 600 Filter - HASA Liquidator - Jandy PDA 6 w/ Remote - 4x Jandy WaterColors Pool LEDs - 48" Gas Fire Pit - 6x Gas Tiki Torches - 12'x15' U-shaped BBQ Island (Firemagic Equipment)
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    I would trust your results and up the FC to match.

    Using liquid for chlorination is basically a pH neutral event. It raises it a little when you add it but lowers it a little when it gets used up so basically neutral. I use liquid exclusively and have to add about a cup of acid every month or two.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    So I stopped by another pool store today

    I'm not sure what to think about this...

    Here are the results of 3 tests over a couple days
    Attached Images Attached Images
    40x20 Free Form IG Pool (aprox 29,000 Gal, 140 Perimeter, depth 3'6"-7', Baja Shelf, 8x8 Free Form Spa) - Gunite Shell, Pebble Plaster Finish, Poured Concrete Coping - 3 Deep Heat Returns - Jandy LXi400 Gas Heater (400,000 Btu) - Jandy Variable Speed Pump JEP 2.0 - Jandy CL 600 Filter - HASA Liquidator - Jandy PDA 6 w/ Remote - 4x Jandy WaterColors Pool LEDs - 48" Gas Fire Pit - 6x Gas Tiki Torches - 12'x15' U-shaped BBQ Island (Firemagic Equipment)
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Ignore their tests.
    Your water looks good, increase calcium just a bit. You c could use cal-hypo for chlorine if you have it. It is a good value in Leslies Power Powder Pro in the 90 lb bucket. Keep FC in range for your CYA. Not sure why you note such a large range on your test.
    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.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    On your TF-100 FC test was that 6 drops or 12 drops?

    If you look at just the difference between the pool stores you see that they can't even agree on the numbers. Trust your own tests.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Yea, it's pretty funny that their numbers are so different. The BioGuard Store has a computer tester, the Leslie Store was almost all by hand.

    Thats 12 drops, FC of 6.

    Is there a reason the Yellow Drops chlorine test is only showing 2-3?
    40x20 Free Form IG Pool (aprox 29,000 Gal, 140 Perimeter, depth 3'6"-7', Baja Shelf, 8x8 Free Form Spa) - Gunite Shell, Pebble Plaster Finish, Poured Concrete Coping - 3 Deep Heat Returns - Jandy LXi400 Gas Heater (400,000 Btu) - Jandy Variable Speed Pump JEP 2.0 - Jandy CL 600 Filter - HASA Liquidator - Jandy PDA 6 w/ Remote - 4x Jandy WaterColors Pool LEDs - 48" Gas Fire Pit - 6x Gas Tiki Torches - 12'x15' U-shaped BBQ Island (Firemagic Equipment)
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Why are my test results so different than the pool store
    Because your TF100 test results, done properly, are correct.

    Don't waste your time or energy double-checking with the pool store. Their tests are designed to sell chemicals.
    There are some posts around here somewhere that discuss the non-accuracy of different pool store test systems. Maybe someone can dig them up.

    The TF100 is designed to put YOU in control of your pool. Use it, trust it,(as so many of us do) and be happy that you have it!
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Are you testing w/the 25ml sample or the 10ml sample?

    If you're using the 25ml sample, each drop is .2ppm. The 10ml sample, each drop .5ppm.

    Just wanted to double check. It could explain the difference the OTO test is showing.
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    My kit only has the 10ml instructions for FC. So yea, I'm using 10ml.
    40x20 Free Form IG Pool (aprox 29,000 Gal, 140 Perimeter, depth 3'6"-7', Baja Shelf, 8x8 Free Form Spa) - Gunite Shell, Pebble Plaster Finish, Poured Concrete Coping - 3 Deep Heat Returns - Jandy LXi400 Gas Heater (400,000 Btu) - Jandy Variable Speed Pump JEP 2.0 - Jandy CL 600 Filter - HASA Liquidator - Jandy PDA 6 w/ Remote - 4x Jandy WaterColors Pool LEDs - 48" Gas Fire Pit - 6x Gas Tiki Torches - 12'x15' U-shaped BBQ Island (Firemagic Equipment)
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare
    Yea, it's pretty funny that their numbers are so different. The BioGuard Store has a computer tester, the Leslie Store was almost all by hand.

    Thats 12 drops, FC of 6.

    Is there a reason the Yellow Drops chlorine test is only showing 2-3?
    I find that the OTO test is best at deciding if you have some chlorine, vs having no chlorine. I cannot tell the difference between 2 and 3 or 3 and 5. Once you get way above 5, you can tell that you are way above 5, but not where.
    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.

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Notice that pool store tests indicated that you need more chlorine than what your tests indicated, I'm sure they would have been more than happy to sell it to you (wink wink, nudge nudge).

    I wonder how often someone goes into a pool store with water levels at normal, and the pool guy tests it and says "ya your good, you don't need to add anything. Next."
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    I see you have 1000 ppb phosphates... did Leslie's try to sell you phospate remover?
    -Tom

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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    How do pool stores do their testing?
    32 x 16 20,000 gallon inground vinyl. Pool Genie filter. BBB seems to be working well so far despite high CYA. Aquabot Turbo T which I adore.

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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Tests will vary store to store. Some are drop tests, some are strips.

    The bigger chains use a strip test that is read by a computer. These tests are usually the most inaccurate from what I've seen. They give you a print out that tells you have 1.57ppm of chlorine and 83.5 TA and a CYA of 55.6ppm. What really annoys me is all those precise numbers make the tests look very accurate when they are in fact often times off by 50% or more.

    When I first got my TF100 I would take my water to the local chain store twice a month. Over 6 months they never ever got my CH CYA or TA correct. Chlorine and PH were occasionally close.
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Most of the time I've noticed the pool store speed through all the tests and am almost 100% confident that they don't quite get the level of measuring and accuracy that an owner would to to test...
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    Yea, the Leslie guy tried to sell PhosFree or something like that.

    The BioGuard Store uses the computer test strip machine and they also hand test pH and Chlorine.
    The Leslie Store used all hand testing, there was one test strip for something. He also has the machine that spins the water with the magnet. His CYA test was the white tube with the candycane.

    None of the stores I visted were taking the time to get exactly 10ml or 25ml of water. They all just threw some water into the tube and ran the test.
    40x20 Free Form IG Pool (aprox 29,000 Gal, 140 Perimeter, depth 3'6"-7', Baja Shelf, 8x8 Free Form Spa) - Gunite Shell, Pebble Plaster Finish, Poured Concrete Coping - 3 Deep Heat Returns - Jandy LXi400 Gas Heater (400,000 Btu) - Jandy Variable Speed Pump JEP 2.0 - Jandy CL 600 Filter - HASA Liquidator - Jandy PDA 6 w/ Remote - 4x Jandy WaterColors Pool LEDs - 48" Gas Fire Pit - 6x Gas Tiki Torches - 12'x15' U-shaped BBQ Island (Firemagic Equipment)
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    Re: Why are my test results so different than the pool store

    I wonder how many people the pool store says "you need 8 lbs of X" or "1 quart of Y" without ever knowing the size of the pool. I'm betting they would tell someone with a 8,000 gallon above ground pool the same quantity they'd tell me for my pool.

    I've been really tempted to take a sample from my pool, my water's been dead on perfect for months.
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