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Thread: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

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    Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Hello All,

    Well I finallly just received my new TF100 test kit. Seems like you need to be a scientist to figure out how to use this thing! My pool's water appears clear, but my wife and kids complain the water is "sticky".

    I would like to put the test kit to work and find out what I can do to help my pool.

    Also, is it reasonable to expect that I could get assistance here that would guide me into using common household products to treat the water rather than the pool store's chemicals?

    Any guidance as to which test to run and how to run it would be very helpful.

    I also have the SpeedStir and not sure when/where to use that. I really just bought this thing on the advice I received here, and dont know the first thing about testing.

    Thanks
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

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    WestSidePool's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    On the inside of the lid is complete instructions to run your tests.

    It's actually quite simple. I think the CYA is the hardest to do the first time around. A note about that. You can reuse the sample mixture you made to retest your results a couple of times.
    Here is a quick glance at how to test CYA, different test kit, but same principal.

    The speed stirrer swirls the drops in the test so you don't have to do it manually.

    So follow the directions and post a full list of your test numbers and the people on this forum will be able to help you further.

    You may also want to read up on Pool School
    Eric

    IG 17x33 Grecian - Vinyl Liner (21k gallons), Hayward Pro-Grid DE 4820 filter, Hayward Super Pump, CompuPool SWG CPSC36, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Run all the tests!

    I use the speedstir for all of them.

    Since you'll be doing the FAS-DPD chlorine test (the powder one), you don't need to use the chlorine test on the pH tester. It's nowhere near as accurate. You might try it, just so you get an idea of what the various FC levels look like. But it's not all that useful if you have the FAS-DPD test, which you do.

    I take a plastic cup, rinse it, then grab a sample as deep as I can reach in the pool. Invert the cup, plunge it in, then right it and it will fill. Carry that over to a table somewhere to run tests. Try not to confuse the sample water with whatever you're drinking.

    First, rinse the pH test block, then run the pH test. I find it useful to hold the tester at arm's length with something white in the background.

    Then run the FAS-DPD test. Then run the rest in whatever order you feel like. The directions are on the lid. There are more directions and tips here. I believe someone has posted the link to the Taylor website that actually has videos showing how to run the tests.

    Anyway, once you run all the tests, post the results here. Someone will be along to help interpret them, show you how to use the pool calculator, and so on.

    If the water is already clear, I imagine you will have it feeling good and sparkling in a week.
    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!

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    I suggest that you keep a log book of the tests you run and what you do based on those numbers. I use an expanded version of the chart on the top of the TF100, so that I also know what I added to the pool and what result I was expecting. Do the pH and FC test daily, the others less as you see how fast they vary. I do the full test about monthly unless something is out of whack.
    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: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Hi JoeFixes and welcome to TFP!
    I was in the same situation at the beginning of the year with my pool.
    Try to follow the directions as best as you can, maybe order more regents to test more often to help with your learning curve.
    I ordered the XL option TF-100 kit so I could test as much as I wanted to to help me understand and feel more comfortable to what I could do to get my pool working right like I see from a lot of posts here.
    My mistake was not to break away fast enough from the pool store and was mixing my test results together from my TF-100 and pool store test results.
    As soon as I finally got my thick dumb brain to accept using ONLY my TF-100 results and posting them here (I did receive an overwhelming amount of posts helping me) my pool did exactly what it was told to do and now have had a perfect pool for over 3 months straight, even here in super hot FL when we have been breaking heat records!
    I did learn that my PH would always swing up, then I lowered my TA from 120 to 80 and now my PH stays pegged perfect at 7.5 all the time even with all the pool party's we have had this summer with so many kids splashing about and pool playing with the water hose!
    My total cost to maintain my pool this past month (July) was a whooping $8.41! (except electric)

    PS: It was a no brainer for me to become a lifetime member and give back to TFP!
    By the way... NICE size pool! 18X33 or so will be my next upgrade!
    Chuck
    Swim n Play 21' round, expandable 72" liner, 6FT deep center, buried 14", 12,750 Gallons
    Waterway 1HP-2 speed with 22" Sand filter
    TF-100 test kit
    Thanks to TFP my pool is perfect all the time :party:
    I now suffer from Sparklypoolitis! :whoot:
    I am a Platinum contributor because I want everyone who comes here to Trouble Free Pool to have the same success that I enjoy with my pool and family.

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Welcome, Joe Fixes, to the best website ever created regarding swimming pools! Trust the moderators here, they know what they are talking about! They have helped me in the past, and this year, armed with the same test kit you just purchased, I truly have a trouble free pool! I only signed on just now to sing their praise! I am no longer at the mercy of the kids behind the pool store counter. I do the testing myself, although I remember how intimidated I was when I first received my kit. It is actually pretty simple. All I use is regular clorox bleach everyday, which I buy in bulk at Costco. Understand the CYA to Chlorine ratio so you know what your minimum chlorine ppm should be in order to keep your pool sanitized...there is a chart available, and it is wonderful...my pool has sparkled all season! Thank you, Trouble Free Pool.com, for allowing me to enjoy my pool !!!!!! I have gone from "I can't wait to get rid of this pool" (because of the headaches) to "I can't get enough of my pool, I am enjoying it so much".....AHHHHHHH

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Thanks to all the great and encouraging replies. I just ran my first tests this morning and am anxious to post the results and also some commects and questions about what i understood and what I did not understand.

    I dont want to break protocol though. Is there a particular place on this site to post results? Please let me know so I can post them right away.

    THank you
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Post them here as to keep your original post all in the same place for the time being.

    But if you want to start a new post you can do it here testing-the-water-f10.html
    13,000 Plaster IG Pool approx
    Hayward C5030 Cart Filter
    Emerson 1081 EB653 1.0 HP 1.40 S.F. 3450 RPM
    Pool Calculator, Pool School, TF Test Kits

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Great! Thanks. I will just post them here as long as that is okay.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, my water "appears" clean. But the kids and wife complained it was "sticky"

    Here is what I have for test results:

    FC 23
    CC 0
    TC 23
    pH 7.2
    T/A 90
    CH 500
    CYA 65
    Pool Water Temp is 74°

    I first ran the chlorine & pH tests in the Basic Kit. I ran it twice and got the same results both times. pH is definitely 7.2.

    The Yellow side though...well I couldnt match it up because it wasnt yellow at all....it is clearly orange and did not match up with any of the shades of yellow on the test block.

    The other test I had difficulty with was the test for Calcium Hardness. I was adding the R-0012 and waiting for the sample to run blue. I got to 50 drops and the water was clearly not red any longer. It was red when I first added the R-011L. Just a tinge of red though, not a lot. I added the 50 drops of R-0012 and at 50 i saw a blue edge, definitely not blue water. I added another 50 drops and it didnt change, then I added another 20 drops and still no change. So I went with 50 has the multiplier because the sample did not get any bluer from 50 to 120 drops.

    Thats it for my first test run. Be greateful to hear the thoughts from all of you.
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

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    dattia's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    The orange indicates high chlorine... which is back-up by your FAS-DPD test. Are you in the process of shocking to have such a high FC number? If you are, don't even bother with the basic block chlorine test, just use the pH side to test your pH. This block test will be useful for routine testing of chlorine levels, but not while shocking.
    27' round AG
    Hayward Matrix 1 1/2 HP Pump
    Hayward S210T Sand Filter

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    We havent put shock in the pool since last weekend, so its been about 6 days. As i mentioned in my initial post. Up until now, we had been using shock as a form of keeping the water clear, and it had been working pretty good, but i recognize this is not the proper way to maintain the water. What is the FAS-DPD test?
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

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    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    That's the powder test to test your chlorine. It is much more accurate then the yellow side of the test thingy. You need to be able to test higher than the 5 that the yellow shows with a higher cya or during the shocking process.

    Depending on what kind of "shock" you were using, it adds something to your water, either cya or calcium. The preferred method around here is bleach or liquid chlorine. Shock is really a process, not something you toss in the pool to clear it up. (It may work short term, but will become problamatic in the long run)

    Have you read how to shock your pool? If you keep your chlorine levels in line with your cya you may never need to shock again, but in the instance that you do, there is a wealth of info in that section.

    Your cya seems to be a little on the high side, though manageable. Just means you will need more chlorine at that level. Unless you have a SWG, the more manageable levels of cya are 40-50. The only way to lower these levels are to drain a little and add fresh water.
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Thanks for the replies. So...i'm a newbie. Can you define SWG?


    Your cya seems to be a little on the high side, though manageable. Just means you will need more chlorine at that level.
    And I guess I am confused....if the tests are telling me my chlorine is high....why would I add more chlorine?

    Thanks much...
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

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    pepsiholic's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Sorry, SWG = Salt Water Generator. I can't tell you much about them because I don't have one. You probably don't either since you didn't mention it, so it's not important to this dicussion.

    You don't need to add more chlorine now, just when it starts to drift down to a normal level, your chlorine usage may be a little higher due to your cya being 65.

    I would run on overnight chlorine loss test just to confirm that you are done killing any thing that might have taken hold. It's explained in pool school. Then in the morning if you have passed, let your chlorine drift down the next day and test it again.

    You'll never want your chlorine level to be less than 5 with a cya of 65, so every evening you should bump it up to about 8 or 9 to allow for burnoff the next day.

    Some people like to keep a log to determine their daily chlorine usage, so they can get a feel on how their pool responds.
    24 x 52 Round AG Outback Empire Pool 13,500 gal.
    1 HP Hayward Power-Flo pump w/Hayward 18" 150lb. sand filter
    TF-100 test kit & SpeedStir
    Wanda the Whale Vacuum

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    WestSidePool's Avatar
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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Keep in mind, "shock" is a process, not a product.
    You only need to shock when there is something wrong. As long as you maintain your FC at the correct level and never let it get below the minimum then you should in theory never have to shock.
    If you are able to keep all your numbers according to Pool School you should have an almost trouble free pool
    Eric

    IG 17x33 Grecian - Vinyl Liner (21k gallons), Hayward Pro-Grid DE 4820 filter, Hayward Super Pump, CompuPool SWG CPSC36, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    ]With FC of 23 and CYA of 65, you are pretty much at shock level (see the http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ya_chart_shock

    But I'm not sure I know if you intended to be shocking or if you just kept adding shock products and it just happened that FC got that high. Or if you made an error in the math of the test procedure.

    So, let's check the math first. If you use a 10 ml water sample, then you add the heaping spoon of powder (should be some undissolved in the vial after you swirl it, that is, a little too much is just enough). Then you count drops to get the solution to go clear again. Multiply by 0.5, so for FC of 23 you would have counted 46 drops. Was that right?
    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: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Multiply by 0.5, so for FC of 23 you would have counted 46 drops. Was that right?
    Yes. I put 46 drops in before it cleared up. I will run the test again today to see what kind of results i get. By the way, the instructions on the inside cover of the test kit say when using the basic pH & Chlorine test not to record the pH level. Why is that?
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Since your FC was well above 10 ppm, the pH level you tested is not valid. You need to wait until FC is 10 or less to get a valid number. You would expect it to read high, so pH is less than the 7.2 you tested then.

    Now you want to let the FC decline to the normal range of 5 - 7 ppm, do not let it get lower than 5.0 ppm. By testing each day at the same time, you will learn how much the FC declines by each day, it is more of a percentage sort of decline than a ppm/day decline. As you get into the 7 ppm area, you can judge how much bleach to add to the pool to be certain that it does not drop below 5.0 ppm. That is the minimum for CYA 65, never below 5.0 ppm.

    Remember that when you get to FC of 10, you can trust your pH result. You may need to adjust it then. I will guess that with a TA of 90 that the pH will tend to rise a bit over time, not a lot however. I don't know for sure how much the test if off, so as you get to FC of 12 or so, it will be high but not a lot higher than reality. We are not alarmed until pH is less than 6.8.

    So, what was the shock product you were using? CYA and calcium both are on the high side so I cannot guess if it was dichlor (adds CYA) or cal-hypo (adds calcium). Regardless, no more of those as you need to go to bleach now, or liquid shock which is just stronger bleach from the pool store.

    Spend a little time with the Pool Calculator, as you read through Pool School. Get familiar with what volume of 6% bleach you need to get from 5 ppm FC to 7 ppm FC, for example.

    Also test your tap water for CH and TA. You know that it has no CYA and whatever FC it has is irrelevant since that is consumed quickly. If you want to you could test FC and then CC, for some water sources have chloramine instead of chlorine and that means that fill water will have CC. Just nice to know that CCs came from fill water not something growing in the pool.

    My water has high TA but low CH, I think in California or Nevada they have high CH. Eventually these matter, over time.
    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.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Hi Guys,

    I did another full round of tests today. I am not a simple person, but a lot of what was told to me in the replies is still going over my head. I figure if I do this more regularly I will start to "get it"

    FC 22.5
    CC 0
    TC 22.5
    pH 7.2
    T/A 110
    CH 360
    CYA 90

    The shock we had been using is a liquid product called SUPER SHOCK and according to the ingredients it has

    Sodium Hypochlorite 12.5%
    Inert Ingredients 87.5%

    I am going to test my tap water next. Just for kicks....i will post that next.
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Just Got my Test Kit......Now what?

    Funny....i was expecting a result in the chlorine test when i tested the tap water....but it seems my tap is free of chlorine

    This is my tap water test results:

    p/H 7.2
    TA 160
    CH 250

    In the CYA test...i used the complete sample and filled the view tube (which my daughter calls the YouTube) and i was able to see the black dot when it was filled completely.

    I assume that means it has no CYA?

    This is the same water that was used to fill the pool.

    Thanks for taking the time to review.
    JoeFixes
    (but only if it is broken!)
    18x33 AG - 15,700 Gallons
    DE Filter

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