Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

  1. Back To Top    #1

    chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Hi all, After treating my pool with MA, it really did the trick of lowering the PH and TA well (in fact for the first time ever I had to add soda ash to bring it up), but a couple days later the PH was higher than I've ever seen it. I put 3 oz bisulfite in, waited about an hour, and it lowered it some (still looked a hair below 8.2), but not enough, so I put 4 oz more in. An hour later it still looks like a hair below 8.2! Do I just keep dumping in bisulfite?

    My aqua chem chlorine drops are reading more or less perfect (between 1.5 and 3) on the chlorine level, but then I tested with an Intex test strip which measures Free Chlorine, and it shows the lowest mark (0.2). Which one do I trust?
    I know they say strips are notoriously inaccurate, but the PH And alk readings seem good on it.


    Intex above ground 16' round pool, 5000 gallons, saltwater generator.
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  2. Back To Top    #2
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    As you have found out, strips can not be trusted. I wouldn't chase your pool levels around with you only input being strips. I would not trust the TA or CA readings. I wouldn't be surprised if you and your pool just went through a futile exercise. At least get a drop base test kit, but if you really want to save money, time and headaches get the tf-100! See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...kit_comparison Since you do not know your CYA level, you do not know what is a the right range for FC. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ater_chemistry.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Yes, I said that I DO have drops too. (and mentioned the results, which I'm trying to reconcile it's results versus the strips. I just don't want my kids to get sick. Yes, I know about the TF-100 and plan to buy that (fresh) first thing next spring, but not this year as season is almost over.
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  4. Back To Top    #4
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    Yes, I said that I DO have drops too. (and mentioned the results, which I'm trying to reconcile it's results versus the strips. I just don't want my kids to get sick. Yes, I know about the TF-100 and plan to buy that (fresh) first thing next spring, but not this year as season is almost over.
    Sorry, I did not mean offense, but do not compare drops to strips. The strips are likely to be wrong. I did not think you had drops for TA. I wouldn't adjust TA with just strips. With that said, do you know your CYA, or do you know how much you have put in using stabilizer, or pucks? If we knew that, then we could help with the FC level etc. How does you water look?
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    I don't know my CYA, but it was at their absolute maximum high level on their test when Leslie's tested it a few weeks ago. Since then I overfilled the pool on accident, but I believe only a couple inches may have spilled over..the rest I let evaporate until it got to the right level (to maintain my salt) So I think the CYA is probably fine. Don't know for sure cuz my drops only measure Chlorine and PH. Like I said I'll buy the TF-100 next season...there's only a few weeks left to this season. I never used pucks, just some CYA powder almost 2 months ago maybe (aqua chem "Stabilizer") plus leslie's chlor-brite which also has CYA which was probly why it was high. (I don't use shock anymore due to advice here)

    I just tested PH and it's still high, same as yesterday. I'd guess maybe 8.0 from the vial color chart. I just added 4 oz MA again to see if it will come down this time. Like I said, yesterday I'd put in 3 oz bisulfite in, waited about an hour, and it lowered it some (still looked a hair below 8.2), but not enough, so I put 4 oz more of it in, which didn't help, so I put in 4 oz MA last night. And then today another 4 oz. I'm only adding 4oz at a time due to posted advice on another pool web site, advising not to use a formula to calculate anything more than a 0.2 pH drop. That the formula is "limited" to prevent unpredictability.

    Formula being: for .2 PH drop:

    Oz muriatic acid = .0008 * pool volume (gallons) Mine is 5000 gals.

    I basically retyped this....if I knew if I could post a link to that post on that pool site, I would have. Do they allow that here?
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  6. Back To Top    #6
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    I don't know my CYA, but it was at their absolute maximum high level on their test when Leslie's tested it a few weeks ago. Since then I overfilled the pool on accident, but I believe only a couple inches may have spilled over..the rest I let evaporate until it got to the right level (to maintain my salt) So I think the CYA is probably fine.
    If we assume the Leslie testing of CYA is correct, you still have alot of CYA in your pool. Loosing 2 inch over flow is less than 5%, and evaporation does not reduce CYA if in the end you fill back up to the same level.
    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    Don't know for sure cuz my drops only measure Chlorine and PH.
    Since those are the only drop based tests you have, do not adjust TA, CH, or CYA with just the strips, go to Leslies if you need too.
    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    ike I said I'll buy the TF-100 next season...there's only a few weeks left to this season.
    The reagents store fine over the winter. Do you plan to drain your pool this fall? If you do you can probably get by with the drops you have and Leslies. If you do not plan too, I would get the good kit.
    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    I just tested PH and it's still high, same as yesterday. I'd guess maybe 8.0 from the vial color chart. I just added 4 oz MA again to see if it will come down this time. Like I said, yesterday I'd put in 3 oz bisulfite in, waited about an hour, and it lowered it some (still looked a hair below 8.2), but not enough, so I put 4 oz more of it in, which didn't help, so I put in 4 oz MA last night. And then today another 4 oz. I'm only adding 4oz at a time due to posted advice on another pool web site, advising not to use a formula to calculate anything more than a 0.2 pH drop. That the formula is "limited" to prevent unpredictability.
    You want to get that ph down. You sure can adjust ph faster than that. If you want to be cautious go halfway, then retest and finish going the whole way. The poolcalculator.com has not steered me wrong, and I use it a lot! You will get very little error with it. I believe the other "pool web site" might be making this harder for you than it needs to be.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Thanks, good to know poolcalculator is a good site, i ran into that before, I'll bookmark it. I assume "31.45-20% Baume" is standard (I bought mine at Home Depot) Good to know no need to be afraid to do more than 2% change too....

    I think I read somewhere the reagents were good for 2 yrs indoors? If so, and I buy now, they'll carry me thru the next 2 summers right? Summer here ends end of Sept, maybe mid October, it all depends on the weather. Winters are usually very mild here except at nighttime, and last year I left the pool cover on and didn't put a drop of chemicals in, and this spring had no algae or anything, and, I can't remember (either the PH and chlorine were just fine or else I ran the SWCG to make chlorine and it was fine.) Maybe dumb luck, but I just thought the cool weather "preserved" the water. LOL

    Also, I forgot, about a month ago I did drain 20% of the water after Leslie's said (& my system indicated too) that my salt was too high. And refilled with our hard tap water. So along with the 2 inches maybe of overspill when overfilled, my CYA may be an unknown. This was the same time they measured the CYA at 99.

    I read about Borax (Sodium Tetraborate) and that it's better than bisulfate and also better than MA (since won't raise Alk), but bad thing is have to buy strips just to test that.... posting.php?mode=reply&f=10&t=38258#
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  8. Back To Top    #8
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    TA will come down naturally when lowering ph with MA. I would guess you do not need to worry about TA right now. If you need to raise ph use borax.

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    I think I read somewhere the reagents were good for 2 yrs indoors? If so, and I buy now, they'll carry me thru the next 2 summers right?
    Mine have lasted me two seasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    Summer here ends end of Sept, maybe mid October, it all depends on the weather.
    Where is here? I'm in Minnesota, so it gets pretty cold here. We recommend waiting till the pool water is below 60 F and staying before closing pool, algae does not grow fast at that temp. Here is are two guides worth reading: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...20group%20pool http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...in_ground_pool

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    I read about Borax (Sodium Tetraborate) and that it's better than bisulfate and also better than MA (since won't raise Alk), but bad thing is have to buy strips just to test that....
    MA lowers ph, borax raises it with small effects on TA. I would just worry about maintaining ph. When it starts to go above 7.8 lower it and when it gets down to 7.2 raise it.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,578

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    I think I read somewhere the reagents were good for 2 yrs indoors? If so, and I buy now, they'll carry me thru the next 2 summers right?
    Mine have lasted me two seasons.
    I've been using some reagents from a kit that is at least 15 years old, if not 20. CYA, PH, R-0003, CH... all accurate. The TA reagents went bad (or were used up, or maybe dried up?) so I have new reagents for TA from http://TFTestkits.net just to be sure. Granted, this is not a complete FAS-DPD kit so I can't vouch for those reagents (R-0780 and R-0781) till I get to store what I have for a couple years, but all those other old reagents work fine.

    I do have new reagents that I've used to verify the old ones with. Which means I'll have new reagents I bought that will wait to be used till I use up the old stuff. And I assume these new reagents will also have at least a year or two shelf life if the old ones (15+ years old) did. Or at least I hope they will...

    Even with the season closing I honestly can't recommend getting a proper test kit right away more. If only, to have the kit available when you decide to open next year so you can start off with the information you need to open your pool with the least amount of stress. Plus you get to practice this year, close with assurity, and go into next year with the tool you need to give your family the best pool you can immediately. Well worth the expense now if you can budget it in. Christmas is coming... spend your cashola now or you'll just end up putting it off next spring when you feel broke (if you're anything like me...).
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    I'm in the Grand Canyon State. Over the years summers have lasted longer and longer it seems. Weatherman's predicting like 112 for the next 2 weeks! so not bein' able to use the pool til these chems are balanced is killing us! Hope October stays balmy

    For increasing PH I just bought soda ash at Home Depot the other day. After I bought it, I think I read something negative about it though...like maybe contributing minerals or something? (our water here is already very hard) And do I NOT need test strips if I use borax occasionally?

    Good points about the test kit, am telling my wife we should order it now, as it's frustrating playing the guessing game. What's the deal with this "speedstir" tftestkits mentions? I assume I'lll need to be stirring things manually without it? (with my simple aqua chem kit I just shake the vials) It does 7 tests - do you have to stir each one?? That would get old real quick..... but I don't think I can afford $35 more for that gadget...
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    ...
    Good points about the test kit, am telling my wife we should order it now, as it's frustrating playing the guessing game. What's the deal with this "speedstir" tftestkits mentions? I assume I'lll need to be stirring things manually without it? (with my simple aqua chem kit I just shake the vials) It does 7 tests - do you have to stir each one?? That would get old real quick..... but I don't think I can afford $35 more for that gadget...
    I can't imagine testing without the speedstir now that I have one. The video shows how easy it makes things. It is especially good for the CH test, which takes a while.

    http://www.taylortechnologies.com/produ ... umber=9265
    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!

  12. Back To Top    #12
    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,578

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    I am my own speed stir. I'm getting very good at keeping the tube swirling while dropping. While I can see that it makes things much easier when you're doing full kit tests, I do not think the extra $35 is a justifiable expenditure. Especially if the budget is tight enough to cause debate over buying the kit itself or not.

    Just my .02 :~}
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    For the TF-100, can anyone tell me what exactly is the "XL option" that costs $10 more? They explain it as larger bottles of 2 chemicals you'd use most. Which ones are they? If they are the same ones I get with my aqua chem kit (OTO-orthotolodine <0.1% and dilute hydrochloric acid ~3.7%)and Phenol Red, I think I can get those for the same or lower price locally. Please let me know, so I can order the main kit ASAP. How long does it take to arrive anyhow?
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  14. Back To Top    #14
    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,578

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    It is not those chemicals. The XL option provides a larger amount of the FAS-DPD portion of the kit which is the chlorine testing chemicals. They test for FC, TC, and CC in a completely different way than you're used to testing chlorine. Not the same at all.

    The XL option is necessary for those who are shocking because shocking requires frequent testing during the process. Many people run out of reagents if they have to shock for much longer than a few days, if your pool is green it could take a week or more of shocking. At that point, you won't want to have to order more reagents, wait, and pay more shipping. It's a convenience option for those who need it.

    I've used most of a 2oz bottle of the R-0871 reagent already this summer and I haven't had a green pool (I do test with it about 4x per week though instead of once a week, I like it's accuracy and I don't like the OTO yellow at all). I would recommend the larger option to anyone actually. Green pool or not.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Holy cow! I just saw the shipping on the test kit, is $18.69 for USPS! I can't believe USPS would charge this much. That test kit CAN'T be that heavy...... Maybe better to order the Taylor kit off Amazon ? Just $5 shipping for the Taylor ! Especially if I'll be similarly charged for shipping for any refill chemicals in the future!
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  16. Back To Top    #16
    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1,578

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Choose Fed-Ex Ground. It's just over $11 to ship all the way across the continent for the XL version of the TF100.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    The comparison chart says the Taylor does not test "OTO Total Chlorine/Bromine". It also says the TF-100 uses Taylor drops (reagents). So obviously they don't get these drops from Taylor if the Taylor kit doesn't test this????

    Also, the comparison says the Taylor tests "Acid & Base Demand" which is "usually not needed". However, wouldn't it be useful to me as I've been having to add Acid daily for a week now trying to get my high PH down??
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

  18. Back To Top    #18
    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    8,649

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Actually the tf-100 includes the taylor oto kit (taylor's k-1000). The Taylor k-2006 kit does not include their OTO kit.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Quote Originally Posted by filb
    The comparison chart says the Taylor does not test "OTO Total Chlorine/Bromine". It also says the TF-100 uses Taylor drops (reagents). So obviously they don't get these drops from Taylor if the Taylor kit doesn't test this????

    Also, the comparison says the Taylor tests "Acid & Base Demand" which is "usually not needed". However, wouldn't it be useful to me as I've been having to add Acid daily for a week now trying to get my high PH down??
    OTO is the chlorine color-matching test. It's useful once the pool is tamed and predictable. It's not terribly accurate, nor does it go very high.

    Acid & Base demand tests are unnecessary because Pool Calculator does it for you, and once you get the volume figured out, very accurately. The demand tests have you add drops until color changes where you want it, then look it up on a chart (if it hasn't gotten lost or mildewed) and multiply by some factor to get the dosage.

    The reagents are the same, just the TF100 has different quantities. The CYA test in the Taylor kits will do maybe 6 CYA tests. TF100 will do maybe 20....
    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!

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: chlorine, PH, test strips vs. drops

    Just ordered the Tf-100 fedx ground. Good to know I can order the reagents anywhere. Just superchlorinated the pool with 50 or so oz pool bleach, plus some 50% algaecide, since the MA isn't helping the PH keep from bouncing up high, so it could be some algage hiding somewhere... can't hurt as sun here burns off the CHlorine pretty fast. I also have a pencil eraser-sized black spot on the vinyl pool floor I can't scrub off....
    Intex Sequoia Spirit above ground 16' round pool, 5,000 gals. ,vinyl liner.
    Intex Saltwater Chlorine generator/pump/filter combo system
    Test kit: TF-100

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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