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Thread: Pool store water tests

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    Pool store water tests

    I am sooooo confused and frustrated. We wound up with very high chlorine readings after coming back from vacation (which are now getting back in line) but the CYA had been off the charts. But in trying to figure out where the real number is - I took the water to A&S and they give me a rating over 149 on their digital system - but Leslie is saying I am at 30 (on same day within an hour of each other.

    Geeze

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    No surprises there. You will read thousands of posts here from pool owners who have similar experiences.

    Taking pool water management into your own hands with your own testing is the one and only solution.

    Keep reading on the forum.....it's an eye-opener.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Welcome to TFP!

    Unfortunately your results are not unusual. We have a dim view of most pool stores and for very good reasons, inaccurate testing is just one of them. You found us, if you are interested in looking at a better way to handle your pool, one that is cheaper, easier (in the long run), and results in a far clearer pool, you should look around the forum and learn about the BBB philosophy.

    What is BBB? I'm glad you asked voices in my head:
    BBB stands for Bleach, Baking Soda, and Borax. What else is BBB? Simply put it is just good pool maintenance using bleach (liquid chlorine) and other generic chemicals that are readily available at the grocery store that are EXACTLY the same as the expensive ones from the pool store, along with water testing with a GOOD test kit so you know WHAT you need in your water and HOW MUCH you need to add.

    The KEY to this technique is PROPER WATER TESTING, which is very easy with a good test kit. BBB is not a 'magic method' of pool care, it's just good pool upkeep and there is nothing new or revolutionary about it. Professional pool maintenance people have used the same principles for many years. Now you can learn how to do it also and take control of your pool instead of your pool controlling you.
    So welcome, have a look around, check out the Pool School, and feel free to ask questions. We are here to help!
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Wow - this is quite eye opening (as a complete newbie that is intimidated by the chemical stuff and simply want a safe environment for my family). I do plan on investing time reading the great content that is here. s
    since it seems like the CYA has been high for a while - I M wondering if it would be better to consider converting to salt chlorination

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Also, what constitutes a "good" testing system

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    The 2 we recommend are found in the link in my signature that says Test Kits. One, the K-2006 is made by Taylor and is available at a few retail places but is hard to come by. You won't find it in big box store but some pool stores might carry it. The other, the TF-100 was created by forum member duraleigh specifically because we needed a better kit. Both contain the tests needed to get a complete picture of your pool chemistry and properly care for your pool. No other kit we know of contains all the tests that these have. Posting TF-100 or K-2006 results in this forum gets you answers and suggestions to any pool problems you may have.

    I personally use the TF-100 and love it. There is a huge difference between how I took care of my pool before I had it and now, and a lot less chemicals being used for better results.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Donaldson pretty much summed up our suggested test kits,

    The classic problem with pool store testing is they have no motivation to get it right, also they don't have your best interest at heart, their goal is to sell you the most chemicals for your pool while providing the illusion of easy pool maintenance. Try thinking about it from a pool store managers point of view:

    Custom comes in with perfectly balanced water, can't sell them anything, but if the results are off, you get to sell this and that, how do you insure tests are off, you train your employees to be sloppy counting drops, use unreliable, but fast computerized testers, etc.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    BUT, it is the CYA that is most whacky between these stores - and the resolution has nothing to do with chemicals. It is to do a partial drain. Unless you are saying the chlorine tabs is the entire play from the pool stores

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    If you invest in a good test kit, your water will be cleaner, safer, and easier to maintain than relying on the tests at the pool stores. You've already seen first hand how inaccurate they can be. CYA amount in the same water sample shouldn't change.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    And what about converting to salt? Does that make the management of this more straight forward and easier if I want to avoid the liquid chlorine while still having my own control over the CYA stabilizer component

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    It can help the management to an extent. Tell me why you want to avoid liquid chlorine?
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Just goes to my fear piece - the fewer chemicals that I have to mess with the better (the newbie factor that I will create an unsafe environment - given the multitude of opinions of what / how to manage the numbers).

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    I understand, something new always seems a bit daunting. Keep in mind though you are trading pucks for liquid, and in fact you can do far more physical damage with pucks than you can liquid. Trichlor pucks are highly acidic, if you were to drop one in your pool and leave it there it would permanently stain and weaken that spot in the liner. It can damage your plumbing if put in a skimmer basket. And it's really hard to properly dose with pucks.

    Liquid on the other hand is very difficult to damage. It is nothing but chlorine, salt, water, and less than 1% other. pH is fairly neutral as well so no worries of plumbing damage. If poured in front of a return it is very hard to create a spot with enough concentration to stain or damage your liner. Even if you over do it it will return to proper levels fairly quickly, and we can swim in much higher levels than a pool store will have you believe. I regularly swim in a chlorine level of 8 and people ask me if there is any chlorine in the pool at all!

    With all that said a salt system is a fine choice. It is still a chlorine system but it creates it using electricity and salt. There will still be times you will have to add extra chlorine, either with liquid or powder, but once everything is properly balanced and you keep track of any changes a salt system can keep your FC at appropriate levels and keep you from having to having to add extra except in that rare occasion.
    Some further Reading on the subject: pool-school/salt_water_chlorine_generators
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Quote Originally Posted by PTB
    Just goes to my fear piece - the fewer chemicals that I have to mess with the better (the newbie factor that I will create an unsafe environment - given the multitude of opinions of what / how to manage the numbers).
    I use only two chemicals, generally. 12.5% Bleach and Muriatic acid. I also have some trichlor pucks I load into a floater when I'll be gone more than two days. I've never added Borax, Soda Ash, Baking Soda, Algaecide, "shock," clarifiers, flocculent, or enzymes.

    It's not that big a deal to manage the pool once you read pool school and get a little hands-on to really get a grasp on it. The biggest thing is buying your own proper test kit.

    Convincing people that it's actually money well spent is the single most difficult thing I've encountered here, bar none. You've seen it firsthand - you just can't rely on the pool store testing. Stop. Period. End of story. If you don't know where you are, how can you possibly get where you want to be? What do you need to do to that pool? Add bleach? Raise CYA? Drain? Who knows?
    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: Pool store water tests

    It may seem fewer chemicals makes things easier, but the truth is the other way around. With fewer chemicals you end up with things like Trichlor pucks, which change FC, CYA and pH all at once, and not always in the combination you want, but using different chemicals that for the most part only effect one thing each like muriatic acid for pH, bleach for FC, and stabilizer to add CYA it really makes things easier because you don't have to worry about those secondary effects nearly as much.

    Think of it a bit like cooking, there are times when a seasoning blend may be just what you want, but there are other times when you may just need salt or some spice on its own.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1
    Think of it a bit like cooking, there are times when a seasoning blend may be just what you want, but there are other times when you may just need salt or some spice on its own.
    I really like that analogy Ike!
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
    Pool School - PoolMath - HIGHLY Recommended Test Kits

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    Re: Pool store water tests

    I second that Ike. Good stuff, very well spoken!
    Cooking..... pool style.
    The thing is, just like cooking, It's science and chemistry, even more so with baking.
    Thanks for reading... - Tony
    Da' Pool: Intex 15'x42" 3284gal AGP EasySet (Inflatable Ring) - (Summer 2014: 27' round EW /w 6.5' deep end @ 22,500gal)
    Pump & Cart Mod: 1000gph Cart. 5ft² - 2 nylons, 24/7 OP. Traps bugs/bits, lasts longer/cleans easier = Happier Pool Owner!!
    The Bible for a "Trouble Free Pool" life = PoolSchool, the BBB method a TF100 test kit(Recommend Kits Compared). - Cleaning a Sand Filter
    Water looks like GLASS, if yours doesn't...SLAM IT! Feels nice and never been happier!!! :D

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