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Thread: PH not registering on test kit

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    PH not registering on test kit

    Have a cheap test kit (plan to get a better one) but it has always "worked" in the past. Now when I add solution #2 to test the ph the water does not change colors. Bought a new bottle of #2, no change. I took a sample to my pool store and the ph was 8.0 so added acid, my test kit showed no reading (clear water), tested again at the pool store was 7.2 so added baking soda. My test kit shows no reading (clear water). I can't keep going to the pool store and not buy anything!

    Pool is pretty cloudy but looks good other than that. Any ideas on why I am not gettting a reading on my PH?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    I do not know what Solution #2 is. Taylor uses R-0004 or R-0014 for testing pH.

    How are you storing the kit?

    I would just order up one of the Recommended Test Kits and know that you have the best on the market (the TF-100 is better).

    And if the pool is cloudy, like you need to go through the SLAM Process which basically requires the FAS-DPD chlorine test.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    It could be cloudy because your pH is off. If your CH is high and TA off, this is even more likely.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    I store the test kit outside in a plastic box (have done this for years). Solution #2 is phenol red, I add 5 drops to test the ph per the kits instructions (remeber this has always worked before). Pool test results from pool store:

    TC 2.0
    FC 2.0
    CC 0
    PH 7.0 (I added 2 lbs baking soda after this reading)
    Base demand 5
    TA 120
    Calcium 360
    Stabilizer 100
    Total Dissolved Solids 1100

    15,000 gallon inground guinite pool

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Likely it is ruined from being stored outside in the heat ... how old is the kit?

    Just order a new one and KNOW what is going on in your water and do NOT think the results you get from the pool store are worth more than you paid for them.

    BTW, baking soda does not raise pH ... you just made your TA higher and it was already higher than recommended. Time to read Pool School (button at the upper right of the page).

    AND, IF (big if) that CYA level is correct, you need to replace a lot of water to get into the recommended 30-50ppm range which will make maintenance much easier. What are you using for chlorine?

    Read these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Solution was brand new, kit (the plastic vial?) is a few years old but it is just the plastic.

    Chlorine, use 3" tablets in a feeder from the pump. Shocked the pool with bleach recently though.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    And the pucks are why your CYA is too high. They are also very acidic and can drive the pH and TA down.

    Forgot you bought a new bottle ... no idea why it is not working.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Sounds like the solution might be bad. Since you are a puck user, and if you intend to continue to use them (please read the links jbliz posted...especially the one about how to chlorinate), you most likely will constantly need to raise your ph. We recommend borax or washing soda for that. And be aware that pool store testing is not very consistent, especially when it come to cya. If I had any money, I would bet that your cya is higher than 100...and that will continue to cause you problems.
    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.

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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    I will get some new solution immediately and look into a new test kit. I will also switch over the liquid chlorine, guess I tried to take the easy way out. Thanks.

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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    You may be way over 100 on your stabilizer. Recommendation is to drain some water and refill to get back into proper range.

    Please post your pool's specifics, it may be helpful in the future.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by dhoglund
    guess I tried to take the easy way out. Thanks.
    The approach you took seems easy at first, but the methods taught here on tfp are by far much easier/trouble free in the long run.
    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.

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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Pool school is your friend. Trust me I have learned this from experience!
    20000 Gallon, Sand Filter, IG Plaster, Hayward Aqua Rite 40k SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, Taylor SpeedStir

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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Did you try the test on another source like tap water or similar? You might just for grins.
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    The phenol red is already red. How can the water not change colors when you put it in?
    TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    The phenol red is already red. How can the water not change colors when you put it in?
    Yeah, that is what I am wondering. Sure seems like the wrong reagent or something.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    No I have not tested the tap water but good idea. As far as adding five drops of red.to two ounces of water, I cant tell you why it isn't changing color but it is not (to be fair it might change it a little but no where near anything on the color block and closer to clear than any other color)

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Try adding an extra drop or two of the phenol red to make the color hue more intense.
    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.

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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by dhoglund
    No I have not tested the tap water but good idea. As far as adding five drops of red.to two ounces of water, I cant tell you why it isn't changing color but it is not (to be fair it might change it a little but no where near anything on the color block and closer to clear than any other color)
    I want to jump in and clarify this before the crazy idea that your pool is a vat of acid comes up (which would have been my crazy idea). You are putting drops of a red liquid in to the test block, and they are turning clear as soon as they touch the water, correct?
    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
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson
    I want to jump in and clarify this before the crazy idea that your pool is a vat of acid comes up (which would have been my crazy idea).
    You were not the only one starting to think that way
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: PH not registering on test kit

    I should add...some of the cheaper oto/ph kits need extra phenol red drops to deepen the hue enough to read ph.
    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.

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