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Thread: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

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    How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    The T-2006 kit will arrive at my home on Friday. I will do my first real test this weekend. My question is, how often should I run all of the tests in the kit? Should I continue to use the cheap two test kit from Walmart for quick tests? If this has been covered on the forum, please provide the link.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    This answer will change over time, but as a new user/tester, here's my advice:

    FAS-DPD for FC and CC - every day
    pH - every day

    TA, CH, and CYA - every 7-14 days, or after a major water change

    You can use the OTO chlorine test if your minimum FC level is below 5. Since I keep my CYA higher, and my min FC level is 4, I always run the FAS-DPD test for FC.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    It's a pain.........but I highly suggest you keep a calendar log of your testing. Not just what the levels were and what you brought them to, but "conditions" as well. Weather, rain, when you backwashed or pumped out water, bather load on the pool, and temperature variations. After the first season you'll be able to test certain things less and pretty much know what to expect from the condition changes. Always bump up FC before a party and before a big rain if you can.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    The testing schedule will vary depending on the time of year. Here's the testing schedule I use...
    • Chlorine (FC): From your sig, I'm assuming your current pool is manually chlorinated (your old one was apparently SWG). Going with this assumption, you would test FC daily using the FAS-DPD test. If my assumption about your current pool being manually chlorinated is incorrect, please clarify as that would change my answer.
    • pH: 3-4 times a week
    • TA: Once a week
    • CH, CYA, Salt: Monthly or whenever there is a significant water replacement


    BTW, I would remove the part about your old pool from your sig - it is irrelevant. Otherwise, you run the risk that someone will see the letters SWG in your sig and give you advice for a SWG pool (like I almost did).
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    I used to test PH/FC every day when I first got my test kit. CH/TA weekly, CYA monthly. After I got comfortable with the pool, I now test PH/FC weekly. CH/TA monthly CYA monthly or every 2 months.
    Go overboard at first, keep a log, track what is going on with the pool/usage/people. Get a feel of what is happening.
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobodaclown View Post
    Go overboard at first, keep a log, track what is going on with the pool/usage/people. Get a feel of what is happening.
    ^This is great advice. After a few weeks of this, you will be very in tune with your pool.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    I personally use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of testing and conditions of the pool. Just takes a few minutes to record data each day.
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vette
    I personally use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of testing and conditions of the pool. Just takes a few minutes to record data each day.
    I do the exact same thing, though I record weekly on the day I run all three of these tests: FC, pH, and TA as well as on the one day of the month where I run these plus the monthly tests (Salt, CYA, CH). I also record the pool water temp, the range of air temperatures for that week (available on weather.com and accuweather.com among others), rainfall, and any other weather anomalies. Doesn't take much time and gives you valuable trend information. This is my third year doing this and it's useful to compare things for a given month across several years.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    Like the others have said you will get a feel for the stability of your pool quickly enough. If you are following our methods using bleach / liquid chlorine and not adding any cal-hypo or stabilized dry chlorine products, I would suggest a schedule starting out of testing FC and pH every 1 or 2 days, TA every 2 weeks, and CH and CYA monthly. (people with very hard water may want to test CH more often, but since you are in central florida I suspect your water is not that hard) Over time as you learn the stability of your pool you may stretch this out, in case of major storm / rainfall you may want to run all the tests to check for dilution changes. pH, CH and TA are likely the ones that you will see the most varibility on need to test depending on your water. For example I have very low CH fill water, and vinyl liner pool that is not susceptable to low CH problems like plaster pools are, so I generally only check CH a couple of times per year, my pH is also very stable so only test it every few weeks, on average I use about a quart of acid per year to adjust pH, by contrast we have members that measure their acid use in gallons per week, for those people pH testing must be much more frequent.
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    The testing schedule will vary depending on the time of year. Here's the testing schedule I use...
    • Chlorine (FC): From your sig, I'm assuming your current pool is manually chlorinated (your old one was apparently SWG). Going with this assumption, you would test FC daily using the FAS-DPD test. If my assumption about your current pool being manually chlorinated is incorrect, please clarify as that would change my answer.
    • pH: 3-4 times a week
    • TA: Once a week
    • CH, CYA, Salt: Monthly or whenever there is a significant water replacement


    BTW, I would remove the part about your old pool from your sig - it is irrelevant. Otherwise, you run the risk that someone will see the letters SWG in your sig and give you advice for a SWG pool (like I almost did).

    What would cause a pH change during regular use (newbie question) - I just refilled my 20k liner and have everything getting into order chemical-wise and have not had any noticeable changes in the pH since I initially added baking soda 1.5 weeks ago to adjust TA - my pH wasn't addressed with Borax or acid - it was just fine to begin with from the tap - right at 7.5 I believe

    Also, with reference to your post, should I use the FAS-DPD every time I test chlorine? When would I use the OTO chlorine test? - For what it's worth, I have a really difficult time differentiating the differences in the yellow hues on the OTO test and certainly have an easier time reading the FAS-DPD test.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    pH can change do to aeration or top-off water ... letting this get too high can lead to calcium scaling so good to keep it in check.

    Use the chlorine test you are comfortable with. I know some will use the OTO as a quick daily check to make sure something major has not happened and then verify with the FAS-DPD weekly, but this is likely more acceptable if your chlorine is automated. If you are adding bleach everyday, it may be important to use the FAS-DPD until you are pretty comfortable with the typical daily additions.
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    By keeping records you will learn in a few months what affects your pool.

    I have high TA fill water and a spill over spa so I am always fighting pH. With lots of rain, TA will go down, but with no rain and lots of fill water, TA goes up. And pH changes are driven by TA trends. So these are the things I watch on each test. The other things I will test on a monthly basis. Just so I am not surprised by low CH, for example.

    Really, for the next few weeks you will have a new toy to play with. You will test everything obsessively. With records, you will soon learn what is not changing much.

    Rain, debris, heavy pool usage all affect the chemicals. So test around those events.

    Sometimes something that you did not see will affect the pool. By about 8 weeks you will have developed an "eye" for the pool. You will notice the subtle loss of sparkle that is the early tip off to something going on in the pool. When you see that, you test everything. Maybe some duck found your pool and pooped as he swam but was gone by dawn. Or someone spilled a milk shake and didn't tell you. All sorts of weird things can happen. So you test regularly, which is every day for the basics, weekly for others, monthly for some.
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    This is great information and much better suited to its own thread. I am using bleach, borax, and baking soda to maintain the pool. After spending a lot of time on this site, I decided it was something I wanted to try. So far, I like it. I never did get the SWG adjusted properly on the old pool and I always had that strong chlorine smell. So far, this pool is odorless!

    I will keep a log as has been suggested. I am sure that over time, I will get a feel for when the tests are required.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    Do you actually need borax and baking soda? Most members never need either of them which is why we never suggest buying anything until you know you need it.
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    Re: How often should I run all of the tests in the kit?

    I struggle with keeping the PH up so I put a few cups in yesterday. I have not used the baking soda.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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