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Thread: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

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    Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Hello...joined today...posting for the first time! I inherited a 27' round, 52" height, 18,550 gallon Esther Williams pool last summer. I'm new to pool ownership so I had a fun crash course last year. But, I'm determined to have a TFP so I'm trying to get off to the right start this year!

    First question...I understand that a drop test kit such as the TF-100 TFTestkit is ideal but I am wondering how this compares to the free store analysis. See attachment.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    You need your own test kit is you want to get consistent, accurate results. Pool store testing has repeatedly proven to be inaccurate and inconsistent ... almost to the point of being worse than just guessing.

    IF those numbers were to be believed, the water would appear to be in good shape. How does it look?

    Have you read through Pool School yet?
    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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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Welcome to TFP !
    Having your own quality test will go along way in making your pool easy to maintain.
    Make sure to do some reading in pool school. Here are some good articles to start with.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...ater-chemistry
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...nate-your-pool
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Take a look at this old thread. Study it. Look at the historical readings and ask how they could vary that much so fast.

    I only test what the TF100 tests. I haven't got a clue what the phosphate level is, or the Total Dissolved Solids. Don't care. I haven't had algae in the pool since I've owned it. It doesn't smell. It doesn't irritate skin or burn eyes. It's so clear you can throw a quarter in the deep end and call heads or tails from the deck. What more can you want?
    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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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Many times the free analysis is worth exactly what you paid for it. Some stores use only the OTO to test chlorine, which does not measure chlorine in high enough for many pool owners. Some stores use tests read by a computer, which are only as good as the calibration on the testing unit. The computer analysis testing units require frequent recalibration to maintain accuracy. We have several threads where TFP members have tested their water themselves and then taken a sample to a store for testing and posted both sets of results here. Usually the results are very different.

    There is also the time factor involved. When you perform your own tests you are doing it on your own schedule and don't have to wait in line or drive to the pool store. If you are using the slam process to clear up an algae bloom then you will need to test the FC several times a day. Very inconvenient if you are using pool store testing. Then there is the fact that pool stores are in business to sell products. They use those test results to drive sales.

    Finally, lets look at the acceptable target range for the chemical values on your test readout. They give a range of 30-200 as acceptable for CYA and FC of 1-3. I guarantee if your manually chlorinated pool has 50+ ppm of CYA and you only keep 3 ppm of FC in the pool it will be green in no time. Very rarely should a manually chlorinated pool have more than 50 ppm of CYA, nor should a pool using a SWG have more than 90 ppm of CYA. Most pool stores do not consider the chlorine/CYA relationship when giving dosing advice. As a result they undershoot the FC recommendation and overshoot the CYA recommendation. I can't tell you how many new members come to TFP stating "My pool is green but the pool store says my test results are spot on. I have spent $$$ on shock/green out/floc/clarifyer but its still green. What do I do?"

    Does a pool store test have value? Sometimes. If you don't have a test kit it is better than nothing.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Thanks for the replies. I have read most of the pool school articles but I have not applied the practices yet but I'm looking forward to it. So basically, it's a moot point - accuracy and daily pH/chlorine testing is key and I can't get that with store testing.

    My pool is in direct sunlight, very few leaves / twigs, and water stays crystal clear 95% of the time (fortunately, I did not have to do much or know much to keep it nice and clear!). I have a sand filter and kept the pump on 24/7. We did not use the pool much last year (maybe 6 times). I used liquid chlorine e/o day and algaecide once a week. I never adjusted the pH or tinkered with other adjustments (other than late season CYA addition). Two questions I still have:

    1) Even though I used liquid chlorine e/o day last season, my chlorine readings were consistently low (which didn't bother me since my water remained clear). Was this likely a CYA issue? If so, I think this problem will go away once I open my pool the TFP way this season.

    2) My one visible problem last year was mustard algae. I never got rid of it. I didn't use mustard algae-specific algaecide until season's end when I used a quart of BANISH and 1 quart of polyquat60 and then closed the pool. Hopefully, the mustard algae will be gone when I open the pool. I don't want to spend any more money trying to fight it! Any suggestions on how to keep it from coming back?

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel-n-the-EmpireState View Post
    1) Even though I used liquid chlorine e/o day last season, my chlorine readings were consistently low (which didn't bother me since my water remained clear). Was this likely a CYA issue? If so, I think this problem will go away once I open my pool the TFP way this season.

    2) My one visible problem last year was mustard algae. I never got rid of it. I didn't use mustard algae-specific algaecide until season's end when I used a quart of BANISH and 1 quart of polyquat60 and then closed the pool. Hopefully, the mustard algae will be gone when I open the pool. I don't want to spend any more money trying to fight it! Any suggestions on how to keep it from coming back?
    Both of these questions are related. If you had mustard algae in your pool (questionable, only because mustard algae seems to be way over diagnosed), it was consuming your chlorine. You put some in, and it was immediately used up trying to kill the algae. (Mustard algae or not, it sounds like you had something living in the pool.)

    The only way to keep it from coming back is to follow the SLAM process. If you follow our methods, you will never need to buy algaecide. Let's get some good readings when you open and go from there.
    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
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Thank you, Smykowski. I plan on following the suggestions you and all the others recommend. It's great to have such a great resource like TFP.

    About the algae...I thought it may have been pollen but it would start appearing along the walls of the pool and along creases on the floor (orange-yellow color). When I'd scrub, it would rub off easily and disappear in a cloud, only to slowly reappear in about 4 to 6 days. But, as you said, if I SLAM it at the beginning, I'll start fresh and we'll see where things are afterwards.

    Since I am new here, is posting general messages like this preferred / acceptable or should I be doing private messaging or addressing my questions some other way?

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel-n-the-EmpireState View Post
    Thank you, Smykowski. I plan on following the suggestions you and all the others recommend. It's great to have such a great resource like TFP.

    About the algae...I thought it may have been pollen but it would start appearing along the walls of the pool and along creases on the floor (orange-yellow color). When I'd scrub, it would rub off easily and disappear in a cloud, only to slowly reappear in about 4 to 6 days. But, as you said, if I SLAM it at the beginning, I'll start fresh and we'll see where things are afterwards.

    Since I am new here, is posting general messages like this preferred / acceptable or should I be doing private messaging or addressing my questions some other way?
    In a perfect world, the sequence is: Pool School, Search, Post.

    When you do post, try to keep things together so everyone can follow along the whole way through. It's better to post than to PM individuals, because only you get answers via Private Message, whereas anyone who has a similar problem who searches can see the answers in a thread.
    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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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    First I want to say welcome, and we are glad to try to help. Don't let Richards message bother you, but you should be aware that our busy season is about to be upon us any day now with thousands of new users asking questions much like the ones you have today. For now we can give personal attention and you are getting lots of replies, but if this message were to have been posted a few weeks from now, chances are the replies would be much shorter and much more likely to point you to pool school. Don't take this wrong, it is a simple matter of time management and each of us trying to reply to dozens of questions per day for a couple of months.

    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~

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel-n-the-EmpireState View Post
    About the algae...I thought it may have been pollen but it would start appearing along the walls of the pool and along creases on the floor (orange-yellow color). When I'd scrub, it would rub off easily and disappear in a cloud, only to slowly reappear in about 4 to 6 days. But, as you said, if I SLAM it at the beginning, I'll start fresh and we'll see where things are afterwards.
    This sounds like a combination of dirt/dust and dead algae. You probably had something living in the pool that was just being kept at bay by the chlorine you put in the pool. The SLAM will go a long way towards getting rid of it.
    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
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    I can see that you'd think that water test was a nice service. The question is, are the values true? You might try getting two identical water samples or even three, all taken at 18" or more below the surface after the pool has circulated for an hour or more. Then run those samples to 3 different stores to see if they all agree. Of course, if they do not all agree then you still do not know what is true.

    If you have your own test kit, with fresh reagents, clean test materials and the time to conduct each test correctly, then you can trust the results. I have watched pool store employees run tests, opening a valve to let reagents stream into a test tube, and I've marveled that they think they stopped when it changed colors. I add one drop at a time and count. They are going so fast they could be off by 5 or 10 drops. They mask the inaccuracy by printing out a report that shows date to bizarrely accurate numbers, as if the materials are even capable of that sort of detail.
    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: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Thank you, all. Your advice has been very helpful and timely. I'm actually looking forward to opening my pool now, not dreading it!

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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    How did your "opening" go ?? Are you still running your pump 24/7 or have you cut back to something more reasonable and less $$$. If you put in a timer it would pay for itself in short order.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
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    Re: Water Test - Store Analysis Example

    Since I am new here, is posting general messages like this preferred / acceptable or should I be doing private messaging or addressing my questions some other way?
    Keep each and every post right in this thread. About the worst thing someone can do on this forum is start a new thread because they assume the have a "new" problem. or a new solution. That's virtually never the case.

    Keep your whole story right here.
    Dave S.
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