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Thread: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

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    Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    1st Year Pool owner. We live 25 miles from town, so running back and forth to the pool store is not feasible. However, we have done so a few times to get a "professional" read on our water. However, the two different pool stores have different results, as well as different acceptable ranges, so we don't know who to trust or where our numbers should be. We are trying to get a handle on pump run time, SWG chlorinator % setting, and proper chlorine and CYA levels. Our chlorine level seems to be varying widely from day to day and also morning to evening. I have purchased the Taylor FAS-DPD Chlorine test kit, and it seems pretty straight forward. I have a few questions. First, if done correctly, is the Taylor Test Kit the most accurate way to keep water in balance? Second, on the TFP SWG Water balance page, it indicates the CYA range to be 70-80, while the pool store indicates 20-50. TFP also recommends chlorine be 3 - 5, while pool stores indicate 1 -2. Why the CYA and Chlorine differences?
    Confused.

    Matt Doss
    Callands, VA
    26,000 gal IG, Vinyl liner, Sand filter, Hayward SWG.

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    I've never seen a pool store that EVER got a cya reading that was even close to accurate. Buy yourself your own testkit either a tf-100 or Taylor k-2006. Either can be ordered at tftestkits.net. your Taylor fas-dpd is great for fc/cc tests, but will do nothing but chlorine for "balancing" your pools chemistry.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
    Intermatic P1353ME digital timer w/freeze sensor
    CircuPool Si-45 SWCG System
    Polaris 280 vacuum/Polaris PB4-60 boost pump
    Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3hp Pump--Pentair sand filter

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    What he said. I'll give the pool store a little more credit on getting close as the folks at mine are pretty good. But it's a **** shoot on if your individual store took the time to properly train the person and if that person is taking the time to properly test or is rushing to get each one done. Best thing to do is just break down and buy the TF100 kit and learn to do your own. IMHO What you save in gas and pool store chemicals will pay for the kit.

    The kit : http://tftestkits.net/splash-page.html
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    I would generally trust your tests above those of the chemical stores, as long as you are using the correct test kit. The Taylor FAS-DPD Chlorine test kit is what you want to use for FC/CC testing. My local store does not perform a DPD-FAS test, rather OTO, so they cannot test for CL levels above 4-5. My pool store does not understand the relationship between CYA levels and FC required for proper disinfecting. This is evidenced by my staying within their guidelines, yet I'm constantly fighting algae blooms. Their TC range of 2-4 may be valid for a pool with CYA level of 20-40, that is not sufficient to prevent CL burnoff during the day. As a result, I go with a higher 60 ppm CYA level, and a correspondingly higher FC level of 5-8. This allows me to get through an entire day with less than 2ppm CL burnoff. As long as I adjust CL levels every day or 2, I stay in the clear and avoid algae. Their solution is to buy more chemicals and to keep coming back.

    TFP Recommended CYA levels vary according to your chlorination method. It appears the pool store is using values that TFP only recommends for use with bleach chlorination. Im not sure if the pool stores know the difference or if they are trying to be a one size fits all solution. In either case, they will undoubtedly sell more chemicals over time with the lower values. As you read the material in Pool School regarding SWG, you will see that the consensus is that generated chlorine disinfects efficiently at lower levels than bleach. It stands to reason then that with lower CL level, daily burn off is more of a concern, so CYA must be kept at somewhat elevated levels to ensure adequate levels remain during the sunlit hours. While these higher SWG-CYA levels require that CL levels be somewhat more consistent with those of a bleach pool, I think the added benefit is more protection for the available chlorine, while retaining effective disinfecting levels of chlorine. After all, the idea is to have a trouble free pool, one that requires minimum maintenance validated with more and better testing.

    Jim
    16x32 DiamondBrite kidney, 12,500 gal. (circa 1985) 3/4hp Hayward SII, Harmsco BF84, Taylor K-2006, Hayward SwimPure Plus / Tcell-15
    Boca Roton, Fl. USA.

    prior 17k gal. vinyl, Sand filter

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    The big difference between us and a pool store is that we actually understand the chemistry and aren't trying to sell anything... The CYA / Chlorine chart and ABCs will give you the best foundation.

    This will get you started on the right direction for some answers:

    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry

    Chlorine CYA Chart

    Determining Pump Run Time

    Water Balance for SWCGs
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    The pool owner states he has the Taylor FAS-DPD kit. Matt, to make sure we are on the same page, to measure FC you put a powder labeled R-0870 then drops labeled R-0871, right?

    One of the problems with pool store ranges is that they don't understand the CYA/FC relationship.
    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: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    @Robbie - Yes that is how I test chlorine. I will correct myself, as I stated that I purchased the Taylor FAS-DPD Chlorine test kit. What I actually have is the K-2006, so I can test everything, I think, except my salt level.
    My main concern right now is that one pool store says my CYA level is 60, but when I test it myself using Taylor k-2006 kit, it is off the chart low. So based on general consensus here, my personal test should be more accurate and dependable, and perhaps explain why my CL is bouncing up and down, and I should add stabilizer as needed to bring it up to 70?

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    jmatt - exactly. Trust your numbers. Pools stores are a crapshoot at best. Sometimes they test high sometimes they test low, rarely are they correct. To boot low CYA matches your pool's symptoms.

    ... and Welcome to TFP

    Post up a full set of results from your kit here ... lets see what we can discern.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Posted this in one of my previous threads.

    From June 6/14:
    This morning I got three sample bottles and took a sample to each of the three pool stores in my area. The sample water was taken exactly the same at the same time. All three pool store tests were done within an hour of each other. Here are their results:

    Code:
    Test 			Store#1		Store#2		Store#3
    
    TC 10 3 0.14 FC 10 3 1.25 TA 120 - 50 PH 7.5 7.6 7.2 CYA 20 100 0 CH - - 10 Copper - 0.5 -
    A clear indicator of why you cannot trust pool store testing...

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Here is a video on how to perform the CYA test:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxaq...9Y_YYNAeLtUr1g

    This is the test pool stores get wrong more often than the others, and by wildly differing percentages.
    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: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Ok folks, here are the numbers. I have 2 lbs of "Splash" Stabilizer / Conditioner on hand. Do I start by adding that via "sock-in-skimmer" method? What else?

    FC= 1.2
    CC= 0.0
    PH= 7.9
    TA= 150
    CH= 200
    CYA= <30

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Looks like you can bring the CYA up a bit and should likely drop the pH down a little too.
    Is it an outdoor pool in full sunlight ??

    It would be very helpful if you added your pool info to your signature.

    The size of your pool in gallons
    If your pool is an AG (above ground) or IG (in ground)
    If it's IG, tell us if it's vinyl, plaster/pebble, or fiberglass
    The type of filter you have (sand, DE, cartridge) and, if you know, the size, model number or flow rate of the filter.
    If you know, please tell us the size pump in HP. Also mention if is it a two speed or variable speed pump.
    Date of pool build/install, particularly important if less then a year old.
    Other significant accessories or options, such as a spa , SWG, or cleaner
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Sorry about signature deal. I put that info in my original post b/c I didn't know how to add it to my signature. I think I've fixed that now.
    26,000 gal, IG, Vinyl, Sand, Hayward 1 HP Superpump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Plus SWG, Completed 7/2013

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmattdoss4 View Post
    Ok folks, here are the numbers. I have 2 lbs of "Splash" Stabilizer / Conditioner on hand. Do I start by adding that via "sock-in-skimmer" method? What else?

    FC= 1.2
    CC= 0.0
    PH= 7.9
    TA= 150
    CH= 200
    CYA= <30
    Get your CYA up - target enough to get to half of your total goal (target should be 70-80, your first jump should be aiming for 55, test and adjust again in a week).

    Add enough CL to get in range for your CYA (unless you are seeing algae then turn off the SWG and start a slam). Use the level you just targeted for your CYA to determine your CL level.

    Add enough MA to get your pH down to 7.5 (this will be a regular thing - SWG is going to drive the pH up.)

    Hopefully your SWG will be able to keep up after the CYA is in, supplement with bleach for the first few days then see what happens.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Where are my manners ? First things first, Welcome to the forum. No worries about the signature. I only mentioned it because it does make it easier if this thread gets to be a couple pages in length to have the info right there and not having to go back and try to find it. Easier on you too as you don't always have to re-post it each time. More important that we get (and keep) your pool sparkling blue
    CYA: Solid stabilizer can take up to a week to fully register on the test, so don't retest your CYA level for a week after adding some. Solid stabilizer is best added by placing it in a sock in the skimmer basket. Occasionally kneading or squeezing the bag will accelerate the process. The pump should be run for 24 hours after adding solid stabilizer and you should avoid backwashing/cleaning the filter for a week.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Is the dreaded pool store the only place to purchase CYA?
    26,000 gal, IG, Vinyl, Sand, Hayward 1 HP Superpump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Plus SWG, Completed 7/2013

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmattdoss4 View Post
    Is the dreaded pool store the only place to purchase CYA?
    Nope, many folks get it at that WalMart place

    But, you may also find it at Lowes, Home Depot or other big box stores near you. It may be labeled several ways like stabilizer or conditioner; just look at the ingredients you want as high (high 90's) cyanuric acid.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Home improvement stores have it usually too. I personally don't buy there because they usually keep their stuff out in the heat.
    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: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    This is Walmart : http://www.walmart.com/ip/HTH-Stabil...ioner/17043638 And yes it says and shows 15oz but it's the price of a 4lb container and that's what you'll find on the shelf.

    Homedepot shows to carry the same HTH product : http://t.homedepot.com/p/HTH-4-lb-St...316/100239944/

    Fleetfarm : http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/aqua.../0000000204983
    I get my bleach at Fleetfarm, 4gal case of 12.5% for 9.99 but the stabilizer is cheaper at Walmart.

    And for figuring out how much you are actually spending on your bleach since it's hard to compare 12.5% 128oz to 8% 72oz or .... whatever this will break it down to $ per oz and make them all equal. http://poncatechsquad.com/Dan/Chlorine/
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Conflicting Readings between Pool Stores and Taylor Test Kit - which do I trust?

    Thanks for the info!!!
    26,000 gal, IG, Vinyl, Sand, Hayward 1 HP Superpump, Hayward Goldline Aqua Plus SWG, Completed 7/2013

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