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Thread: Trouble doing alkaline tests

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    Trouble doing alkaline tests

    1. I bought a test kit from Home depot and got a reading of 190ppm
    2. Checked with my pool guy (who I want to get rid of and start maintaining on my own). He got a reading of 120ppm using his kit.
    3. Went to a local store with a sample of water and they got a reading of 120ppm.
    4. Suspecting that my home depot kit was bad, I bought a taylor Kit from the pool store and tested it multiple times at home.
    Got reading of 170ppm,150ppm,etc..but not anymore close to 120ppm.

    Not sure what I am doing wrong. Please advise.

    -Prasad

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble doing alkaline tests

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    What test kit are you using? The Recommended Test Kits are summarized in that link.

    Likely the Taylor you bought does not include the very important FAS-DPD chlorine test ... but that is not the current question.

    I would trust your own Taylor test. Pool stores and "pool guys" seem to be notoriously bad at testing water.

    Likely the only thing you are doing wrong is having your water tested in multiple places and not trusting your own results. Using the SpeedStir makes the testing easier and more accurate as well.

    Please add your pool details to your signature as described HERE as it will help us help you.
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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Trouble doing alkaline tests

    Welcome to TFP !
    Do yourself a huge favor and invest in one our recommended test kits. I'll give my pick and the one I use, the TF-100. It's the best value. One of these kits is a must have to maintain your water chemistry accurately. The results from one of these kits will be the results we trust to give advice on when problems arise.
    I'm not sure how much you know about your pools water chemistry so I'm going to point you to these two articles from our Pool School.
    ABC'S Of Pool Water Chemistry
    How To Chlorinate Your Pool
    Here is the recommended ranges for all your water parameters.
    Recommended Levels
    Any questions you have don't hesitate to ask.
    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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    Re: Trouble doing alkaline tests

    Thanks a bunch guys.That was really super fast response. I'll spend sometime to read the articles pointed out. I updated my signature to show my pool details.

    I am testing the water in the same spot near the deep end of the pool.
    I'll invest in buying the speedstir. Any advice where I can buy one ? (amazon?)
    Also what is the FAS/DPD. Looks like my kit does only DPD.

    I'll pay a visit to the local pool store over the weekend and check where I am doing wrong because its very weird to see such a big difference. The store guy has been very helpful so far.

    I have other questions regarding my filter and phos levels which I'll post in a separate thread.

    Thanks again,
    Prasad
    30,000 gal,20'x40' IG (3-8.5 with diving board) ,Plaster,Pentair S8D110, Type of filer - DE,TF-100 test kit
    Poolsafe Automatic pool cover

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    pwrstrk's Avatar
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    Trouble doing alkaline tests

    You can get the TF-100 test kit and SpeedStir at TFteskits.net.
    One comment about the pool store. Lots of times their advice and ours is going to be different. You can't mix the two. You'll only get confused. Stay with our advice and our recommended ranges and your water chemistry will be a breeze to maintain.
    Ignore the phosphate level's. Keep your FC in range for your CYA level and you'll never have an algae problem.
    Also keep all your questions in the same thread you started so everybody can see your history. It makes things easier to follow.
    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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    Re: Trouble doing alkaline tests

    If you ever go to a pool store just wear ear plugs and go in knowing what you need already. That just about sums up the value of pool stores if you are maintaining your pool the TFPC way.

    The guy who runs the site sells the test kits but you'll never hear him push them because he doesn't have to (and he's polite like that). Everyone else (his satisfied customers) will stump for them.

    TF-100 with Speed Stir is your best bet.

    You won't find more spot-on, personalized advice anywhere, and it's all free - though I highly recommend making a donation after you partake for a while.
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. w/ gray plaster
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    Re: Trouble doing alkaline tests

    Thanks again everyone. I'll do the TFPC way for the next couple of months and see how it works out (and definitely donate)
    I just fired my pool maintenance guy since it was costing ridiculous high. I just moved in to this place and getting a hang of things pool related.

    I tried to order the speed stir over tftestkits.net but I wasn't able to add it to the cart (problem with chrome browser?). I ordered one on amazon for now ( I would like to support tftestkits given that I just read that they support TFPC).


    Coming back to my readings, these are the current readings I have (It was done by the pool store guy. I know you guys hate them, please bear with me).

    FAC - 7
    TAC - 7
    Calcium Hardness - 300
    Cyanuric Acid - 100
    Total Alkalinity - 120
    pH-7.9
    Acid Demand - 1
    Copper - 0
    Iron - 0
    Total Dissolved Solids - 1800
    Phosphates - 1000

    I had added 28 fl oz of Muriatic acid after these test which brought down the ph to 7.8.

    I already have 2 pool test kits (one from Home depot and Taylor K-1004). I'll see how it goes after I get the speedstir before I order another test kit again (Wifey says I have spent more than what we used to pay the pool guy).

    Given my current readings, do you have any specific recommendations for me.

    Thanks,
    -Prasad
    30,000 gal,20'x40' IG (3-8.5 with diving board) ,Plaster,Pentair S8D110, Type of filer - DE,TF-100 test kit
    Poolsafe Automatic pool cover

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble doing alkaline tests

    "Cyanuric Acid - 100" is a problem, especially since the common CYA test will report anything over 100 as 100. Your actual CYA level might be much higher. The only practical way to lower CYA is to replace water. The one caution is that pool store testing is not always all that good, so you might want to confirm that reading before replacing lots of water.

    Phosphates is nothing to worry about, best simply ignored. My phosphate level has been much higher than that without any issues.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Trouble doing alkaline tests

    I guess I will jump in here also. A couple of key things to remember. Pool stores are in the chemical selling business. Don't get me wrong, some really are helpful but most just want your money from chemical sales. Chlorine is chlorine once it is mixed in your pool. There are different forms of chlorine. They will all add a little salt when used. Pucks add CYA and cal-hypo adds calcium. What TFP teaches is proper knowledge in testing, and only adding chemicals that are needed to change a specific thing. We mainly use household bleach (ie cheap) or swcg. Remember, chlorine is chlorine once it's in the pool. Read the articles that were posted. Take it in small chunks, and ask questions. There is no stupid question when your learning something new. We all started in the same boat your in.
    17500 gallon Doughboy AGP, Hayward DE filter, waiting for the 1.5hp DB pump to go out.
    Learn to take the advice here and be trouble free or use the pool store's advice. "You can't do both and get very far"

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