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Thread: Conflicting results on pool tests

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    Conflicting results on pool tests

    Is it unusual to get different results from different pool stores on water testing? I use a Taylor Pool Test Kit and what I get for test results (for FC and TC) is the same for one store (Leslie's) but not the same for another store (local Pool store). I tested the pool list AM and got a 5 on the CL and a 5 on the BR. Made two bottle samples and the local pool store said I had .3 on FC and 2.6 on TC. They say that the pool has ammonia in it which is eating up the chorine. I also used a test strip and it comes back with 0 FC. There is another difference with the CYA as well.

    Quite frustrating. Any insights?

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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    It is perfectly normal to have conflicting results from different pool stores. That's why tfp recommends getting a good test kit and doing your own testing. Which Taylor kit do you have?


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Is it unusual to get different results from different pool stores on water testing?
    Not at all - in fact, it's more like the norm. This is one reason we state that pool store testing is unreliable. You will need one of the Recommended Test Kits if you want to adopt our methods. These kits contain the all-important FAS-DPD chlorine test.

    They say that the pool has ammonia in it which is eating up the chorine.
    Many things are possible. To confirm this you will need a FAS-DPD chlorine test or a specific ammonia test. If you do have ammonia, you will still need the FAS-DPD chlorine test to help clear it up. Multi-test strips will not cut it - they do not have the precision required.

    Here are a couple of resources that give you a high-level overview of our methods:
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    Pool Math
    ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry
    Chlorine CYA Chart
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    the pool store testing along with their advice is almost always wrong. In many cases, you can add disgusting to go along with wrong and downright unethical on a lot of levels.

    Get your own test kit and flush the pool store. You along with your wallet will be glad you did.
    Divin Dave,
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    You can check for yourself if you have ammonia. Use your kit (no strips) and test the FC and CYA. If the FC is 0 use PoolMath to add enough bleach to reach 10ppm. Keep the pump running and check the FC again in 30 minutes. If your FC is back to 2ppm or less the odds of having ammonia are very high. You can get rid of ammonia with just bleach but it is going to take a lot of it. Ammonia depletes FC very quickly, so you will need to bump it back to 10ppm every 30 minutes until you have 3ppm or more FC. Once the ammonia is gone you will need to complete the SLAM process to clear your pool.
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Well, I see most folks have answered your question the way I would, so I won't pile on.

    I'll just say Welcome to TFP!!
    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 results on pool tests

    I have a K1004.

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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Quote Originally Posted by senk View Post
    I have a K1004.
    That kit limits you to FC up to 5ppm, TA and pH.

    You really need the FAS/DPD, CYA & CH tests to follow our methods.
    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 results on pool tests

    OK. It looks like the TFT 100 is the kit to get. I will work on getting that kit. Just need to figure out what to do about SWG (posted question on other forum). Local pool store doesn't want to activate the unit until they see FC in the pool. Yet, their test is not one that matches what I see with my kit. I suppose I could tell them to activate the SWG anyway.

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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Quote Originally Posted by senk View Post
    OK. It looks like the TFT 100 is the kit to get. I will work on getting that kit. Just need to figure out what to do about SWG (posted question on other forum). Local pool store doesn't want to activate the unit until they see FC in the pool. Yet, their test is not one that matches what I see with my kit. I suppose I could tell them to activate the SWG anyway.
    Your SWG will not be sufficient to clear up an ammonia problem. In fact, you are better off leaving it turned off and saving the life of the cell. You'll need to SLAM with bleach.
    16'x32' Inground Vinyl, 21,100 gallons, Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump, Hayward Pro Series S244T 3.1ft Sand Filter
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    You can check for yourself if you have ammonia. Use your kit (no strips) and test the FC and CYA. If the FC is 0 use PoolMath to add enough bleach to reach 10ppm. Keep the pump running and check the FC again in 30 minutes. If your FC is back to 2ppm or less the odds of having ammonia are very high. You can get rid of ammonia with just bleach but it is going to take a lot of it. Ammonia depletes FC very quickly, so you will need to bump it back to 10ppm every 30 minutes until you have 3ppm or more FC. Once the ammonia is gone you will need to complete the SLAM process to clear your pool.
    I won't be able to test the CYA until I can get a new kit. According to one pool store the CYA is 99 and according to another pool store it is 134. And, using the K1004 test kit, I show that there is FC. One pool store agrees with my reading, the other does not. So, I am probably stuck in a holding pattern until I get the other test kit even with respect to testing the FC. I can say that there is no ammonia spell to the pool which I thought was another indication. I have encountered that in the past. Right now, the pool is crystal clear which I know is not always a sign that things are right.

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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Quote Originally Posted by senk View Post
    I won't be able to test the CYA until I can get a new kit. According to one pool store the CYA is 99 and according to another pool store it is 134. And, using the K1004 test kit, I show that there is FC. One pool store agrees with my reading, the other does not. So, I am probably stuck in a holding pattern until I get the other test kit even with respect to testing the FC. I can say that there is no ammonia spell to the pool which I thought was another indication. I have encountered that in the past. Right now, the pool is crystal clear which I know is not always a sign that things are right.
    Conflicting tests for pool stores is no surprise. Many stores report 99 when the CYA is out of their range, but I wouldn't bank on the 134 being right either.

    At these low levels yo generally won't smell ammonia, but if the pool stores are reporting high CYA I think ammonia is probably out of the picture. Ammonia in a pool usually comes form a biologic conversion of CYA to ammonia.

    If you test kit shows chlorine, keep adding and testing until you get the new kit. You have a clear pool, lets try to keep it clear.
    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 results on pool tests

    OK. TDS reading is showing 2600 from one store. I have no way to measure this. Calcium Hardness shows 800 from one store. Other store shows Total Hardness at 534. From what I have read and what Pool Math shows is to replace/drain water. Would you suggest holding off on this as well until I get a new kit? Which does not look like it has a TDS test.
    IG Kidney shaped, Vinyl Liner, 12,000 Gal, Pentair pump, Pentair Filter, Pentair Heater, Frogger, Dolphin

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    We aren't worried about TDS. As long as your other numbers are good the TDS won't matter. If you have ordered a TF100 it should arrive in a couple of days, then you can run a complete set of tests and post them here. Until the test kit arrives add a 64 ounce jug of bleach daily with the pump running to keep everything in a holding pattern until you can post results.
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    What is the recommendation on the options available with the TF100? I assume that the K-1766 Salt Test would be good to get given I am planning on going with a SWG.
    IG Kidney shaped, Vinyl Liner, 12,000 Gal, Pentair pump, Pentair Filter, Pentair Heater, Frogger, Dolphin

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    The salt test would be a good choice. A lot of people really like the speed stir, especially for running the calcium test. Much easier than constant swirling. If you have a swamp to clear the TF100 XL option comes with more reagent to run the chlorine tests.
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    The Speed Stir is very handy! Id order an extra little magnetic bean to have as they're easy to toss into the grass and lose <cough cough> when emptying the test vials.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Finally got my TFT test kit. Here are the test results:
    FC =2
    CC = 4
    TC = 6
    PH = 7.6
    Calcium = 950
    Alkalinity = 180
    CYA = 100

    I noticed during the Chlorine test that after I got the sample to clear it turned back to pink as I was reading the instructions for the next step. Probably about 15 secs or longer. Is this right?
    IG Kidney shaped, Vinyl Liner, 12,000 Gal, Pentair pump, Pentair Filter, Pentair Heater, Frogger, Dolphin

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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Hi senk, Welcome to TFP, good job on adding your signature you should add what type of surface your pool is (i.e. vinyl, granite, etc) as that will help them with addressing your needs. You should read the extended tests for using the TF100 as the calcium you posted is very high. It's a tricky test at first. And yes the chlorine sample will turn back pink after it sets awhile. It's good to do the CC as soon as you can after the FC test. Also TA and CYA are high for an SWG pool. Stay tuned the others will be along soon to get you going the right way.

    P.s.- I noticed you stated having pool store activate SWG. Are they maintaining your pool for you or are you going to do it yourself. Again welcome
    Si -central Mo. 32' x 16' -- 3'4" to 6' deep Vinyl liner - 16,500 Gals : Triton II filter -Duraglass 2 hp pump - 1 speed : SI-30 salt generator
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    Re: Conflicting results on pool tests

    Found the extended tests so will redo the Calcium. At the moment, I do not have an SWG. That is scheduled to be installed June 22nd. As for the pool store, they are not maintaining the pool directly. I actually switched to a different pool store last year. It is Leslie's. For the most part, I was happy with the way they helped me maintain the pool. I did go thru a ton of chlorine last year which is one of the reasons that I have been looking at SWG's. Apparently, they saw a high usage in chlorine last year as compared to some of their other stores. I will say that they did not constantly push chemicals at me. But, I will also say, I made sure to only deal with one particular person who is not a kid and has been very practical in his recommendations, oftentimes ignoring or crossing off what the printout recommends. If he were to leave that store, then I would be reluctant to continue to go to them. So, in a way, they are "maintaining" the pool.

    For what it is worth, I went away from the first pool store because I got tired of the focus on ammonia, draining the pool, etc. Interesting enough, my pool is known as the mystery pool. I can get FC and TC readings using a Taylor kit. Leslie's usually matches what I get. The other pool store shows NO chlorine in the pool. We went thru a lot of gyrations and they are now convinced, for some unknown reason, that their tests do not show any FC even though I show that there is. In fact, what was really wild is I had water left in the bottle that I took to Leslie. I stopped by to talk to them about the SWG and they ran their tests. They even used a Taylor test kit and it showed no FC. They gave me all of the Taylor agents so I could retest at home. I came up with FC in the pool using their agents and mine. This really has them baffled.

    Right now, the pool is crystal clear and has been since I opened it (after adding chlorine, running the filter, etc). I am just trying to improve my overall knowledge of all of this and I do find that I am getting "pool smarter" as each pool season happens.
    IG Kidney shaped, Vinyl Liner, 12,000 Gal, Pentair pump, Pentair Filter, Pentair Heater, Frogger, Dolphin

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