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Thread: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

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    Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    I collected a bunch of testing info from around the forum and managed to put everything I wanted onto one page, and still kept a 10-pt font. Many thanks to JasonLion for reviewing it (twice!). Jason also suggested posting the text directly, as well as the one-page PDF, so I have done that. Enjoy!
    --paulr

    Water Testing Instructions
    For kits using Taylor reagents, e.g. K-2006 or TF100, based on posts to TroubleFreePool.com.

    General Info
    CC = Combined Chlorine, the been-used stuff.
    FC = Free Chlorine, available for sanitation.
    TC = Total Chlorine, TC = FC + CC.
    TA = Total Alkalinity, dissolved alkalines.
    CH = Calcium Hardness, dissolved calcium.
    CYA = Cyanuric Acid, stabilizer for chlorine.
    Swirl = circular motion like stirring with a spoon.
    Take samples 12-18" below surface (elbow deep).
    Rinse mixing containers before and after testing.

    OTO TC/pH Test (for K-1000 Test Kit)
    This is the simple TC/pH "daily" test. The OTO chlorine test cannot be diluted to get a wider range; if TC shows > 5, use the FAS/DPD test to get a true reading.

    1) Rinse and fill test-block cells to indicated marks (doesn't have to be perfect).
    2) 5 drops R-0600 (yellow top) on the Chlorine side, 5 drops R-0014 (red top) on the pH side.
    3) Cap and invert to mix.
    4) Put a white sheet 2-3" behind the color blocks to make reading easier. Natural indirect light works best (e.g. outside in the shade). Match solution colors to the color blocks. Record as TC and pH.

    The K-2006 kit uses R-0004 instead of R-0014; it works the same except it uses a bigger sample.

    TC > 10 may cause pH to read too high (this gets worse as TC gets higher). You'll have to wait for the TC to come down to get an accurate pH.

    FAS/DPD Chlorine Test
    More complicated, but gives a wider range, more precision, and also separately measures FC/CC.

    1) Rinse and fill sample tube to 10ml mark.
    2) Use teeny blue scooper (hold the flat end) to put one heaping scoop R-0870 powder into sample, swirl to mix. (OK if not all dissolves.) Sample should turn pink. If it "flashes" pink then the pink disappears, add more R-0870. If there's never a hint of pink at all, skip step 3; FC=0.
    3) Add R-0871 one drop at a time, swirling the sample continuously, 1-2 sec between drops. Stop when sample turns colorless. Multiply #drops by 0.5 to get FC. (If it turns pink again after a few seconds, don't worry about it.)
    4) Add 5 drops R-0003, swirl to mix. If it remains colorless, CC=0. If it turns pink, again add drops of R-0871 (swirling continuously) until it turns colorless. Multiply drops by 0.5 to get CC.
    5) CC > 0.5 indicates a need to shock.

    For extremely high FC levels, you can use 5ml sample water and 5ml chlorine-free water (e.g. distilled water); then each drop of R-0871 counts 1ppm FC/CC. This can save on test reagent.

    Total Alkalinity Test
    1) Rinse and fill sample tube to 25ml mark.
    2) Add 2 drops R-0007; swirl to mix.
    3) Add 5 drops R-0008; swirl to mix. Solution should turn green or blue.
    4) Add R-0009 one drop at a time, swirling continuously, 1-2 sec between drops. Repeat until color changes, and stops changing.
    5) The last drop that caused a change is the drop count. Multiply #drops by 10 to get TA.

    Calcium Hardness Test
    Use quantities in [brackets] if CH is very high (>400) and you have trouble getting a clear transition to the blue endpoint.

    1) Rinse and fill sample tube to 25ml [10ml] mark.
    2) Add 20 drops [10 drops] R-0010; swirl to mix.
    3) Add 5 drops [3 drops] R-0011L; swirl to mix. Solution turns red to indicate calcium is present.
    4) Add R-0012 one drop at a time, swirl to mix after each drop. Repeat until color changes to blue (and stops changing).
    5) The last drop that caused a change is the drop count. Multiply #drops by 10 [25] to get CH.

    Cyanuric Acid Test
    For cold water (<70F), let sample warm up first.

    For CYA anticipated <90ppm:
    1) Put sample in mixing bottle (up to the mark, ~ halfway).
    2) Add an equal amount of R-0013.
    3) Shake about 30 sec; let stand 2-3 minutes; briefly shake again.
    4) Look down into C.A VIEW TUBE, slowly pour mixture in until the black dot just disappears. Natural indirect light gives the best readings.
    5) Gradation closest to the fill level is CYA.

    For CYA > 90ppm, repeat the test adjusting the procedure as follows:
    a) Fill the mixing bottle to the lower mark with pool water.
    b) Continue filling the mixing bottle to the upper mark with tap water.
    c) Shake briefly to mix.
    d) Pour off half of the contents of the mixing bottle, so it is again filled to the lower mark.
    e) Continue the test normally from step 3, but multiply the final result by two.

    After reading, pour mixture back into the mixing bottle and try step 4 again; repeated readings on the same sample will lend confidence in the result.

    MOD ALERT: The attached pdf does not have the correct instructions for cya testing over 90 ppm! However, the test instructions in this post are now correct. Moderator Linen
    Attached Files Attached Files
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Hi, Paul,

    Very nice work.

    As we discussed, I will take the info you have prepared and make it available on the TFTestkits website.....Perhaps even combine it with the preprinted instructions on the kit, if you don't mind.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Very Nice Paul!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Thanks, Paul!
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

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  5. Back To Top    #5

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    thanks for this !!
    25k Inground Vinyl - 3ft to 10ft, Tagelus TA-60 Sand, Minimax 400 Heater, Save T3 autocover.

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    This is great information! Thanks!

    I was looking around the site today for some additional information which it seems I need all of the time. Is there a similar post or document that explains the preferred method to administer the chemicals to the pool? Most of the pails of chemicals I have don't give that information. I never remember if it should be diluted, broadcast, socked in the skimmer or what. I am sure all of this is located within all of the great information, but it would be nice to have it in one place like Paul has provided for us here.
    IG, Fiberglass, 2100gals, so far. This will be my 3rd. pool.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    I started to write up the ways to apply chemicals, but every time I pick a specific approach someone disagrees with me

    My short form, fairly easy to remember rule, is:

    Liquids - pour slowing in front of a return with the pump running.
    CYA - add slowly to the skimmer and wait a week before backwashing/cleaning the filter
    Other solids - pre-dissolve in a bucket and then pour slowly in front of a return

    However there is a healthy supply of exceptions and disagreements When it comes down to it, there are a number of chemicals that are fairly flexible about how you add them, and only a few where it makes a big difference.

    A different set of rules for adding chemicals appears in the Recommended Pool Chemicals article in Pool School, mixed in with a lot of other information about which chemicals to use for each task and how to buy them.
    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

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Thanks, everybody!
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    As we discussed, I will take the info you have prepared and make it available on the TFTestkits website.....Perhaps even combine it with the preprinted instructions on the kit, if you don't mind.
    It was the instructions pasted inside your kit that inspired me to collect all this info onto one page, at (ahem) a slightly larger size to accommodate my aging eyes. So, do what you like! I'm pleased to be giving something back to the forum that made me an expert (well... advanced beginner, anyway) so quickly.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    I hope you don't mind - I took your pdf and made the font even larger and created a 2 page document that could be laminated front and back. We wanted it in an even larger print.

    If I knew how to attach it here I would. Oh I think I might have figured it out.

    I hope I didn't step on your toes....
    Attached Files Attached Files
    24ft AGP 52in deep ~13,500 gal
    Hayward Sand Filter 250 lbs
    SWG
    1.5 HP pump

    425 gal stand alone QCA Hot Tub 15-20 yrs old

  10. Back To Top    #10
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I started to write up the ways to apply chemicals, but every time I pick a specific approach someone disagrees with me

    My short form, fairly easy to remember rule, is:

    Liquids - pour slowing in front of a return with the pump running.
    CYA - add slowly to the skimmer and wait a week before backwashing/cleaning the filter
    Other solids - pre-dissolve in a bucket and then pour slowly in front of a return
    Jason, for what it is worth. I agree with you!

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Gooserider's Avatar
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    I seem to have found an error in the CYA test instructions... I have a TF-100 kit purchased a couple of months ago if that makes any difference.

    The PDF instruction sheet, and the OP both say to use an approximately 7ml sample. This seems grossly inadequate... It doesn't even come close to half way up the mixing bottle.

    I tried working backwards (using tap water, why waste reagents 8) ) to see what sort of volumes are needed, with measurements taken using the graduated cylinder that comes with the TF-100 for the TA and CH tests.

    To fill my CYA measuring tube to the CYA=20 line, which is essentially full, takes about 28ml of liquid. To fill it to the brim takes about 32ml. Thus it would appear to me that the directions should call for a 15ml sample, not a 7ml sample. If then mixed with an equal amount of reagent, this would give about 30ml of mixture, or just enough to run a full range test without making a mess...

    As a check, I also tried checking the mixing bottle that comes with the TF-100 - as close as I could tell, filling it to the top of the label (tricky as this is also the shoulder of the bottle) gave me 32ml, and going to the bottom of the label gave me 16ml, which is consistent with needing a 15ml sample and mixing it with an equal amount of reagent...

    Thus either I got consistently wrong parts in my kit, or the instruction sheet is in error (I strongly suspect the latter!)

    Could someone else (Duraleigh perhaps?) double check my results and make sure I haven't missed something, and then it might be good to update the otherwise very nice and useful instructions...

    Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Well, I'll be.... My syringe says the numbers should be 14ml to reach the bottom and top of the label. Possibly I had 7 in my head for the 1/2 diluted test, although the 5/5/10 in the instructions are enough to reach 40 in the view tube which ought to be good enough.

    I think 14ml would be better than 15ml because you need some air in the mixing bottle to make shaking work better. I'll see about replacing the instructions in the first post with this correction.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Looks like replacing the file worked, and I also fixed the text in the post itself.

    Thanks!!
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Looks like replacing the file worked, and I also fixed the text in the post itself.

    Thanks!!
    --paulr
    No problem, glad to help out... It is a great set of instructions otherwise, especially since it also includes the lowered reagent use versions of the tests...

    I highlighted some of the important numbers, and also a added rough "how often needed" indication, but that is probably something that each user needs to figure out on their own. I'm also probably going to add my reccomended target levels from the Pool Calc just so that it will be a handy crib sheet while testing...

    On a related subject, I notice your instructions kept suggesting reading things in "natural light" - I usually do most of my testing at night, in the comfort of our kitchen using a bottle of water I brought in from the pool... The light in our kitchen is from CF bulbs, how much of a difference does that make?

    Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Well, I'll be.... My syringe says the numbers should be 14ml to reach the bottom and top of the label. Possibly I had 7 in my head for the 1/2 diluted test, although the 5/5/10 in the instructions are enough to reach 40 in the view tube which ought to be good enough.

    I think 14ml would be better than 15ml because you need some air in the mixing bottle to make shaking work better. I'll see about replacing the instructions in the first post with this correction.
    --paulr
    7 ml is what is used in the K-2006, which has the small view tube. The large view tube used in the TF100 requires a sample size twice as big and twice as much reagent (14 ml sample, 14 ml reagent)

  16. Back To Top    #16
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Well, I'll be.... My syringe says the numbers should be 14ml to reach the bottom and top of the label. Possibly I had 7 in my head for the 1/2 diluted test, although the 5/5/10 in the instructions are enough to reach 40 in the view tube which ought to be good enough.

    I think 14ml would be better than 15ml because you need some air in the mixing bottle to make shaking work better. I'll see about replacing the instructions in the first post with this correction.
    --paulr
    7 ml is what is used in the K-2006, which has the small view tube. The large view tube used in the TF100 requires a sample size twice as big and twice as much reagent (14 ml sample, 14 ml reagent)
    Thanks, looks like that would explain the discrepancy for sure... Now all Paul has to do is figure out how to include BOTH sets of numbers in his instructions, and it looks like we would be all set...

    That said, how much harder is it to read the smaller tube, and is it worth the savings in reagents to try and get one?

    Gooserider
    Free-form Inground gunnite pool, Estimated 16-17K gallons. New Pentair TR60 ClearPro 24" sand filter and Compupool CPSC-48 SWG, Hayward SP1607X10 Pump w/ 1HP motor, 1.5" plumbing, Polaris Pressure cleaner w/ booster pump. pool is more than 25 yrs old, less than 35. Not painted, deteriorating tile surround. I am paraplegic, get in/out of pool w/ S.R. SMITH PAL portable pool lift (significantly modified)

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    7 ml is what is used in the K-2006, which has the small view tube. The large view tube used in the TF100 requires a sample size twice as big and twice as much reagent (14 ml sample, 14 ml reagent)
    Oh, fer cryin' out loud.

    If I say the mixing bottle should be not quite half-full of pool water and then use an equal amount of reagent, would that cover both kits? I was trying to be kit-neutral, which in this case apparently means not specifying an exact amount.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    7 ml is what is used in the K-2006, which has the small view tube. The large view tube used in the TF100 requires a sample size twice as big and twice as much reagent (14 ml sample, 14 ml reagent)
    Oh, fer cryin' out loud.

    If I say the mixing bottle should be not quite half-full of pool water and then use an equal amount of reagent, would that cover both kits? I was trying to be kit-neutral, which in this case apparently means not specifying an exact amount.
    --paulr
    Why not just say fill the mixing bottle to the first line with pool water and to the second line with reagent?

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Why not just say fill the mixing bottle to the first line with pool water and to the second line with reagent?
    The TF100 mixing bottle doesn't have actual lines, that might be confusing. I'll think about how to phrase it.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  20. Back To Top    #20
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    Re: Water Testing Instructions on One Page

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Why not just say fill the mixing bottle to the first line with pool water and to the second line with reagent?
    The TF100 mixing bottle doesn't have actual lines, that might be confusing. I'll think about how to phrase it.
    --paulr
    I actually have TWO TF100s and both of the CYA mixing bottles in my kits have lines on them. The first was a pre production run (I was one of the kit's 'beta testers') and the bottle only had lines drawn on it for water and reagent. The second kit was a slightly later one and had a waterproof label on it with the lines printed on the label.
    Here is how the first step of the CYA instructions are worded on the TFTEstkit website:
    "1. Fill the Red-capped CYA mixing bottle to the bottom line with pool water. Now, fill the bottle to the top line with R-0013. Mix, then wait at least 30 seconds. Shake once more."
    http://www.tftestkits.net/index.php?act ... c&docId=11

    Unless Dave changed the label on the mixing bottle there are lines there. If he did change the label he needs to update the instructions on the website.

    Edit: After looking at the picture of the mixing bottle on the website I now see it says to fill to the bottom of label for sample and top of label for reagent.
    Why not just say use equal amounts of water and reagent as per the measuring lines on the mixing bottle. This will cover the old style bottles, new style bottles and Taylor bottles.

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