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Thread: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

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    Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    I own a Taylor K-2006 test kit, and I'm trying to figure out what to use for daily chlorine testing. I'm going through lots of reagents and I don't think it's the most economical approach. What is recommended? Are there any test strips that are sufficient for daily use (I will be using the Taylor kit weekly)? Any other cheap tests?
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Just use the OTO yellow color match drops for daily testing.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Is this a brand name? Didn't find it on PoolCenter.com ...
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    It's the chlorine test used in the cheap liquid reagent kits like you get at Walmart or that most pool stores handle. It's also the test in the Taylor K-1000 kit.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    The OTO test is the drops that turn yellow. If you get good at distinguishing the colors, that's good enough for daily checking of levels up to 5. Some of us have a hard time with the colors; I know what 1 looks like, and 5+, but in between they all look the same. Using the FAS-DPD on pool + spa everyday, I run through a bottle of powder in a few months. I really need to be more laid back about my testing...
    --paulr
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    I don't think those test will work for me, as I'm supposed to keep my FC at 6ppm, and they only go to 5ppm. What about the fancy silver test strips?
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    The best bet is to use the FAS-DPD test you are using but work with a 10ml sample rather than 25ml. With 10ml, you multiply the drops by 0.5 rather than 0.2, certainly good enough if you are aiming for >5ppm. That cuts the reagent a good bit.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    I've never had anyone provide a good reason to test chlorine at 0.2ppm resolution. It's just a waste of reagents to do that. Or being a testing-uber-geek.
    --paulr
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    The idea is to test with the FAS-DPD test kit enough to get a sense of how much chlorine you need to add to the pool every day. Then test six days a week with the simple OTO test just to be sure there is chlorine in the water, and on the seventh day you test with FAS-DPD to check the real level and adjust the amount of chlorine you are adding to the pool.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrafal
    The best bet is to use the FAS-DPD test you are using but work with a 10ml sample rather than 25ml. With 10ml, you multiply the drops by 0.5 rather than 0.2, certainly good enough if you are aiming for >5ppm. That cuts the reagent a good bit.
    It cuts the liquid reagent, but not the powder reagent. You use 2 little scoops for each kind of test. I'd still like to find a cheaper solution. Are there more accurate test strips available, that specialize in chlorine only?
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    No, there aren't any test strips that are reliable enough.

    The FAS-DPD chlorine test is fairly inexpensive, $20 to $30 for enough reagents to last perhaps three years of routine (once a week) usage.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Sounds like there isn't anything other than using up FAS-DPD reagents for daily chlorine testing over 6ppm. Bummer.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Well, you can use the OTO test and make sure it's always darker than 5. If you're specifically trying to maintain a 6+ level then yes you need to use FAS-DPD. But that should only be while you're shocking. A normal maintenance level is likely down in the range an OTO test can handle.
    --paulr
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    I suppose you could use OTO by diluting the sample 50/50 with distilled water to get the chlorine in the range of the OTO test.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    Well, you can use the OTO test and make sure it's always darker than 5. If you're specifically trying to maintain a 6+ level then yes you need to use FAS-DPD. But that should only be while you're shocking. A normal maintenance level is likely down in the range an OTO test can handle.
    --paulr
    My CYA is 50ppm, so I need to maintain FC at 6ppm per the TFP Chlorine/CYA Chart. Don't want to do the drain/refill routine to get my CYA lower, and don't want issues with algae by getting too close to my minimum FC.

    Can you explain the diluting method? That might work ...
    -----------------------------------
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    I would not even worry about dilutions! You are micromanaging. Use your FAS-DPD test then test with an OTO kit and note the color. After a short time you will be able to recognize it. The daily test is just to see if there is approx enough chlorine in your pool. If your CYA is 50 ppm then you should be fine with FC as low as 4 ppm for a a few days or so. It's not rocket science. It's a pool. Use the OTO test daily and use the big kit weekly (monthly for CYA and CH) and you are good to go!

    I would suggest getting a Taylor K-1000 if you don't have one. It's the best OTO kit out there.

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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    To use the dilution method, you test a sample that is 50% pool water, 50% distilled water. Then multiply the result by two.
    My Pool
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    I would not even worry about dilutions! You are micromanaging. Use your FAS-DPD test then test with an OTO kit and note the color. After a short time you will be able to recognize it. The daily test is just to see if there is approx enough chlorine in your pool. If your CYA is 50 ppm then you should be fine with FC as low as 4 ppm for a a few days or so. It's not rocket science. It's a pool. Use the OTO test daily and use the big kit weekly (monthly for CYA and CH) and you are good to go!

    I would suggest getting a Taylor K-1000 if you don't have one. It's the best OTO kit out there.
    I will buy an OTO kit and aim at keeping FC at 5ppm. That should be okay, right? I really don't want to get algae again ... and I'm getting it when my FC goes under 4ppm. That's why I'm micromanaging ...
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    I am in complete agreement with waterbear on dilutions.

    I have tried it on the OTO test and found the results very, very dubious. I would never put any credibility in it.

    I wouldn't even consider it on the CYA test method.....that test is indistinct enough as it is.

    That said, I suppose they are better than nothing but a very incorrect result can lead to a lot of incorrect assumptions.
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    Re: Daily FC testing -- what to use?

    Hear, hear. I have suggested dilutions but only in two situations:
    - the OTO or DPD drop test is all you have and FC is way high; this is always (I hope) accompanied by a recommendation for the FAS-DPD test.
    - CYA is clearly 100+.
    You lose accuracy with a dilution, but it lets you tell the difference between CYA 110 and 180, which is the difference between a 1/2 and 2/3 drain, so I think it's still worth doing.
    --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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