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Thread: Test Kit Comparison

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    Uncle Salty's Avatar
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    Test Kit Comparison

    So I have been using the Lamotte ColorQ Pro 11 since my pool was completed a couple months ago and have been happy with the ease of use and it seems to be consistent but I'm more concerned with accuracy. I needed Borate strips tonight and well shopping at TFT curiosity got the best of me so I bought the TF-100 and the Taylor K-1766 salt kit and Borate strips(already have the speed stir). Looking forward to seeing how the two stack up as I've read virtually every ColorQ user goes to the TF-100.
    20X40 30,000 gal. Vinyl, AquaPlus Automation w/ T-15 SWG & AquaConnect, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump, ProSeries S310T2 Filter, H Series 400FDN Heater, Sense/Dispense with Stenner Pump, ColorLogic X 3, TigerShark RC990, ​Borates, TF-100 test kit, K-1766 & Speed Stir Finally done! Well Almost

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    We look forward to seeing your comparison.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    I consider the TF-100 the Gold Standard of pool testing kits.


    Yip
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    I'll be anxious to see an update, but rest assured, you got a good kit.
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    This will be fun to watch. Thanks for letting us watch and learn along with you!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Uncle Salty's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    This will be fun to watch. Thanks for letting us watch and learn along with you!

    Kim
    Looking forward to seeing myself. The testing methods seem a lot more involved with what I've read using the TF-100, do you use the speed stir for all the tests or only certain ones?
    20X40 30,000 gal. Vinyl, AquaPlus Automation w/ T-15 SWG & AquaConnect, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump, ProSeries S310T2 Filter, H Series 400FDN Heater, Sense/Dispense with Stenner Pump, ColorLogic X 3, TigerShark RC990, ​Borates, TF-100 test kit, K-1766 & Speed Stir Finally done! Well Almost

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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    You can use the speed stir whenever you like.

    It is probably most helpful for the CH test, but many folks use it for TA, FC, and CYA.

    After using the ColorQ, you will find the methods in the TF-100 a little slower but the precision and repeatability are simply the best.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Your side-by-side comparisons should be done over the long term and with both tests run on the same water sample draw (use a larger draw volume).

    Typically what is seen is that ColorQ performs well initially and gives comparable results but then begins to drift with age. Calibration of electronic devices is always an issue. Titration typically offers a larger range to be measured by sacrificing a small amount of accuracy and precision. Photometry typically gives higher accuracy and precision but over a smaller range.

    It will be interesting to see your results.


    Matt
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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Salty,

    I also have the ColorQ, and like it a lot, but I think you will find the TF-100 to be more accurate.

    The ColorQ uses a pretty small sample size. I believe that this magnifies any small measurement error with either the amount of pool water or the reagent.

    The ColorQ reads Total Hardness even though the test is labeled Calcium Hardness (CH). The TF-100 reads true CH.

    I use the SpeedStir and sample sizer on every test except the CYA test...

    I'm looking forward to your comparison tests myself.

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    I'll be sure run the tests simultaneously using the same water sample. Kit should be here by Tuesday I'd think and will then begin comparing results and posting my findings.
    20X40 30,000 gal. Vinyl, AquaPlus Automation w/ T-15 SWG & AquaConnect, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump, ProSeries S310T2 Filter, H Series 400FDN Heater, Sense/Dispense with Stenner Pump, ColorLogic X 3, TigerShark RC990, ​Borates, TF-100 test kit, K-1766 & Speed Stir Finally done! Well Almost

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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    And stand on your left foot only for all tests, unless you use the sample sizer, then right foot is mandatory.

    Love the user name and active participation. Thanks.
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    So I've been running both tests simultaneously for a few weeks now and without question if you want accuracy and repeatability, which I think everyone on here would want then the TF-100 is the champ. I'm not going to post every single test but here's a summary for each test we need to run to keep a happy TFP.

    FC- I let my FC go up for a period during the test due to all the tree debris and pollen and knew this already that Lamotte cannot handle over a reading of 10 and just read high unless you dilute the sample but I didn't bother. The TF-100 was bang on each time and as I let the FC drop the test reflected it perfectly. Once the level was below 10 the Lamotte read higher than the TF-100 and not consistent.

    CC- The Lamotte tests TC which isn't a problem as long as it matches FC which it never did, it always showed a .5 up to over 2 difference. This was originally why I bought the TF-100 because I was worried something was in my water throwing the Lamotte to read high. Well TF-100 put that all to rest as it remained clear on every test.

    PH- This was one where both were consistently the same and match my automation reading bang on, my PH never budges it reads 7.5 every time.

    TA- This one wasn't even close, Lamotte was reading 120-130 so relatively consistent but the TF-100 actually told me I was at 170 and this was consistent every single time.(I know I need to lower, more than I originally thought).

    CH- Not really that important with vinyl but to some it's very important and again Lamotte read lower and it is actually a total hardness not sure what the difference is but reading about 50. TF-100 was consistent and read more in the 90-100 range.

    CYA- Lamotte was quite good on this one and easy to test reading 72-75 consistently. I was worried about the TF-100 and the black dot thing but I must say it was a non issue and read 70-80 consistently. This is something I would only test monthly so not a big deal and the black dot thing works as advertised, not sure why so many have issues with this test.

    In summary Lamotte ColorQ is okay and very easy to use but also 2.5X the cost compared to the TF-100. IMO if you want to keep a true TFP go with the TF-100, the tests are a little more involved initially but after a few times it's pretty easy especially with the speed stir and all the support available here. I'll keep the Lamotte for my neighbor to test my water when we go on vacation, how much damage can happen in a week or two .

    Salty
    Last edited by Uncle Salty; 04-02-2017 at 09:33 AM. Reason: grammar
    20X40 30,000 gal. Vinyl, AquaPlus Automation w/ T-15 SWG & AquaConnect, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump, ProSeries S310T2 Filter, H Series 400FDN Heater, Sense/Dispense with Stenner Pump, ColorLogic X 3, TigerShark RC990, ​Borates, TF-100 test kit, K-1766 & Speed Stir Finally done! Well Almost

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Thanks!!

    Great work comparing the two.
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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Uncle Salty, that was an excellent review and one I'm sure will be referenced again and again when the ColorQ topic comes up.

    Yip
    Maddie :) 12K 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: Test Kit Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Salty View Post
    CH- Not really that important with vinyl but to some it's very important and again Lamotte read lower and it is actually a total hardness not sure what the difference is but reading about 50. TF-100 was consistent and read more in the 90-100 range.
    Total Hardness (TH), or sometimes labelled degrees of General Hardness (dGH), is the measure of ALL multivalent ions in solution (Ca2+ and Mg2+ with other multivalent ions like iron, maganese, strontium, zinc, etc, being ignored as they are typically too low). TH tests usually report results in units of calcium carbonate concentration (ppm of [CaCO3]) while degrees of general hardness are usually in units of calcium oxide concentration (1 degree of GH is equal to 10ppm of [CaO]). 1 dGH is equivalent to 17.484ppm of [CaCO3].

    The TF-100 and K-2006 can be easily made to read TH; you simply just don't add the R-0010 in the first step. The R-0010 is sodium hydroxide which raises the pH of the test sample above 10 so that magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) precipitates out of solution (you don't see it, but it is there). Then the indicator dye only has calcium ions to react with. The taylor reagents are designed to remove interferences from other multivalent metal ions so that you get the truest calcium test possible. Many TH and dGH tests don't do that and so, if the water has metals in it, you are really seeing a mix of different hardnesses.
    Matt
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Note that when the TF-100 is very fresh, the TA test may read higher than reality as the regent builds up static and the drops may not fully form before jumping off the tip, so you end up counting more smaller drops. This typically goes away after a few tests, but that is why there is the recommendation to wipe the tip after every drop to start with.
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    Uncle Salty's Avatar
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Note that when the TF-100 is very fresh, the TA test may read higher than reality as the regent builds up static and the drops may not fully form before jumping off the tip, so you end up counting more smaller drops. This typically goes away after a few tests, but that is why there is the recommendation to wipe the tip after every drop to start with.
    Tip was wiped as directed after each and every drop.
    20X40 30,000 gal. Vinyl, AquaPlus Automation w/ T-15 SWG & AquaConnect, EcoStar SP3400VSP pump, ProSeries S310T2 Filter, H Series 400FDN Heater, Sense/Dispense with Stenner Pump, ColorLogic X 3, TigerShark RC990, ​Borates, TF-100 test kit, K-1766 & Speed Stir Finally done! Well Almost

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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Total Hardness (TH), or sometimes labelled degrees of General Hardness (dGH), is the measure of ALL multivalent ions in solution (Ca2+ and Mg2+ with other multivalent ions like iron, maganese, strontium, zinc, etc, being ignored as they are typically too low). TH tests usually report results in units of calcium carbonate concentration (ppm of [CaCO3]) while degrees of general hardness are usually in units of calcium oxide concentration (1 degree of GH is equal to 10ppm of [CaO]). 1 dGH is equivalent to 17.484ppm of [CaCO3].

    The TF-100 and K-2006 can be easily made to read TH; you simply just don't add the R-0010 in the first step. The R-0010 is sodium hydroxide which raises the pH of the test sample above 10 so that magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2) precipitates out of solution (you don't see it, but it is there). Then the indicator dye only has calcium ions to react with. The taylor reagents are designed to remove interferences from other multivalent metal ions so that you get the truest calcium test possible. Many TH and dGH tests don't do that and so, if the water has metals in it, you are really seeing a mix of different hardnesses.
    Wow, that is interesting and good to know. Thx
    30,000 gal free-form IG w/ spa, PebbleSheen Blue Surf, Pentair cartridge filter, Pentair 3 HP Intelliflo, extra pump that is way over-sized for weeping moss rocks, Dolphin Oasis Z5, municipal water, all built Jan-Feb 2016. TF-100, SpeedStir, Liquidator 3/8", borates. My build thread http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...-in-Cypress-TX

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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    Since we're on the subject, I didn't get a Speed Stir until this year and I'm pretty sure I never got a "good" TA test until now.
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    Re: Test Kit Comparison

    One thing that is a bit of a pet peeve of mine, don't obsess over TA, if your pH is stable and in acceptable range and you are not flirting with Calcium saturation issues there really is no reason to obsess on TA.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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