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Thread: pH test hard to read

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    pH test hard to read

    I have the TF100 test kit. I have a very hard time matching the colors of the pH. The color I get when I test my water is never any of the options (7.5, 7.8, 8.2) and I just have a hard time guessing whether it is 7.7 or 8.0. I'm pretty sure it is high, I just don't know by how much. In an attempt to get a better idea I bought some pH strips and they are too general (just say pH level ok but don't give a specific reading). The pool store says it is 8.0 today. Even knowing that when I tested myself I just wasn't sure. Any suggestions for a better (easier to read) pH test? Thanks!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: pH test hard to read

    Was your pH above 7.8? If so it's too high. Add a pt of acid per 10k gallons (for your pool I would just call it 2 1/2 cups), wait about 30 min or so with pump running and retest. If still above 7.8 repeat. If not you are done.

    the colors going from low pH to high pH are yellow 6.8 and lower, yellow orange 7.0 , orange 7.2, orange red 7.4-7.5, red 7.6-7.8, red violet 8.0 , violet 8.2 and higher
    If the color is orange red to red with no pink or violet you are golden.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: pH test hard to read

    It is easier to determine the PH color if you hold it up to a blue northern sky on a sunny day or a sunlit white surface. Figuring out the color in dim lighting is very difficult at best. Practice also helps. You should be lowering the PH, as waterbear suggested, and that will give you additional opportunities to practice.
    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: pH test hard to read

    Oh boy! I've gotten lots of practice, but practice doesn't help of you are doing it wrong! I've held the test up to different sources of light, white pieces of paper, the sky, you name it, but it is the color variations that are throwing me off. There is a big difference (to me) between 7.8 and 8.2.
    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    the colors going from low pH to high pH are yellow 6.8 and lower, yellow orange 7.0 , orange 7.2, orange red 7.4-7.5, red 7.6-7.8, red violet 8.0 , violet 8.2 and higher
    If the color is orange red to red with no pink or violet you are golden.
    This helps me, though! I've never seen orange, but I have seen what I guess would be called red. But not red like this guy : I think I have now a red violet kind of color when I test. I guess? I've never been good at slight color variations (nor at matching my clothes).

    Thanks for the information. I'm better at guessing the pH now than I was yesterday!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Re: pH test hard to read

    I find it hard also, and I always thought I was good at colors. \What I do is try to look at the degree of redness. Then I ask myself is it more or less than 6.8? More or less than 7.2? It is strange how long it takes to convince myself that is one thing and not the other.

    With fill water TA of 340 and lots of aeration from spa and waterfall I am always battling rising pH and find I need to add some acid twice a week it seems.

    I have found this product online, but not ordered it yet. I wonder does anyone have any opinion about it?

    https://www.microessentiallab.com/Pr...55080-SRD.aspx
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: pH test hard to read

    When I'm in between colors I add a drop of acid demand (if violet-red) or base demand (if yellowish) to the sample to change the color to get a better feel for it.
    Barry
    Sundance Hot Tub 365 gal, acrylic
    (2) 2.5 hp pumps
    ozonator
    Northwest Ohio resident

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: pH test hard to read

    Quote Originally Posted by anonapersona
    I have found this product online, but not ordered it yet. I wonder does anyone have any opinion about it?
    Wider range PH test strips, like that one, don't provide as clear a color distinction between similar PH values in the range used by swimming pools, compared to the standard phenol red test.
    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: pH test hard to read

    Quote Originally Posted by BC
    When I'm in between colors I add a drop of acid demand (if violet-red) or base demand (if yellowish) to the sample to change the color to get a better feel for it.
    Barry
    Thats what i do. I've found that if i add one drop of the acid demand, it usually changes the color down to the next 0.2 increment. Sometimes i cant tell the difference between 7.8 and 7.6. With the acid demand drop, i can see it better and figure out what the reading actually is. But..if its not over 7.8, i dont mess with it. My pool tends to gravitate toward 7.8 and hold there.
    I have taken water to work and used an actual pH meter and the phenol red test in the kit is pretty dead on.

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    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: pH test hard to read

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad S
    Quote Originally Posted by BC
    But..if its not over 7.8, i dont mess with it.
    My pool does the same thing. The PH always seems to gravitate toward 7.8. Is it a problem keeping it there, or should I keep adding acid to lower the PH. It seems like I'm having to add acid everyday.
    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

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    Re: pH test hard to read

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodberg
    The PH always seems to gravitate toward 7.8. Is it a problem keeping it there, or should I keep adding acid to lower the PH.
    If your TA and CH are also high, then you're getting into the risk zone for calcium scaling. If the other levels are okay then the higher pH is probably not a problem, if it really does plateau there.
    --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: pH test hard to read

    Looks like you have a gunnite pool, so you CH would be pretty high to be in the proper range. Higher pH will make the Ca start to drop out. Never seen it on my end since my pool is vinyl and my CH is around 80 ppm. My neighbor has a gunnite with a CH of ~400. Ive seen his scale at higher pH.

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    Woodberg's Avatar
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    Re: pH test hard to read

    My latest test numbers are as follows:

    FC 5
    CC 0
    PH 7.8ish
    TA 100
    CH 230
    CYA 50
    Water Temp 92 (yikes)

    From what I've read, my numbers should be OK, I've been leaving my TA a little high because we are traveling some this summer and I use Trichlor pucks while we're away. I'm been trying to stay on the low end of the recommendation for using pucks. Would my TA level be contributing to the rise in PH?
    20,000 gallon gunite pool, attached spa, Pebblesheen finish, Paramount PCC-2000 infloor cleaning system, Paramount ClearO3 ozone system, Intelliflo VS main pump, Whisperflo 1HP cleaner pump, StaRite cartridge filter, StaRite heater

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: pH test hard to read

    Yes, higher TA leads to more rapid PH increases.
    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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