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Thread: How to translate readings

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    How to translate readings

    Hi,

    I have a new AG Bestway 18' pool that I have setup with a SWG (finally starting to get some of the lingo down). Initially, I only had test strips to determine my levels and have since bought a testing kit from a pool store. The kit is sold as a Competition kit here in Canada and says it is a "deluxe 4 in 1 test kit". I can test CL, PH, Acid Demand and TA.

    One of my questions is that the kit registers CL from .3 to 3.0 and the kit suggests that CL be between 1.0 and 1.5. The forums and the pool calculator suggests CL should be between 3 and 5. How do I reconcile the two values?

    Next, I find that the CL levels will be high in the morning and then quite low in the evening? Is that normal? Currently my TA levels are out of whack as I made the wrong adjustment (added baking soda when I should have added Muratic Acid). Initially the level was quite high (1100) which actually matches the tap water used to fill the pool. I think I've figured out how the use the pool calculator so I'll have to start adjusting that back down.

    Here are the normal levels
    CL 1.5
    PH 7.6
    TA 1100

    Since I can't or don't know how to test for CYA (the test strips I have say that the level is fine) what are my options for that?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Jeff
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    Is there a pool store nearby that can test the CYA level?

    You'll need a better test kit - one that can test higher than 3ppm. We typically recommend a Taylor K-2006 - the best source in Canada is Apollo Pools, but you may be able to get by with a smaller Taylor kit, depending on how much you want to spend, and since it is a smaller pool, how do you feel about draining it should it turn green?

    Ignore any "industry" recommendations of 1-3 ppm - that's for indoor pools with no CYA. Your FC level is entirely dependent on your CYA level. Refer to the CYA/chlorine chart.

    Sunlight consumes FC, so if your CYA is too low, that could explain what you are seeing.

    Hope this helps.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydart
    Currently my TA levels are out of whack as I made the wrong adjustment (added baking soda when I should have added Muratic Acid). Initially the level was quite high (1100) which actually matches the tap water used to fill the pool. I think I've figured out how the use the pool calculator so I'll have to start adjusting that back down.
    There is an article in Pool School about lowering TA - make sure you follow those instructions - you don't want to add too much Muratic Acid all at once and end up with plummeting PH.
    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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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    do you think his bottle suffers from the same malady as the tf100's? that seems ridiculously high.
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    Hi Jeff,

    Please take a water sample to a pool store and have a full battery of tests done.

    Post the results back here in this thread.

    How does your water look?

    Welcome to the forum
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    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    Quote Originally Posted by reebok
    do you think his bottle suffers from the same malady as the tf100's? that seems ridiculously high.
    Good question....
    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: How to translate readings

    Thanks for the replys.

    @frustratedpoolmom - not sure i want to spend more for a testing kit than I paid for the pool. The "finance committee" may not see the value of having a top-notch kit. I guess my specific question regarding the CL levels is - do all kits have the same ranges or could my kit somehow show the same reading at 1.5 that other kits see at 3 or 5?


    @Butterfly - I will take a sample into that store when they open on Monday. The water currently looks clear.

    I will need to start the process of lowering my TA per the article in Pool School and then see how things look.
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    You need a test that can test higher than 3. Plain and simple.

    The FAS-DPD can test up to 50ppm and is precise down to .2 if necessary.

    When your CYA is 50, your minimum FC level would be 4. Your Target would be 6, and your shock level would be 20. Therefor, if your kit only goes to 3, you'll never know if you reached any of these goals, you would just be guessing. This becomes particularly important if the need to shock your pool arises.

    Chlorine levels are the same regardless of tests - BUT the OTO tests Total Chlorine, FAS-DPD tests Free Chlorine, DPD tests Free Chlorine. Free Chlorine is the good stuff, and the important test to know the results of. I'm not sure what kind of test your's has, but the fact that it only goes to three doesn't help you in the slightest.

    Now if you were to have in indoor pool, and were to keep your chlorine levels between 1-3 then maybe it would be of use...but that's not your situation here.
    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: How to translate readings

    Bottom line is this, you can follow the advice in this forum or not. It does work AND saves a lot of money in the long run but if you don't want to follow it then you might be better off at the pool store.
    Our choice of test kits is based on our collective experience in what works and what doesn't and what is cost effective. For Canada that boils down to the Taylor K-2006.

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    Re: How to translate readings

    @Waterbear - I think my question is a valid one and in no way is disparaging the advice that is available on the forums. I do hope to follow the BBB approach but I guess I don't understand why a test kit would only go to 3 if that is the lowest value that most people recommend.

    While I understand that sometimes you have to spend money to get a quality product, the idea of BBB seems to be to save money and so I guess I'm missing the point of spending close to $150 CDN on a test kit. Money doesn't grow on trees here in Canada.
    18' X 48" AG Vinyl - 5600 gallons (bestway)
    SWG (Intex)
    Cartridge filter (came with pool)
    Pump flow rate 1500 g/h

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    Re: How to translate readings

    I do hope to follow the BBB approach
    One way or another, that inevitably leads around to good, accurate testing. BBB is not magic or a "secret" method. It is simply good testing combined with the knowledge of what to do with the test results.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    reebok's Avatar
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    Re: How to translate readings

    but the chlorine/cya chart is a magic secret, unfortunately. thank goodness for this website.
    skydart: what are you asking about a test kit going to 3? the entire pool industry concept of proper chlorine levels is wrong for outdoor pools. which is why most people need a kit that can go above that. fighting algae is another reason people use a kit with a fas-dpd chlorine test. or I may be completely misunderstanding your question.
    pool-school/chlorine_cya_chart_shock
    16x32 21,000 gallon in-ground exposed aggregate, 1.5hp pump, 120 sqft catridge filter, birdcage, solar panels, aquavac tigershark qc robot.

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    Re: How to translate readings

    You can spend $150 CDN on a good kit or you can spend countless dollars at the pool store based on their testing, which in most cases is just rigged to sell you chemicals you don't need. I went from spending an avg of $140USD a month on chemicals and constantly fighting algae to maybe $20 a month on bleach....given a swim season of 3-4 months, the kit is well worth the investment IMHO.

    BBB is not so much about Bleach, Borax and Baking Soda as it is about knowing what's going on with your water chemistry and being able to adjust it in a timely manner, which usually turns out to be you most cost effective approach to pool water maintenance. My moto is "5 mins a day keeps the pool store away"
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: How to translate readings

    The basics of the method of pool care that we teach is that you need to test the water to know WHAT you need, WHEN you need to add it, and HOW MUCH you need to put in. Accurate and precise test resutls are the most imporrant part because without them you are really just guessing. The test kits we recommend ARE the best value for the money that will provide the type of test results that you need to properly care for your pool. They are also the easiest to use with the fewest problems and ambiguities.
    In the long run the proper test kit will save you a LOT of money. Like I said, you can follow our advice or not.\
    If you want to use a test kit that only goes to threee and only tests total chlorine and not free chlorine and combined chlorine (your color comparator is yellow, correct?) then go right ahead but it is not telling you what you need to know about your water.
    IF there was a less expensive way to do it don't you think we would be the first to recommend it here?

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