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Thread: Own kit vs Store water test

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    Own kit vs Store water test

    So "most" people i know that have pools (not many) take their water to a store like pinch a penny, get their water tested and add what ever they tell you to add, but most of you guys seem to have your own kit... Just wondering why? why invest and go tru the trouble of testing your own water when you can have it done at the store for free and they tell you exactly what to do to fix it?
    IG / 14x28 / Roman_Grecian Shaped / 12000 Gallons / Pebble Sheen / Hayward SP32900VSP TriStar VS Pump / Hayward DE4820 DE Filter / Hayward aqua rite 900 Salt System / Hayward Color Logic LED Light / Hayward HP21404t heat pump / Intermatic T40000RT3 / Built 02-18

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Miguel,

    The basic problem is that it is not a good idea to have your water tested by someone who's only real goal is the sell you something..

    Plus, post store testing is known to be inaccurate at least half of the time... Try it out.. Take three samples from your pool, all at the same time.. then, take them to three different pool stores for testing. You will get three different sets of results.

    Anyone can go to the pools store and buy whatever they recommend, and then come home and add it to their pool.... The people here like to know what they are adding to their pools and why..

    A very good example is PhoFree... Millions of gallons of PhoFree are sold by pool stores every year, but none of it is actually needed to have a clear, sparkling and sanitized pool.. it just moves money from your pocket to theirs..

    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.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Because when you own your own kit, you know exactly what your levels are and you know exactly what you need to add to your pool. And you only add what your pool needs. You are the only person that cares about your pool; pool store employees could care less if your pool is cloudy and unsanitary.

    Pool stores have zero motivation to get your test results right and every motivation to sell you lots of chemicals your pool doesnít need at prices marked up well above what the products are worth. The pool store is happy to test your water for free because they will happily sell you alkalinity increaser, aka baking soda, that is 4X more expensive than the Arm & Hammer baking soda in the grocery store. They will also sell you pool conditioner (CYA) that is ďsalt water compatibleĒ and twice the price of regular chlorine pool CYA even though they are EXACTLY the same chemical.

    The value of something is defined by the price you put on it. So if the pool stores do the testing for $0 then thatís exactly what the results are worth ... nothing. You can take the same pool water sample to three different pool stores and get three different sets of test results. So consistency and accuracy are really not virtues the pool stores aim for.

    A high quality test kit costs around $100 and will last more than one season. By practicing the TFP Method of pool care, I have saved much, much more money than that. So that $100 investment has yielded dividends far in excess of the cost of the kit. My pool costs, maybe, $300 per year to run. My neighbors who use the pool service companies and follow pool store advice spend much, much more than that per year. My pool is 100% clean and crystal clear 24/7/365. My neighbors routinely complain about how they canít get the pool guy to show up to fix their cloudy green pools so the their kids can swim.

    And, in closing, you canít practice the methods of pool care taught on this site without your own test kit, it is simply impossible. TFP is a proven method of DIY pool care that has, as one of its core tenants, personal pool water testing. TFP has been around officially for over a decade and the people that started it were active on other pool forums for years before that. The methods taught here are built on a solid scientific foundation and TFP has proven its success over and over again with tens of thousands of happy pool owners who have had their pool store induced green swamp money pits turned into sparkling backyard diamonds that are trouble free and low cost.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Everybody that comes here with pool store testing pretty much has the same story.

    They tested my water, told me X was low so I added X lbs, now they are telling me X is too high and I need X to reduce it, now they say X didn't reduce it so now I have to drain. Bill $300
    Casey
    Intex 24' x 52" closed for winter 2018, 2 Main Drains, 1 Skimmer, 1 Return, PVC
    1/2 HP Intex Pump 633T w/ Taeglus TA-40 175 lb 19.5" Sand Filter, Auqabot Extreme Robot
    TF-50 and Taylor 2006 Test Kits, Quality Well Water, Fleck 5800SXT Water Softener

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Here is what we use in our pools. Most of it most people do not need except on a as needed bases.

    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    All of this can be bought at your local hardware or grocery store! Now neat is that??? AND it is a LOT cheaper!

    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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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Miguel,

    I've been doing this system for a couple of years and several people like Kim and Matt that are offering opinions were the same people that helped me get started and helped me through some specific issues I had. They've been here for years and have nothing driving them other than a desire to help people like us enjoy a trouble-free pool. The problem with pool stores is they don't seem to have any training required as I find they have radically different opinions on how to resolve the same issues, even at the same store! That said the stores provide valuable services to me such as they offer by far the best price on liquid chlorine refills to me and I can get parts in an emergency from them - highly priced yes but at least I can get a part if I'm in a hurry.

    There are some pool stores that have very knowledgeable people and many of them are very nice to deal with. But they are conflicted because they want to sell chemicals. It's what they do. Not all fall to the temptation but a pool owner that's not educated can easily fall into the trap of spending hundreds to clean up an issue unnecessarily. Pool school plus the help of people here has enabled me to take care of my pool for about $10/month for 2 years and my pool is the envy of my neighbors. I hope you'll give this a try and enjoy the skills you'll develop plus the "online friendships" with some great folks.

    I hope this helps.

    Chris
    -Chris-
    2013 In-ground plaster/pebble, screen enclosed, 12000 gal w/ Jandy 2 speed 1 HP pump, Jandy CS 200 cartridge filter, 800 gal spa w/ 1.5 HP booster pump, Solar heater, 2 LED lights in pool 1 light in spa, TF-100 test kit, The PoolCleaner Next Generation, Jandy RS-12 Automation system with iAqualink 2.0 control, Separate Hayward/Goldline Solar control

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    WOW!!! i look like an idiot now (but i guess that was the point), i just read the Pool School and didnt know you guys were using regular grocery store products to maintain your pool, thats awesome!!! For some reason i thought that you guys were doing the test then taking the results to a pool store and buying the chemicals from them, which i agree they are really expensive. The more i think about the more i realize how dumb i was thinking, having small kids i NEED to know what i put in my water and i NEED to know that is the best it can be for them... Thank you all!!!!! ill be buying a kit today!!! i see many good options ill read a bit on the different kits, if you got a suggestion dont hesitate to give it again thanks all
    IG / 14x28 / Roman_Grecian Shaped / 12000 Gallons / Pebble Sheen / Hayward SP32900VSP TriStar VS Pump / Hayward DE4820 DE Filter / Hayward aqua rite 900 Salt System / Hayward Color Logic LED Light / Hayward HP21404t heat pump / Intermatic T40000RT3 / Built 02-18

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Hands down the best test kit for a residential pool is the TF100 from TFTestkits.net. Add the SpeedStir and you are set.

    Once you get started and see the advantages to the TFPC way, consider supporting this forum. We are all volunteers and there are no advertisements. Costs for web hosting, server space, etc is met by the generous contributions of our members.

    Take care.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Quote Originally Posted by mknauss View Post
    Hands down the best test kit for a residential pool is the TF100 from TFTestkits.net. Add the SpeedStir and you are set.

    Once you get started and see the advantages to the TFPC way, consider supporting this forum. We are all volunteers and there are no advertisements. Costs for web hosting, server space, etc is met by the generous contributions of our members.

    Take care.

    Awesome got the TF-100 test kit, a speedstir and a phmeter from tftestkits.net and yup i will become a supporter soon
    IG / 14x28 / Roman_Grecian Shaped / 12000 Gallons / Pebble Sheen / Hayward SP32900VSP TriStar VS Pump / Hayward DE4820 DE Filter / Hayward aqua rite 900 Salt System / Hayward Color Logic LED Light / Hayward HP21404t heat pump / Intermatic T40000RT3 / Built 02-18

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Be aware the pH meters are 'ok'. They need to be calibrated often and plan to confirm their reading with the K1000 kit often.

    Take care.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperMiguel View Post
    WOW!!! i look like an idiot now (but i guess that was the point), i just read the Pool School and didnt know you guys were using regular grocery store products to maintain your pool, thats awesome!!! For some reason i thought that you guys were doing the test then taking the results to a pool store and buying the chemicals from them, which i agree they are really expensive. The more i think about the more i realize how dumb i was thinking, having small kids i NEED to know what i put in my water and i NEED to know that is the best it can be for them... Thank you all!!!!! ill be buying a kit today!!! i see many good options ill read a bit on the different kits, if you got a suggestion dont hesitate to give it again thanks all
    This is probably the single most best reply I have seen to a question/answer thread I have seen on any forum. Most people are resistant to change and can only do so when they are at their wits end.
    Casey
    Intex 24' x 52" closed for winter 2018, 2 Main Drains, 1 Skimmer, 1 Return, PVC
    1/2 HP Intex Pump 633T w/ Taeglus TA-40 175 lb 19.5" Sand Filter, Auqabot Extreme Robot
    TF-50 and Taylor 2006 Test Kits, Quality Well Water, Fleck 5800SXT Water Softener

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Miguel, It almost seems too good to be true right??? I have a set of links to help you learn our "language" and how we take care of our pools. Take it slow and easy and make sure to ask ANY and ALL questions you have!

    Print these out:
    Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule

    Pool School - Recommended Levels

    Bookmark these:
    Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals

    PoolMath

    Pool School - ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

    I am SO glad you found us!

    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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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Thanks all, one quick question does everything on those link does NOT apply for new plaster? like anything i should do different?
    IG / 14x28 / Roman_Grecian Shaped / 12000 Gallons / Pebble Sheen / Hayward SP32900VSP TriStar VS Pump / Hayward DE4820 DE Filter / Hayward aqua rite 900 Salt System / Hayward Color Logic LED Light / Hayward HP21404t heat pump / Intermatic T40000RT3 / Built 02-18

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    How new? Is the PB/plaster company still managing chemistry? Are you in the midst of an acid startup or other process?
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Quote Originally Posted by mknauss View Post
    How new? Is the PB/plaster company still managing chemistry? Are you in the midst of an acid startup or other process?
    about 1 month old, and no PB is no longer managing the chemestry
    IG / 14x28 / Roman_Grecian Shaped / 12000 Gallons / Pebble Sheen / Hayward SP32900VSP TriStar VS Pump / Hayward DE4820 DE Filter / Hayward aqua rite 900 Salt System / Hayward Color Logic LED Light / Hayward HP21404t heat pump / Intermatic T40000RT3 / Built 02-18

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    After a month then everything here applies. You are still needing to add acid to keep pH under control. You should be able to use a robot/pool cleaner if your PB said so.

    Take care.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Like a dumb dumb i did too follow my builders advice and hired a "pool guy" He lasted from 4/17 to 8/17 . Fired him because my pool was showing green algae and we had a party planed in 2 days and his reply was i will be there monday .He also told me to take water to pool store for testing and buy the chemicals my self. I called my builder he did come over and sorta fix algae i thought (it came right back ) . This left me trying to take care of my pool of course i did it wrong too. Then in 11/17 i found this site and now after reading (hours and hours) LEARNING what not to do (i was doing ething wrong) I drained 60% of my water because cya 120.. and have been following TFPC the only thing i have done is chlorine and M/A new numbers are

    fc 9 cc.0 ph 7.7 ch 250 ta 120 cya 55 i have gone from $1200.00 in the first 5 months to about $10 a month so i am paying my self i fishing trip because i have earned it thanks to TFP
    Jimmie...28.5 k inground plaster/quartz, 36'x16' 8.5 deep end dive rock 7x10 tan ledge 10" deep ,build date 11/16 open 4/2017, pent intelipro variable...pent.booster/cleaner bot** named george ** pentair s8m150 cartridge.. intellibrite controler(first automation) so i can stop guessing what color lites are , rheem raypac heater, circupool rj-60 plus,16 mil solar cover, TF100 /speed stir /Taylor K-1766.

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    wilkj1 --

    Great to hear! Always like to hear success stories!

    This forum is run by volunteers. As you see, there is no advertising. So the costs for web hosting, server storage, etc is paid for through the generous contributions of our members. If TFPC saves you money, how about supporting this forum? CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!
    Thank you for posting.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperMiguel View Post
    WOW!!! i look like an idiot now (but i guess that was the point), i just read the Pool School and didnt know you guys were using regular grocery store products to maintain your pool, thats awesome!!! For some reason i thought that you guys were doing the test then taking the results to a pool store and buying the chemicals from them, which i agree they are really expensive. The more i think about the more i realize how dumb i was thinking, having small kids i NEED to know what i put in my water and i NEED to know that is the best it can be for them... Thank you all!!!!! ill be buying a kit today!!! i see many good options ill read a bit on the different kits, if you got a suggestion dont hesitate to give it again thanks all
    I was told the pool store I had phosphates in my saltwater pool....


    19k SW IG
    Wet Edge pebble tech = new 5/16 (replaster)
    Hayward variable speed pump (new 6/17) /Shark for cleaning
    New - filled 10/18/14 - TFP 100 test kit

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Own kit vs Store water test

    Quote Originally Posted by DMS2014 View Post
    I was told the pool store I had phosphates in my saltwater pool....
    You do as does most (never say all) of us. It is no big deal! So long as you manage your water balance it will not mean a thing.

    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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