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Thread: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

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    HardTrance9's Avatar
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    SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Hello,

    First post over here.

    I have been doing some extensive theoretical research on which water testers (electronic/digital) from TDS, Hanna, Extech, etc., could help me out to monitor the basics on salt water pools.

    Still don't find which are the different "things" that have to be tested on a normal fresh water pool and a salt water pool.

    Also I have read in some places that basically one should test pH, ORP, Minereal/Salinity and Temperature.

    But in other places they say it should be: pH, Chlorine, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Temperature.

    How to know which to monitor? I leave on the beach (Los Cabos) and most of the pools over here are Salt Water systems.

    It wouldn't worth to buy testers, let's say the TDS COM-100 + the TDS ORP-200 to monitor and take care of some salt water pools if they don't measure what I need right?
    http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/com100.html
    http://www.tdsmeter.com/products/orp200.html

    Also I was looking for the Hanna HI93745 which tests CHLORINE, HARDNESS, IRON & pH METER and it is also more expensive as well as the HI 98204 Water Test from Hanna Also (pH/ORP/EC/Temperature in One Unit)
    http://www.easymeters.com/cart/product. ... 226&page=1

    Or any listed here: http://www.easymeters.com/cart/home.php?cat=242

    I am not a professional on this. I am starting with this and I am thinking on investing maybe a max. of $200 USD for this. Just need to check that the pools are ok. Also found other testers around $900 or $2,000!

    These pools are not used heavily. Are from houses.

    If my question has to go in another thread I will gladly move it to where it belongs. Any help will be much appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Hector
    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Very few folks on this forum test electronically. There are a few and they may chime in soon.

    The cost and accuracy keep most of us using drops based testing reagents.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Many thanks for your insight. Hopefully I'll get lucky and maybe have some sort of answer.

    I will keep my fingers crossed.

    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry for what should be tested. Temperature should also be measured to calculate the saturation index, but usually that comes from a thermometer and you can roughly estimate this if you have to since the effect is not large. The recommended test kits are described in Test Kits Compared where you can get the Taylor K-2006 at a good online price here while the TF100 is from here.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry for what should be tested. Temperature should also be measured to calculate the saturation index, but usually that comes from a thermometer and you can roughly estimate this if you have to since the effect is not large. The recommended test kits are described in Test Kits Compared where you can get the Taylor K-2006 at a good online price here while the TF100 is from here.

    Many thanks for the recommendation. I have read before part of the chem section and about the test kits offered over here. Our pool guy has a test kit already. I am looking for some testers that are easy to carry (hand held) but that also measure what we need to know regarding the salt water pools and "double" monitor these.

    Our guys usually go twice a week to check on these pools and I do random inspections (not only for the pools). As a part of the checklist I want to be able to check on the pools too with some testers and write down the "important" figures I get so then I can know in a "quick" way if everything is ok with the pool without the need of using a full test kit.

    But there are several handheld testers which measure many chem indicators, and for a salt water pool I wouldn't know which to buy just to "supervise" overall the pool status. I know this hand helds won't be able to measure everything, but at least would be great to have an idea on what's going on with the pool. Don't if for sure I always have to test the ORP for example? I know that the pH is for sure (linked to the ORP) but our guy also tests the pH, so maybe it would be a good idea to test other indicators?

    Also know that these testers require some maintenance, replacement electrodes, calibrating, etc., depending on the model, but I am trying to find out if anyone has had some good or bad experiences with those testers.

    Many thanks!!

    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by HardTrance9
    I am looking for some testers that are easy to carry (hand held) but that also measure what we need to know regarding the salt water pools and "double" monitor these.
    Hector, Welcome to TFP...

    If you can't test, at minimum, the water indicators listed below with one or more digital hand-held devices, then you will not be able to effectively supervise or monitor the treatment of your fresh or salt water pools. Not sure how you could accomplish this with US$200 -- except with a good drop-test kit, such as has already been suggested.

    FC - Free Chlorine
    pH - Acidity/Alkalinity
    TA - Total Alkalinity
    CH - Calcium Hardness
    CYA - Cyanuric Acid
    Salt - Sodium chloride


    Also, there is no need to test for Iron unless you suspect you're having a problem with dissolved minerals.

    There are a few members here who have experience with electronic devices. Check back to see what they have to say.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by HardTrance9
    I am looking for some testers that are easy to carry (hand held) but that also measure what we need to know regarding the salt water pools and "double" monitor these.
    Hector, Welcome to TFP...

    If you can't test, at minimum, the water indicators listed below with one or more digital hand-held devices, then you will not be able to effectively supervise or monitor the treatment of your fresh or salt water pools. Not sure how you could accomplish this with US$200 -- except with a good drop-test kit, such as has already been suggested.

    FC - Free Chlorine
    pH - Acidity/Alkalinity
    TA - Total Alkalinity
    CH - Calcium Hardness
    CYA - Cyanuric Acid
    Salt - Sodium chloride


    Also, there is no need to test for Iron unless you suspect you're having a problem with dissolved minerals.

    There are a few members here who have experience with electronic devices. Check back to see what they have to say.
    Many thanks Polyvue!

    I will start improving my search right away to find out the experience in others (will use a different combination of words this time).

    (I'm the one getting hit! hehe)
    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by HardTrance9
    I will start improving my search right away to find out the experience in others (will use a different combination of words this time).
    Yes. Here's a couple of links from a quick search I did using the words test digital meter

    different-kinds-of-test-equipment-t4310.html

    digital-chlorine-and-ph-tester-meter-t4217.html

    On these threads, one of the posters, waterbear, seems to have the most experience with digital meters. Also, read JasonLion's comments. I'm sure you can find other members here with opinions on this topic.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    Quote Originally Posted by HardTrance9
    I will start improving my search right away to find out the experience in others (will use a different combination of words this time).
    Yes. Here's a couple of links from a quick search I did using the words test digital meter

    different-kinds-of-test-equipment-t4310.html

    digital-chlorine-and-ph-tester-meter-t4217.html

    On these threads, one of the posters, waterbear, seems to have the most experience with digital meters. Also, read JasonLion's comments. I'm sure you can find other members here with opinions on this topic.
    Poluvue, you are just great, many thanks for your kind help!

    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Well found some posts so far where Waterbear comments that Eutech could be a useful brand.

    I check on them and I am interested on the: http://www.coleparmer.com/catalog/produ ... ku=3542510
    or in other words the http://www.eutechinst.com/pdt-para-mult ... str35.html

    This handheld tester measures:

    - pH
    - Conductivity
    - TDS
    - Salinity
    - Temperature

    Still wondering if this could help me for the salt water pools?

    For example, in one of the pools, the previous operator did a complete mess and operated the pool with lots of chlorine up to a point where the pump and many other things got kind of white?

    The computer showed a figure of 1,800 and at the beginning (from other place around) someone commented that the normal value for salt water pools should be 3,000.

    Some other person said that the problem was the cell. He took it, "cleaned" it and stuff, put it back on place and the meter now reads +100, that is 1,900 instead of 1,800.

    If I use the handheld tester described above, could it work for me just to check quickly the salinity level for example? The tech details say this device has the following ranges :

    Salinity Range
    0.0 to 99.9 ppm
    100 to 999 ppm
    1.00 to 10.00 ppt
    0.0 to 1.00 %

    But because I am completely newbie into this I am little by little trying to understand if these ranges could help our reading the salinity on the mentioned pool? I still don't know anything about conversion rates and probably many user around here will find my doubts or questions boring or lazy to answer, but well I need to ask somewhere (besides keep reading some files).

    The idea would be to compare the cell/computer value vs. the handheld device and be able to tell if the salinity is ok with this and any other pool (3 in total for now). That way I could probably spot any urgency? and contact the operator to work on it.

    Also everybody says to test TA, FC, CH too but none of these can be measure by this tester and don't know if this would be a big deal considering the quick inspections I would like to do (apart from the Operator). Not expecting a handheld tester to test everything though.

    Found interesting the comment on Waterbear about not recommending Hanna. I was actually considering them as they have an office over here. I was actually considering this one: http://www.easymeters.com/cart/product. ... 242&page=1

    Maybe TDS is not that recommendable too.

    Any help as always, will be greatly appreciated. Will keep doing my homework.
    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by HardTrance9
    For example, in one of the pools, the previous operator did a complete mess and operated the pool with lots of chlorine up to a point where the pump and many other things got kind of white?

    The "white" stuff could be scale or corrosion effects... both potentially quite serious.

    But because I am completely newbie into this I am little by little trying to understand if these ranges could help our reading the salinity on the mentioned pool?

    Perhaps. A typical salt pool has much more than 999 ppm, so you'd have to use the ppt (parts per thousand) measurement and convert to ppm (parts per million). Another alternative is to use salt test strips. Those for residential pools (Aqua Chek) aren't cheap -- and there are only 10 test strips per bottle.

    Also everybody says to test TA, FC, CH too but none of these can be measure by this tester and don't know if this would be a big deal considering the quick inspections I would like to do

    They're a very big deal. FC (Free Chlorine) tells you the level of active sanitizer in your pool. This is essential informaiton. TA and CH buffer the water and are able to tell you whether the calcium is being leached from the plaster/concrete (bad) or the calcium is oversaturated and likely to be deposited on your pipes tile and equipment (also bad.)
    I know you're sold on these digital testers, but if you consider the amount of time and trouble in cleaning and calibrating these instruments, still think you'd be better off with a drop test like TF100 or Taylor K-2006. You would then be able to check ALL of the necessary measurements at pool side in less than 10 minutes.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    FYI: 3 ppt = 3000 ppm and is the typical salt level in an SWG pool (though the recommended level does vary somewhat by manufacturer).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue

    They're a very big deal. FC (Free Chlorine) tells you the level of active sanitizer in your pool. This is essential informaiton. TA and CH buffer the water and are able to tell you whether the calcium is being leached from the plaster/concrete (bad) or the calcium is oversaturated and likely to be deposited on your pipes tile and equipment (also bad.)
    I know you're sold on these digital testers, but if you consider the amount of time and trouble in cleaning and calibrating these instruments, still think you'd be better off with a drop test like TF100 or Taylor K-2006. You would then be able to check ALL of the necessary measurements at pool side in less than 10 minutes. [/quote]

    Many thanks for all of your comments! I think I will consider them seriously. Thanks again!
    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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    Re: SaltWater Pool - Which meter/tester?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    FYI: 3 ppt = 3000 ppm and is the typical salt level in an SWG pool (though the recommended level does vary somewhat by manufacturer).
    Great thanks. So that Eutech handheld device would actually work when measuring salinity. In one of the pools, the MFG states to have a level of 3,000 pm. I guess I would only have to check on the handheld that it shows, for example, salinity of 3 ppt.

    Thanks again,
    In charge of some SWG and Bleach pools... still a newbie..

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