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Thread: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

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    Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Hey Folks,

    I appreciate this forum and what it has to offer new pool owners like myself. This is my first post and I am trying to ascertain a viable method of testing my water. I have posted all my pool information in my signature (hopefully).

    Basically I have a salt water pool and I would like to find a moderately reliable way of testing the water. Now, since I am color blind, I cannot use the strips, etc. I have to rely on a digital option. To date, I have just been taking my water into Leslies on a regular basis and things have been working out well. I would, however, prefer to monitor things myself and try to only use the Leslie's option once every 3-4 weeks.

    I have cruised this forum and numerous web sites looking for information about what digital monitors will be effective in a salt water pool keeping in mind that this is just a patch between Leslie visits. It seems many of the major names are not accurate when it comes to salt pools. I called up Leslies and asked them their advice...and they were not very helpful.

    So, I am writing here hoping that some of you can lend me your knowledge and experience.

    I really appreciate the help and I know that digital is not a great option but that is what I have to rely on to keep things clear.

    Cheers.
    17k (430 Sq Ft) Salt Water In Ground Pool, 3.5'-7' depth, MDX2 Infloor system, Grotto/Tile Slide/Rock Waterfall Features, Wet-Edge Chilean Beach Tahoe Pebble surface, Intellichlor IC40, Easytouch Control w/remote, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, Intelliflo VS-3050 Variable Speed Pump, 2 x intellibrite LED Color Lights

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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    There is nothing digital that is accurate enough and reasonably well priced.

    Even without being color blind, the strips are usually inadequate.

    Drops based tests are the most accurate and rely on a color change rather than a gradation of the same color. If you can see a color change (it doesn't really matter what you perceive the colors to be as long as you can see them change), then the drops based tests will work for you.

    If not, can someone help you test once a week to keep your water crystal clear?
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Most of the tests in the better test kits (TF100 or Taylor K-2006) can be done even by people who are color blind. However their PH test does depend on being able to distinguish colors. You can get relatively inexpensive digital PH meters, under $100, that work well. Just be sure to get one that takes a two or three point calibration, get the calibration solutions, and do the calibration regularly.

    Another approach would be the LaMotte ColorQ. Within some limits (FC below 10, CH below 400) it is quite good at measuring FC, CC and PH. The other tests it does seem more likely to have problems, especially the CYA test. There are also situations where FC or CH will be outside it's acceptable range and you still need test results. So you will need a drop based kit in any case.
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Thanks for the information. I am dissapointed that there is not a reasonable digital alternative for maintenance between Leslie visits
    17k (430 Sq Ft) Salt Water In Ground Pool, 3.5'-7' depth, MDX2 Infloor system, Grotto/Tile Slide/Rock Waterfall Features, Wet-Edge Chilean Beach Tahoe Pebble surface, Intellichlor IC40, Easytouch Control w/remote, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, Intelliflo VS-3050 Variable Speed Pump, 2 x intellibrite LED Color Lights

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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    As Jason said, the drop tests indicate with a sudden, distinct color change that you may be able to detect. The CH test for instance goes from light red to dark blue quite suddenly without ever showing purple.

    If you post your (approximate) location there is probably a local forum member who would let you try their kit. In fact I’d be happy to let you try my leaf net and bush too.

    Or if you’re happy with the accuracy of the strips and have a smart phone you can probably get an app to read the strips for you. I have no idea how well they work.
    20,000 Gallon kidney sort of a sand filtered gunite in ground pool w/ hot tub.

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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Panther5150
    Thanks for the information. I am dissapointed that there is not a reasonable digital alternative for maintenance between Leslie visits
    If you poke around the forum, you will find that TFP'ers consider relying on pools store testing as an absolute LAST resort and not the basline that your own testing supplements. I have seen many horror stories here of wildly inaccurate pool store test results causing problems.
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Quote Originally Posted by svenpup
    Quote Originally Posted by Panther5150
    Thanks for the information. I am dissapointed that there is not a reasonable digital alternative for maintenance between Leslie visits
    If you poke around the forum, you will find that TFP'ers consider relying on pools store testing as an absolute LAST resort and not the basline that your own testing supplements. I have seen many horror stories here of wildly inaccurate pool store test results causing problems.
    +1

    The "wildly inaccurate" ones that I've seen here, involve test strips.
    Not trying to be a wise acre but, think about something here, Do you think that you would need to test your water for salt 100 times over the life of the pool/system? How about 90? 80? Test trips (i have heard) cost about a dollar a piece. You can get a digital tester for 80-100 dollars, see where i'm going with this? If you don't think you'll test that much, I would make sure my pool store tests with a digital tester.

    Now before all the test strip believers jump in here, let it be known, i don't use test strips. So i don't know the accuracy of them. I'm just repeating what I've read here. I do own a digital tester, but i need and use it often in my line of work, so test strips would not be economical for me. That is the extent of my bias on the subject.
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    I've found the salt strips are not too accurate. My local pool store i use sometimes has a digital meter. It's pretty much is spot on with my EasyTouch. The strips generally read quite a bit higher.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    PoolClown,

    I am having a difficult time understanding your post (It's very likely me being thick-headed)

    Are you suggesting to OP to get a digital tester? Are you suggesting to OP to only get pool store tests from stores that test digitally?
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Since about 1 in 10 men have some form of color blindness, I think we really need to be able to offer some alternatives or at least get some info on which tests can still be used in spite of the color blindness. Clearly, the FC and CC tests using a FAS-DPD kit are still valid since you don't need to see the specific color and can just look for the lightness change when the sample turns clear. The CYA test doesn't require color either -- the black dot disappears from the cloudiness. The pH test could be a problem as it is hue based, but I'm not sure how the most common color blindness would make that test look. The CH test goes from red to blue which might still be seen (though that test is somewhat subtle even for those with good color vision). The TA test might be the most problematic since it goes from green to red and red-green color blindness is the most common.

    So perhaps a combination of a LaMotte ColorQ and standard tests for CYA and CH where this instrument has some problems might be a decent combination. For higher chlorine levels, one can use the FAS-DPD as well.
    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: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    PoolClown,

    I am having a difficult time understanding your post (It's very likely me being thick-headed)
    Don't sweat it, i tend to have a thick wall myself.

    Are you suggesting to OP to get a digital tester? Yes, I was trying to Justify the expense, thats all.. Are you suggesting to OP to only get pool store tests from stores that test digitally? Yes, if he couldn't justify the expense of a meter or a drop test kit.
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Can color blind ppl see hue changes in what ever color they are seeing? If so, shouldn't they still be able to read a test since they will be looking at the sample as well as the comparison hues? I mean, it's not like they are seeing the test in the right colors, and the comparison hues looks differently.
    Just wondering.
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    I have seen many many reports of pool stores with digital salt meters that give wildly incorrect results, way way way off. Those meters will drift and if you never calibrate them they can get to be wildly wrong after a few years.

    For all forms of color blindness that I know about there exist pairs of colors that will look exactly the same even though someone who isn't color blind can tell them apart instantly. For such a pair of colors, a color blind person will not be able to see any transition or dividing line between those two colors.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    I have seen many many reports of pool stores with digital salt meters that give wildly incorrect results, way way way off. Those meters will drift and if you never calibrate them they can get to be wildly wrong after a few years.
    Perhaps that is the best justification to buy a digital meter.

    For all forms of color blindness that I know about there exist pairs of colors that will look exactly the same even though someone who isn't color blind can tell them apart instantly. For such a pair of colors, a color blind person will not be able to see any transition or dividing line between those two colors.

    Got it.
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    Re: Color Blindness and Salt Water Testing...Digital Solutions?

    My Chlorinator has a salt level tester on the machine itself and I am hopeful that it will let me know what I need to do as far as adding salt. So far, it gives me the same result as the store.

    For the PH, etc, I am still using the store for my pool testing. I have been reviewing the posts here trying to determine if one option is viable for testing the rest. When it comes to hues as people have stated in regards to PH...that is where I fail. I cannot distinguish between them or recognize a difference. It is hard to explain to non-color blind people but with the tests we take to show it, people with good sight can see the number in the bubbles with zero effort whereas I see nothing.

    I really appreciate the ideas and thoughtfulness that have gone into the posts here and I am still truly surprised that there is not a good digitial option...seems like that would be in demand as another poster indicated that 1 in 10 men are color blind.
    17k (430 Sq Ft) Salt Water In Ground Pool, 3.5'-7' depth, MDX2 Infloor system, Grotto/Tile Slide/Rock Waterfall Features, Wet-Edge Chilean Beach Tahoe Pebble surface, Intellichlor IC40, Easytouch Control w/remote, Pentair Clean & Clear Plus Cartridge Filter, Intelliflo VS-3050 Variable Speed Pump, 2 x intellibrite LED Color Lights

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