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Thread: Test kits in the UK

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    Kes's Avatar
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    Test kits in the UK

    Hi,

    For some years I have been using the DPD1/Phenol Red tablet test kits to test the FC and PH of our pool. At the moment I am getting FC at 3+ and PH exceeding 7.8 (despite regular ph-lowering dosing). I have tried using 5 in 1 test stips, but with no great confidence, they always seem to show readings as OK, when the Tabs show high. So my first question is, is the DPD1/Phenol Red tablet test kit accurate?

    I would really like to know what the state of our water is, with a comprehensive test kit. The DPD1/Phenol Red tablet kits and test strips seem to be the commonly used test apparatus in the UK. I can find Lovibond photometers, at an eye-watering price ranging from £300 (3 in 1) to £600 (9 in 1). Oh yes, plus £50 for a chlorine calibration standard. When I see the Taylor TF100 going for $50 in the States I despair. So the second question is (for UK forumites, I guess), is there a reasonable testing kit available in the UK which will give me the same scope as the TF100 at a sensible price?

    If not, then I am quite happy to continue to use the DPD1/Phenol Red tablet test kit for FC and PH. Are there kits to test separately for alkalinity, CYA and calcium hardness?

    Thanks.

    PS I have found the Hanna HI-3825 for around £140. It tests 'everything required to carry out testing for the critical pool parameters including Alkalinity, Bromine, Chlorine and pH'. A little more info would be a help. Anyone use one of these?
    11,000 Imp galls inground hopper 15' x 35', Delifol liner (vinyl), sand filter, Abrisud Classic cover, Palintest 315C test kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    A DPD based test can't reliably measure high FC levels, though it does well at lower FC levels.

    I don't know a whole lot about the UK market. Some people from there have recommended the Palintest meters, but they tend to be expensive.
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    The "Palintest Pooltester SP 315C" will test FC, CC, pH, TA, CH and CYA. Unfortunately, it is a DPD test and not FAS-DPD, but at least it has everything else you need including CYA. The indicator dyes use tablets instead of liquid reagents, but the titration part of the test still uses drops you count (except for DPD, of course).
    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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    Kes's Avatar
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Thanks for the advice, everyone, I have finally tracked down and ordered a Palintest SP315C. Surprisingly, when I emailed Palintest to ask what 'Balanced water test' meant, the rep said that 'We have no further information on the SP 315C as it is a cheap visual method.' Well, maybe it is, at a touch over 60 GBP. Still, I'm looking forward to some proper testing, when the weather lifts above freezing that is.
    11,000 Imp galls inground hopper 15' x 35', Delifol liner (vinyl), sand filter, Abrisud Classic cover, Palintest 315C test kit

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Unbelievable. I checked amazon.co.uk and yahoo.co.uk, and by golly, you're right. There are no decent test kits available at a decent price in the UK.

    So I checked Taylor directly. I did get to this screen which lead me to find hornerexpress, which had a link to hxworldwide, which gave me an error message.

    Still, emails cost nothing to send. If your new kit is unsatisfactory, you could always try ordering one. Shipping may get pricey. I'm not sure what the rules are since there are weak acids in the reagents, but maybe someone you know is visiting the US and can bring a kit back in checked luggage? It's not the liquids - I had no problem at all bringing a case of beer back in my suitcase.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Quote Originally Posted by Kes
    Thanks for the advice, everyone, I have finally tracked down and ordered a Palintest SP315C.
    Palintest can supply you with FAS-DPD chemistry as well, a direct replacement for Taylor's offerings. I think you may also be able to get Lovibond products over there, http://www.tintometer.de/

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Quote Originally Posted by CaOCl2
    Palintest can supply you with FAS-DPD chemistry as well, a direct replacement for Taylor's offerings.
    Oh my gosh...I now see what you are talking about here. I wish I had found that before as I had been recommending the SP 315C only (for Europe). The FAS-DPD kit is SP 300, but it looks like it's only a chlorine test so you'd still need to get the SP 315C for everything else which means you will needlessly be getting a DPD test as well. Apparently, this FAS-DPD test was introduced by Palintest in August of 2009 as described here.
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    I can't find any reference to an SP300 in Palintest's UK brochure or pricing material, and I'll (have to) stick with the SP315C at the present. Being a long-time DPD tablet user I'm not sure what a FAS-DPD test is. Is is more accurate than good old DPD1?

    PS Found it in the US site, but not on the UK site.
    11,000 Imp galls inground hopper 15' x 35', Delifol liner (vinyl), sand filter, Abrisud Classic cover, Palintest 315C test kit

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Yes and if you read carefully their instructions, particularly on CC testing, you'll find subtle differences from the Taylor protocol, the Palintest is closer to what the Standard Methods say for CC. bThis is interesting - same chemistry, different protocol. I have a study somewhere that compares both methods. I'll post it when I find it.

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Quote Originally Posted by CaOCl2
    I'll post it when I find it.
    http://piscines-apollo.com/docs/pali...VA%20r1gsb.doc

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    That link says the following:

    Laboratory studies showed that it is actually the catalyst in the shock dosing chemicals that causes these products to interfere in the total chlorine test. Eliminate that, and the results are corrected. So, we formulated a reagent called DPD Oxystop, to be added after the DPD No1 tablet. It must be completely dissolved so that it inactivates the silver catalyst before the DPD No 3 is added. Then correct results for total and combined chlorine are obtained. It is critical to get that reagent dissolved into the sample before adding the DPD No 3 reagent, and we do still receive the occasional question on that.
    However, DPD Reagent #3 is simply potassium iodide which MPS itself readily oxidizes to iodine giving a false reading. The DPD and FAS-DPD tests are described in more detail in this PDF file. It would be pretty bad if MPS products had significant amounts of silver in them as this could build up over time resulting in staining. I'm not sure why Ms. Argent believes that silver catalyst is in MPS products. I don't know about the Palintest MPS interference remover, but I suspect that the Taylor one selectively reduces MPS without reducing chloramines. This isn't hard since MPS is a reasonably strong oxidizer; far stronger than chloramines. I think that Ms. Argent missed the fact that the primary contaminant in MPS is potassium persulfate (peroxydisulfate) at around 3% and is the most irritating component in MPS products.

    The paper finds that the Combined Chlorine (CC) test should wait at least 2 minutes and for FAS-DPD up to 4 minutes to get an accurate reading, but this is mostly at a lower pH of 7. Also, their tests were mostly with ammonia and not real pool water. Their real pool water tests were also likely with no CYA and there seems to be a complete lack of understanding that CYA significantly reduces hypochlorous acid concentration which makes breakpoint chlorination produce less nitrogen trichloride, but has monochloramine last longer and has more intermediate dichloramine. All of this is a fairly moot point in real pools since the bulk of the Combined Chlorine (CC) is actually chlorine combined with urea, not ammonia.
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Quote Originally Posted by Kes
    Being a long-time DPD tablet user I'm not sure what a FAS-DPD test is. Is is more accurate than good old DPD1?
    If you are using Palintest's extended range tablets for chlorine (DPD-XF and DPD-XT) and are using a direct reading photometer, then the DPD test is a reasonable test, but this is not what is available in the consumer test kits (the extended range DPD, that is, though I suppose you can buy those tablets separately).

    The FAS-DPD test is a "count the drops" kind of test (see here for a demo) where a 25 ml sample size will yield 0.2 ppm accuracy and resolution for both Free Chlorine (FC) and Combined Chlorine (CC). It also does not bleach out and simple addition of additional DPD powder lets you test up to 50 ppm.
    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: Test kits in the UK

    Just called Palintest in the UK, and you can get the SP300, but only direct from them, and there is a minimum order value of £50... plus VAT plus £7.50 postage.

    Any UK users want to share an order??? You need two test kits to get over the minimum order value.

    The reagent bottles aree 60 ml. Any idea how many tests that would do?
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Well it looks like Palintest may have changed the names of the testers. I can't find the Palintest SP315C at all, just Pooltest3 Pooltest 6 and Coolpooltest. Can anyone enlighten me on which one is the Palintest SP315C ? ( I can't afford the SP300 yet)
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Kes's Avatar
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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Hi Solarboy,

    Either on the UK or USA site - Click Products - Pool and Spa Testing - Pooltester Kits - Ordering Information. The 315C is third down the list.
    11,000 Imp galls inground hopper 15' x 35', Delifol liner (vinyl), sand filter, Abrisud Classic cover, Palintest 315C test kit

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Thanks Kes, I found it straight away with your help.
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Quote Originally Posted by loop_pea
    Just called Palintest in the UK, and you can get the SP300, but only direct from them, and there is a minimum order value of £50... plus VAT plus £7.50 postage.

    Any UK users want to share an order??? You need two test kits to get over the minimum order value.

    The reagent bottles aree 60 ml. Any idea how many tests that would do?
    I have several SP400 kits in stock and once I have tested it accurately the cyanuric acid test kits.

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Is the SP400 the same as the SP300, or is that a typo? What is the cost? Perhaps you could PM me a reply. Cheers!
    90k litres, outdoor in ground pool, concrete, painted (I hate paint)
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    No not a typo
    The SP300 and SP400 are basically the same FAS Dpd kit but the 400 contains an oxystop to prevent interference from MPS products (used as shock) Not much difference in price.

    I use MPS as a shock treatment when required as swimmers (guests in our case) can resume swimming soon after the MPS has been added as I am not happy to let guests swim in a chlorine shocked pool. Also MPS can remove CC and release/rejuvenate free chlorine I believe.

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    Re: Test kits in the UK

    Good news, new stock of SP300 kits (min 100 tests for free and combined chlorine).
    CYA kits (50 tests) arrived today.
    PM me if you want one.

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