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Thread: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

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    Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    I've read that water sample collections should be taken when pump has been running for at least 1.5 hours. Unfortunately, I frequently leave home before my pool pump starts up and return after it turns off. The last thing I want to do is turn the pool pump on just to wait an hour and a half to take a sample - that would seem ridiculous.

    So I realize the 1.5 hour 'rule' is a perfect world scenario and that doesn't mean I won't test my water just b/c the pump hasn't been running. Is there anyone else that shares my situation and how/when do you go about sampling your water?
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    Re: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    Sampling "unmixed" water will probably give you "mixed" results.

    Find another time to test, test with only 30 minutes of run time, etc., but testing water that may not be evenly distributed in your pool is never a good idea.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    Adjust the timer so it starts a while before you get home.
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    Re: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    I've been collecting and testing "unmixed" water for 5 years and have never found an appreciable difference in test results at those times when I made it a point to run a control sample.

    In fact, I test around 7 PM; my pump runs at night and shuts off at 4 AM. Moreover, I take the sample from the spot in the pool which has the least amount of circulation, opposite the return and to the side of the steps from about an arm's length down below the surface. If anything is off with the water balance that's the place where it would show up.

    The importance of testing is consistency. Same time, same place, same procedure and keep a record. You'll know when something is off.
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    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
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    Re: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    There are a couple of things I do in my pool that are not standard practice. I do not advocate them on the forum because they are simply not the best, most consistent way of doing things.....I am personally comfortable with the results, though.

    Each pool owner discovers what works best for them and what methods they choose to use.

    That said, sampling unmixed water isn't as dependable and reliable as mixing your pool water thoroughly.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    Re: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    Quote Originally Posted by niceguymr
    I've read that water sample collections should be taken when pump has been running for at least 1.5 hours. Unfortunately, I frequently leave home before my pool pump starts up and return after it turns off. The last thing I want to do is turn the pool pump on just to wait an hour and a half to take a sample - that would seem ridiculous.

    So I realize the 1.5 hour 'rule' is a perfect world scenario and that doesn't mean I won't test my water just b/c the pump hasn't been running. Is there anyone else that shares my situation and how/when do you go about sampling your water?
    I really appreciate this question b/c it never occurred to me that it mattered whether the pump was running. I pd $100 for pool school from Pulliam Pools and the dude never even mentioned it. Now thx to your question I will try to test w/the pump running.

    Also the sample he got was from the SPA water not the pool water, and he did not go an arm's length down either. He barely went down a few inches into the water.

    So since we are on the subject, 2 more questions please :
    1) is it important to go an arm's length down?
    2) should i collect the test water opposite a skimmer or jet?

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    Re: Collecting water samples when pump is not running

    Quote Originally Posted by sonflower
    So since we are on the subject, 2 more questions please :
    1) is it important to go an arm's length down?
    2) should i collect the test water opposite a skimmer or jet?

    1. The top few inches of water are much more exposed to UV light and you'll have more chlorine loss in that layer. That's why I go an arm's length below the surface.

    2. As I said, I collect opposite the return because that's the place where I have the least circulation. My reasoning is, if there's something wrong with the water, that's the first place it'll show up.

    The whole point is, learn to know your pool. A pool is a living system in a way. It needs to be fed, it produces waste products, it needs to be cared for. Each pool is different, and any one pool will behave differently throughout the seasons. By regularly testing the water and observing its condition, and keeping notes, you'll soon be able to just look at at and know if there's something ailing it.

    As Dave said, we all have our own methods. They work for us and we've come to rely on them. They may not be by the book and they may not work for every pool. I cannot stress consistency enough. Repeatable results. Good habits. Record keeping.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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