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Thread: Behind the scenes at TF Test Kits?

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    Behind the scenes at TF Test Kits?

    Duraleigh,

    I bought Ben Powell's PS-234 test kit back in July 2006 and have had great luck using it. I had to purchase additional DPD powder and R-0871 FAS-DPD reagent from Taylor in May 2007 since my high CYA pool requires a lot of reagent.

    I'm almost out of the R-0871 FAS-DPD reagent again, although I probably have half of a vial of the DPD powder left. Would you recommend buying just the R-0871 reagent and powder from you at this point, or would you recommend that it is time to replace the entire PS-234 kit at this time? I have lots of reagents for all of the tests except the CYA test reagent is almost gone. I wasn't sure how long the reagents in the PS-234 kit could reasonably be expected to last?

    Also, I was curious as to the automated industrial machine that is at the heart of TF Test Kits? :P I envision you and your family sitting around the table carefully filling the little chemical vials for the TF Test Kit from large gallon size jugs of reagent? Or is it more sophisticated than this?

    I'm not sure when you went "live" with TF Test Kits actually shiping, but it would be interesting to get a rough idea of how many you have shipped.
    Dozens?
    Hundreds?
    Thousands?

    Also, it would be interesting to hear the story of how you decided to jump into this business venture, what things were easier than you thought they would be and what things were harder than yo thought they would be, and any interesting stories or anecdotes since you started TF Test Kits.

    Thanks for your help. And thanks for stepping into the void created when the PS-234 test kit no longer became available. All of us here at TFP really appreciate your efforts.

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

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    Some folks from the old PF thought that Ben had stopped using many Taylor reagents in the last couple of years.....I don't know if that's true, so cannot comment on the longevity of that chemistry.

    Taylor's "official" line is that chemistry should be replaced annually. As happy as that would make me, I simply cannot suggest it because I don't do it myself. Some of my reagents in my personal kit are three-four years old and giving me accurate results. The "secret" seems to be keeping your kit in a controlled environment. Leaving your kit indoors in the A/C and bring in a sample of pool water to test will yield the best results.

    In January, I will be adding a complete "replacement" package for the PS-234 as well as the TF-100 but, as much as I would like, cannot suggest that you replace all your chemistry. As with almost everything else in life, common sense will suggest to you the necessity for replacement.

    Business wise, there's no magic....just some hard-nosed research, experimentation, and lots of phone calls trying to figure out supply sources and what works and what doesn't. I'm not making as much money as Warren Buffet but apparently quite a bit more than Enron.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    duraleigh,

    Thanks for your reply. I will be looking forward to the release of your replacement package in January.

    Also, I really appreciate the honest and forthright response you gave regarding the "official" Taylor replacement recommendation as compared to what is reasonable and what you do personally with your reagents.

    Business wise, there's no magic....just some hard-nosed research, experimentation, and lots of phone calls trying to figure out supply sources and what works and what doesn't. I'm not making as much money as Warren Buffet but apparently quite a bit more than Enron.
    I'm glad to hear that the TF Test Kit business is working out well for you. So how close was I with my "sitting around the table carefully filling the little chemical vials for the TF Test Kit from large gallon size jugs of reagent" guess?

    Regards,

    Titanium
    24,000 gallon inground freeform pool/spa circa 1983 (113 ft perimeter, 625 sq ft) with 350 gallon attached spill-over spa
    2007 2 HP, three-phase Hayward TriStar pump which is powered by an Ikeric VS-200 variable speed drive system
    1983 Laars XE Pool/Spa Heater Type ES 400,000 BTU, 1998 Hayward Super Star-Clear C-4000 cartridge filter (400 sq ft, 4 separate cartridges)
    1998 Polaris 380 pressure-side cleaner w/ 3/4 HP booster pump
    One skimmer :( and one PoolSkim :), One Supervision Galaxy LED pool lamp, Second story solar panels
    Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic PS4 (replaced 1983 vintage dual circuit Intermatic timer)

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    So how close was I with my "sitting around the table carefully filling the little chemical vials for the TF Test Kit from large gallon size jugs of reagent" guess?
    Not far off but it's a little different than that.

    Not many people know this but Santa lays off all the Elves on January 1st. Being pretty good at assembly, the little buggers make there way down here for a few months and manufacture test kits.

    They drink quite a bit and fight like **** but, as long as we don't start before 10:30AM, I get decent work out of them. They're kind of a surly bunch so don't believe that happy TV image you see. God forbid that you're 15minutes late with the checks on payday, too.

    Since they're illegals, I don't have to pay them too much and they all sleep out in the barn. We don't go out there after dark......the Sherrif was out once about two years ago but we all pretended we were asleep. I noticed two of them missing next day but none of them voluntereed any info so......you know....don't ask, don't tell.

    Usually around August 1st, they pack up and head North. Not all at once, for some reason, but they're all gone within a week or so. The barn is an absolute disaster. Liquor bottles everywhere and we even found a pistol last year.

    The idea of giving a factory tour some day would probably land us all in jail. If those rascals weren't so dextrous with those tiny little hands (didya' ever notice how all the bottles are filled almost perfectly equal?), I think I'd move the operation where they couldn't find us and hire real people. They'd probably get Santa involved and hunt me down like a dog, tho....I think I'm stuck with 'em forever!
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    divnkd101's Avatar
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    Dave,

    We are all happy as long as you don't move your Customer Support to India....
    MIKE

    21K Inground Custom w/ Spa (Gunite/Plaster), SWCG, Hayward Northstar, Polaris 280, Hayward Color Logics, Jandy PS-8

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    Dave, that was almost too funny!!....were you a diplomat in a previous lifetime?

    btw, congratulations on your business and thank you for making the test kits available. Also, thank you for being around to help us, answer our questions, and give wonderful support for your kits. It all makes me feel sorry for the people still regularaly going to the pool store.

    Enjoy your holidays.......soon your little elves will be here, so good luck!

    Joyce
    TFP Moderator TF100 Test Kit TF100 TestKit YouTube Channel PoolMath
    You're done SLAMing when:
    1)You lose 1ppm or less FC overnight, & 2)You have .5ppm CC's or less, & 3)your water is clear.

    ~ One should not use a sledge hammer to swat a mosquito. ~

    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  7. Back To Top    #7
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    lol, i loved that, but what do you do when the elvis's go back to santa like now??

    btw, is this your only employment or do you have a regular job, i remember over 20 years ago when i first started i had a job as a part time public defender and my private business, worked long and hard to almost no money, just had my first son. then as the years go buy its gets a little better and now im retired at 61, so im happy, hopefully alot of people get pools and need your test kits so you can retire before your wife

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