Never had my water tested by a pool store so thought I'd run an experiment. Wow!
Took my sample in and the first thing the gal did was pour the water into a beaker and dip a test strip in and then put the test strip into some kind of fancy electronic analyzer. She ran a drop test for pH and copper and iron. After the battery of tests, said "Ok, you've got a LOT of water issues here..."
And here I thought I was doing such a great job of maintaining my pool. Imagine my shock and concern upon hearing this terrible news.
Pool Store Results:
CYA - 35
TC - 4.6
CC = 1.6
pH - 7.2
Alk - 80
Total Hardness 76 (I have a liner pool so I am not too concerned about this. Especially because my fill water is off the chart hard water. Just had all new water trucked in after a new liner install earlier this year)
Borates - 45
Copper - 0
Iron - 0
CYA - 40
TC - 5.0
CC - 0
pH - 7.3
Alk - 100
Total Hardness - 100
Borates - 50
I don't have a test kit for metals which was a secondary reason I did this just to see if they found any...
The summary printout said "Your Saturation Index is low. This indicatges that your total alkalinity, pH and/or total hardness are out of balance. Low Saturation Index can cause corrosion of equipment, surface damage, and eye and skin irritation. To properly balance your water, follow the instructions below:
1. Add 31.5lbs of Balance Pak 100 (To adjust TA)
2. Add 2.3 pt(s) of Muriatic Acid (To adjust pH)
3. Add 16 lbs of Balance Pak 300 (to adjust Total Hardness)
4. Add 11 bags of Burn Out (to eliminat CC)
What was most hilarious was that she said instead of the 31.5lbs of Balance Pak 100, she recommended 25lbs and that would save me money
And furrther, instead of 16lbs of Balance Pak 300, she recommended only 15lbs and that would save me even more!!!
I think she was a little shocked and dismayed when I said "Oh, thank you so much for testing my water. You know, I have plenty of Balance Pak's back home left over from last year so I'll use those up first and then come back in to have my water re-tested
So instead of purchasing $200 worth of chemicals (I'm guessing), I went home and went swimming!!
I'd love to hear if anyone else has done a similar experiment. We've all heard over and over how in-accurate those test strips are but I have to wonder if that amazing little electronic analyzer that spits out the report can be "fine tuned" to pretty much always recommend about $200 worth of some kind of chemicals...