Another pool store vs home testing thread

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
286
Tucson, AZ
Out of curiosity I took a sample to Leslie's today to compare their "AccuBlue" machine to my own tests using the TF-100 (plus a digital pH meter). Collected a large sample and split it in half, tested half myself, filled a sample bottle with the other half and took it to the Leslie's down the street immediately after my tests. I've been working to get my TA down for the last couple weeks (acid, aerate, repeat), so I've been testing a lot, and the numbers have all been very consistent with the exception of the pH ups and downs and the slowly dropping TA. So, enough rambling, on to the results:
FC - Leslie's AccuBlue - 7.21 TF100 - 6.5 (close enough, I guess?)
CC - Leslie's Accublue - 0.00 TF100 - 0 (they actually report total chlorine instead, so FC+CC, but they reported the same exact number for both)
pH - Leslie's AccuBlue - 8 TF100 - 7.4 (I expected they'd at least get the pH correct, but it was way off, and I tested pH with both my digital meter and with the K-1000, which both agreed with each other)
TA - Leslie's AccuBlue - 10 TF100 - 100 (I've been slowly dropping TA which was at 160 a couple weeks ago, they suggested I raise it!)
CH - Leslie's AccuBlue - 493 TF100 - 825 (I wish my CH was only 493, I've been debating doing a partial drain and fill using a portable water softener to get my CH lower)
CYA - Leslie's AccuBlue - 53 TF100 - 50 (This one is always the one I have the least confidence in testing at home, so not sure what to say about it matching questionable results)
Copper - Leslies AccuBlue - 0.3 TF100 - don't test (Employee said all of the tests are showing that lately, and to ignore it as it's probably not true. Lol, way to give customers confidence in your tests!)
Phosphates - Leslie's AccuBlue - 1,970 TF100 - don't test (Employee made a big deal about this, of course)

So, I guess to anyone wondering about the AccuBlue system, I wouldn't use any of the results for anything, ever. I'm half tempted to take a sample to a different store, or the same store in a few days, and see how different they are. Also half tempted to order a Taylor phosphate test kit just out of curiosity, even though I don't really care about my phosphate levels.

Also worth noting that there was a guy in front of me having his water tested, and the employee asked him several times if he'd recently drained and refilled his pool. Guy said no, but his results were super low TA and CH, and almost zero CYA. Apparently his CYA and CH were fine 2 weeks ago, and I know that neither of those just disappear, so it seemed really odd to me.
 
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JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
20,184
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
But …. But …. But it’s a digital tester!!!?!? Looks at all those digits of precision!!!

It’s very precise … precisely WRONG!

We live in the same world of Tucson City Water. I suggest either a whole house water softener (if possible with a hook up to the auto fill) or you do get an RV softener. About 2 years ago I did a partial water drain on my pool and took 11,000 gallons out. I recently tested my pool water CH … it was 575ppm. Last year at this time it was … 550ppm. Before I had a water softener, my CH would increase 300ppm per year. Using softened water is so worth it.
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
286
Tucson, AZ
But …. But …. But it’s a digital tester!!!?!? Looks at all those digits of precision!!!

It’s very precise … precisely WRONG!

We live in the same world of Tucson City Water. I suggest either a whole house water softener (if possible with a hook up to the auto fill) or you do get an RV softener. About 2 years ago I did a partial water drain on my pool and took 11,000 gallons out. I recently tested my pool water CH … it was 575ppm. Last year at this time it was … 550ppm. Before I had a water softener, my CH would increase 300ppm per year. Using softened water is so worth it.
Yeah, my CH goes up about 200-250 ppm/year. Looking into water softeners, but I don't have any way to keep my garden water separated from a whole house water softener (70's home with under slab water lines, and the garden and pool share the same water line running from the house to the back yard).

Could do a whole house potassium chloride softener to keep from killing my garden plants with salt, but they're a lot less efficient and more expensive to operate.

Another option is RV type softener installed in my garden that only treats the pool water, which is what I'm leaning towards currently.

Last option would be a standard whole house softener and increase my rainwater collection enough that it could provide all the garden water.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
20,184
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Yeah, my CH goes up about 200-250 ppm/year. Looking into water softeners, but I don't have any way to keep my garden water separated from a whole house water softener (70's home with under slab water lines, and the garden and pool share the same water line running from the house to the back yard).

Could do a whole house potassium chloride softener to keep from killing my garden plants with salt, but they're a lot less efficient and more expensive to operate.

Another option is RV type softener installed in my garden that only treats the pool water, which is what I'm leaning towards currently.

Last option would be a standard whole house softener and increase my rainwater collection enough that it could provide all the garden water.

Yeah, the RV softener route would be the most targeted. No need to waste softened water on the garden. There are option for setting it up with bypass valves to make it easier to regenerate. You could even do a two tank setup with a cross over valve so you could regenerate one and not have to lose softened water capacity. Lots of ways to do it if you have the time and money to invest.
 
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MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
286
Tucson, AZ
Yeah, the RV softener route would be the most targeted. No need to waste softened water on the garden. There are option for setting it up with bypass valves to make it easier to regenerate. You could even do a two tank setup with a cross over valve so you could regenerate one and not have to lose softened water capacity. Lots of ways to do it if you have the time and money to invest.
Yeah, so many ways to do it I'm struggling to pick one!

I'd love softened water for the whole house to reduce scale and help appliances last longer. I just don't want to kill my garden with salt in the process. Installing a bypass for the garden would be a huge undertaking, lots of trenching through caliche, but sure would make things easier.
 
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MattMoore

Member
May 11, 2022
20
Kingston, On, Canada
Pool Size
65000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Yeah, so many ways to do it I'm struggling to pick one!

I'd love softened water for the whole house to reduce scale and help appliances last longer. I just don't want to kill my garden with salt in the process. Installing a bypass for the garden would be a huge undertaking, lots of trenching through caliche, but sure would make things easier.
Arizona? Does it get to freezing?

Put the pipes in your wall and then attic.

Or have a valve to top off your rainwAter system that you flip when your watering to top off the tank. Dilute the salt into rainwater.
 

Katygreys

Well-known member
Mar 5, 2022
108
Katy, TX
Pool Size
18000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Out of curiosity I took a sample to Leslie's today to compare their "AccuBlue" machine to my own tests using the TF-100 (plus a digital pH meter). Collected a large sample and split it in half, tested half myself, filled a sample bottle with the other half and took it to the Leslie's down the street immediately after my tests. I've been working to get my TA down for the last couple weeks (acid, aerate, repeat), so I've been testing a lot, and the numbers have all been very consistent with the exception of the pH ups and downs and the slowly dropping TA. So, enough rambling, on to the results:
FC - Leslie's AccuBlue - 7.21 TF100 - 6.5 (close enough, I guess?)
CC - Leslie's Accublue - 0.00 TF100 - 0 (they actually report total chlorine instead, so FC+CC, but they reported the same exact number for both)
pH - Leslie's AccuBlue - 8 TF100 - 7.4 (I expected they'd at least get the pH correct, but it was way off, and I tested pH with both my digital meter and with the K-1000, which both agreed with each other)
TA - Leslie's AccuBlue - 10 TF100 - 100 (I've been slowly dropping TA which was at 160 a couple weeks ago, they suggested I raise it!)
CH - Leslie's AccuBlue - 493 TF100 - 825 (I wish my CH was only 493, I've been debating doing a partial drain and fill using a portable water softener to get my CH lower)
CYA - Leslie's AccuBlue - 53 TF100 - 50 (This one is always the one I have the least confidence in testing at home, so not sure what to say about it matching questionable results)
Copper - Leslies AccuBlue - 0.3 TF100 - don't test (Employee said all of the tests are showing that lately, and to ignore it as it's probably not true. Lol, way to give customers confidence in your tests!)
Phosphates - Leslie's AccuBlue - 1,970 TF100 - don't test (Employee made a big deal about this, of course)

So, I guess to anyone wondering about the AccuBlue system, I wouldn't use any of the results for anything, ever. I'm half tempted to take a sample to a different store, or the same store in a few days, and see how different they are. Also half tempted to order a Taylor phosphate test kit just out of curiosity, even though I don't really care about my phosphate levels.

Also worth noting that there was a guy in front of me having his water tested, and the employee asked him several times if he'd recently drained and refilled his pool. Guy said no, but his results were super low TA and CH, and almost zero CYA. Apparently his CYA and CH were fine 2 weeks ago, and I know that neither of those just disappear, so it seemed really odd to me.
It would be awesome to take a large sample, split it, give one sample to a buddy, and walk in 60 seconds apart…I actually really want to do this now!!! Ha!!
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
286
Tucson, AZ
Arizona? Does it get to freezing?

Put the pipes in your wall and then attic.

Or have a valve to top off your rainwAter system that you flip when your watering to top off the tank. Dilute the salt into rainwater.
Doesn't freeze often enough or deeply enough to be an issue. But adobe walls and no attic, which is why the pipes are under the slab beneath the house.

Adding water to the rain collection system is an interesting idea that hadn't occurred to me. Might need to think on that some more.