Automated Testing

joboo7777

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HA HA! I was thinking about all of your fine folks!! I wish I had an update for you but I have yet to actually put Sutro in the water!! I am coming off a SLAM and was waiting for my FC to drop to 5ppm but it's taking longer to drop than I anticipated. I guess that's a good sign I got all that Dang algae ;).

Sutro only advertises being able to report on FC ranges from 0-5ppm so I didn't want to put it in there with higher than normal CL levels and skew the data it's reporting on my pool. I plan to put it in here within the next hour or so and then the owner's log says it will take 24-48 hours for my first reading as it calibrates and gets to "know my pool". Stand by!!
It’s Sutro’s fault. They suck! 🤪
 

poolnovice1

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May 11, 2018
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Houston
HA HA! I was thinking about all of your fine folks!! I wish I had an update for you but I have yet to actually put Sutro in the water!! I am coming off a SLAM and was waiting for my FC to drop to 5ppm but it's taking longer to drop than I anticipated. I guess that's a good sign I got all that Dang algae ;).

Sutro only advertises being able to report on FC ranges from 0-5ppm so I didn't want to put it in there with higher than normal CL levels and skew the data it's reporting on my pool. I plan to put it in here within the next hour or so and then the owner's log says it will take 24-48 hours for my first reading as it calibrates and gets to "know my pool". Stand by!!
If it can only test FC ranges from 0-5ppm, it would be utterly useless for many people.

And you have to keep manually testing because it doesn't measure CH or CYA.

I'm curious to see how accurate it is with the 3 things it is supposed to measure. I have a Lamotte Colorq. It was not reliable. Readings were all over the place. It has been collecting dust since I bought my Taylor kit.
 

joboo7777

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You are correct. In order for this to work you definitely have to manage CYA on the lower Side (30-50). And then if slamming would suggest manually testing with an exact iDiP L1 which is certified up to 12ppm or the Lamotte Spintouch which is L1 to 15ppm Or of course revert back to the proven drop test which is also L1. hopefully if you maintain your pool chemistry this would not be needed..;) it certainly is the exception and when dealing with an event that requires slamming you should always invest more time recovering the pool.

I dont know much about the Lamotte ColorQ other than it is NOT NSF certified.. at all. So I would not have confidence in any of those readings unless they were validated by another testing method.
 

JoyfulNoise

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You are correct. In order for this to work you definitely have to manage CYA on the lower Side (30-50). And then if slamming would suggest manually testing with an exact iDiP L1 which is certified up to 12ppm or the Lamotte Spintouch which is L1 to 15ppm Or of course revert back to the proven drop test which is also L1. hopefully if you maintain your pool chemistry this would not be needed..;) it certainly is the exception and when dealing with an event that requires slamming you should always invest more time recovering the pool.

I dont know much about the Lamotte ColorQ other than it is NOT NSF certified.. at all. So I would not have confidence in any of those readings unless they were validated by another testing method.

You place far too much emphasis on NSF certification. All that certification means is that the unit the manufacturer ships performs at the specs that they publish. It says nothing about longevity or reliability. Photometer systems like the iDip, SpinTouch and ColorQ all suffer from the same problem - the light source and photo detector age with time and their calibration shifts. So unless a unit is properly calibrated before each and every test, you have no way of knowing for sure if the results you are getting are actually realistic. The LaMotte ColorQ suffers from this with its CH abs TA tests all the time and I doubt any of the other units are better.

Chemical titrations are the most accurate way to determine exact values. This is why TFP relies so heavily on Taylor test products. Other testers may work fine for a while, but they all suffer from aging. And it’s far easier and more economical for a pool owners to buy a new bottle of reagent for a few bucks than drop hundreds of dollars replacing a worn out or broken photometer.

More precision doesn’t mean better results. And if the answer is wrong, it doesn’t matter how many digits you have after the decimal point.
 

joboo7777

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You place far too much emphasis on NSF certification. All that certification means is that the unit the manufacturer ships performs at the specs that they publish. It says nothing about longevity or reliability. Photometer systems like the iDip, SpinTouch and ColorQ all suffer from the same problem - the light source and photo detector age with time and their calibration shifts. So unless a unit is properly calibrated before each and every test, you have no way of knowing for sure if the results you are getting are actually realistic. The LaMotte ColorQ suffers from this with its CH abs TA tests all the time and I doubt any of the other units are better.

Chemical titrations are the most accurate way to determine exact values. This is why TFP relies so heavily on Taylor test products. Other testers may work fine for a while, but they all suffer from aging. And it’s far easier and more economical for a pool owners to buy a new bottle of reagent for a few bucks than drop hundreds of dollars replacing a worn out or broken photometer.

More precision doesn’t mean better results. And if the answer is wrong, it doesn’t matter how many digits you have after the decimal point.
Agreed on the longevity. It’s the reason why calibration of the device is so important. The device absolutely needs to be calibrated. No question about it.

Respectfully disagree on the importance of NSF. But that ok. I guess we can agree to disagree right? ;)

Also agree on cost. If you can’t afford the digital testing solutions, simply don’t buy them.

my argument is not that everyone should use them. My argument is there is evidence of precision and results that prove that testing methods other than drop test can be effective. That’s all. I’m sure we can agree to disagree on that point as well? 😂
 

cledee

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Agreed on the longevity. It’s the reason why calibration of the device is so important. The device absolutely needs to be calibrated. No question about it.

Respectfully disagree on the importance of NSF. But that ok. I guess we can agree to disagree right? ;)

Also agree on cost. If you can’t afford the digital testing solutions, simply don’t buy them.

my argument is not that everyone should use them. My argument is there is evidence of precision and results that prove that testing methods other than drop test can be effective. That’s all. I’m sure we can agree to disagree on that point as well? 😂
Automated testing right now seems anything but Trouble Free. It also doesn't seem like a good alternative for the drop test which is one of the most important test. If I can't test above 5ppm, I can't follow the TFP methods. I guess it's good that people like you are testing these devices so they could improve. I just wouldn't do it myself. I will save the money and get more reagents.
 
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joboo7777

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Aug 8, 2020
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Automated testing right now seems anything but Trouble Free. It also doesn't seem like a good alternative for the drop test which is one of the most important test. If I can't test above 5ppm, I can't follow the TFP methods. I guess it's good that people like you are testing these devices so they could improve. I just wouldn't do it myself. I will save the money and get more reagents.
I would agree. Maybe Sutro is not the right long term solution for everyone. But kudos to them for moving the needle on this. Even if it’s not suitable for the TFP method.
 

Orion7319

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Jul 1, 2020
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It says nothing about longevity or reliability. Photometer systems like the iDip, SpinTouch and ColorQ all suffer from the same problem - the light source and photo detector age with time and their calibration shifts. So unless a unit is properly calibrated before each and every test, you have no way of knowing for sure if the results you are getting are actually realistic. The LaMotte ColorQ suffers from this with its CH abs TA tests all the time and I doubt any of the other units are better.
I have a ColorQ and I find it useless. It is always always wrong with the CYA. It seems like you have to have it in the right lighting conditions to get any results other then PH remotely accurate. I can set up all the vials with reagent, calibrate the machine and get a set of results. Immediately after, I can recalibrate the thing and run those same vials though again and get completely different results. On the other hand, I have a local pool store that has an older LaMotte spin touch (the kind that works with a PC). It’s family owned and only one of two family members are ever in the store. Their results always jibe with mine from my kit. I don’t know how much time they spend calibrating it or how much upkeep it needs. I do know that spin touches are expensive, and their cartridges are expensive. I can only guess that it takes some effort to keep them reporting accurate results. At the end of the day, I’m fine with my kit. All I need to consistently test is chlorine and PH anyway, all the others every few weeks. It never takes me that long, why would I pay that much for a spin touch? My guess is that this sutro is probably somewhere in between the ColorQ and spin touch. But it only reads chlorine up to 5, so I don’t see how useful it can be.
 

Kslay0721

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May 31, 2021
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If it can only test FC ranges from 0-5ppm, it would be utterly useless for many people.

And you have to keep manually testing because it doesn't measure CH or CYA.

I'm curious to see how accurate it is with the 3 things it is supposed to measure. I have a Lamotte Colorq. It was not reliable. Readings were all over the place. It has been collecting dust since I bought my Taylor kit.
yes, I agree that the limit of 5ppm FC is a problem for many with high CYA. Luckily with my salt system, I should only need to keep my FC levels around 4-5ppm, which is why i still went through with the purchase. I don't use chlorine that includes calcium or CYA, so I shouldn't need to test those levels as frequently as pH,TA, and FC.

It's calibrating in my pool right now... the first set of test results gave me the heebie jeebies at 6.9 pH, 5+ FC, and 180 TA (not accurate at all given my pH is 7.6 and TA is 70) but they did say that my first couple set of results would be radically inaccurate. Time will tell... I certainly haven't thrown the box away yet LOL.
 

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joboo7777

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yes, I agree that the limit of 5ppm FC is a problem for many with high CYA. Luckily with my salt system, I should only need to keep my FC levels around 4-5ppm, which is why i still went through with the purchase. I don't use chlorine that includes calcium or CYA, so I shouldn't need to test those levels as frequently as pH,TA, and FC.

It's calibrating in my pool right now... the first set of test results gave me the heebie jeebies at 6.9 pH, 5+ FC, and 180 TA (not accurate at all given my pH is 7.6 and TA is 70) but they did say that my first couple set of results would be radically inaccurate. Time will tell... I certainly haven't thrown the box away yet LOL.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying this solution out. The most successful innovators and leaders across the globe faced quite a bit of scrutiny when introducing change. Even if their initial attempts fail, it can and will get better.
 
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cledee

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I came across this old article about Richard Falk(aka Chemgeek). Does he own Water Guru?? If so its Interesting to see he has ventured into the automated testing space.


There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying this solution out. The most successful innovators and leaders across the globe faced quite a bit of scrutiny when introducing change. Even if their initial attempts fail, it can and will get better.
What you are describing is how I felt the first 5 years of owning an Android phone from 2008-2012. I kept telling people, it's amazing it's incredible, it was also not ready. It was a beta device released to the public as a finished product. I had to keep tinkering with it to make it work perfectly. There's nothing wrong with trying. I'm just not willing to pay to try for something to see if it works. I'll wait 5 years for you and others to try it and get the kinks out and then I will buy it. :)
 
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joboo7777

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What you are describing is how I felt the first 5 years of owning an Android phone from 2008-2012. I kept telling people, it's amazing it's incredible, it was also not ready. It was a beta device released to the public as a finished product. I had to keep tinkering with it to make it work perfectly. There's nothing wrong with trying. I'm just not willing to pay to try for something to see if it works. I'll wait 5 years for you and others to try it and get the kinks out and then I will buy it. :)
A well thought out response and reasonable approach. I can respect that.