cloudy chlorine test

rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#1
i am having problems with my chlorine tests after adding hardness increaser both in my pool and spa, my tests are fine and normal untill i bring up my hardness. after adding hardness increaser my test becomes so cloudy when i add the dpd1a to the test that mt color q tester reads almost off the scale. i have gone back to testing manually with an old testors kit and the chlorine levels are actually just fine however even with the testor kit after adding the powder and the drops instead of the test going clear it just returns to cloudy white and if i leave the test sit after testing the "cloudiness" settles to the bottom in a pile of white something. i have tried letting it settle or filter for days hoping it would clear itself up to no avail, different brands of hardness increaser, shocking the pool, and every other thing i can think of and the only thing that solves the problem is to drain and refill. the water in the pool is crystal clear and all other levels are where they are suppossed to be cant figure this one out help!!!
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#2
Hello and welcome to TFP! :wave: I suppose I'll kick-off this thread with some basic TFP advice that you'll see/hear often:
1. We recommend one of two (reliable) test kits that are readily available and do not require calibration: The TF-100 (link below) or Taylor K-2006C. With one of those kits, we would typically ask for you to post a full set of results as follows:
FC
CC
CYA
PH
TA
CH

Also make sure to update your signature from the profile settings area to list all of your pool info. You can see mine below as an example.

Lastly, tell us how you chlorinate your pool, and what products you might have added recently. With this info, we'll be able to help you much better and efficiently. We look forward to hearing from you, and thanks for using the TFP forum.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,704
Tucson, AZ
#3
The phosphate pH buffer in the DPD test is reacting with your increased calcium levels. You need to check your CH levels as they may be quite a bit higher than you expected.
 
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rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#4
here are my levels as of this morning using my color q test kit... but as i said before if i use my old manual testor kit my fc and cc readings are much lower. i drained abouthalf the pool earlier this week to try correcting my problem which did help quite a bit however now my ch is low again of corse and adding hardness increaser to bring the level up is what causes my problem. we do have a water softening system in the building that i am suspecting may have something to do with the problem, any ideas on that?

fc 1.97
cc .90
ph 7.4
ta 101
ch 117
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,855
Laughlin, NV
#7
OK -- that changes things. Most municipalities have requirements on how to manage a public pool. This forum is a residential pool forum. So we do not know the regulations you must operate under. So our recommendations are based on residential pools and the FC and CYA recommendations typically are far different than what government entities deem is correct.

Please put in your signature a better explanation. You could also simplify the signature by listing the components. See our signatures.

I will also be asking for your member name to be tagged In The Industry.

Take care.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,855
Laughlin, NV
#9
No - but - you are responsible to meet your municipal guidelines for a public pool. Most cities/counties/states have the Health dept monitor this. I know Rawlins is very small. But I also do not want you or your company to get in trouble with your Health Dept over suggestions this forum makes.
 
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rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#10
no problems there we see an inspector once a year here and they do a quick inspection check our levels and are gone for the year plus i would not hold you guys responsible in any way, i just have no formal training and our liscensed cpo for the hotel is the owner who is never here and knows less than ive taught myself the last 2 years. i hope to get my certification in the next few months but till then im pretty much on my own and this is the first problem ive had that i wasnt able to solve with some good old fashioned common sense and a little help from what i could find on the internet

- - - Updated - - -

basically just looking for a little guidance and outside thinking from someone with some experience as this ongoing problem will cause me an issue if not solved before my inspection in around 6 months
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
May 3, 2014
12,855
Laughlin, NV
#11
There are those that use the test kit you are using. Most of us use Taylor K2006C or TF100 kits.

IF your test results are correct, you should not be having any problems testing your water. And you should raise your CH to 350ppm. You have never stated if you are allowed to have CYA in your water. If not, then your FC should be kept around 2 ppm.

Have you ever tested the water coming from your water softener? That might be useful. TA, CH, and pH.

Also, why not fill the pool with your raw city water to get your CH up and then use the treated water for fill up when needed?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,704
Tucson, AZ
#12
The DPD-FAS test turning cloudy is not a problem. Mine always does because my CH is currently sitting at 1400ppm. As I said, it’s a reaction between the phosphate buffering chemicals in the powder and the calcium in the water. It is a little weird that you’re seeing it at your low CH levels so that might indicate reagents that are starting to go bad.

Do you have a SpeedStir? As long as you do the full FC/CC test within about 60 to 90 secs, the results are valid no matter the cloudiness.
 
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rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#13
i have tested the water coming from the softener system with the same result once i add hardner to it, and i am able to bypass the softener system thought i have to bypass the entire building to do so. this is about the only solution i have not yet tried as i wanted to get a little feedback on how likely the softening system was to have caused the problem before resorting to the time and cost of 11k gallons of water, salt, my time and so forth. i am due to drain and clean the spa this week which is having the same issue so i guess ill try this solution on the the smaller body of water first and if it works then do the pool after, thanks appreciate the help, ill let ya know if this solves the problem.
 
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rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#14
well no joy, i drained and refilled the spa with the softening system bypassed, took a gallon sample and added harness increaser to it bringing the ch up to 220 and got the same result as before, i did a bromine test both before and after adding hardner to the sample, i got 1.8 before and 5.9 after, big difference, however as i said before if i revert back to my old manual testor kit my levels test pretty close to one another just with the sample i added ch to ending looking more like milk than water, not sure where to go from here any suggestions?
 
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rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#18
ok heres the pics.... first one is my balance sample, 2nd and 3rd pics are bromine tests before i added ch increaser, 4th and 5th are the same bromine tests after adding ch increaser, and the last one is what happens when i allow the test to settle for about 15 mins yolu will notice the milky substance settles to the bottom of the test tube. my bromine level on the first set of tests was 7.6 the level on the second set of tests was so high my tester simply said "high" which means it was above 20. my testor kit has the same reaction, i add the dpd powder which makes my test look like pic #5 then i add the 0871 drops to it which should turn it clear again but instead my test ends looking like pic #4 more milk like than water.

ch before adding increaser was 48, after increaser level was 333. i know that when my levels were around 200 before this problem began that when i added dpd1a to my sample it did become a little cloudy but after adding dpd1b it cleared back up so you could see through it again, this is not the case now as you can see
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,704
Tucson, AZ
#19
What you’re seeing is common and I see it all the time. You need to add the reagents and do the color comparison quickly before the precipitate settles. None of these tests should be allowed to sit around for 15mins, that makes the results invalid.

It’s the reagents. Use Taylor reagents. My Taylor R-0001 reagent (same as the LaMotte DPD-1A) will cause the water to get a little cloudy. The first reagent, as I explained above, is a pH buffering chemistry that lowers the pH of the test sample and holds the pH stable. It’s based on phosphates and depending on what formulation is used, the buffer can react strongly with calcium and cause calcium phosphate precipitation. Taylor reagents also have chelation chemicals in them to bind up metal ions and keep them from reacting with the dye. Those chelation agents will also help to bind calcium in solution too.

Also, Taylor’s comparator cell is designed with a small amount of frosted plastic over the color blocks to ensure that the color blocks have some “cloudiness” to them to make color matching more accurate.

I suggest you stop using the LaMotte chemicals and go with Taylor.
 
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rleroux

In The Industry
Feb 7, 2018
15
rawlins, wyoming
#20
well the tester im using is a color q digital tester, so i dont have to do a "comparison" and i dont ever let the tests sit more than 30 seconds i simply noticed that this happened when i let one sit to show someone what my problem was. what puzzles me is that i have been using this same test kit for over a year now and until a couple months ago didnt have any problems. so what your telling me is that the first set of tests i did before adding calcium are wrong (br 7.8) and the second set of tests which are off the scale are correct even though i get near the same 7.8 reading with my old manual taylors kit?