CYA Testing - Not doing it right

Diomarsa

Active member
Hi all,

I just tried doing the first CYA test on my pool. I have added enough CYA to bring it to 30ppm from Pool Math.
Testing didn't show anything when I tried. Only goes down to 30. I did sort of expect this because there is a lot of splash over from swimming and we have had a fair bit of rain since I put the CYA in.
My real problem is that the standard that came with the kit didn't show any CYA ether. And the amount of water I put in the mixing tube isn't enough to go to the 30ppm line on the viewing tube. The standard should be 50ppm though so it didn't make sense that I didn't see the symbol at the bottom disappear. It does seem to decrease in size but not disappear like the instructions say.

I must be doing something wrong.
Any help would be great
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Try following these instructions -- Pool School - CYA

I also suggest not staring at the tube while filling. I fill to a mark, say 80, glance into the tube, if dot is there, fill to 70, repeat.

Pour the mix back into the bottle and repeat several times.

Good luck.
 

Diomarsa

Active member
Thanks for the info mknauss.

I had read the pool school article about it as well as the instructions from the kit.
Just tested again with the 50ppm standard and after looking at the photo from Taylor test kit mine is completely clear. There is no clouding to it at all. I'm guessing my reagent is not working.
If you have any other ideas let me know otherwise I will have to contact Clearchoicelabs


Also. Only enough to fill to 40ppm line in viewing tube
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
That is odd that you are not getting any clouding at all. Probably need to contact your vendor for the test kit.

Not sure what you meant by the last statement..

Take care.
 

Diomarsa

Active member
Sorry. So when I am filling the water from the mixing tube it only gets to the 40ppm line but there is another line above that for 30ppm. There is no way for me to tell if the CYA is at 30ppm because I don't have enough water in the mixing tube to check this
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
I assume you are mixing the control fluid with the reagent in a mixing bottle, then pouring it into a mixing vial with the dot in the bottom. I have never seen the actual tests in the Clear Choice kit but most are similar to that. So I am not sure why you would not have enough fluid to fill the vial.
 

Diomarsa

Active member
Yes. I have a mixing tube that has lines on it for pool water and then detection agent. Use the mixture to slowly fill up the viewing tube until a test tube symbol disappears. Everything else from them has been great. Only took 1 day to get to me which is pretty impressive here in Australia. Other tests seem to be working great. I was hesitant to think this was a reagent issue until I saw the cloudy pictures from the Taylor test. The sticker on the viewing tube with the lines for how much CYA is present was slightly unstuck. I just pressed it back in thinking nothing of it but maybe it wasn't in the right place now that this issue has come up
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,690
Sydney, NSW, Australia
My kit is the same as far as only being able to test down to 40 ppm (as you mention, just not enough treated sample to get up to the 30 ml line).

For me, the trick with the test is to wait 30 seconds to a minute after mixing, then pour with lots of light getting into the tube, but no direct sunlight on the tube. To let lots of light into the tube, stand facing a light coloured surface, with your back to the sun and the tube in the shade of your body. Hold the tube from the top edge so light can get in (i.e. don't wrap your fingers around the tube). CCL actually recommends testing indoors with bright indoor light.)

For the benefit of guides from the other side of the pond, the equivalent to the black dot in the bottom of the CCL tube is their Erlenmayer flask logo. I like it better than the dot, but that isn't saying much. The CYA test is a tricky one!
 

Diomarsa

Active member
Update on what happened:

I contacted clearchoicelabs telling them that there was no clouding in the mixture. They apologised replying to me at 8:15pm that same night and said they will send out another couple of reagents and a new standard today.

Great result. Again can't fault clearchoicelabs
 

BrettClearChoiceLabs

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2016
57
Brisbane, Australia
Hello I'm going to bump this thread and jump in if it's ok with the mods. I am always hesitant to post directly about CCL but we've had some CYA tests fail this summer that I wanted to acknowledge.
This is all related to the ClearChoiceLabs kit in Australia, not the TF100 etc.

Our CYA reagent had some strange issues over summer. We are still tracing the exact cause, but the symptoms varied per client, and were two fold which make it way harder to troubleshoot.
1. Standards testing at >100ppm.
2. No reaction occurring, giving completely clear tests.
3. Some clients I contacted reported their standards and reagents working fine.

I personally saw 1 and 2 in the labs here, with the added problem that reagents made in January, passed multiple quality control and testing procedures, and then began to fail in early February.
We did our best to advise people when it happened and sort out replacements, and it was disappointing to us that a couple of the replacements failed as well. Thankfully, a lot of our clients had replacements which worked.

In the short term, I've arranged reagent from a wholesaler which will work with our kits. I'll be taking delivery and confirming that early next week. If that works, we'll use that until we find the exact cause of the issue.

Obviously as a small business, and in the Australian pool kit market which hasn't always been well served, I just wanted to confirm that we are definitely here and working on the problem. It's extremely disappointing for us that this happened, and I can only imagine how frustrating it is for our clients. It's important to me personally and the reputation of my Labs that we resolve this to the satisfaction of all our customers, who have been very patient and understanding. If anyone has this issue they should definitely contact me via email through the CCL website so I can resolve it for them.



(Thanks TFP as always for helping so many pool owners with great advice and a friendly forum!)
 

Diomarsa

Active member
Hey Brett
I personally say good on you for reaching out about the issue. This is the sort of thing that puts your company higher in my books than many others out there who would just sweep it under the rug until you can't avoid it anymore.
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,690
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Awe shouse! Sorry to hear that. As a guide here at TFP, it's very helpful to know. Thanks. I haven't needed CYA reagent from CCL this year, so I haven't bumped into the issue. My CCL kit CYA from last year continues to read much the same as my Taylor kit. Good luck getting it sorted, Brett.
 

BrettClearChoiceLabs

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2016
57
Brisbane, Australia
Hey needsajet that is hilarious and frustrating at the same time, because we had problems with that reagent as well. That's why we moved to this new reagent mix, which has developed a different problem. The joys of chemistry. They assure me that chemistry is a science but the more I see of it the less I'm convinced it's not its own weird art form :p

Thanks for letting me crash your thread diomarsa, whilst I'd love to never deal with CYA reagent ever again LOL I'm pretty determined to make the labs somewhere you can trust. So it is doubly annoying when one of our reagents messes up like this.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,861
Tucson, AZ
Brett,

This is how you tell the sciences apart -

If it wiggles off the microscope, it’s biology;
If it stinks up the lab bench, it’s chemistry;
If the experimental outcome doesn’t match what the textbook says, it’s physics.

When all else fails, ask an engineer to make it work ;)
 

BrettClearChoiceLabs

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2016
57
Brisbane, Australia
LOL that's awesome
I'm more of a taste test guy when it comes to telling sciences apart, it works ok in the rocky sciences, but when you get into the liquidy sciences sometimes they're quite tangy or you wake up hours later with a headache.
The social scientists aren't big fans of my methodology either for some reason. :p
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,690
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Weird! I guess I just got a good batch. I worry about shelf life and temperature and always keep my supplies below 30C, in case that's any difference, but otherwise, I just follow the bouncing ball.
 

AusJohn

Active member
Hi Brett,

that's interesting. If it's any consolation, I bought one of your kits quite recently and CYA was one of the first tests that I did. I got a low result compared to the local pool shop, so tested the supplied standard and found that it worked and read correctly at 50 ppm on the scale. I'm not bagging the local pool shop here, their test was immediately after we refilled the pool after resurfacing and your test kit was used a couple of weeks later. I know how much CYA I put in the pool and the volume and my calculation tallied with the pool shops test at the time. It did take a while to get the pool full again and with all the dirt and bodies clambering in and out working on it and the use of tank water as a component of the fill (lots of organic matter in that), we didn't have the chlorine generator on for the first few days and it scaled up pretty badly due to pH rising from the new surface curing, so it's possible that we may have had some bacterial issues and CYA losses during that period. My result was about half of the pool shops but it has been consistent since then. So both the reagent and standard in my kit appear to be OK. So far so good anyway.

If you don't mind a couple of minor constructive criticisms, you do need to improve on the whole sticking labels on tubes thing though. Is it that much more expensive to get a tube with the graduations molded in? Specimen tubes, or centrifuge tubes are pretty readily available with graduations. Do you need a sample tube for every test ? You could just supply one tube with graduations and specify the volumes in the instructions. It might even save you money. If the label gets stuck on the tube just a little out of place, then the volume of sample is out. I label a lot of samples and I know how hard it is to get the labels on consistently straight and neatly let alone in an exact location.

I can imagine that the reagent mix would have been a bit of a pain. Getting the buffering right and presumably some chlorine neutraliser and then making sure that the end product is stable for a decent shelf life would have been a bit of an adventure, especially if you haven't had a background in the chemical industry. I think you have got off to a very good start with your product and I wish you all the best, I can tell from your proactive approach and great customer service that you care about both your business and your customers, I'm sure that you will get these minor details ironed out and go from strength to strength and I wish you all the best for the future.
 

MissFancypants

Active member
Jan 1, 2017
37
Australia
I think I’ve got a dodgy batch as well, just ordered a bottle as I had run out, arrived super quick to WA! But it’s clear when I tested my water and the standard, not cloudy at all.
 

BrettClearChoiceLabs

Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 24, 2016
57
Brisbane, Australia
Thanks everyone for the input. John I've just remembered I never replied to your email and feedback (sorry!) I think in part because it prompted me to do a lot of research and follow up on our plans for 2018-19 season and I totally forgot to actually respond LOL. You're right about buffers and the like, as far as I know it's been about buffers every time we've had failures in the labs - unfortunately this one made it out into the field before it failed. As I always say, Nic's the genius, I'm just the pretty face who follows what I'm told. When she talks about buffers I think of bumper cars and then that's it all I hear is carnival noises for the rest of the day ;)

The reagent from another supplier just landed this morning, and all indications are that it's a straight swap in for our tests. It is certainly testing the standards at 50ppm, and I've got a set of CYA standards at different concentrations resting up so I can test them later today. Hopefully, we can have everyone testing CYA again this week but keep your fingers and pools crossed for us if you would :) The last thing I want to do is put out a reagent that only works in a perfect and narrow set of concentrations. But at least this one goes cloudy, so that's a start LOL