Is my CYA tester fluid faulty or am I the worst CYA tester in history?

kstough

Active member
Jun 7, 2019
38
Ozark, AL
Hey guys! Since day 1, I feel like I have been testing my CYA incorrectly. Long story short, when I add CYA to get my levels up to 70, I get algae in my pool right away although my FC is what is supposed to be from the CYA chart. This is year 2 of this happening now.

So I decided to take a pic of my last CYA test and let you see what I am seeing in the view tube. Last year when I realized I was testing CYA incorrectly, I ordered the 50ppm standard solution to see what the dot is supposed to look like when "you can no longer see it." So I also uploaded a pic of the 50ppm standard solution mixed with the R-0013 testing solution and filled to the 50 line in the view tube.

The first 7 pics is my pool water test from yesterday. The last pic is the standard solution test (not my pool water).

IMG_0953.jpgIMG_0955.jpgIMG_0957.jpgIMG_0958.jpgIMG_0959.jpgIMG_0960.jpgIMG_0961.jpgIMG_0962.jpg

My pool water test is after my adding enough CYA (over the coarse of a month) to where my levels should be at 60ppm...Well considering I knew the true CYA level I was starting with at the beginning of the season (30ppm from a store test and my home R-0013 test).

Where am I going wrong? Is my R-0013 tester solution maybe bad? The pic with the 50ppm standard solution that I tested with has the black dot very visible in my opinion when it's at the 50 black line....

Feel like I am stuck in a rut of being able to keep a clear pool until I truly know what my CYA levels are. Help! o_O
 

Wobblerlorri

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Apr 16, 2019
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I read it as 40 ppm. As you can (hopefully) see, you can't see the black dot at all. I don't know what's up with the standard solution, but to me that's not 50 ppm.

I sure wish there was a dropwise color change test for CYA!
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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Hey KS !! For starters, please rest assured that every last one of us is the worst CYA tester in history. It’s a bazillion way tie for the title. 😁

Secondly, while pics always help, it’s nearly impossible to get a clear shot of the tube the way it’s supposed to be tested without adding some accidental shade. Use their level of 50 as your guide to how yours should look, also seemingly at 50. (To me). The key is a quick glance. Crazy quick. If you stare more than a fraction of a second the milky water settles a bit and you can see the dot again. Also what happens in the few seconds it takes to get a clear picture.

Plus our brains lie to us all the time and add/subtract things. It’s why you rarely ever see your nose. It’s there. Believe me it’s there. But 99 out a 100 times you won’t see it.

*apologies to the board for making everyone cross eyed, attempting to prove me wrong*. :ROFLMAO:

So, again, Crazy quick glance. If you barely think you might see it at that first instance, it’s close enough to call it.
 

clambert1273

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Jun 13, 2013
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Outside back to sun first thing, I learned to squirt into tube to the first line, then glance down at my waist, if visible then add more to next line & repeat. It's worked 100% of the time for me that way
 

ajw22

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Your CYA is between 40 and 50. Since we round up you call it 50.

10 ppm is nothing to worry about with the CYA test. 40 or 50 does not really matter. What does matter is set your FC level based on 50, the higher number. That gives you most protection against your FC dipping below minimum during the day.

The only reason we care about the CYA level, other then knowing there is some CYA int he water to buffer the chlorine, is to set the FC level. Error on the high side of CYA and then FC and you are safe.

Don't sweat the CYA test so much. Being precise on the CYA test gets you no awards.
 

revitup

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If you stare more than a fraction of a second the milky water settles a bit and you can see the dot again. Also what happens in the few seconds it takes to get a clear picture.
That's the first time I have ever heard that. The precipitate settles? In seconds? That has not been my experience. I have been able to 'glance' into the tube several times in order to convince myself I'm getting an accurate reading with no change to the sight picture.
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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That's the first time I have ever heard that. The precipitate settles? In seconds?
I routinely watch my cloud unswirl and become clearer. I chalked it up to how it is. I mix and shake, let it sit for 30 seconds and when I squirt it in the tube it swirls up again. And then unswirls rather quickly again. If I let it sit for a minute of two the googley eye is laughing at me again.

Maybe it’s just me but that’s what I get so I always revert back to the ‘quick glance’ with an emphasis on the quick part. :)

*also, I clearly stated that I am tied for the worst CYA tester in history, so it could TOTALLY be just me. :ROFLMAO:
 

Oly

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Jun 28, 2017
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I have observed if you test immediatly after shaking verses letting it settle out a minute (air bubbles perhaps) the sample changes slightly. Pouring back in the squeeze bottle and retesting is a good practice.
I also second Allen's advice above, less sweat and put this into proper perspective. I rely on pool Math and I raise my level by dissolving only in 5ppm additions as I approach my target. I also buy CYA reagent in 16 oz bottles.
 
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kstough

Active member
Jun 7, 2019
38
Ozark, AL
Outside back to sun first thing, I learned to squirt into tube to the first line, then glance down at my waist, if visible then add more to next line & repeat. It's worked 100% of the time for me that way
Yeah that's what I normally due but the results I get from doing that cause be to raise my CYA/FC and then here comes the algae....
 

kstough

Active member
Jun 7, 2019
38
Ozark, AL
I have observed if you test immediatly after shaking verses letting it settle out a minute (air bubbles perhaps) the sample changes slightly. Pouring back in the squeeze bottle and retesting is a good practice.
I also second Allen's advice above, less sweat and put this into proper perspective. I rely on pool Math and I raise my level by dissolving only in 5ppm additions as I approach my target. I also buy CYA reagent in 16 oz bottles.
Yes I usually add back to the bottle and redo the view tube several times and still get the same results. The results I am getting tell me to raise my CYA (and therefor FC) but then I get algae almost immediately...
 

kstough

Active member
Jun 7, 2019
38
Ozark, AL
I reordered a fresh batch of R-0013 which should be delivered today. HOPING and praying I get different results with the new solution showing that it was not user error
 

HeyEng

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I have also noticed that it settles pretty quick. Just squirt some in the tube and watch how quickly it changes.

My method is to fill until I get a jist of what I think it is. Then, looking at the tube marker (say 50) and will then pour it all back in the squeeze bottle, shake, and refill the test tube to the my estimated reading (50) and then take a quick glance. More often than not, it confirms. A couple of others mentioned the OP's pics and I would have put that at 50 as well.
 
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Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
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I have also noticed that it settles pretty quick. Just squirt some in the tube and watch how quickly it changes
Exactly. We can bicker all day each being more fanatical pool owners than the previous tester. We are bickering over 10 and it’s plenty close enough. The pool store can’t guess within 100 and strips can only guess 100-300. We are close enough. :ROFLMAO:
 

HeyEng

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Exactly. We can bicker all day each being more fanatical pool owners than the previous tester. We are bickering over 10 and it’s plenty close enough. The pool store can’t guess within 100 and strips can only guess 100-300. We are close enough. :ROFLMAO:
No doubt! I do wonder if pool owners tend to be perfectionists if not a little OCD? I know I suffer from both and the pool owners I personally know are pretty much the same. :D
 

Newdude

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No doubt! I do wonder if pool owners tend to be perfectionists if not a little OCD
Those of us here without problems at the moment are ‘enthusiasts’ to say the least. Most of those here with problems will be enthusiasts shortly to ensure they are discussing pools for fun and not because of future problems. 😁
 
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ajw22

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No doubt! I do wonder if pool owners tend to be perfectionists if not a little OCD? I know I suffer from both and the pool owners I personally know are pretty much the same. :D

Only the pool owners who hang out at TFP and look for debates like this.

Others don't sweat their exact CYA level and go swim.
 

HeyEng

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Only the pool owners who hang out at TFP and look for debates like this.

Others don't sweat their exact CYA level and go swim.
I actually am not seeing a debate in this thread. A discussion on testing techniques? Yep. A couple opinions on what users "see" on the OPs test? Yep. But debate? Nah.
 
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