Novice pool chemistry tester here!

Volgirl65

Active member
Jul 16, 2016
32
Sarasota, Florida
I fired our pool guy last week, mainly because we are trying to save money and decided we aren't stupid and SHOULD be able to do this ourselves. Well, week 1 and I do feel stupid. Ha. I had bought some cheap test strips at Lowe's and it said my chlorine is OK, pH and alkalinity are LOW. With the same water sample, I used my brand new handy dandy Taylor K-2006 kit. It shows Cl 3.6 with combined at 0.4, pH 7.9 and alkalinity 80. Is is that common to see such a discrepancy in test strips and the Taylor kit? I tested the numbers twice just to be sure I added the right number of drops, etc and it came out the same both times.
So other questions....seems that Cl is a touch high? Our sanitizer output was on 6/60% so I turned that down to 4/40%. Is that correct to do?
The pH is obviously too high but alkalinity seems ok. Will this correct itself or should I add muriatic acid? If so, how much in a 9K gallon pool? I know (or at least hope) this will all start to make sense after a few weeks.
Would it make sense to take a pool sample to the Pinch-a-Penny down the street to see what our water tests since it was such a difference?
Thanks so much for your guidance!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
37,016
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Test strips are lovingly know as Guess Strips. So throw them away. You have a great test kit.

Your FC level is based on your CYA level. See FC/CYA Chart

See Recommended Levels

I would suggest you NOT take a sample to a Pool Store. Most are barely better than the 'guess strips' at testing pool water chemistry.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
24,619
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
To recap, your K-2006 test results are:

FC - 3.2
cc - 0.4
pH - 7.9
TA - 80
CYA - ???
CH - ???

You need to test your CYA and CH. CYA testing can be a bit difficult and this may help you...



So far your chemistry is not widely out of wack. Your pH is a tad high but not a worry at the moment.

Let's see where you are with your CYA and CH and then we will know if your FC is good or not.

I suggest you read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
 

Volgirl65

Active member
Jul 16, 2016
32
Sarasota, Florida
I tested the CYA and calcium yesterday. CYA 40, ch 500....and my free chlorine has jumped up to 5.6 and combined chlorine is 0.4 I don't understand why as I am in SW Florida and it has been sunny and 80 all week. pH 7.8 and TA 80. I had my sanitizer output on the 2nd mark so I turned it down to the 1st one for the least amount. The pool looks, feels, and smells fine. I am little shocked at the chlorine level though and not sure why it has jumped so high. Should I be worried? This is truly ending up my first week of taking care of the pool myself.
 

JJ_Tex

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
2,316
Prosper, TX (DFW)
Pool Size
13000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Don't be scared of your "high" chlorine as that is exactly in line with the chart for a CYA of 40. Most people around here only get nervous if their chlorine is below 5. Mine is at 9.0 right now and I'm planning on using the hot tub tonight.

Note that we recommend you bump up your CYA to 70 for a salt water pool, and that you try and keep your chlorine at 5, but can safely go way above that. Here is the chart I'm referencing and referenced several times above:
 
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