Reading CYA Test & Maintenance while on Vacation


Active member
Jul 8, 2020
Newark, CA
Hi everyone, hope you are all enjoying a relaxing labor day weekend! 😁☀🏊

I have two quick questions I was hoping to get assistance with please:

-1) I have the k2006c test kit and I'm not sure I'm reading the results for cya correctly. The test says fill the comparator tube until "the black dot at the bottom just disappears". When I fill up the comparator tube for the cya test completely I can see the black dot very faintly. I have to somewhat concentrate and focus to see it. If i glance quickly i can't really see it. But if i look hard enough i see the black dot.

My question is, should the black dot be very very faintly visible or should i not be able to see it at all even when focusing hard on it? I have a feeling I need to add more cyanuric acid because I can still see the dot very faintly even when fluid is filled up to the top of the compatator tube.

-2) now that I'm maintaining the pool on my own, I add chlorine daily (between 4-6cups of 10% liq chlorine). but if I want to take a vacation for a few days or maybe a week and no one is home to maintain the pool what options are there to keep the chlorine level maintained while on vacation. I'm wondering if there are any best practices or if I just have to be lucky enough to find someone who can add an average amount of chlorine daily?

Thank you all! this site has been instrumental in my ability to take on pool maintenance and I greatly appreciate everyone's time and help. 🙏🏽


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
Laughlin, NV
I look at the CYA tube with a glance. If I stare at it, I will see the dot forever.

For a short vacation (few days to a week), using trichlor tablets in a floating dispenser should be sufficient. Any longer you need to either recruit a neighbor or install a Salt Water Chlorine Generator.
  • Like
Reactions: PoolFunnSun


Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
Evans, Georgia
in regards to the CYA reading- its best to fill the vial to each level, hold the vial waist high and with the sun to your back. Then look away then glance at the vial. Don't stare and don't try to see the dot. If you do see it, fill the vial up to the next CYA level and do the same thing- look elsewhere for a second then glance at the vial.
You can always repeat the test by pouring into the bottle again. I find filling it to each of the lines in order works better for me than just pouring it into the vial and seeing where it lands then reading the value.

If your CYA can handle the bump use a couple of pucks in a floater for a short vaca away. Or bring the pool up to SLAM level and put a cover on it. That works for a lot of folks. Or divvy out doses of liquid chlorine and pay a neighbors teen to pour it in daily.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The pictures in the link from Taylor Technologies illustrate how the dot should look.

In the Taylor images, you can see something but it's not the black dot. It's the bottom of the tube. If you look closely, the black dot is smaller than the bottom of the tube (diameter wise) and the dot is clearly not visible.

You can buy CYA 50 standard solution - R-7065 CYA Standard 50 ppm (2 ounces) - to see what the dot looks like at 50.

CYA testing is +/-10 ppm. Don’t agonize over a small difference. Call it the way you see it at a glance and round up. If the dot disappears between 40 and 30 call it 40 and move on.
  • Like
Reactions: PoolFunnSun


Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 10, 2009
I have a question and maybe it will also help the OP. Standing with the sun to my back, my body creates a shadow. Do I hold the tube in the shadow, or in the sun?


Active member
Jul 8, 2020
Newark, CA
Thanks everyone. The tip about putting the sun to my back and holding it waist high and using the glancing method is very helpful.

the link to the Taylor website for how it should look is very helpful as well I'm glad to know you can buy a solution that will show you what 50 PPM looks like.

For vacation yeah I'll probably end up just having to pay someone to put chlorine in daily.



Well-known member
Dec 31, 2019
Houston, Texas
I found the 50 ppm CYA solution to be very helpful. I had been interpreting the CYA result when the dot was pretty faint. After practicing with the 50 ppm solution, turns out my CYA is probably 10 ppm higher than what I had been interpreting. Not a game changer, but the solution gave me more confidence in the accuracy of my readings.
  • Like
Reactions: PoolFunnSun