Relative newbie pool owner in SoCal


Silver Supporter
May 2, 2017
Burbank, CA
Hi Everybody,
I've visited and read on this site several times and learned great things and just registered. Happy to join the community.
I've had the pool for 10 years, used a pool guy for several years but started maintaining myself a few years ago, finally got tired of the big pool stores and after many mistakes that lead to several bouts of 'green monster' I have come to that point where I've learned just enough to be dangerous now; a statement that probably makes you experienced folk cringe, I know.

I have a test kit I bought from a local Pool Supply (not a big chain), it has PH w/Chl Neut soln, Chlorine, Total Alkalinity and a CYA dot type via a small test tube thingy but I'm wondering if I should get the TF100 and the SpeedStir?

Pool looks great right now after having cleaned up my most recent green jello mess. PH shows ideal range according to the test. The pool gets a ton of strong SoCal sun all day. According to Leslie's, for what it's worth, the CYA is around 70 (that's kinda high, eh?) so I started using liquid Chlorine bought from either Leslie's or the local DIY store ($9 or so for 2 gallons) and no more tabs. I use MA to lower the PH when necessary, which I seem to need to do every week. I wonder if that's because I get leaves and white flies in the pool a lot from the trees/shrubs in my yard? I see scaling at the water line on my tile. We have notoriously hard water here in the Los Angeles area. I run the filter/Barracuda about 6-hrs/day. I do get some light deposits of yellow/greenish algae in the corners of my steps and this little seat/ledge in the deep end and on the floor in the shallow end, but it brushes away pretty easily. I'm diligent now about keeping the chlorine right (I think) if not a little high, again because I'm just turning it around after the latest green debacle.

So there ya have it. I'm eager to learn and do this right, finally.


PS, Yes I really love pizza! I'm an Italian guy from Jersey City, NJ so...
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LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jan 18, 2015
Bunbury, WA, Australia
Hi Pizza and welcome to TFP.

If you've done some reading around here you'll probably realise that we only really recommend 2 test kits- the Tf-100 as suggested is one of them and the other is the K-2006. The test kits bought from most pool stores are generally not up to the job in terms of reliability or the accuracy that we expect. They also don't have the FAS-DPD test for chlorine which allows you to test for high levels of FC. So yes get the TF-100 and a big yes to the Speedster as well as it makes testing so much easier. We also don't place any credence on pool store testing. You've done well to realise that tabs are probably not going to help you out at the moment as they continue to add CYA.

From what you describe you could have some scaling and/or algae issues but we really need a full set of test numbers to give you some advice on how to proceed. While your waiting for your kit to arrive can I suggest some reading
ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry


Silver Supporter
May 2, 2017
Burbank, CA
So here are my my first #'s w/ the new TF-100kit (yep I have the SpeedStir).

The Basic test kit (from the TF-100) showed: CL .5, BR 1 (is this referred to as the 'OTO' test?)

pH: 7.8
FC: 2.5ppm
CC: 0.5
TC: 3.0ppm
CH: 875
TA: 170
CYA: 60

Normally I would add acid to bring the pH down some before adding chlorine, but these other #'s I have never had before so what's the first next step.

Currently the water is pretty darn clear, a little easily brushed greenish yellowish algae here and there but not much. I have some scale at water line (makes sense now that I see the CH# for the first time).

** started a new thread in this area also
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