Small pool weird readings comparing machine to dip strip

Deb Driesen

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
61
FINGER LAKES NY
Pool Size
3240
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-15
So in the continuing saga, our reading for machine test vs dip strip test (and I still have not been in the pool yet because of these readings) Free Chlorine was way high, we set the SWCG way down, now its reading low on machine 3.3 and dip strip 2.8.

Machine and test strip readings are different and confusing. But the pH is 7.7 today according to the machine. It was reading 7.9 last two days. Dip strip reading for pH is 6.8 today and was 6.9 yesterday. With readings so far apart there's no way of telling how to treat it, or even if we can believe it.

Total Alkalinity reads 111 today, was higher last few days. But the dip strip reading is less than 40. If the machine is faulty that would leave us to follow the dip strip numbers. But do we dare? The last thing I need is a skin rash.

And today we noticed some orange brown reaction or growth on the rim of one of the stainless steel cups that holds the handrail to the side of the steps. There's only been water in the pool for two weeks! And this is municipal water, not just lake or pond water.

What do you make of this?
 

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aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
as you have been here for a while, you should know reliable testing is the key to successful pool maintenance
you have not mentioned a cya number, so is your fc too high or too low?
impossible to give recommendations based on suspect test results
as they say in computing. garbage in, garbage out
 

Deb Driesen

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
61
FINGER LAKES NY
Pool Size
3240
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-15
Machine reading as in pool store?
The machine readings are from the Lamott Color Q test kit we received with the pool. Readings have been wonky so we bought a Varify dip strip kit. Comparison between the two has left us clueless. CYA low and FC now 3.3 but pH 7.9 on machine but 6.8 by dip strips. We just don't know what to do with it.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
29,064
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
Segals Law: A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.

Get one good test kit instead of trying to figure out which is correct among multpile kits.

The TF-100 Test Kit ™ or Taylor K-2006C are recommended.

 

Deb Driesen

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
61
FINGER LAKES NY
Pool Size
3240
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-15
Test Kits Compared

You need a proper test kit. Either the TFPro Salt from TFTestkits.net or a Taylor K2006C plus K1766 kit.
I totally respect your opinion. I saw the LaMotte ColorQ recommended in the Pool Chemistry section. So you don't think it's good or accurate then? It came with the pool but I had to ask the SwimEx service rep to replace the reagent tablets as they were expired. That made me question if the meter was also old. We can order the TFPro or Taylor kits. I'm still getting the same readings on meter and strips. FC is 3 and TC is 2.8 on the meter with the ichlor15 set at just 1%. PH consistently 7.7 on the meter but only 6.8 on the strip. CYA has improved to 5 on the meter and indicates below 30 on the strip. I'm wondering if I should bump the ichlor up to 2%. This pool is only 3200 gallons so I'm trying to make small moves.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
5,150
NW Ohio
FC is 3 and TC is 2.8 on the meter
That is an impossible result.

Throw out the test strips to start with. They are the most imprecise, inaccurate, and badly made testing method there is. Absolutely nothing to gain from using them. As for the ColorQ, it's certainly better than a test strip but it's just not reliably accurate. As you said, you have a small pool and trying not to overshoot things is the right thing to be aiming for since there's less margin. But unless you can be sure of the accuracy of your data then it's difficult to know what may or may not cause you to go overboard.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,116
Spring Valley, NY
I totally respect your opinion. I saw the LaMotte ColorQ recommended in the Pool Chemistry section. So you don't think it's good or accurate then? It came with the pool but I had to ask the SwimEx service rep to replace the reagent tablets as they were expired. That made me question if the meter was also old. We can order the TFPro or Taylor kits. I'm still getting the same readings on meter and strips. FC is 3 and TC is 2.8 on the meter with the ichlor15 set at just 1%. PH consistently 7.7 on the meter but only 6.8 on the strip. CYA has improved to 5 on the meter and indicates below 30 on the strip. I'm wondering if I should bump the ichlor up to 2%. This pool is only 3200 gallons so I'm trying to make small moves.
Can't say it enough but that's all hogwash. Get a real test kit and you won't be second guessing the results.
 
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Deb Driesen

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
61
FINGER LAKES NY
Pool Size
3240
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-15
Thanks everyone. I'm ordering a new test kit today. Regarding that orange brown (pictured with original message) development on the cup holding the handrail, it appears to be rust. With the water coming out of a municipal fire hydrant and delivered locally it would seem the rust was in the water and settled in that one spot. There is no other rust and our sacrificial zinc anode appears good as new. My husband was able to break the rust off in pieces and catch particles with a small pool vac filter bag. Here's the odd part: the president of SwimEx, Suzanne Vaughn, suggested using CLR (Calcium Lime and Rust remover) to scrub the rust with a toothbrush. But what will CLR do to my pool chemistry?
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,344
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
But what will CLR do to my pool chemistry?
The main ingredients in CLR are water, gluconic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, surfactants, glycolic acid and sulfamic acid.

In small quantities, they will not effect your water chemistry.
 
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Deb Driesen

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
61
FINGER LAKES NY
Pool Size
3240
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-15
The main ingredients in CLR are water, gluconic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, surfactants, glycolic acid and sulfamic acid.

In small quatities, they will not effect your water chemistry.
Thanks, I was going to look up the CLR ingredients after ordering a new test kit.
 

wireform

Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
3,116
Spring Valley, NY
Thanks everyone. I'm ordering a new test kit today. Regarding that orange brown (pictured with original message) development on the cup holding the handrail, it appears to be rust. With the water coming out of a municipal fire hydrant and delivered locally it would seem the rust was in the water and settled in that one spot. There is no other rust and our sacrificial zinc anode appears good as new. My husband was able to break the rust off in pieces and catch particles with a small pool vac filter bag. Here's the odd part: the president of SwimEx, Suzanne Vaughn, suggested using CLR (Calcium Lime and Rust remover) to scrub the rust with a toothbrush. But what will CLR do to my pool chemistry?
I'd unscrew the hardware it's connected to and whatever it needs at a more comfortable place to work and away from the pool.