So you are new to testing

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,562
NY
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters……

It’s that time of year again with an influx of newbs either getting a late start or coming to us trying to undo what hasn’t been working. First of all, I’d like to welcome you all. You’re gonna love it here. We will help you maintain a pool the stupid easy and even stupid-er cheap way.

We’ve likely told you that you need a reliable test kit, but they seem so scary. You meander over to pool school to see what it entails, and although it’s simply and exactly written, it seems like rocket science and you are in way over your head. We throw terms all back and forth that are Greek to you. Take your R-0871 and and swirl drops with R-0870 in the 10ml vial and whatnot. Many many folks are overwhelmed and remember failing chemistry. (Side note, I don’t believe everyone failed chemistry that says they did at this point, but I still LOVE the jokes myself).

So, while the test kits come with a cheat sheet and the same instructions are very simply laid out in pool school, I want to break it down further so you can realize how stupid easy it all is. We were in your shoes. We were all overwhelmed when we were there. We all finally sucked it up and tried…….. and 3 tries later we *facepalmed*.

For starters I will take the all important FC test that will be done the most frequently. If we can convince you that you can easily do it, you’ll understand better that ALL the tests are just as easy. Each is a little different, and they all have their own quirks/hacks, but first we have to get you over the hump to try.

If you look at the instructions as a whole it’s insane. Stop right there. Use your hands, or paper, to block off everything but the FC test. Oooooooh. That’s much better already. Ok now, here we go. One step at a time. Scan that test for which supplies you need. No need to care what each one means yet. We will get there later. Just get the supplies listed as their reagent #. For FC it’s R-0870, R-0871 and R-0003. Stupid easy to find the bottles, right ? Get them together and here we go. Ignore all the other bottles for now.

1) rinse and fill vial to 10ml. Ok ? I can do that

2) add heaping scoop of R-0870 powder. Ooooooook ? I guess that’s easy enough.
*still skeptical*. *probably grimmacing now*

*vial turns hot pink*
Ooooooooh. Prettttttttttty. What a lovely shade. Pay attention you dolts !!! This is SERIOUS STUFF !!!!

3). add R-0871, one drop at a time, 1-2 seconds apart, swirl and count. *now grimacing that you are halfway through and it’s all been so easy*.

4). When solution turns clear, stop. *facepalms at how stupid easy this all really is*

5) divide drops by 2 for FC. ( ie, 10 drops = 5 FC). *throws instruction card because they doubted themselves*. *has tantrum*.



83DCD3C4-EAB0-47A1-A331-72905D808150.jpeg

We still need to check for CCs but you’re a LEGIT scientist now. Pffffffffft. *grabs bottle of R-0003*

6). Add 5 drops of R-0003. Why !!! Why did I doubt myself ??? I’m SO stupid that I thought I’d be stupid !!! ARRRRRRGH !!!

7). If solution stays clear, no CCs. If it goes pink again, add drops of R-0871 and same as FC, Count and Divide by 2 for CCs.

BOOM. Done. Look at you go !!!!

It is *that* stupid easy
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,562
NY
Sure there are @mguzzy ‘s out there that did this kinda thing in makeshift labs in inhospitable countries that were 125 degrees. Doing so on his 80 degree patio while nursing a breakfast Tequila was a welcome relief. The rest of us take one glance at the instructions and need a change of pants.

You can do this. We believe in you. We will help you at every step until you believe it too.
 
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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
657
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I enjoy testing so much, I even set up a semi-permanent lab in an extra bathroom, although I have to put everything under the cabinet if other than family visitors are coming. Kidding aside, having a place set up all the time makes it easy to do all tests or just FC/CC/pH. Since adding the SWCG, I'm OCD'ing salt testing, too.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,562
NY
am scared for people who own pools and cannot follow 7 steps of instructions that are clearly written out for them in full detail. I mean that sincerely.
It’s not that they can’t. It’s that by the time they get to us they have been so overwhelmed by either others or their pool……. Or what others have made them do to their pool…..

Yeah. They are usually spent mentally. Looking up something new with some weird terms just seems like too much when they are that mentally exhausted.

You, me, and 276k others know it’s not, and they will eventually too……. *if* we get them to try. :)
 

carnivalday

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Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
594
Ocala, FL
Oh my your first post described me to a T...except that I REALLY DID flunk chemistry. Even with after class lessons. The tests here were so intimidating. Until they werent, and it was pffftt...I can do this, with one flipper tied behind my back. If I can do them, anyone...and I truly mean anyone...can do them.
 
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carnivalday

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Oct 25, 2017
594
Ocala, FL
I think the turning point for me was to stop being in panic mode, thinking I cant do this and just READ. The instructions are so simple, and if theres one thing I can do, its follow instructions. Just go sentence by sentence, do what it says. And voila! Success!
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,562
NY
Y’all know me and my love for letting those that said it better shine. Ima go with Wayne Gretzky here :

‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’.

Seeing how the dude had enough assists alone to make him the all time leading goal scorer, And, plus his goals……. Yeah. Dude speaks the truth.
I think the turning point for me was to stop being in panic mode, thinking I cant do this and just READ
Same here. The kit sat on the workbench for a month or 3 because it was too hard. The bit about throwing the instructions and being so stupid for *thinking* I’d be stupid were actual events.
 
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texasAUtiger

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2021
81
Waco, TX
Pool Size
15600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Y’all know me and my love for letting those that said it better shine. Ima go with Wayne Gretzky here :

‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’.

Seeing how the dude had enough assists alone to make him the all time leading goal scorer, And, plus his goals……. Yeah. Dude speaks the truth.

Same here. The kit sat on the workbench for a month or 3 because it was too hard. The bit about throwing the instructions and being so stupid for *thinking* I’d be stupid were actual events.

Your positivity is absolutely refreshing. I need more of your attitude in my life. ;-)
 
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chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,738
Tucson
I found that it helps to organize as separate tests. I use a tackle box for my test supplies. The top tray, left has the OTO/pH test (for a quick check), the rest is dedicated to chlorine testing. It includes the Speedstir, vial and everything for any chlorine tests. My second tray, left side is dedicated to TA testing. Not only reagents but separate vial and speedstir pellet, everything for TA. Right side, CH testing -separate vial, the reagents, separate stir pellet. Third tray, left is CYA tests, right side - spare vials pellets and any other “lab” spares. Bottom has a salt test kit, test instructions, sample bottle, small hand towel, additional spare reagents.image.jpg
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,562
NY
Your positivity is absolutely refreshing. I need more of your attitude in my life. ;-)
I quoted Jack Sparrow the other day.
‘Your problem is never the problem.
Your problem is your attitude about the problem’.

Truer words have never been spoken. If I can get folks to chuckle a little then they are in a much better mood to listen to Marty and crew. Or I’ll help too if they’re all busy that moment.
 

Bondo66

Bronze Supporter
Jun 30, 2021
28
Charlotte North Carolina
Pool Size
11800
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I found that it helps to organize as separate tests. I use a tackle box for my test supplies. The top tray, left has the OTO/pH test (for a quick check), the rest is dedicated to chlorine testing. It includes the Speedstir, vial and everything for any chlorine tests. My second tray, left side is dedicated to TA testing. Not only reagents but separate vial and speedstir pellet, everything for TA. Right side, CH testing -separate vial, the reagents, separate stir pellet. Third tray, left is CYA tests, right side - spare vials pellets and any other “lab” spares. Bottom has a salt test kit, test instructions, sample bottle, small hand towel, additional spare reagents.
I really like your setup it just may get copied! :) My kit gets here monday so hope i dont get too intimidated!
 
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jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
3,170
NE/Pa
You know what is great for me. I found this site before I built so I never hit panic mode. I just sailed through easy clear water town since day uno.
I know I always try to thank everyone here so again I say thank you!
And for those who have not bought the kit yet. Just go buy it already. I don’t want to hear “oh it’s expensive”. Cause I know you are the ones who spend 100 dollars a month at Starbucks on mochas. Lol. Well at least the people I work with do.
 

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