Test kit troubles

Ali03

Member
This is my first year ever having a pool. Wow wasn't prepared for everything it requires. I finally got the chemicals where they should be...or so I thought. I have spent hours and hours reading and researching everything that needs to be done. I went to my local ace hardware and bought their brand of test kit and it seemed to work great, but I didn't know about cya until I got so frustrated adding chlorine every day only for it to disappear in a few hours. I didn't have the funds to purchase a good taylor kit, so I bought the hth kit so I could test the cya. I ran all my numbers on both kits just to see if they were similar. All my numbers were almost exactly the same except the alkalinity. I have ran this test a bunch of times being very careful that I'm doing it all properly. My last test showed: ace brand: 110 and hth: 180
Very different numbers. Why is it doing this?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,982
Northern NJ
Welcome to TFP.

You are likely to save more by getting the TF-100 Test Kits and adopting TFPC methods then you do now. Hard to say for sure without knowing what type of pool you have and how you care for it.

Which TA test is more accurate really does not matter.

I suggest you read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
 

Ali03

Member
I have an intex metal frame 16ft pool and I've been using the bbb method. If I'm reading the ABC's of pool chemistry correctly, I only really have to worry about the TA if the PH is off. So if my PH is good then I don't have to worry about the TA?
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
With a CYA of 50, you should never let the FC fall below 4ppm. Go add bleach now! Aim for 8ppm so that you won't fall below your minimum tomorrow. Use Pool Math to determine how much bleach to add. I think you're probably looking at about 4 cups of bleach, but if you put in your volume it'll tell you exactly how much to add.

You really do need a proper test kit... If you've been running at ~2ppm for any amount of time, you may have an algae bloom a brewing. It would be good to have CC results as well as FC.
 

Ali03

Member
With a CYA of 50, you should never let the FC fall below 4ppm. Go add bleach now! Aim for 8ppm so that you won't fall below your minimum tomorrow. Use Pool Math to determine how much bleach to add. I think you're probably looking at about 4 cups of bleach, but if you put in your volume it'll tell you exactly how much to add.

You really do need a proper test kit... If you've been running at ~2ppm for any amount of time, you may have an algae bloom a brewing. It would be good to have CC results as well as FC.
I have been running at 3 but my current test just read 2
 

ComputerGuyInNOLA

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 20, 2012
647
Mandeville, Louisiana
One reason for the discrepancy is the test kit you purchased from the hardware store may have outdated reagents. The HTH test kit you purchased from where? Probably Walmart which most likely has very recent reagents. I would trust that test. Your TA is pretty high which will cause your pH to drift quite a bit. With a CYA of 50 And the amount of chlorine you’re losing probably means you were on the verge of an algae outbreak if you’re not already in it. You need to do an overnight chlorine loss test to check for this. By the way, you will not see the algae when it first starts growing in your pool. It may look clear but it is still there consuming your chlorine. Good luck.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
8,982
Northern NJ
I have an intex metal frame 16ft pool and I've been using the bbb method. If I'm reading the ABC's of pool chemistry correctly, I only really have to worry about the TA if the PH is off. So if my PH is good then I don't have to worry about the TA?
That is sort of correct. As long as your pH stays in the 7s you don’t need to adjust your TA. Your TA will naturally come down as you lower your TA, unless you have high TA fill water.
 

frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
I have been running at 3 but my current test just read 2
OK, but keep in mind that 3 is still 1ppm less than your minimum.

You want to dose the pool at night after the sun is off and people are done swimming to your Target. Your target for 50ppm CYA is 8ppm FC. You're going to lose about half your FC every day to sun, so you may want to aim for 9ppm even.
 

Ali03

Member
OK, but keep in mind that 3 is still 1ppm less than your minimum.

You want to dose the pool at night after the sun is off and people are done swimming to your Target. Your target for 50ppm CYA is 8ppm FC. You're going to lose about half your FC every day to sun, so you may want to aim for 9ppm even.
Thank you I was completely clueless that your chlorine numbers needed to be different depending on the cya. The app is very helpful as well.