Testing schedule

Puffin

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2010
217
Metro Atlanta, Georgia
We just got one of those little seasonal pools. I read through the temp/seasonal pool article in pool school (heh, I have it bookmarked and have been reviewing it in preparation of getting the little pool). Like it says in step 1, I started with the little ph/chlorine test kit from Walmart, or Toy-R-Us (OTO, and phenol red)

My fill water test showed the pH at 7.5. Great no adjustments, I added the shock as described, about 2 oz of the stuff with like 50% dichlor (bottle said pool shock). This morning the pH read 7.2. I put the info in the pool calc and realized, I have no idea what the TA is...

So first question. The pool calc says add about 3oz of borax (assuming TA of 100) to bring it up to 7.5. I was thinking of either adding nothing since its between 7.2-7.8 or just putting about 1/2 of that and see what happens. What you folks recommend?

I'm a tweaker... missing info like this kills me. So, I ordered the TF-100. Its probably overkill for a little pool but I can use the practice, my family wants to get a full-sized pool eventually. Both the seasonal pool and the Basic Pool Care Schedule article it say to test pH and chlorine daily, then make adjustment as needed. The TF-100 has like 3 chlorine tests (OTO, DPD, FAS-DPD).

Second question, which chlorine test do you do daily?
 

jasonknox

Platinum Supporter
May 4, 2010
300
SW Georgia
Re: Testing shcedule

Not sure what it is called but it is [b]not[/b] the Yellow bar test. I test daily with the little blue scoop and powder in the 10ml of pool water. The solution turns pink and you add drops of 871 until it turns clear. I never thought the yellow bar test was very accurate. I do use the ph test included with the taylor kit to test ph daily.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,475
SW Indiana
Re: Testing shcedule

Welcome to TFP.

I do the OTO every couple of days, but with your pool I'd consider the OTO morning and evening. It's counterintuitive, but the water maintenance in your pool is actually harder than it is in mine IMO. I have more room for error since I have a much larger pump and filter to recover from problems.


The TF-100 has the OTO and FAS-DPD.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
Re: Testing shcedule

Now, I test FAS-DPD every other day. I can't read the yellow colors except to see that it is above 2 ppm, 3 and up look too much the same to me.

At the beginning I tested every day, until I could see from my records that pH changed over the span of 4 to 5 days and FC dropped from top of range to bottom of range in 2 days. If something happens, like a big rainstorm with lots of debris in the pool, or the fruits on the palm tree are ripe and the squirrel sits up there dropping half the stuff he starts to eat, or I find vultures sitting on my spa, then I test daily for a few days including CCs until all seems stable and predictable. Any time the clarity seems a tiny bit off, I will test fully. I also run a full test often enough to be certain of anything that changes slowly like TA and CH and CYA. That might be once a month, or whenever my records show that something may have affected that, like a lot of fill water (high TA) or a lot of rain (dilution of all values) or using pucks (rising CYA and falling TA).

On my TF100 kit I have expanded the test record to a full page spreadsheet that I record in pencil and when it is full I remove it and file it. I keep the stuff from the tests: FC, CC, pH, TA, CH, CYA, then I add what I did and why; chlorine source, volume, FC goal, MA volume, pH goal, and there is room for comments such as CH adjustments, weather comments, pucks used with predicted CYA changes. I loved the fact that on the kit we were encouraged to keep those records but I couldn't bear to erase them once that list was full.

JohnT has a good point, your pool is small and so it will change faster than my much larger volume pool. If your goal FC level is within the OTO (yellow) test range, that will be easy to do on a daily basis and after use.
 

Puffin

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2010
217
Metro Atlanta, Georgia
I also like to keep aquarium fish, small tanks are more challenging for the same reason, they just don't have the volume to buffer changes in temp, chemistry or whatever. Yea, it makes perfect sense.

Ok, when I get my kit, I'll start with using the OTO as a spot check if my target is in range. Then use the other chlorine tests give more info when diagnosing problems.

Any advice on adjusting the pH?
 

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