TFTest kit results.......

Ralph III

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2018
128
Mobile, Al
Hello All,
We just purchased a home with a salt water pool (25k ga) and I need some input in regards to chemicals, having never owned a swimming pool. The pool looks spotless at the moment but your help is appreciated.

My tftest kit came in today and this is what I recorded.



1. K-1000 test

*Chlorine = 5-10. Top of the scale.
*PH = 6.8 or lower. It was lighter than the lowest reading on the scale.

2. Chlorine readings via R-0870

*Free Chlorine = 5
*Combined Chlorine = 1.5
*Total Chlorine = 6.5

3. Total Alkalinity = 30


4. CYA = I could see the black dot even with the tube full. It was quite faint but I could still see it.


5. I have ordered a Taylor K-1766 salt water tester but it will be a few days before it comes in. I cannot recall what my Hayward AquaRite Salt water generator reading was but it was within specs.


Any help in exactly what these numbers mean and what I need to do is appreciated.


God Bless,
Ralph
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
15,090
Bedford, TX
Ralph,

To help our eyes we would appreciate it if you would report your readings as follows...

FC = 5
CC = 1.5
pH = 6.8
TA = 30
CH = ??
CYA = less than 30
Salt = ??

You do not need to report any k-1000 readings or TC..

Your CC level is high but this might be a testing error, since this is your first time.. You need to test CC right after the FC... if you let it sit it will go back to pink..

I suggest you run another set of tests tomorrow and see if you get the same readings.

Report those new findings and we can see where to go first...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,829
Evans, Georgia
Ralph, if you could please fill out your signature line with the details of your pool so we'll be able to see if those test results are acceptable. For example, if you have a vinyl pool we need to know so that is why you didn't list a CH result?

Tell us size, gallons, equipment, finish...anything that you think will help us. And that you have a test kit (which one?). That will save you the bother of us asking again and again for information.

Thanks in advance buddy!

Maddie :flower:
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
A tip with the CYA test, do it outside in the bright sun with your back to the sun, holding the skinny vial at waist level in the shadow of your body. Fill it up to the first mark (100) and then glance (DON'T stare) and see if you can see the black dot with just a glance. If you can see it, fill it up to the next mark and repeat. The trick here is that it has to be a bright sunny day and you are holding it in the shadow of your body, and that you don't squint and stare, or else you'll see the dot longer than you should. If you add too much or don't feel confident in your result, just pour the solution back into the bottle with the label and start again. Do it several times and you'll start getting the hang of it and feel confident in your result. Also, if you have transition glasses like I do, hopefully you also have a pair of normal glasses cuz they will definitely skew your results.

When you redo your tests today, on the TA, make sure that every drop of R-0009 you wipe the tip of the bottle with a damp paper towel. That reagent will build up a static charge with each drop that comes out and will mess up the results. The damp paper towel helps to discharge that static charge so each drop comes out the same size.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,706
Central California
When you redo your tests today, on the TA, make sure that every drop of R-0009 you wipe the tip of the bottle with a damp paper towel. That reagent will build up a static charge with each drop that comes out and will mess up the results. The damp paper towel helps to discharge that static charge so each drop comes out the same size.
Can I ask you from where this advice originated? I test TA regularly, and will be monitoring it even more closely soon as I want to dial in TA to reduce the SWG flaking I experienced last season. If I need to be doing something other than what the test instructions describe, I'll want to do that, of course, but I'd kinda want to make sure I don't do something to skew the results. (I just went through this with 4 vs 5 drops for the pH test, with folks here saying that was OK, but the manufacturer claiming otherwise). It's hard to know who has the skinny!

Not too mention that wiping the tip after every drop will make that test procedure quite a pain!
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
Can I ask you from where this advice originated? I test TA regularly, and will be monitoring it even more closely soon as I want to dial in TA to reduce the SWG flaking I experienced last season. If I need to be doing something other than what the test instructions describe, I'll want to do that, of course, but I'd kinda want to make sure I don't do something to skew the results. (I just went through this with 4 vs 5 drops for the pH test, with folks here saying that was OK, but the manufacturer claiming otherwise). It's hard to know who has the skinny!

Not too mention that wiping the tip after every drop will make that test procedure quite a pain!
First note on Pool School - Total Alkalinity.

Good idea to read through all the pages of Pool School - Extended Test Kit Directions, lot of helpful tips on the tests.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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Apr 1, 2007
32,864
Sebring, Florida
OK, back on the subject.

Ralph III,

It is pretty unusual for a pH test of 6.8 on an SWG pool. Double check that quick test........have you been using pucks to chlorinate?.....I doubt it but that would explain.

Regardless, repeat the pH test. You are not looking for color intensity but color shade. A pH of 6.8 or below will be almost yellow with little, if any, orange or red tint.

Confirm that test and we'll go from there.

Be prepared to add CYA but not just yet....get your pH confirmed first.

Please read "The "ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School.

the colors going from low pH to high pH are...

yellow 6.8 and lower
yellow orange 7.0
orange 7.2
orange red 7.4-7.5
red 7.6-7.8
red violet 8.0
violet 8.2 and higher
 

Ralph III

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2018
128
Mobile, Al
Hello All,
I performed the test again today but I didn't see the advice (TA, CYA) until afterward. Anyhow, I will test once more tomorrow and follow the advice given in regards to the CYA and wiping the R-0009 bottle tip. Anyhow, below is the test results I recorded today. The numbers in red are the results I recorded yesterday.

Chlorine = 5-10 (5-10)
PH = 7.2 (6.8)
FC = 10.5 (5)
CC = .5 (1.5)
TC = 11 (6.5)
TA = 40 (30). I didn't wipe the tip so my results may be off. I will try doing it properly next time.
CYA = 20 or less (same). My results may be inaccurate as I did the test indoors? I will try Lightmasters suggestion next.


In regards to the pool. It has a SWG only so no chlorine tabs/pucks. We closed on the house last Friday and I have done nothing to the pool other than run the pumps and skim it. I have not added any chemicals because my test kit just came in.

Anyhow, if my results are helpful please advise. I am confident in the Chlorine and PH results today.


God Bless,
Ralph
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
The first chlorine test, where you add the 5 drops and check how yellow it is, you don't need to do that test. It's really only to verify that any chlorine exists in the pool at all, and the FAS/DPD test is much much more accurate anyways.

Once you are confident in your TA test, you can bump it up a little using baking soda.

CYA indoors will definitely give you the wrong result. Once you check it outside in the sun, with a SWG pool, you'll want to bump that up to 70ppm. Use PoolMath to calculate how much CYA to add, or if you need help, just ask on here. When adding CYA, add the of whatever PoolMath says, since you can always add more later, but have to drain your pool to remove any. If it says to add 167 oz by weight, add 125 oz instead. Do this by pouring the CYA into a sock and hanging in front of your return jet. Let it hang for an hour and then go massage it like crazy and you'll see loads of white clouds coming out of it. Shouldn't take long to dissolve it out of the sock. Once it's dissolved, it can take a couple days to a week to actually show up on a test, so go ahead and start targeting your FC for 70ppm CYA. Test again a week later to see how close to 70ppm you got.
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
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In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
32,864
Sebring, Florida
Ralph,

1. Your test result of pH=7.2 makes more sense than 6.8 and it's good enough.....leave it alone as it will rise slowly overtime.

2. Calculate using PoolMath enough powdered CYA to raise your pool by 40 ppm. Put it in your pool and test the result in about 48 hours. report your results.

3. I suspect your TA will rise a little more. Leave it alone for now but report that result when you report CYA.

4. Test your FC again tomorrow. If it continues to climb, reduce your SWG output by 70% or so.....you are producing too much chlorine.
5. Did you Read "ABC's...." in Pool School? It will explain why you are testing and what the results mean.
6. What is your Calcium Hardness result? (CH)
 

Ralph III

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2018
128
Mobile, Al
UPDATE: I did test the pool today



Hello All,

I didn't test the pool today because it's been raining all day and may do so tomorrow as well. Should I go ahead and test it or will the rain mess up the results? I haven't performed a Calcium Hardness test because the instructions say it is mostly relevant to masonry pools? Should I be performing that test also?

Thanks,
Ralph
 

lightmaster

TFP Guide
Jun 22, 2017
799
Baxley, GA
Except the CYA test that needs sunlight, you can preform all the other tests. Make sure you get your sample from a foot or so under the surface of the water.

CH is still good to know in a vinyl pool. While it's not so important for the surface of the pool, if it's crazy high it can lead to scaling on your SWG cell.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,706
Central California
Respectfully, I plan to develop my CYA testing skills where I do all my testing: indoors, no windows, under a color-neutral, bright LED light strip. It's a 99% repeatable, comfortable environment, immune to the position of me or the sun, clouds, rain, wind, or any other variables outside. I know this is contrary to TFP CYA testing methods, but I'm going to give it a go none-the-less...
 

Ralph III

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2018
128
Mobile, Al
Ok, I tested again today (including Calcium Hardness) and this is what I got. Note, it rained most of the day but my sample was from one foot under the waters surface as usual. Red parenthesis was the last test results.

Chlorine = 5-10 (5-10)
PH = 7.2 (7.2)
FC = 11 (10.5)
CC = .5 (.5)
TC = 11.5 (11)
CH = 175
TA = 40 (40)
CYA = didn't test

Everything seems pretty consistent from the last reading. So is there anything definitive you can state from these numbers? I performed several of these tests twice to confirm, btw.

Thanks,
Ralph
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,829
Evans, Georgia
Hey Ralph, you're doing great. If you want to drop your pump run time OR drop down the percentage on the SWG you'd slow down that FC rise.

Some folks like to run the pump more because of the skimmer action keeps the surface clean. So dropping the % on the SWG makes more sense.

But if you want to save some electricity you can shorten your pump run time a bit. How long are you running it now each day?

Maddie :flower:
 

Ralph III

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2018
128
Mobile, Al
Hey Ralph, you're doing great. If you want to drop your pump run time OR drop down the percentage on the SWG you'd slow down that FC rise.

Some folks like to run the pump more because of the skimmer action keeps the surface clean. So dropping the % on the SWG makes more sense.

But if you want to save some electricity you can shorten your pump run time a bit. How long are you running it now each day?

Maddie :flower:
Hey Maddie,
Thanks! I think I will adjust the SWG slightly.

The pump is currently set for 8hrs a day by previous owner but I have been running it a little extra for some needed manual cleaning. We have some pollen and flower debris falling at the moment. I will soon be installing a VS pump so that should drop the expense of the current single speed pump.

Thanks for all the advice and support! I can use Pool Math to calculate what chemicals I need to add but can you tell me what my "goals" should be for each (Chlorine, PH, CC, FC, CH, salt, etc)? I do not know what the desired levels are in order to input that into Pool Math.

God Bless,
Ralph


P.S. We celebrated my wife's birthday today and our girls and their two cousins braved the 66 degree pool water to swim. They had a wonderful time...............
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,706
Central California
I can use Pool Math to calculate what chemicals I need to add but can you tell me what my "goals" should be for each (Chlorine, PH, CC, FC, CH, salt, etc)? I do not know what the desired levels are in order to input that into Pool Math.
Let a TFP expert guide you, but you can start familiarizing yourself with the numbers here.

Got smartphone? Download the Pool Math app. Start plugging in your test numbers and fooling around with the app. It's pretty self explanatory...
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,829
Evans, Georgia
Ralph, Dirk's got the right list in that link of suggested levels. I'd start there and as you get jiggy with the pool, you'll learn by experience what *your* pool likes best.

Being in FL with frequent rains sometimes you have to replenish your chemicals more than some of us in dryer lands. So testing is the only way to know what's going on in your pool.

Maddie <not an "expert" but some have called me a "know-it-all"...LOL> :geek: