Tips and Tricks

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
Thanks so much to the people suggesting using hairnets in the skimmer. I cannot believe the crud those things collected! We have a major amount of carpenter ants, and their bodies are perfectly sized to get stuck in my skimmer basket, making me sit there and poke them all through in order to get the thing clean. It would take me 5-6 minutes just to clean the skimmer! Now it takes me about 30 seconds to replace the hairnet with a new one. Not to mention all the pollen it collects, and other junk that would have certainly caused me to do major backwashing. Such a simple but effective tip!
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
501
Phoenix
Want to measure the amount of muriatic acid you are putting in the pool, but don't want the added risk of pouring it into a measuring cup?

Take one of your empty muriatic acid bottles and fill it up with water to where a full bottle is normally filled. Then pour 8 or 16 oz out at a time, marking the water line with a sharpie after each time. Do this until the bottle is empty. Now you can line that bottle up to your current bottle of muriatic acid as a measuring guide.
 

atttech-2

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
1,187
Central Valley CA
Want to measure the amount of muriatic acid you are putting in the pool, but don't want the added risk of pouring it into a measuring cup?

Take one of your empty muriatic acid bottles and fill it up with water to where a full bottle is normally filled. Then pour 8 or 16 oz out at a time, marking the water line with a sharpie after each time. Do this until the bottle is empty. Now you can line that bottle up to your current bottle of muriatic acid as a measuring guide.
Before I got my Stenner hooked up I did exactly that but then cut out the section I marked and use it as an overlay for transferring the markings to a fresh bottle. Since the brand I by never changed the bottle type worked like a charm for both MA and chlorine
 

spinPHD

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2017
501
Phoenix
Before I got my Stenner hooked up I did exactly that but then cut out the section I marked and use it as an overlay for transferring the markings to a fresh bottle. Since the brand I by never changed the bottle type worked like a charm for both MA and chlorine
That's genius! Going to work on my knife skills tonight and do this. Thanks
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
583
Upland, CA
Colorblind or have trouble with the calcium hardness test anyway? Get yourself a pair of red laser enhancement glasses. When you wear the glasses the test goes from clear to tinted instead of reddish to bluish. You need bright light and a white background, though. This should work for any test involving red.
 

DallasSocFan

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2012
50
Dallas, TX
Instead of shaking your test tubes to get the meniscus perfect, find an old object you can insert into the tube to displace the perfect amount of water to get you to the testing line.

I use an old butter knife to get the perfect measure for the pH test. For the other tests, I use the Taylor samplesizer.

Perfect measurements, every time, quickly, and with no effort.
 

drharris

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2016
275
Walhalla, SC
Instead of shaking your test tubes to get the meniscus perfect, find an old object you can insert into the tube to displace the perfect amount of water to get you to the testing line.

I use an old butter knife to get the perfect measure for the pH test. For the other tests, I use the Taylor samplesizer.

Perfect measurements, every time, quickly, and with no effort.
This is a good tip, and reminds me of what I do. I use a small medicine dropper syringe (the kind you can find in children's medicines) to remove water to get the sample size perfect. I rinse it in my pool water first in case it contaminates the sample otherwise.
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
583
Upland, CA
Instead of shaking your test tubes to get the meniscus perfect, find an old object you can insert into the tube to displace the perfect amount of water to get you to the testing line.
Am I misunderstanding? The point of filling to the line is to have the appropriate volume of water. If you're a tad low and insert an object to "push" the water up to the line, you don't have the correct volume.
 

DallasSocFan

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2012
50
Dallas, TX
Am I misunderstanding? The point of filling to the line is to have the appropriate volume of water. If you're a tad low and insert an object to "push" the water up to the line, you don't have the correct volume.
Yes, I guess I wasn't clear. Either the knife or the Taylor samplesizer work by displacement.

Fill the tube *completely* with water. Put in the object. It will overflow and spill out. Remove it. Your meniscus will be perfectly on the line.
 

DallasSocFan

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2012
50
Dallas, TX
Yes, I guess I wasn't clear. Either the knife or the Taylor samplesizer work by displacement.

Fill the tube *completely* with water. Put in the object. It will overflow and spill out. Remove it. Your meniscus will be perfectly on the line.
In other words, the volume of the tube minus the volume of the object is the exact sample volume you need.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
The water volume really doesn't matter for the pH or Oto tests. The Hue will be the same but the saturation might vary a little bit. In fact some people find matching the pH test colors easier with fewer or more drops.
 

sbcpool

Well-known member
Mar 10, 2015
583
Upland, CA
Yes, I guess I wasn't clear. Either the knife or the Taylor samplesizer work by displacement.

Fill the tube *completely* with water. Put in the object. It will overflow and spill out. Remove it. Your meniscus will be perfectly on the line.
Seems like it would be difficult to find an object that displaced exactly the capacity of the tube minus the desired sample size.
 

DallasSocFan

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2012
50
Dallas, TX
I just happened to have an old butter knife that works perfect for the pH test.

However, I'm betting you could go to Home Depot and find the right combination of a long bolt with nuts, and washers to get it just right.

In any case, the Taylor samplesizer is perfect for all of the other tests besides pH and you can buy it online.

Taylor 6190 - Samplesizer, 10 & 25 Ml, Anodized Aluminum (For 9198) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004BGFVA8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_spvqzbTTND4D1
 

atttech-2

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
1,187
Central Valley CA
sample sizer is the easy way to go, but I have an idea how you could build your own.

Disclaimer: I have not tried this so if someone does let us know how it goes

Get a bold that is slightly smaller in diameter than the test tube and about 1.5 times as long and a couple of nuts. Thread both nuts all the way to the top of the bolt. Fill the test tube with the correct sample size and slowly lower the bolt in the tube until the sample is about to spill out. Lower the first nut to the rim of the tube so the bolt is held at the correct level, then lower the second down to lock the first in place. Adjust as needed until perfect. My only concern is if the threads of the bolt will trap enough of the sample water to produce inconsistency's I suppose most of the threads could be ground off after the nut is threaded on for those who have a bench grinder of dremel.

Edit: DallasSocFan beat me to it guess I have to skip the patent pending :laughblue:
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,511
Tucson
Grinding the treads would change the volume more than the retained water you are trying to eliminate. One caveat when using the SampleSizer, you must use only Taylor test vials. It will NOT work with the TFT ones.
 

atttech-2

Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 24, 2015
1,187
Central Valley CA
I was think of grinding most of the threads but still leave enough for final adjustments to compensate for the loss of the threads but point taken probably more work than its worth.
 

Maestro

Silver Supporter
Jul 21, 2015
135
Cape May Court House, NJ
I recently bought a small squeeze bottle with a pointy nozzle (like a ketchup bottle in a diner, but smaller and clear). I fill it with pool water then squeeze the water into the test tube until it hits the 10ml or 25 ml exactly. Then I put the little magnetic spinner in (I'm using a SpeedStir) and I'm ready to test. The bottle holds 1 cup of water which is plenty for the 5 or 6 tests I do in a session. I got it at a kitchen supply store. Great timesaver!
 

Razorhog

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2013
711
Northeast Arkansas
I recently bought a small squeeze bottle with a pointy nozzle (like a ketchup bottle in a diner, but smaller and clear). I fill it with pool water then squeeze the water into the test tube until it hits the 10ml or 25 ml exactly. Then I put the little magnetic spinner in (I'm using a SpeedStir) and I'm ready to test. The bottle holds 1 cup of water which is plenty for the 5 or 6 tests I do in a session. I got it at a kitchen supply store. Great timesaver!
Now that's a good idea. Still have to get your arm wet up to the elbow to get the test water, but only once! And I hate when I pour out just a little bit too much and have to dip again.