Step 2 Taylor Calcium Hardness, No Red

by Richard Knight
(Panama City Beach, Fl)

I test calcium hardness weekly in the following

water venues using Taylor Test Kit:

  • 300,000 gal outdoor pool (about 70 deg)(Accutabs)
  • 23,000 gal heated indoor pool(86 deg)(Trichlor Sticks)
  • 4,100 gal outdoor heated spa (100 deg)(Liq Chlorine)
  • 1,000 gal indoor heated spa (100 deg)(Liq Chlorine)

    All testing with normal results (no testing issues) until today. When testing for Calcium Hardness today, not one test sample turned red when adding the R-0011 in step 2 of the test. (20 drops R-0010 1st step)

    Chlorine, Total Alk, and pH within normal limits on all test. I used 4 different sets of Taylor Reagents and got the same results with all of them: on step 2 the sample stayed a yellowish ..bleached out color. NO Red at all on Step 2. Been testing for 3 years, never seen anything like it. I am stumped. Any ideas?

    Thanks for the question Richard

    It's a shame you're not closer. We just moved to Palm Harbor a couple of months ago and are buying a house in Clearwater. At any rate...

    First, I'd tell you to watch the Trichlor sticks on the 23,000 gallon pool. They're constantly adding CYA to the water and it will creep up if you're not careful. Once the CYA gets high, above 70ppm, it'll be time to do a partial drain and refill.

    Now for the hardness Reagents. I have my personal pool test kit out right now.

    20 drops R-0010 first and swirl correctly, but you're probably doing that already.

    I know for a fact that pools can't change overnight. It does seem strange that last week you got a hardness reading, then the next week, nothing. Something had to have happened in that time that would precipitate the change. I gather from the question that you tested the water with four different kits and you got the same results.

    The chances of having the same negative results with four different kits is remote,
    in the extreme.

    On the 300,000 gallon pool with the Accutabs, you're referring to the cal. hypo. system? This will raise the hardness as well because you're constantly adding calcium to the pool which will in turn raise the hardness level.

    How old were the Reagents? If they're over a year or two it might be time to replace them.

    If you got proper readings last week but didn't get any readings this week, I'd ask if the hot tubs were drained and refilled. Check with your local water company and see where they are running the hard water levels. In Oregon the CH is about 2ppm and here in Palm Harbor it's 300ppm. Big difference.

    Let's say you have high hardness fill water. One trick you can do is to fill the large vial up to the 25mil. mark with pool water then fill up to the 44mil. mark with distilled water and swirl to mix. Pour out the water to the 25 mil. mark. What's you've just done is dilute the hardness by half. Then run the hardness test.

    If the pool water is extremely high you might be able to get a reading. If you do get a CH reading it means the pools and hot tubs are high in CH and a partial drain and refill will be needed.

    Try that and see how it works for you. Let me know how it turns out.

    To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Calcium Hardness" category.

    Check back to this post for updates or answers.

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    Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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    May 02, 2013
    Problem Solved: Bad Chain Of Events
    by: Richard Knight

    I took a sample of our 23,800 gal htd indoor pool
    and also our 291,500 gal outdoor pool and had
    them tested off property today, and got a nice
    printout of a thorough water analysis.

    Our Outdoor pool contained 300ppm calcium chloride
    The Indoor pool contained 150ppm calcium chloride.

    Even though we knew that we had recently added 300lbs of calcium chloride flakes to the outdoor pool, out tests yesterday were all skewed by the
    fact that we had 1 bad R10 in our daily usage test
    kit, a bad R11 in one of our spare test kits, and
    a bad R12 spare kept on the shelf.


    Plus, I did clean the comparator that I had been using for the testing. After purchasing a new supply today of R10/11/12, we then manually tested the main pool and the indoor pool again against the off property testing done earlier.

    The results were very close in all aspects. They had a 325ppm on the outdoor pool and a 140ppm on the indoor pool. We then tested every one of our R/10/11/12s which amounted to 11 test to find the three bad reagents through the process of elimination.

    Bottom line, keep an eye on the age of your reagents. And in my case, I am going to reduce the amount of reagent that I have on hand, so that we can reduce shelf life, at least on our end.

    Hope this helps someone in the future.

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