TA Water Sample Did Not Turn Green With gtts Added

by Sharon
(St. Louis, MO.)

We are opening new Above Ground Pool, 13,500 gal. I use shock and Cl is 2 with HTH test kit pH is 7.5. When I add alkalinity gtts the sample does not turn green. What does this mean?

We have very hard well water. No cya added yet.

Thanks for the question Sharon

HTH kits are great for beginners but eventually you'll want to move up to a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 kit. This is the best one and will give you the most accurate readings. And that's what you're after.

2nd, if you don't have any CYA after testing (reading is 0 ppm) I'd encourage you to stop using regular chlorine and use Dichlor. Shock the pool with Dichlor chlorine. This is a stabilized form of chlorine. Once you reach the 30 - 40ppm CYA mark, stop with Dichlor and go back to regular liquid chlorine. If you're using regular chlorine without any CYA the chlorine will get used up very quickly. The range for CYA is 30 - 50 ppm.

Be careful when using Dichlor as the CYA can get out of hand quickly. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Dichlor, you'll raise the CYA by 9ppm.

If you have hard water, above 100 ppm or so, never use chlorine granules/calcium hypochlorite. You're adding too much hardness to the water and it will rise very quickly. Use liquid chlorine.

For the HTH TA drops, be sure they're fresh and not from last season. Drops go bad quickly if they're not used up.

An orange color of the OTO test indicates a fairly high FC level. A higher than normal chlorine level could bleach out the calcium test. The colors are more like pink and pastel blue under the best conditions.

The above reasons are why I just don't trust the HTH 6-way test kit. They sell them at Walmart.
Again, your best bet is to get a Taylor K-2006 kit.

Have you had your water tested at a local pool store? This is a good way to compare what you have. Take a water sample in and have them test with the K-2006 kit, then test with your HTH kit and see if there's a difference. Many times it's the drops and not the operator.

Also get your water tested for metals. Well water is very bad for copper and iron. If it comes back positive for metal, which it probably will, you'll need to get a metal sequestrant. Those that are based on HEDP, phosphonic acid and/or its derivatives are the most effective.

Some popular brands are Jack's Magic Blue, Purple, and Pink Pink Stuff, Metal Magic, Metal Free, & Metal Klear.

This is normally not a one shot deal. A metal sequestrant does not remove metal from pool water. It holds it in solution until it can get filtered. Then you backwash the metal out. Metal sequestrants break down over time and get filtered and backwashed out so you might need to add a bottle once per week.

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

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

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Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


Submitted by: Sharon
June 04, 2013


Thank you so much Robert. I put the akaline drops in backwards! Still the TA is 360. I have ordered the Taylor kit and am taking sample of H2O today.

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Jun 04, 2013
by: Sharon

Thank you so much Robert. I put the akaline drops in backwards! Still the TA is 360. I have ordered the Taylor kit and am taking sample of H2O today.

Jun 22, 2014
Pool Alkalinity Test Pink & Orange
by: Barb

I'm using a bio guard test kit. My alkalinity test starts at the color orange as it should, but as I add the #3 drops, instead of turning pink or orange, the water turns clear.

Does this mean my pool is extremely low in alkalinity?

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