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Pool Chemistry> Chlorine:  |  Intro  Testing  |  Adjusting  Chlorine Feeders  |  Salt Systems

Chlorine Testing

There are two ways to test for chlorine in a pool or spa. You can use either a test kit or test strips.  Typically, test kits provide more dependable readings.  Test strips can give a quick overall test, but are not as precise and can be sometimes confusing to use.

As always, read the testing instructions that are provided with the test kit and follow them very carefully.

Test Kits

There are three types of chlorine tests that are available on the market.

OTO (Orthotolidine) Test

The OTO (Orthotolidine) test is an older type of test kit that is not widely used any longer since DPD has become so prevalent.  OTO is a solution that turns yellow when added to chlorinated water.  The darker it turns, the more chlorine is in the water.  If the chlorine level is really high, then the sample will turn brown.

One benefit of this type of test is that it does not bleach out in the presence of high levels of chlorine.

The blue Guardex test kit is one example of this test. 

TEST PROCEDURE:  Fill the vial to the specified level with pool water.  Add five drops of the OTO solution and compare the color with the sample colors on the test vial.  Read and follow label directions on the kit.

DPD Colorimetric Test

The DPD test is the most common type of chlorine test that utilizes two reagents (test chemicals).  The DPD test solution will turn reddish in the presence of chlorinated water.  The darker it turns, the more chlorine is in the water.  If the chlorine level is excessively high (25-30 ppm or more) the color in the sample will bleach out and the sample will turn clear, making it look like there is no chlorine in the water!!  This is the one downside to this test. 

IF YOU SUSPECT THAT THERE IS CHLORINE IN THE WATER, AND YET THE SAMPLE TURNS UP CLEAR, DILUTE THE SAMPLE WITH THREE PARTS TAP WATER AND RE-TEST.  IF THE TEST SHOWS THAT THERE IS INDEED CHLORINE IN THE WATER, THEN CLOSE THE POOL UNTIL THE LEVELS COME DOWN TO BELOW 10 PPM.

The Taylor 2004 test kit is the most common form of DPD test. 

TEST PROCEDURE:  Fill the vial to the specified level with pool water.  Add five drops of R-0001, then add five drops of R-0002 and compare the color with the sample colors on the test vial.  If the color exceeds the 5.0 ppm color on the samples, then use the DPD Titration test to get a more precise reading.  If the drops of R-0002 turn red for a split second when they hit the sample and then turn clear again, then your sample is probably bleaching out due to extremely high levels of chlorine.  Close the pool until an exact reading can be obtained and the actual chlorine level in the pool can be brought down below 10 ppm.  Read and follow label directions on the kit.

DPD Titration Test

The DPD Titration test is a form of the DPD chlorine test that allows the user to get very precise readings on the chlorine.  Since the state pool codes specify a maximum of 9 ppm for the chlorine level, this test is necessary to demonstrate compliance.

The Taylor 2005 test kit is a common form of this test.  Actually the 2004 test kit can be converted to perform this test by simply including a vial of the chlorine titration powder.

TEST PROCEDURE:  Fill the vial to the specified level with pool water.  Add two "mini-scoops" of the titration powder and mix until it is dissolved.  Add R-0001 drop by drop until the color turns from red to clear.  Count the drops to determine the exact level of chlorine in the water.  Read and follow label directions on the kit.

Test Strips

Follow the instructions on the bottle.

 

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