Know Your Test Kit (AND It’s Limitations)!

In Tech Talk by Steve DonohoeLeave a Comment

The main “tool of the trade” that we use as pool operators is our test kit and testing instruments.

In our CPO certification class, we talk about and thoroughly explain, the four different methods of chemical testing that we perform in the field:  colorimetric, titrimetric, turbidimetric, and electronic.  

There are many different brands, models, and combinations of test kits and instruments available to us.  And every one of them is designed to fit into a specific application or set of applications – however, each one has it’s limitations.  For example: the reagent, phenol red, is used when testing pH,  but it is only able to check the pH between 7.0 and 8.0. The phenol red reagent will also give a false indication at a high chlorine level, appearing dark purple in color.  It could be mistaken for high pH when actually the pH could be below 7.0.

In our class, I suggest to the students that they really get to know their test kits and how to maintain and care for them to ensure correct testing results.  Any test kit is only as good as the pool tech’s knowledge about and correct calibration of these tools of the trade.  This requires studying the various applications in the field, doing a little research, and then selecting the proper test kit or instrument to best fit your needs.  Once you have selected your test kitget to know it well — by reading the instructions about proper testing and care of the instrument  (as well as the care of any reagents involved) — Just a little of your time to study and maintain these essential tools will not only ensure accurate testing, but make these your MOST valuable asset and reliable “tools of the trade!”

The weather was cool and beautiful for our Certified Pool Operator class this Thursday-Friday (July 14-15) at PoolCorp’s SCP-Riverside — so Elise and I enjoyed eating our lunch outside for a change.

During our visit, Elise had the opportunity to chat with Betty Davis, a 27 year veteran PoolCorp employee and Accounts Receivable Manager.  In addition to processing cash sales and invoices, Betty is also known as “the Candy Lady.”  She loves to decorate her office for Halloween — lots of spooks and goblins (a fake arm or leg hanging out of her file cabinets!) and with lots of candy everywhere! — definitely the place that kids (and adults?) want to visit!

Thank you, E.J., Kyle, and Mike for helping us make things go smoothly… and to Billie (for getting that AC repaired before our class!)


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