FAQ

USING THE KIT

SDS's are online here

Read all the Safety Data Sheets here

Of course we all practice good pool safety, so practice good chemistry safety as well. Read the SDS’s and make sure to treat the kits the same way you treat all pool chemicals – with safety in mind. 

Salt Test Note – The salt test contains silver nitrate which can and absolutely will stain skin and surfaces it comes in contact with. Read the SDS’s and Always Wear Gloves with these reagents. Whilst the drops are clear, the end result will be a very dark brown stain that is hard to remove. Ask Brett how he knows…. 

Instructions

Our kits come with full instructions. For the individual kits, they’re printed on the side of the box

For our Total kits, there will be a handy A5 booklet included with the kit that outlines everything you need. 

The booklet is printed on ‘water resistant’ paper which is the only imperfect science we allow in our kits ;) so we have a backup online in case the resistance fails. You can also use this booklet with all of our individual kits. The tests and instructions are identical. 

Clear Choice Labs Instruction Booklet

All of our instructions and some more detailed information is online on our blog here

What do the test numbers mean?

So you’ve run your tests and know that your FC is 2 and your CC is 1, your ph is 7.6 and your Calcium Hardness is 200. What now? 

There are two resources online we recommend for a Beginners guide plus a Beginners guide with Extras. 

The first is https://www.pooltestkit.com.au/ which is wholly owned and operated by us here at Clear Choice Labs. It’s a one stop place for advice and kit help – rather than attaching it to the main CCL site and making this place too busy. I like to keep the Labs site simple and as fast as possible for orders. 

The second is troublefreepool.com which is completely independent from us, you’ll see a lot of our customers and myself on their forums. They are affiliated with a kit seller in the USA but their forum, pool school and educational side etc are very thorough and trustworthy. I recommend everyone do Pool School (it’s a free online set of pages) to help you understand how our test kit can help you balance your pools chemicals. 

How much of X chemical does my pool need?

An excellent question, and once you’ve got the numbers from your test, there are some great resources to simplify the process. 

TFP Pool Calculator

This site lets you input your pool numbers and output exactly the chemicals you need – including concentrations and amounts. It’s built by TFP (troublefreepool.com) which is a widely trusted source for pool information. 

TFP have updated their setup with a PoolMath app, and why reinvent the wheel? So we didn’t try building our own app TFP have nicely let us link straight to theirs. 

Pool Math for Apple iOS

Pool Math for Android

There are numerous options online for pool calculators and pool chemical theories and best practices. We use Troublefreepool because our customers use them, and the site has always given us good advice for our pools. 

If you have a resource you think would go well in our list, please don’t hesitate to email [email protected] and let us know. 

pH test is hard to read

Yes, we agree! The colour can sometimes be difficult to pick. 

Tip one is putting a white sheet of paper behind the tube can often help, also holding the tube horizontally and looking at all the colours at once can make it easier. 

We have this picture of varying pH tests at different levels, which we’ve called the Rainbow Chart and it is popular with a lot of our customers. It gives some customers a bit more confidence that they’ve picked the right level. 

CYA test is hard to read

I personally couldn’t agree more with you if I tried to. The CYA test is so subjective – is the dot visible, is it not, how long do I look for, do I glance, do I stare, do I do a little dance? 

We have a post with pictures which will help you with some tips, tricks, and what the actual end result should look like – and more importantly shouldn’t look like. If this helps you, feel free to share it with your friends and tell them about our kits!

CYA Tests – Testing Tips!

How long will my kit last?

This depends largely on how you treat your kits (see ‘How can I make my kit last longer’ below), however we guarantee that properly stored kits will be working for at least 12 months after the date of purchase. Many people get much longer shelf lives.

 

How can I make my kit last longer?

Storage is everything. By storing your test kits properly, you can prolong the life of your kits. Here are some tips to help you maximize the life of your kit:

  • Find somewhere cool and dry to store it (in a pantry or linen cupboard is perfect).
  • Don’t store them in the fridge to protect it, the temperature fluctuations from getting them in and out of the fridge will do the kits more harm than if they had just stayed at room temperature.
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight – UV light will degrade your kit.
  • Don’t store the kits with chemicals used to treat the pool.
  • Both air and humidity will degrade the kits. Make sure that the caps are always replaced immediately, and that you don’t accidentally swap them.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR KITS

I have a Mineral or Magnesium Pool, which kit do I need?

Well there’s no simple answer I’m afraid. 

We’ve posted on our blog about this in the past – https://clearchoicelabs.com.au/2019/07/mineral-pools-and-clear-choice-labs-test-kits/ and it’s really a case by case basis. If you want to try it, we recommend really understanding how your pool uses those minerals and salts, and what other mechanisms it might be using. You can definitely buy a smaller test kit for a specific chemical, I’d recommend trying Chlorine and/or Calcium Hardness and if they work then you’ll find the other tests will most likely work with your pool as well. 

Unfortunately, mineral pools – and their even less standardised siblings the ozone system, don’t play well with chemical drop tests. The short answer is that they often introduce other chemicals in higher amounts, which throw out the chemistry of drop tests like ours and other chemical companies. 

I have an Ozone Pool, which kit do I need?

Ozone pools are outside the scope of our testing systems. Some of our tests may work on your water, however we can’t guarantee any of them due to the vastly different levels of chemicals produced by ozone pool and spa systems.

I would recommend you contact the manufacturer of the pool system and seek their advice to ensure your pool stays as designed.

Why wouldn't I just get my pool water tested for free at the pool shop?

You certainly could, but how much are your free tests really costing you? If you understand the chemistry behind the tests that the pool shop does, and understand the limitations and interferences that each test has, and are capable of interpreting the test results on your own, then perhaps the only reason not to use the pool shop’s service is the one of convenience. Are they always open when you need to test? Is it quicker to drive and park and queue than it is to do the test yourself at home?

However, if you don’t have that expertise, then consider the value of independent advice. While most pool store owners are well intentioned people who genuinely want to help, they are also trained by the companies whose products they distribute, and may lack the detailed chemical knowledge required for an accurate interpretation. Would you trust the health advice of a doctor, or the sales staff for a pharmaceutical company? Would you trust the financial advice of an accountant, or the sales staff of a bank?

We don’t sell pool chemicals at this store, so we have nothing to gain financially when we recommend what chemicals to add to your pool. When we sell you our kits, we back you with our experience, and teach you how to interpret your own results. Just get in touch with us, and we can give you truly independent advice.

Why don't you ship your kits in plastic waterproof boxes?

There are two main reasons. The first is that we want to reduce our environmental footprint and use renewable products wherever possible. The second, and arguably more important reason is that we don’t want to give you any temptation to mistreat your test kits. Your kits need to be stored inside, in a cool dark place, not out next to the pool filter or in a shed with extreme temperatures.

How long will my kit last?

This depends largely on how you treat your kits (see ‘How can I make my kit last longer’ below), however we guarantee that properly stored kits will be working for at least 12 months after the date of purchase. Many people get much longer shelf lives.

 

Do your reagents use Taylor Technologies chemistry?

Yes, with some caveats.

The chemical reactions that happen in our kits are they same that happen in the Taylor, Lamotte, and other kits. However, each manufacturer uses different sized tubes, and different nozzles on their dropper bottles, and this means that the amount of product required or added at each step may be slightly different. The concentrations of each reagent may therefore adjusted to suit the individual bottles so that the results (eg. free chlorine in ppm) are the same between kits.

This means that you need to exercise some caution when mixing reagents from different manufacturers, and our reagents are no different. For example, while you would get the same results using our reagents as the reagents from Taylor, you may not be able to mix the two in the same bottle as the concentrations are different.

Having said that, many of our reagents can directly interchangeable with the Taylor kits, and all are 100% compatible with the Taylor kits.

We have produced a full chemical compatibility chart for our reagents, so you can make the best decision for your situation.

Do you have a reagent compatibility chart?

Yes – we have a chemical compatibility chart for our reagents, so you can make the best decision on kit refills for your situation.

Do you sell TA/CYA/some other kind of test kits?

Yes! We a full range of kits that have everything you need to keep your pool clean and cyrstal clear.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT TESTING

Where should I do the testing - inside or outside?

Inside, but somewhere with good light. Many tests will simply be easier to see if you’re sitting inside, in which case doing them inside is simply a preference. However tests that rely on turbidity, such as the CYA tests, will give inaccurate results if performed in strong sunlight. Because of this, and the fact that the kits should be stored inside anyway (see above), we recommend that you perform your testing indoors.

Does it matter how I take the sample?

Absolutely. For chlorine samples, you should wait until at least 1 hour after any addition of chlorine. The sample should be taken away from the inlet valves, at a depth of at least 30cm. Basically, just make sure you go into the water up to your elbow, and you’ll be fine. This is particularly important after rain, where fresh water can layer on top of the salty water of pools.

How often should I be testing my pool?

This is a question that has a simple but not satisfying answer – which is that you need to test it as often as required. For our salt-water chlorinator fibreglass pool with automatic pH adjustment, we are only testing once a month or less over summer. If we see something looking a little off with water clarity – we test. During winter, we do not test at all. Other pools, such as vinyl pools using liquid chlorine, may require daily testing. Pools that are fighting an algae infection will need testing multiple times per day. Really, it just depends.

CUSTOMER SERVICE QUESTIONS

Why should I buy kits from you?

Because we try to make your life easier in a number of different ways. Firstly, we know what we’re talking about – we work with the best chemists in Australia and New Zealand to ensure our products work on this side of the world. We too have experienced the frustration and confusion of misleading advice from pool stores and test kit companies. So we try hard to minimize your confusion and frustration:

  • our kits have super clear, easy to follow instructions.
  • we keep information about each batch of kits we make, and regularly test their accuracy, even past their use by date.
  • extended instructions are available online.
  • our service and assistance is second to none – just try us.
Do you ship via regular or express post?

Express Post shipping all the way! There’s a couple of exceptions – for example if you only need to buy a couple of microscoops we’ll put your order in a regular envelope. Any reagent orders will be shipped Express Post inside Australia – we want those reagents spending as little time in hot warehouses and vans as we can.

AusPost’s backend charges very different prices depending on who what and where, so we just charge you a set amount which is less than the usual cost. We’ll absorb the difference in our overheads to make life easier all round. 

If you order above a certain dollar amount you get free Express shipping included, so stock up! 

Do you ship to New Zealand?

 

Yes we do, check out the Shipping page for more information.

How long until my order arrives?

We aim to post your order on the same or next working day but please allow 2-3 business days during peak times of the year. We use Australia Post to ensure that even the most remote locations of Australia have access to reasonable shipping costs. Estimated times for shipping can be found on Australia Post’s website using this link: http://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/domestic-delivery-times.html

If you haven’t received your order in a timely fashion, please contact us at [email protected]

Can I get a refund?

Probably. Check the Refunds and Returns Policy.

We’ve been in the business of testing pools for a while now, and we’ve found our most common refund reason is because the pool is not a standard type. The vast majority of household pools and spas have Chlorine or Saltwater based systems. A small number of pools and spas use “mineral salts”, magnesium or ozone systems. Most test kits won’t work with these pools so please contact us first if you have questions. If you’ve bought our kit not realising your pool is the other sort, email us and we’ll help you out.

I need some help with my kit.

No problem. Just call or email us at [email protected], and we’ll happily lend you a helping hand.

YOUR QUESTION NOT ANSWERED?

No problem. Ask us a question at [email protected], and we’ll send you the answer and update this page.