Water Lab Programs

Thursday, September 25th, 2003

We are continually trying to make our water lab faster, more accurate, easier to use, and easier to understand.  If you use Target Pool Chemicals, or if you buy your chemicals somewhere else and just use us for the free water testing, you should now find your printouts easier to read.  We have added a third program that will give you answers using Target names – which match Target chemicals exactly and are more easily translated to whatever you may be buying at some other store.  We printed out every chlorine and bromine pool from the other two programs and typed them into the new one, so we won’t have to ask you new information when you come in.  We have also rewired to a server in our electrical room instead of networking to the CPU at Water Lab Three.

Ever wondered why we ask you what chemical and brand you use before we start your test?  We are trying to make things faster and easier for you.  Here’s how it works.

First, there are two aspects to doing your test:  the lab equipment (the actual test) and the program (your answers and the printout).  There are three general kinds of pool water lab equipment, though there are a wide variety of qualities within each kind. Water Lab Equipment

Wet tests, such as the equipment we use at Labs One and Two, are slow but are the most accurate in principle.  They generally involve mixing various liquid chemicals (reagents) to match color changes.  The two labs that we use are the industry gold standard in quality.  However, their accuracy varies widely depending on the lab technique of the technician doing the test.  They also cause the most chemical residue to be dumped into the sewer or septic system.  We stopped using these labs for your tests in October 1999 when we moved to Amherst.  We now use Labs One and Two for specialized tests done by appointment by only one or two of our best technicians.  Normally we are using them to research unusual problems.

If you use Bioguard, and you are having a test done at an average Bioguard dealer (smaller than us, only one lab), and Bioguard is the only chemical sold by the store, you should be comfortable with their strip test.  Bioguard dealers are the best trained, and that kind of dealer has lots of practice with the reader.  At our lab, if you want Bioguard the whole way, we’ll be happy to do so.  However, most of our customers use Baquacil, so we only use the Bioguard strip reader on less than 5% of our tests.  Feel free to ask the technician to do your test the hard way:  run your test on our UDV lab, write down the results (the UDV reader cannot transmit to the Bioguard program), and then manually input your results.  You get the advantage of the Bioguard printout with the lab equipment that we know best.

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