77 Transcript

077 Pinks and Blues: Testing Questions


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0:08.0

0:12.7

welcome to Scaling UP! H2O the podcast
where we’re Scaling UP! H2O on knowledge so

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0:18.4

we don’t Scale UP! our systems Scaling UP!
Nation Trace Blackmore here and we are

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0:24.8

doing answers from the audience of
course I call that pinks and blues this

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0:30.9

is where you write in a question to me
and I try to answer it the best that I

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0:35.9

can now I’m gonna go ahead and do
another show that’s all themed around

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0:42.4

particular types of questions and these
are all questions based on testing so

0:42.4

0:46.7

you’re out there you’re a water treat
you are trying to figure out what’s

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0:50.2

going on in the system and of course you
do that by your powers of observations

0:50.2

0:55.1

what do you see that’s different between
this time and last time from your visit

0:55.1

1:00.3

you get all of that information and now
you’re gonna grab a water sample and

1:00.3

1:04.3

you’re going to start testing it we
already know that we want to make sure

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1:10.3

that that water sample is not off of a
low-flow area that that water sample is

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1:14.9

indicative of all the water that is
floating around that is circulating

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1:20.0

around this system so we can get a good
accurate sample so we’re gonna assume

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1:24.8

that all of that has taken place and the
next thing we’re gonna do when we get

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1:28.7

into our test kit or even when we’re
taking samples especially when the

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1:32.4

samples are hot or they might be in a
dangerous location we want to make sure

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1:38.7

that we have all of our PPE in place
that’s personal protective equipment and

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1:44.9

what that does that protects us that
gives us a barrier for getting hurt now

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1:49.6

one of the things that I see far too
often that I don’t like is people going

1:49.6

1:54.3

into the mechanical rooms and they don’t
have hearing protection folks the

1:54.3

1:59.4

equipment in those mechanical rooms is
loud and if you know somebody that’s

1:59.4

2:05.1

been in this industry for a long long
time they probably have some sort of

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2:10.2

hearing loss let’s learn from their
mistake and make sure that you have

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2:15.2

hearing protection each time you go into
these rooms yes it might make it

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2:20.9

difficult for you to talk to your
customer yes it might feel different yes

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2:25.1

you might not
like having hearing protection on but

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2:32.0

wouldn’t you prefer all those
inconveniences to losing some or all of

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2:37.8

your hearing same thing with your eyes
folks make sure that if you are working

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2:43.4

as an industrial water treater you are
using eye protection it just takes a

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2:50.0

second for something to get in your eye
that could change your life permanently

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2:54.8

and then the last thing I’ll mention
about that is gloves folks if you’re not

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2:59.1

carrying around nitrile gloves with you
and I say nitrile because I’m not a big

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3:03.5

fan of latex a lot of people are
allergic to latex nitrile is very

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3:06.3

compatible with pretty much everything
that we would have in our industrial

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3:10.7

water treatment test kit if you are not
putting on gloves before you open up

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3:15.5

your test kit there’s just no reason to
take that risk and don’t think there’s

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3:20.8

not nasty stuff in that test kit because
you’re carrying it around if you get

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3:26.5

some of that stuff on you it is not good
so make sure you take care of yourself

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before you take care of anything else
now here are a couple of questions now

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3:37.2

that I’ve gotten off of my sScaling UP! H2O soap box that people have written in

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3:43.0

so my first question is from an earlier
episode and the person is asking about

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3:47.9

when iron interferes with a hardness
test and I’m sure we’ve all had this

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3:54.7

issue happen we just can’t get an
endpoint on our hardness tests so on an

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3:59.5

earlier show I shared a tip that
somebody shared with me and they were

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4:03.4

asking me to go back through that so Oh
fine I will do that so you’ve got

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4:09.1

different reagents in your hardness test
kit one you’ve got a buffer because

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4:15.1

we’ve got to bring that pH up to a
certain pH in order for the stuff to

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4:20.7

work then we have some sort of color
indicator that we add and that tells us

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4:26.8

when we’ve hit that setpoint typically
that goes from red to blue I think

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4:30.8

that’s where the term pinks and blues
came from and then finally we have an

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4:37.8

eID ETA ethylene diamine tetra sida Cass
that will simply cover up all of the

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4:42.3

hardness and when all that hardness is
bound up with that EDTA it changes the

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4:46.8

color and we can translate that into
parts per million well in this issue

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4:52.8

we’re just never getting there or it’s a
lot higher than we can back calculate it

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4:58.8

for it to be so what is going on with
that well nine times out of ten it’s

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5:03.0

normally because we have high iron and
there’s no mystery about that run an

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5:08.4

iron test and see how high your iron is
and if it is an iron issue you’ve got a

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5:12.7

couple of options with this anytime you
have something that’s interfering with

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5:17.5

your test you can always dilute that
interfere out so that’s why we carry

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5:24.5

deionized water in with our tests kits
is so we can dilute the sample and get

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5:28.2

whatever is interfering to a low enough
point where it’s not going to interfere

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5:31.9

with it and then we just need to
multiply however we diluted it back up I

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5:37.0

think I talked about that on an earlier
episode but in this specific technique

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5:43.1

what you’re doing is you’re adding one
drop of EDTA before you do anything else

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5:47.9

and you’re going to count that drop
later so when you start your testing if

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5:51.7

you put one drop in you’re gonna start
at two drops but what that does that

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5:56.5

starts to bind up any of those metals or
whatever the interfere is which in this

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6:02.3

case it’s iron in that test so it’s not
gonna interfere when we’re going after

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6:05.7

the calcium then we’re gonna run our
test exactly like we would before

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6:11.0

putting our buffer in putting our color
indicator in and then titrating with

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6:15.5

EDTA but again we’re gonna start with
the second drop or if you’re using a

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6:20.9

digital tie trader you’re not gonna
reset your dial in between preparing and

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6:26.4

that first drop so when you do that in
your procedure you should get to that

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6:31.0

end point a lot quicker and a lot
clearer so hopefully that will help you

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6:35.9

out another person ask a question that
can I just do this as part of my regular

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6:41.6

procedure well no I wouldn’t advise that
because you are deviating from how that

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6:46.1

test was developed and you’re doing that
because there’s a problem if you don’t

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6:49.3

have that problem
there’s no reason to deviate from your

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6:54.0

test methods remember every time you
deviate from the standard test method

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7:00.6

you’re adding another variable in that
could throw off your test if we change

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7:05.1

the dilution if we add DI water if we
change the order of reagent so those are

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7:10.7

all things that could potentially change
the end result of the final test so you

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7:15.0

don’t want to do that if you don’t have
to do that another person writes in and

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7:21.8

they ask why are they getting such bad
results on their sulfite and there was a

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7:25.4

long email that came with this instead
of reading the whole thing I’m going to

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7:29.4

sum it up basically they don’t have a
sample cooler on their boiler their

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7:33.9

sulfite results were always extremely
high and they figured they didn’t have

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7:38.2

any issues when they opened up that
boiler they saw pitting and that was

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7:43.2

oxygen pitting and if you’ve ever seen
oxygen pitting on a firetube boiler it

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7:48.8

looks like somebody took a shotgun and
just shot it that is exclusively what

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7:54.0

oxygen pitting looks like and they want
to know how could this be because they

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7:58.1

were running their sulfite tests and it
always said that they had plenty of

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8:01.6

reserve sulfite remember when we run a
test

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8:06.3

it’s the reserve that we have so we’re
not testing what’s already been used up

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8:12.2

it’s what we have to be used in the
system so I talked to this person and we

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8:18.0

found out that they were taking a very
hot boiler sample and then they were

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8:23.4

immediately testing for sulfite and
folks if you do this this is not

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8:28.1

following the procedure it specifically
says in the procedure that for sulfite

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8:34.4

you have to cool your test and the rule
of thumb that I’ve always heard is less

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8:39.1

than a hundred degrees and a good friend
of the show good friend of mine Mark

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8:45.7

Lewis he carries a special bottle where
he can cap and then throw in a bucket of

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8:50.5

ice if there is no sample cooler because
what’s going on there if you have a hot

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8:54.7

sample and you start doing the sulfite
test well folks that’s a starch test

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8:59.1

it’s a starch test and you put iodine on
it and then that’s what creates that

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9:01.1

black color
well the starch

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9:05.6

comes from potatoes so essentially what
you’re doing is you’re cooking the

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9:10.9

potatoes and there’s not enough starch
in there to react with the iodine and

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9:16.3

you’re thinking you have more sulfite in
your sample than you actually do very

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9:22.6

simple easy way for you to fix this
problem and it’s to cool your sample now

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9:28.1

I don’t understand why it’s not a code
that every single boiler have a sample

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9:33.1

cooler on it for heaven’s sakes
engineers look out for the water treater

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9:38.7

we don’t like it and burned just like
anybody else put a 200 dollar sample

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9:43.7

cooler on that boiler and just make them
standard and we would never have this

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9:48.1

problem but there’s so many boilers out
there that don’t have sample coolers my

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9:53.2

first recommendation is you sell your
customer a sample cooler but the thing

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9:58.2

that will work each and every time is to
make sure that your sample is cool and

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10:02.3

the hottest that the sample you ever
want in anything you test is a hundred

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10:05.9

degrees
normally room temperature is is the

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10:10.4

ideal but if it helps you a hundred
degrees is absolutely the hottest you

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10:14.4

ever want to get that test so once you
do that you’re gonna get a more accurate

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10:21.3

sulfite reading and folks don’t look at
your test as the end-all be-all of

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10:26.7

what’s going on in the system testing is
just one additional thing that you can

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10:32.9

do to grab more data from the system but
you’re using your powers of observation

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10:39.0

along with the testing when I talk to
this person there was no reason for him

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10:43.8

to assume that his tests were right
because when I looked at the logs of how

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10:50.4

much product was being used on a weekly
basis there was not enough sulfite based

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10:55.1

on the temperature of that water for it
to be that high so he should have

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11:00.6

immediately said I’m not feeding enough
product my test does not seem to verify

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11:04.4

that the little product that I’m feeding
is putting that much soft light in the

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11:09.7

boiler so that should have keyed him off
that there was a problem so use

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11:14.1

everything you have available to you
including your

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11:19.9

to verify your test and then you will be
able to use your test better and more

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11:24.9

effectively I’ve received several
questions around spectrophotometers and

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11:28.4

I’m really happy that more and more
people are investing in themselves

11:28.4

11:33.4

investing in their companies and they’re
using spectrophotometry and what that is

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11:38.7

that takes the guesswork out of what
color is that I might see red a little

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11:41.6

different than somebody else somebody
else might see blue a little bit

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11:45.6

different than how I see it
so what a spectrophotometer is is we

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11:50.7

prepare a sample it shoots a wave of
light into that sample and then on the

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11:56.1

other side of that it has a sensor to
see how much of that light was absorbed

11:56.1

12:02.0

and it translates that into parts per
million and the number one issue that I

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12:07.2

see with this type of equipment is that
it’s dirty folks if you put your sample

12:07.2

12:13.8

cells down on a dirty floor and then put
that dirty flask into your nice

12:13.8

12:18.9

expensive spectrophotometer well that
spectrophotometer is now dirty so I

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12:23.3

suggest that you have better habits on
how you handle your sample cells so they

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12:28.4

don’t get that dirty and I also
recommend that you clean those on a

12:28.4

12:33.4

regular basis the cruddy or your
glassware is the cruddy or your results

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12:38.3

are going to be but this person
specifically asked if you can use a DI

12:38.3

12:45.0

Blanc so they got di water in their test
kit and they want to use di as a blank

12:45.0

12:50.3

in their spectrophotometer instead of
using the sample water let me try to

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12:53.3

explain this a little bit better in case
you’re not tracking with what they’re

12:53.3

12:56.8

saying when you’re using a
spectrophotometer you have to put an

12:56.8

13:02.8

unprepared sample into the device shoot
the wave a light through it and now it

13:02.8

13:07.8

knows without anything prepared in the
sample so if I’m doing an iron test I’m

13:07.8

13:11.0

going to put something in there to
prepare it to test for iron it wants to

13:11.0

13:16.5

know in the absence of that what can it
expect to go through that water and

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13:22.5

somewhere in the water treatment
community we started using dummy samples

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13:27.9

to try to make our
less on those accounts so the answer is

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13:35.7

it’s not preferred because again you’re
using a deviation from the actual way

13:35.7

13:39.7

that the test was written or the
procedures were written but here’s the

13:39.7

13:45.2

short of it if you are testing say a
cooling tower or system that is just

13:45.2

13:50.5

perfectly clear you might be able to get
away with it what you need to be able to

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13:56.7

do is realize when you can’t and I’ve
looked at this and I’ve actually used

13:56.7

14:01.5

this technique awhile ago and what I
found was I didn’t really save that much

14:01.5

14:07.0

time if I had a repeatable procedure
where my muscle memory I didn’t even

14:07.0

14:12.9

have to think about how I was running my
tests I could do one sample blank and

14:12.9

14:17.4

folks it’s not that much more time
involved in pouring a sample blank than

14:17.4

14:22.6

it is to squirt in your DI bottle so my
advice to you is that you follow the

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14:28.4

directions the way that the directions
are written and with any test whenever

14:28.4

14:34.1

you deviate from that you are asking for
potential issues that you may not

14:34.1

14:40.3

realize that they’re there now if you
have a sample that you know without a

14:40.3

14:43.9

doubt that there’s no difference go
ahead and do it and if you’re curious

14:43.9

14:50.5

run both and see what the difference is
that’s the cool thing about our test and

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14:54.2

I get so many questions can I do this
what happens if I put this with that

14:54.2

14:58.8

well folks try it if you do want exactly
the way it’s supposed to be done and

14:58.8

15:02.3

especially if you have a sample where
you know what it’s supposed to be

15:02.3

15:06.5

testing has and then you run your
different ways of running the test

15:06.5

15:12.2

you’ll be able to find out very quickly
whether your hypothesis of making that

15:12.2

15:17.1

change will work or not so I hope that
helps and I want to thank all those

15:17.1

15:22.3

people for asking those questions to me
folks if there’s one thing that I can

15:22.3

15:28.5

leave you with is that your test kit is
a tool I have seen so many water

15:28.5

15:32.8

treaters get out of their car go into
the mechanical room spend the entire

15:32.8

15:37.3

time in
their test kit it write a report and

15:37.3

15:43.2

then they leave folks that’s not our job
but what we can’t hire is somebody that

15:43.2

15:48.7

understands all the aspects of water
treatment like the true water treatment

15:48.7

15:54.3

professional I’ll say it again water
treatment professionals use their powers

15:54.3

16:00.7

of observation to see everything that’s
going on in that system since the last

16:00.7

16:04.6

time that they were there they’re
looking at the equipment they’re

16:04.6

16:08.1

checking how much product was used
they’re talking to the people that are

16:08.1

16:15.0

on-site each and every day to find out
if there was a change and then after

16:15.0

16:18.9

they’ve already made an assumption of
what’s going on in the system that’s

16:18.9

16:25.3

when you get your tests out I already
know what my tests should be before I

16:25.3

16:31.7

even open my test kit and then I’m using
my tests to either verify or disprove

16:31.7

16:36.3

what I think is going on in the system
and then I’ve got to figure out the whys

16:36.3

16:42.1

of whatever I found out was going on
then I make those changes I talked with

16:42.1

16:45.6

a customer I make sure that any changes
that they need to help me with or be

16:45.6

16:51.0

aware of they are doing and then when I
come next time when I’m looking at

16:51.0

16:54.7

what’s going on in the system I’m
looking at the changes that I made last

16:54.7

16:59.5

time and make sure that all those
changes did take place and then finally

16:59.5

17:03.9

I’m running my tests and I’m hoping that
I see those positive results folks

17:03.9

17:08.8

thanks again for asking those questions
thanks for listening to Scaling UP! H2O

17:08.8

17:15.3

and if you have a question and you want
to get it answered on Scaling UP! H2O go

17:15.3

17:20.9

to Scaling UP! H2O dot com ask me your
question or you can leave me a voicemail

17:20.9

17:25.8

it folks if you do that I will give you
a t-shirt and you will be able to wear

17:25.8

17:29.8

that and you will be the envy of all
your water treatment friends but at

17:29.8

17:34.1

least make sure that you are asking me
questions because folks I’m doing a

17:34.1

17:38.3

weekly episode and I need all the
information that I can get have a great

17:38.3

17:45.2

week folks and I’ll talk to you next
time

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