Today’s inquiry came to us from ‘Kishore’ who asked a question about a liquid test reagent that turned yellow when added to a sample of water containing chlorine-based water disinfection tablets.

Dear Sir, I mixed chlorine tablets(water purification Tablets) in water. my friend taken water in Test tube. mixed one drop of liquid then water color changed in yellow. what is name of that liquid. how to by that.please can sent details.

Hello, Kishore, and thank you for the inquiry about a liquid test reagent that turns yellow in the presence of chlorine. Based upon your description we suspect your friend used a chemical called ‘OTO‘ to perform the testing. OTO stands for Orthotolidine Dihydrochloride. It test for total chlorine (free chlorine plus combined chlorine collectively).

Pool test kit for total chlorine and pH
Pool Test Kit for Total Chlorine & pH
Using OTO and Phenol Red

You can find OTO in most pool supply stores, as it normally comes in the more basic pool water testing kits for total chlorine and pH, the two most commonly tested pool water quality parameters.

Many companies, including our own online store, also sell OTO & Phenol Red separately since they do tend to ‘go bad’ after a year once opened and exposed to air.

If you want to perform more precise chlorine concentration testing for free chlorine, the compound most people have the most interest in (usually) when attempting to determine if water has had the proper amount of disinfectant added to it, you will want to invest in a drinking water test kit that uses DPD reagents. ( What is DPD? )

For an even simpler means of testing the chlorine levels in water samples you may want to consider a product such as the SenSafe Free Chlorine Water Check, an EPA Approved method for determining free chlorine concentrations in drinking water, or the WaterWorks 2 Free & Total Chlorine product that uses the same free chlorine testing method as the SenSafe Free Chlorine Water Check and also includes a separate test area for total chlorine.

Want to know more about the differences between free and total chlorine? Check out an article called Free Chlorine, Combined Chlorine, Total Chlorine.

One more thing about OTO before we go: We have heard that some countries have outlawed its use due to scientists having evidence that it may cause cancer in humans… so check local laws before making a purchase!

We hope this helps!

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