Ok, so I just recently got a pool. Bought a new house about 6 months ago and have been messing with pool since about March time frame. At first I had no idea and followed the chemical companies suggestions. Pool wasn't bad, but wasn't good either. Seemed like I was always having to add something to counteract something else. It was a never ending circle. Then I found the BBB method on pool solutions and that lead me to here. To me, they are both the same thing with different names. Both are great sites and I have learned a lot about pools in the last few weeks. So heres the issue/deal.
I used a metric **** ton of pucks, "shock" and other chemicals in bottles to try and maintain my water. Well once I learned that was all worthless and I tested my water correctly (to the best of my ability at the time) my test strips (i know, they have been replaced) showed a CYA of about 300. First somewhat real test with an HTH 6-way kit just showed it well over 100. Didn't even reach half way to the 100 mark before dot disappeared. Yeah, it was that bad.
Fast forward to now. I have done several 20-30% water changes in the last 2 weeks. (Water table very high right now and can't risk doing more than that at a time) Here are my test results I have this morning after pool finished refilling overnight. Had pump on for several hours before testing.
First I tested my plain tap water.
Next I tested my pool water with a test strip and the HTH 6-way.
Test Strip HTH 6-Way
FC: 5 TC: 5-15ish (turned vived yellow)
PH: 7.5 PH: 7.2
TA: 180 TA: 150
TH: 0-100 TH: ? Couldn't get a reading
CYA: 100 CYA: Out of test liquid stuff
Now, I will say that I do have a Taylor k-2006 ordered and should be delivered tomorrow. So then I can do and actual real test with a good kit. I was glad to see that the test strip actually showed my test color to be a perfect match to the 100 whereas before it was pegged at the 300. So, it may still be high, but it is much better than what it was prior.
So finally to my questions. Since the HTH test kit only test up to 5ppm for TC and I was at that level and the test strip just measured 5pmm FC, should I add come CL now or wait till tonight? Read in the BBB and the TFPC that it is best to add CL at night. But since my FC may be low compared to my CYA, should I go ahead and add some now? Also, I have 2 bags of HTH shock left which is 56% cal-hypo. I was going to just discard them, but since they do add CL and will add some calcium to my pool that apparently I really need, but won't add CYA, is it ok to just add them now to help raise my FC and my TH? Or would it be better to just stick with plain liquid bleach?
Not sure if it matters or not, but for the past 2 weeks, my pool has been so crystal clear it was unbelievable. That was after at least the first 2 20-30% drains. Water temp was 92 before draining yesterday and was only down to 88 this morning after refill. (Water felt much much cooler, but thermometer only showed 3-4 degrees cooler) Since my water has been so nice and clear, I don't want to screw it up by letting CL drop to unacceptable levels. But, I don't want to add unacceptable chemicals (the HTH Shock) if that will contribute to poor water quality.
Any help will be appreciated. I have learned so much already, but know I have a long way to go still.