Hello TFP folks! Greetings from Space City - Houston TX.
I am so glad to be here, learning & appreciate this site SO MUCH so far, it has been an absolute wealth of knowledge.. time now finally to share & ask (sorry if this is long! thanks in advance for reading!)
I have a 19000 gal plaster in ground pool, now w/ new 100% Quartscapes plaster, Tahoe Blue (as of January '15)
I've been lurking on the site since my re-plaster, but still stuck w/ the old pucks until just recently.
Last January after many cycles over the past few years of fighting mustard algae making a stronghold in my prematurely pitted plaster, I went for a replaster. Hired a "pro" to do an acid startup, brushed every day for 1+ months religiously.. was looking great. I rode a Ph vs TA roller coaster for a couple months (MA.. baking soda.. MA... baking soda.. ) and started finally settling down (~7.5-7.6 pH , 80 TA). CH I kept right around 200, the min.
About ~4 months in, I slowly started noticing some white spotting all over. It slowly appeared and would not brush out no matter how hard I tried. The quartzscapes manufacturer sent someone out to take a look. He theorized that I let my CH drop a bit too low and it was maybe pulling some calcium from the plaster , but that it was solidifying on the surface instead of making it into the water. He suggested that I should have been regularly adding some sequestrant (suggested Jack's Magic blue stuff) as anything/everything shows up easily on that Tahoe blue color (I should have thought more about that color maybe! it does look nice though).
The plaster installers agreed to do a free acid wash to clean it up (I just pay for my fill water :/). They finally did it about 10 days ago. They did an "OK" job, i can see lines where they power washed after the acid, and some scraping around the sides from their stiff brush i guess. I wasn't thrilled, I should complain, but at this point, it looks a lot better than it had before.. at least the color was back (no whitish film & spots), and i'm tired of them mucking with it, taking more of the plaster off & eating into the life of my new plaster (& maybe it's even worse if they touch it again).. anyway, w/ the color back & the water shimmering, it looks great.
Pool store said fill water had NO metals.. It was a very clear, but GREEN, so i wasn't "sure". I did a backwash, then added 2 qtz of the BLUE STUFF, got the calcium up to ~200 (a bit later I took it to ~240, spooked by the white scale, don't want to go there again), then waited a couple days to chlorinate as i didn't want to force any metal right back out with high chlorine level. I added 6 lb lf CYA using a couple of socks in the skimmers. It was gone in the morning, but i wasn't sure if it all slipped thru the holes in the toes . But seemed to measure about 30, so i assume mostly dissolved (i was surprised how fast). I assume that the ~6 lb should bring me to 40, so the next day I started a SLAM by bringing pH down to 7.2 (w/ some MA) & then bringing FC up to 16 using 8.5% plain clorox bleach. I kept it at 16 for a couple of days and got <0.5 CC on overnight test, so then let it come down to FC=5. TA was a stable 90-100, and pH ~7.6. That was 5 days ago.
Since then I've been adding bleach every day. It's hot Houston summer (~95 air, pool thermometer is on the way, don't have it yet) and the pool gets sun through the worst part of the day. The past 4 days I bring it to FC=5 before going to bed. It remains 5 in the morning, but at the end of the next day it's down at FC=1 and I have to add about 3.5 quartz each night to get back to 5. About every 2 days, the pH also creeps up (e.g. 7.7-7.8) so i knock it back down to 7.4-7.5 range w/ MA).
So I know it's early, I'm just trying to get stable. But does that seem normal to eat so much chlorine each day? 5 down to 1 FC every day & taking 3.5 quarts? On last read at the end of the day, CC = ~0 (imperceivable). I was wondering if my CYA really got up to 40, or if it's actually much lower, so I tested today and i can still "barely" see the dot when I fill (so i guess it's 25 or something <30). I had put 6 lb in and have done NO BACKWASH since I started (right after the fill).
It's been almost a week since I added the CYA, should I go ahead and add some more & try to get to a ~40 reading? Or is this all normal for hot summer day @ 19k gal pool to take 3.5 qt. of bleach per day?
My last reading today as the sun went down(w/Taylor K-2006 kit) was
FC = 1.2
CC = 0
TA = 80
pH = 7.7
CH = 260
CYA = <30 (hard to read)
The night before, about an hour after adding Cl and circulating, I had read FC=5 & pH a couple ticks lower (7.5). Now I should mention though.. the last few nights, on my FC i used DPD kit (not FAS-DPD) as i ran out of R-0871.. So the 1.2 is accurate (tonight I got more 871), not sure how close I was to the "5" in the last few days, but it was matching the top pink 'exactly' on the DPD. Tomorrow morning i'll check w/ the FAS-DPD for my "start of day" and "end of day" readings.
I'm not too confident on my ability to measure the CYA. Where can i get some reference CYA=50 solution? I checked Amazon, don't find it anywhere :/
I also really want to do BACKWASH to make sure no junk after i sequestered the water & went thru all the restart, but I want to be sure all my CYA is really dissolved so I had been waiting on it.
Any other advice is GREATLY appreciated, THANKS in advance.
BTW -- I'm determined to make pool store trips ONLY for COMIC RELIEF from here on out.. I did a read the several days ago at the "nearest" store which is typically ALL OVER THE MAP, they told me my TA is 200 (uh.. it was 90), CYA = 99 (huh?) and they flipped out about my phosphates (~2500) -- I said that's just my sequestrant , I have it in there on purpose, no worries.. blank look from the kid, huh? . Went straight to another store (just for more comedy I guess), and they were much closer to my readings, except they got much higher CA (60, which i don't believe).. except for my CYA accuracy, I'm very confident on the rest.
Let me know if any thoughts. Much appreciated & thanks for reading.
Greg (aka gerjman)