I've had our pool (15k-ish gallons I think, a backyard play pool type that gets maybe 5-6 feet deep max) for almost 3 years now and it was easy to maintain for 2 of those years. Now it seems impossible to keep it clear.
I've talked with some pool guys, and one eventually recommended draining out half the pool if possible, which i've done, but now I think I need to slam it since I tried to add chlorine, but it still got green again.
I think I need to do the following (but please correct me if wrong):
1) Take some water to pool store to test CYA so I can know that level.
2) Buy a better Chlorine test (mine goes up to 5.0) so I can monitor FC and CC levels during a shock. Anyone know of a good inexpensive one for this? Money's a concern, especially with the amount of chlorine I may have to buy.
3) Possibly buy stabilizer depending on CYA level?
4) Use pool calculator to figure out what FC Chlorine level I have to get above.
5) Shock early evening, test before bed (add chlorine if needed), test in morning, test after work, etc.
Is that what has to happen? We've had some medical issues that added some bills, so can't just go crazy spending lots of cash on expensive test kits and things. I also wonder if it may be worth finding a pool guy to come out and get the chemicals right, but I'd have to call around and see what that would cost.
Any input? I just want to make sure that I understand the entire process, because I don't want to waste money on chlorine that disappears into the pool abyss. We'd just like the pool available to use, and I can keep it going once it's at a point where it's not so fragile.