First I'd just like to thank everyone who contributes to this site. Every single Google search that I did before joining led me directly to this site eventually and it has been extremely helpful to me as a new pool owner and helping me understand this mystery of pool care.
As the title suggests I am very new at this. I acquired my pool recently along with the purchase of a new home. I have included specifics in my signature. I'll start off with what I'm pretty sure anyone who wants to give me any advice would like to see first, test results. I'm using the Taylor K-2006C test kit. All tests have been duplicated using water samples from two different areas of the pool, both away from any returns.
FC = 0-.2 (very light pink at best when adding two scoops or more of the R-0870; 1 drop of R-0871 to clear)
CC = 0-.2 ( very light pink at best after 5 drops of the R-0003; one drop of R-0871 to clear)
pH = not exactly sure but it is below the 7.0 lower range of the test. I'm assuming somewhere in the six or so range because the color is just a bit yellower than the 7.0 on the scale. Performing the base demand test with a target pH of 7.5 required two drops of the R-0006. Using table D in the booklet that came with the kit I determined that I would need a little less than 1.28 pounds of sodium carbonate to bring the pH up to my target. That's actually the number given for a 20K pool and mine is actually 18K.
TA = 10
CH = 40
CYA = 0
Salt = 4400
As you can see all of my numbers are pretty low except of course my salt which is high. My thinking was that I should address this issue first by draining and replacing water as doing so after adjusting all the other chemicals would probably throw them all off again. I should mention that I discovered this salt level after getting a low salt reading from my SWG. It was showing a reading of 2200 ppm while a test at the pool store showed 4100 ppm. I came up with the reading of 4400 ppm after performing the salt test (ordered separately) from the Taylor kit. Long story short I discovered that my salt cell had a cord that was burned out and the salt sell itself had terminal that was burned out as well. I have a brand new salt cell and cord to install but have not installed it yet as I'm not sure when exactly I should install it during this process.
Aside from the salt, my primary concerns are my FC, my pH, my TA, and my CYA. From what I've read on this site it seems that I am due for a SLAM. However, I'm aware that I need to have my pH, CYA, and TA taken care of before trying to increase FC. I just need to know how to approach this and what to do first. I know that I need to increase my CYA but I also know that this will lower my pH. I'm not sure if I should be trying to raise the pH with sodium carbonate while adding muriatic acid to increase my CYA and if the two can be done simultaneously. I also know that my TA needs to come up so I would like some guidance as to which chemical to use to increase my pH. From what I've read, using sodium carbonate will increase my TA more than if I used borax to raise the pH.
I have stocked up on all required chemicals to make the necessary adjustments including 8.25% bleach, borax, and washing powder or sodium carbonate. As previously stated, I just need some advice on where to begin and in what order I should be addressing these issues.
I failed to mention this, but all of my targets for all chemicals are within the suggested TFP targets or ranges for SWG pools.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can provide any direction or advice.