Long time lurker first time poster after finally registering. Here is my story and I will try and keep it short(ish). Back in July my family and I got home from vacation just in time to find our pool drained below the skimmer, discharge hose on the pump blown, a pump that would do nothing, a GFCI breaker that wouldn't reset, and our once sparkling clear pool water extremely cloudy with a greenish tint. It was time for the fun to begin. I would soon realize even though I had grown up with a pool all my life I didn't know quite as much as I thought I did.
Replaced cheap pool store hoses with real piping and found the timer on the Hayward pump had shorted out. I then started with my 15 dollar pool store test kit and found the ph to be at least 8.2 (kit max reading) and CL at around 2ppm still. Fair enough, been thru cloudy and green tint before, I added 2 bags of shock, some muratic acid, and told the kids that I would have it cleared up in a day. A day later things look the same. Tested again, CL at max on my little test kit but PH fine. Took a sample of the water to the pool store and they verified CL at 10 (max their machine reads) and low PH(goes to show that the pool store isn't always right as I tested the PH 3 times after adding muratic acid and it was fine). This started my month long circle of vacuum, clean filter cartridge, shock, lather rinse repeat with an occasional addition of clarifier to try and get the suspended solids to be filtered out(so I thought at the time).
After a wasted month of getting things almost there just to have them go bad again I finally sat down one night and started reading. Pool school, then thread after thread after thread. I had made up my mind and realized I needed a real test kit. I headed over to tftestkits.net and ordered a TF-100 with the XL option as I like to test , and registered at TFP. Now the agonizing wait on the mail. Went and picked up 6 gal of bleach and I already had 3 gal of shock(which turned out to be too old and weak). The test kit was to arrive on last Thursday but it showed up a day early an Wednesday(things are looking up). I read thru all the tests and these were my initial results.
CH 450 (we are in the country on a well)
Used the pool calc and got the FC to 20. Tested every 2-3 hrs for the first day with it constantly dropping down to around 14. The dropping slowed over the day Friday and by Friday night things looked 100% better but not quite there. Again with the daily Vac and filter cleaning and running the pump 24 hrs a day. By this morning (Sat) the FC level had only dropped 1 and the best I could tell in the dark before work it looked really good. Saw the bottom nicely. When I got home this afternoon the pool is crystal clear. All in all it took the 6 gallons of bleach and 2 gallons of shock to bring things back to normal. Tomorrow I will run all the numbers again and post the results.
Moral of the story: Get a real test kit and real pool school. Without the TF-100 I never would have known that I didn't have enough FC to do the job.