I'm still a newbie with taking care of my pool/spa. This will be our third year as pool owners. The first year, I let a pool service take care of everything. Last year, I had them open and close and come every other week while I took care of the pool every day they weren't there. Learned to check the chemistry daily and keep chemicals balanced. This year, I hope to have them only open and close and periodically come to wash my filters as I do not have time to do it.
So as the weather seems to have turned the corner and we are now on a stretch of mid 70's-80 degree temps, I decided to check on the spa today. It is about 500 gallons, separate from the pool, located about 20 feet away and is above ground, but shares the same filter as my pool. There is a retaining wall on one side and due to the raised wall, the only type of cover available for it is a vinyl? covered padded foam that sits on top of the surface. It does a terrible job keeping debris and excess water out because the size of the cover is about 2 inches smaller than the circumference of the spa. So I pull off the cover today and find a nice algae ring at the surface line which by the way had risen to the skimmer level due to the snowmagedden storm we had this winter and the water is a greenish brown color and is full of leaves and debris. I cleaned out as much of the debris as I can and drain the water back down to below skimmer level. But it's still gross and stinky. I mean real stinky. So I end up just draining out everything with a water pump and scrub off as much as algae as I can and refill with fresh water back to below skimmer level. So at this point, what do I do and what chemicals do I add to keep it in good enough condition until May when I have it opened? On a similar note, should I check my pool water while I'm at it? I have a solid cover on it, but it, too, has a raised wall on one side so the cover comes up along the wall and although I imagine that it keeps most debris out, I think some rain/snow and maybe small debris does manage to sneak in. What should I look for and how do I keep it balanced at this point in the season? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!