We moved into our house towards the end of last summer. It's the first house we've had with a pool, and because of that neither me nor my wife had much knowledge of how to properly manage it. Like the previous owners, I relied on Leslies' (/boo /hiss) for water testing, chemicals, and some advice while I tried to figure out the pool and the best way to care for it. I didn't let them talk me into anything crazy, it was just your typical stuff (tri-chlor pucks and a shock powder every week or two). We didn't have issues with algae or anything, but I knew it wasn't the best way to go about things. The CYA and CH levels were high getting higher, and I knew the method of care was causing it. Since it was towards the end of the season I figured I'd wait until the next summer to get after it and do things a better way.
Since we're in Texas I didn't close the pool, but I didn't do a whole lot of water testing either. I ran the pump around 5-6 hours a day, cleaned skimmers, brushed, and added a jug of bleach every week or two (probably not the best of idea without actual testing). There were a couple of times I let a decent amount of water out due to rain and just trying to drain it some because I knew I had high CYA numbers, etc.
Since it's spring now it's time to do things right. I ordered my TF100 test kit last week and have done two tests since then. The results are listed below:
Date pH FC CC TC CH TA CYA Clarity 4/14/16 8.2 12.5 0.5 13 700 150 100 clear 4/20/16 8.2 6.5 0.5 7 550 120 95 clear
The first test on 4/14, I was immediately concerned with my pH levels. I didn't adjust them because I read that at high chlorine levels it can cause the pH test to be inaccurate. So my main focus was on getting the CYA and CH levels lower. I drained a good bit of water, probably 2-3 feet this past week and refilled with the tap water from the hose (city water) and a good bit of rain water. Obviously, I didn't drain nearly enough because they're both still quite high. Last week I used the method printed on the card for testing CYA and it was hard to see an accurate result. After a bit more reading this week used the diluted method for high CYA levels and I'm a bit more confident in it's accuracy. I added more of the solution until the dot had completely disappeared and all I could see was cloudy water with no outline of the dot.
Going foward, I'm thinking that my main focus should be more draining to lower the CH and CYA. Is that correct or should I lower my pH with muratic acid, then adjust my FC so it corresponds with the FC/CYA chart, and finally drain and refill to lower CH and CYA? Since I'm in Texas, would a CYA level around 50 be okay? Also, I know at some point this year I'll have to clean out the cartridge filters, but so far the gauge is staying under 10 psig. I haven't had to clean them yet, the previous owners said they cleaned them at the start of last summer.
I'll try to post a picture or two tomorrow afternoon to show the pool, water clarity, etc. I appreciate all the help and advice. Thanks.