I got my pool last year and the folks here helped me get things ready for my daughter's birthday party. Thread link here:
Need help balancing water for daughter's birthday party in 2 days
We closed our pool last year, had a winter cover, and opened it up this year about a month ago. The water was clear when we opened it. I re-did my sand filter replacing all my fingers and adding new sand. I replaced my permasalt system chamber. We filled it up and started to try and balance the ALK and PH. My copper reading was at zero when the pool was full. Within 3 days it went up to a 5ppm rating based on the copper test strips. We then added the bucket of preparate for the permasalt system. After this the ALK and PH went off and we have been struggling to get it under control since.
Preparate link: Free Shipping on Perma Salt Preparate | Pool Supplies
On top of that there is some type of brown stuff at the bottom of my pool. I've talked to the place where I bought the pool and they thought it was most likely iron so we added 4 bottles of iron remover. This has not cleared up the brown substance, which looks like a silt. Our copper level went down to zero and has not come back up (maybe iron remover related?). The permasalt system has been on the max setting (8) for over 10 days and it has not increased. The pool store tells me to add muratic acid to lower the ALK, which in turn hammers the PH down. The ALK gets low enough and we add PH plus as instructed and the PH doesn't move or barely moves up. The ALK also goes up some from this.
I've asked about the brown substance and if it isn't iron they said it could be brown algae. We have tried to suck up the brown substance with our robot cleaner but it just seems to get moved around. The pool store instructed us to connect a hose to our pole with a brush and suck it into the sand filter, then backwash it. We did this a few days ago. All of the brown was gone and the backwash was pretty dark (about one month of filter time prior to this, first of the year). The brown substance returned within 24 hours, not has heavy as before, but still on the bottom of the liner in different spots around the pool, mostly the outside.
We were told to re-balance the chemicals then try liquid chlorine to see if that helps clear the brown stuff and also brings the copper level back up. We've been adding muratic acid a gallon at a time (20ft round, 54" deep, ~13500 gal) and PH plus by the pound as much as 5 lbs at a time with not much movement. We have a digital tester that shows chlorine, alk and ph. My last test with that showed the following:
Our copper test strip shows the copper level at 0 ppm. It never has increased regardless of the setting on the device. I'm not sure if it the water, or a defective chamber, or device. To be honest we are getting so frustrated with that permasalt system that we are talking about replacing it with a Compupool CPX16-AG Salt Chlorine Generator. We have a Heat Siphon Z575HC heat pump on order, which should arrive sometime next week. I'm trying to get my water fixed before it arrives. Last year, the forum seemed pretty clear on not using the digital testers, or test strips, and instead using a proper kit. I ordered a TF-100 today to use for this.
CPX16-AG link: CompuPool Salt Chlorine Generator | CPX16-AG
Z575HC link: http://heatsiphon.com/Downloadables/...hon.Z575HC.pdf
For now, I used the HTH 6 way test kit from Walmart to get these ratings to share:
Total Chlorine/Total Bromine: 0
PH: 6.8 or lower (6.8 is lowest on the test vial)
Total Alk: 150
Total Hardness: 250
CYA: less than 30 (probably close to zero, water was barely cloudy)
For now, I'm looking for advice on what to do next. I'm pretty sure if I go to the pool store they will just tell me to add more acid the more PH plus until my credit card maxes. I'm finding less confidence in their assistance. It also concerns me that they have no explanation for the brown substance or why the copper level won't increase. They did say if it was brown algae I would need algecide but to wait until its fully balanced and we do the bag/bottle weekly treatment before trying to put that in there.
I tried to take some pictures of the pool and the brown substance with my phone. I'll try to upload those and link them. I'm not sure the brown substance shows up very well.
Pictures uploaded into an album here showing the pool, equipment, and images including zoomed in of the brown substance. Even though pics show it darker, it looks brown. Pool Help Needed - Album on Imgur
At this point my wife and I are very frustrated and are looking to stop listening to the pool store and look to here for advice on how to get our water nice and safe our family.
I have some chemicals on hand yet, and I'm willing to try whatever the group thinks is best. If I swap to the CPX16-AG, I would look for help with getting the water levels correct before install.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.