I live in South Carolina and for some reason, I've always struggled to keep my PH in check. I'll spend a week trying to get it to rise up to 7.2 but after a decent rain, it completely collapses into the low 6's. I was told by several installers that a salt chlorinator would help solve that problem so I just installed a Pentair IC40 and a VS pump.
Also, our pump died last fall and we never got to close the pool properly, so I've been working on it for about two weeks as a chlorine system- the installer told me not to waste the salt and wait until it was mostly clear to switch over. So I've been hitting it with liquid chlorine and shock (alternating between the two each day) and the pool is almost 100% clear...just the deepest part where we are still gathering leaves is a little cloudy. I've also been adding salt for about five days now and the indicator says I'm at the correct salt levels; Oh, and I hit it with flocculent two days ago and it worked beautifully....everything dropped and I've been vacuuming to waste and backwashing multiple times per day. However, most of my measurements are off the charts-
PH- bouncing between 7.6 and 7.9
Alkalinity- 150 (I have a liner pool, so good there)
Hardiness- I forget but it was good
Chlorine- not sure exactly; strips only go to 10+ and it was much darker than that
Free Chlorine- also off the charts high
Stabilizer- fell into the "very high" range
I realize that time can get the chlorine levels in place, but then again I've never had stabilizer read high before either. So here's my questions; and note that it's too cold to swim for at least a few more weeks. So there's no rush for overnight magic-
1) Should I unplug the salt chlorinator until total and free chlorine drop to normal levels?
2) Do I worry about the PH at this point? How high is typically too high? Will it still crash in a hard rain?
3) What can I do about high stabilizer? Is that even an issue?
4) Should I continue to use shock to try and bring the free chlorine down? Or just give it time? I haven't added anything (except flox) since I got the salt system balanced 3-4 days ago.
I know that's a lot from a newbie...sorry! After years of pool problems and a completely new system, I figured that I better ask about the chlorine/PH now while the pool is on the verge of looking good. This is the first time I've EVER had a high PH so I'm out of my league. =)