I opened my pool for hte first time on my own this year and then let it sit for a couple weeks (I know that was a big mistake) it was cloudy and so I threw in about 6 gallons of liquid chlorine and then 12 gallons. the chlorine levels were still low (was using test strips) pH was also low. I threw in about 8 pounds of baking soda and the pH didn't budge. I bought a test kit and it takes about 20 drops of reagent to get the pH up to the right level. I checked the hardness and it takes about 30 drops to get the correct color change. I spoke with a woman at Leslie's and she said I must have metal in the pool to have things that far out of whack. I got metal free and ran that for 3 days. the water is less cloudy but that may be more related to acid washing the cartridges (both before and after the metal free.) I am unclear as to how the pH can be so low with such hard water. seems like normally that causes higher pH. I would try to SLAM the pool, but the pH has to be in the proper range to do this. Do I just need to be more agressive with alkali? I put another 7 lbs of baking soda in tonight with no significant results. I understand that is a weak alkali. should i be using Borax or at least soda ash? do I need to fix the hardness (drain and refill) before I can fix the pH?
Thanks for any thoughts or direction.