Howdy, this is Ben in Lincoln, Ne. We moved in last spring to an old house with an old, but reliable pool. Last season it took me over a month to get the water good for swimming. This year, I started from the get-go with the TFP method (as opposed to the vague advice by pool store staff to "just keep shocking it"). My water went from swampy green to crystal clear and in range in 8 days this year! Getting a FAS-DPD kit really helped! The kids are already swimming. Water's a little cold yet for my taste, but they don't seem to mind.
I changed the sand last year. I add DE after backwash. Still seems like I get a lot of dead powdery material on the bottom, as well as floating material the skimmer doesnt seem to catch, even if the pump's on all day. I pretty much have to skim and vacuum manually every day to keep it clean. Chlorine level is consistent and in range for cya of 50 (I use bleach except when on vacation) There's little or no combined chlorine. Just ugly brown powder on the bottom. Doesn't matter how I play with skimmer/main drain valves. Any advice? I was thinking of getting a Pool Skim, but don't know if that would affect the stuff on the bottom much. I can't decide if it's stuff going through the filter, or stuff falling from the surface, or what.