Hi - we bought a house with a 25000 gallon, vinyl lined pool with a sand filter last fall. Being brand new to pools, we had a "recommended" pool company come out to open the pool for us 2 weeks ago. They did 20 minutes worth of stuff then told us to add 7.5 lbs of Trichlor ever other day and keep adding it until the chlorine test turned orange. We added around 30 lbs and it still never turned orange. Brought the water in and the numbers looked like this:
FC .2 ppm, TC .4 ppm, CC .2 ppm, pH 6.9, Hardness 83 ppm, Alkalinity 64, Cyanuric Acid (CYA) 108 ppm
They said keep adding more Trichlor, so I added the 15 lbs we had left and still no orange. After reading up here a bit, I decided to take a different route since my understanding is that the CYA at 108 is way too high and it was inhibiting the Chlorine's ability along with dropping the pH. So I went to Walmart and picked up 20 gallons of 8.25% bleach and dumped 4 gallons into the pool to start. I got a deep yellow in the test so got my water checked again:
FC .3 ppm, TC 1.0 ppm, CC .7 ppm, pH 6.5 (!), Hardness 83 ppm, Alkalinity 64, CYA 113 ppm
I told them what I had added, including the bleach, and the "expert" there told me not to add the household bleach since it wasn't a good enough quality (a lie, right?). I strayed from his advice when I got home and added 10 more gallons of bleach since I figure my CYA is already way too high (the "expert" told me he doesn't worry about the CYA levels until they get above 200) and I didn't want to add anymore CYA via Trichlor. Viola! The chlorine test turned orange!
So now I'm not sure how to proceed. We have a blue-ish pool that isn't clear yet and a really low pH. The pool store's recommendation is to add 56 lbs of GLB Alkalinity Up, 38 lbs of GLB Calcium Hardness Up and 2.5 lbs of GLB Oxy-Brite. This seems like a lot of stuff.
I feel like I'd be better served buying a large tarp for $100, using it to swap out half the water to get the CYA down to 50 or below (vinyl liner - have to be careful, right?), and then I wouldn't have to go crazy with all of the buffers recommended above. I know Saint Paul has pretty soft water, so that's good I'm guessing.
Thrown into the mix is the fact that we are having a birthday party for our 9 year old on June 11th, so we have to have it going by then or there will be lots of broken hearts.
What would you all recommend?
Thanks so much!