First, Thank you all for this website. It's gotten me entirely up to speed on understanding pool maintenance.
I thought I'd post some updates on my pool opening, which has been a week long process, and still going.
Some background: I rent my home in NJ, which came with a 16x32 in-ground pool, which was in complete disrepair 3 years ago. After a bad winter one of the walls collapsed, so we had a tough time one spring getting things in order. After the heavy lifting was done, I learned the tools of the trade in terms of pool maintenance. This for the last 2 years have been bags of shock, chlorine tabs, and the occasional ph up/down which I all bought from Home Depot.
At the end of last year, I was traveling a lot for work at the end of summer and did not maintain or close my pool until mid-Oct. During which the pool filter stopped working, the pool was brown/black, and I could not see the bottom of the pool. I called a professional to clear the pool and inspect filter. They said everything was fine, we'll deal with it next spring, threw some chemicals in the pool and closed it up brown/black. I ended up opening my DE filter, realizing that it has 2 years of waste, and sprayed it clean after the pool was closed. I was quite annoyed with the way the pool service closed my pool an I vowed not to use them again.
So... here I am Memorial day weekend 2016. Day1. I opened the pool and I'm back to the mess the pool guys (and let's be honest, this was mostly my neglect) - a wonderfully dark, disgusting mess.
I went to Leslie's and bought a deluxe opening kit and Black Algicide (because that looks, black right?). I came home and started dumping chemicals, and following the guide from the opening kit...
About a day later, I started getting loads of dirty foam in my pool
So... Everything up until this point, I'd been doing on my own. the foam, all be it a result of poor maintenance, caused me to go into research mode, and I found this website. After about 6 hours of trolling through this site I learned the following:
1. Foam comes from using non-Polyquat algecide, and more than likely I didt need it to begin with. The dirty foam is actually a lesson I learned last night: too many organics in the pool.
2. Test strips suck. I went back to Leslie's and bought a FAS-DPD Chlorine Test kit. I ordered a CYA test kit from Amazon, which is coming in today. I'm currently using strips to measure CYA, but I'm not confident in the test results.
3. Most household Bleach = Chlorine. My wife, who does all the laundry, laughed at me. I guess I should pay attention more. I'm going to return the tub I have of chlorine pucks and sub- Concentrated 8.25% bleach, which I'm getting for $2.99 per 141fl oz at Target.
4. DE filters need to be cleaned, and new DE needs to be put back into them.... This has been a dirty job, but I'm getting used to it.
5. I'm starting to use Borax to maintain pH levels. Once I have a clean pool I'm going to get my Borax up to 50ppm, I've got most of the Borax and muriatic acid needed for this. I'll order a test kit for Borax as well as Salt next week.
6. Lastly, I'm going to add some salt to improve the feel.
OK back to my project.... (next post)
Here's a link to all my picks: