My husband and I moved into our first house in April and inherited a not-very-old (2013, though the pump was apparently replaced last year) above ground pool. Basically all I know about it is it's 18' in diameter and I think 4' deep--I'll have to see if I can find the brand name somewhere on it.
It was pretty much full at the end of the winter (still thawing for the last week of April). By the time we turned on the pump only to discover several parts of the system leaked, figured out what they all were, found the parts, and made judicious use of duct-taped rubber gloves (shh) to seal up the last of the pump-connection leaks, an unexpected May heat wave had come and gone and left us with a murky green, tiny swimmy-thing infested swamp.
A shock of chlorine killed the swimmers, some backwashing and refreshing with our finally functioning pump (& sand filter, which has a broken pressure gauge which I'm guessing I should fix?) have gotten rid of the obvious muck, but it's still a pale green and completely opaque. A first chemical test (we've only got the basic pH/chlorine drop one--ordered the fancy Taylor kit to be delivered to Canada-land in about, uh, three weeks) put our alkalinity off the charts (8.4+) and, (unsurprisingly, I think) our chlorine levels near zero.
So. I have added a little under the pool math's recommended amount of mutaric acid, assuming we had a starting pH of 8.4, and will recheck this evening. Then more chlorine, I'm guessing (a full second shock assuming the alkilinity minimized the effect of the first one?) and then we wait and see what the filter can make of it? If it stays hazy despite having a better pH and a few days of filtering, do we look at these flocculant products? Should we bother getting the other levels checked at a pool store while waiting for our kit? It sounds like getting those levels right make it easier to keep the correct pH/chlorine concentration but won't actually hurt us if they're off.
I probably should also figure out how the vacuum works...no idea what the mess at the bottom might be like, since we haven't seen it yet!
Let me know if I should take these questions to the starting out forum! I'm thrilled to find a chemistry-heavy (we're physics nerds so it's been a few years since basic inorganic chemistry), product-light forum for us to learn from. We weren't sure we'd be keeping the pool long-term, but I'd like to make a solid go at getting the process down before deciding it's a figurative wash!