Good morning everybody!
I'm going into my 2nd season, but given my 80% horrible experience last year I'm considering myself an almost total noobie. However, thanks to discovering TFP end of last season, I've started on the right foot and started chlorinating with bleach over winter.
My pool is a 4-5 years old, 20ft round, above ground vinyl, 10k, city water. 1.5 hp single speed pump Proline, Century A.O. Smith motor, with timer in the nearby garage. Sand filter. Bubble cover for speeding heating. New England.
I'm committed to the TFPC method! I think it's already working since the water is clear. I like to learn so this is a nice experience -- as long as it's working .
The Good: the pool is open and the water is bright and blue, wooho! It's a nice round vinyl pool with a deck around a quarter of it, in my backyard. Nice setup.
The Bad: still too cold to to swim!
The Ugly: most ugly is my equipment got damaged from the cold and absence of close when I bought the house in beginning of winter 2014 and the sellers failed to close it or explain what I should do. The pump got cracked from the cold and started leaking mid last season. Also my sand filter's lateral holder (the central piece) got cracked in 2 but it was neat, so we could re-glue it together and it's seemed fine since then (appeared last August after multiple backwashes), and I also changed the sand.
So far testing from strips and from Leslie's, but I've just placed an order for a TF-100 Test Kit ™ with Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer
As of last week -> yesterday:
FC: 0 -> 2
CC: 0 -> 0
pH: 7.2 -> 7.7
TA: 60 -> 70
CH: 60 -> 70
CYA: 0 -> 0
Temp: 68 -> 68
FC fluctuates normally given there is no CYA and I'm adding some at least every 2 days. It goes down to zero under direct sun, and I add it in the evening.
My pool was drained after the last close because of a leak at the bottom. So I started again with fresh water, no additives, just chlorine, and covered it in November. It was patched for a pleasant $75 by a local pool maintaining company. I kept on adding some chlorine throughout winter, as long as it wasn't frozen (this is the New England...). My cover got torn a bit so some debris got in but nothing major.
Upon opening it it was still clear so after adding some more chlorine, I headed to Leslie for tests and supplies.
I failed/forgot to backwash the filter.
Last year, I had the common issue with too high CYA, so I didn't want to go with CYA at all, since I had fresh water, but reading this forum convinced me otherwise.
I started to add 4 lbs of Alkalinity Up, but it didn't register that much in the test. I have 4 more I can add.
After 4h, with pump running, I then added 1/2 gallon Instant Conditioner that I had from last year, to the skimmer and left the pump running 8h, and waited a week with the pump running twice a day for 3h each.
Yesterday upon testing again, the CYA was still registering at 0 (both from strips and Leslie's).
So I've now bought one gallon and have already added over 2 days, and am prepared to wait again. I've added it partially walking around the pool, and partly over the flow of the return into the pool.
The pump situation: Since I inherited the pool from buying the house in winter, it wasn't closed properly and the pump's housing probably cracked from the cold. With my friend's help we tried to fix it with epoxy but it didn't hold for long. With my wife, we're going to try and salvage the housing using this technique found here: How to fix a cracked pump housing
But I'm waiting for a few more days to keep the water circulating while the CYA registers in the tests. Just in case I'm left without a pump for a few days and I need to buy a new one and wait for delivery.
1. Any idea why 1/2 gal of Instant Conditioner didn't register at all? Is it because I added it to the skimmer (following instructions on the bottle...) ? And maybe because I didn't backwash the filter before? Filter's pressure is constant at 12 psi since I started it.
2. Any idea why the 4 lbs of Alkalinity up almost didn't register either?
3. If the repair of the pump fails, any suggestions on a pump replacement? Should I go variable speed? How long should it run every day? I've found pumps from $119 to $400... it's a bit confusing and my goal this year is to not spend upwards of $2000 like I did last year (mostly on chems and new water).
4. some greenish dots/pearls appear almost every day at the bottom and I vacuum them out. Is that algae?
5. does a bubble cover protect FC against the UV's?
6. I'm going to leave for a few weeks in 2 weeks. If the CYA has gone up to 25 as intended, will it be fine to leave the pool on automatic with some tablets for that long? I also don't want the CYA to go crazy with the tablets.
Any suggestions on the general course of action are welcome but I think/hope I've got the general idea of the TFPC.
Should I repost those questions on specific forums?
Sorry for the super long post but I've processed a lot of the forums before posting and now I realize I have lots of questions!
Thanks again for being here and for the welcome, cheers,