Please Help me. The Long story short version is underlined. A little background. Well, I have no background in managing a pool prior to the last five days. I anticipated there may be some issues based on the pool inspection when we bought the house. I thought I better leave the opening up to the professionals. The opening was a little late I know, but the way the opening went was a little unbelievable.
I called Pool company A a few weeks ago for what I was told would be a service to remove a cover, and equipment start up to ensure it was working properly, plus to add chemicals. I told the lady on the phone that I had no idea about pools and needed a little education about what to do. I was under the impression they were going to send someone out to make the water swim ready, explain a few things and I would take it from there. I anxiously awaited the arrival. Pool guys came 5 days ago but didn't let me know that they had shown up, I just noticed 2 guys in the process of removing my cover when I looked out my window. I went out and asked them if everything was looking alright. One guy said Yes. I figured they would fill me in on what would happen next or let me know if there were any issues. Some time later I noticed the 2 guys had vanished. My pool was light green and looked like it was low on water. The behavior of the pool people was a red flag. I called Company A and played phone tag for a few hours until I spoke to a manager who said the guys left because my water level wasn't high enough to start up the equipment. I was confused as to why the guys didn't bother letting me know so I could run the water while they were there or at least have it running for them start up the equipment later that day. I was pretty ticked off and let the manager know I wanted them to send someone else who is willing to communicate to come start up and check the equipment ASAP the next morning, but that I was not going to pay for any chemicals. I didn't want them having anything else to do with my pool, just turn on and check the equipment. The next day, I had brought the water up, someone showed up and left without communicating again. I saw bubbles and ripples in the pool when I looked out the window. I went out to look at the equipment and it had a leak under the multiport valve. Several little pinhole leaks converging into a constant drip when filter is on. I called Pool Company A, furious about the lack of communication and service. The store manager tried telling me that I hadn't paid for any services other than cover removal and equipment start up, no education, but that I would be charged for the chemicals they put in. I reminded her I had asked for no chemicals when I had spoken to her the day before. She agreed to charge me for them and also let me know that I would need to bring in a sample to have my free water testing done. I asked her what they put in my pool the day before. 4 days ago Houdini pool guys put in a 32 oz. bottle of GLB algaecide and 5 lbs of supershockwave or something like that. I picked up some test strips which I quickly found were useless. I brushed. I vacuumed whatever was sitting in the bottom. About an hour or so later, I noticed all the stuff I thought I had vacuumed had resettled into little clusters of light green at the bottom and on slanted sides of the pool. I started reading as much as I could and watching instructional videos that day.
The next morning,3 days ago, the water looked a little clearer and some wiggly flyaway light green stuff had settled at the bottom. I brushed. The water turned cloudy and light green again. I tried to vacuum the little wiggly light green stuff that looked like sand. It resettled again.
2 days ago I brushed, I vacuumed. Same clear to cloudy and resettling of the evil substance in my pool. I visited Pool Company B, I asked for a thorough test kit, they didn't have them, but they would test for free if I bought my chemicals from them. I explained what was going on to Pool Company B lady in the store and she recommended 6 lbs of PoolLife Turboshock with cal-hypo, 75% available chlorine, and to use a flocculent, then vacuum it to waste. She was very nice, but I started thinking, if 5 lbs didn't seem to do the job, why would only 6 lbs work so much better? What if floc somehow makes the problem worse? So, I also visited Pool Supply Store C that day to try to get a test kit instead of the strips, they had one and it has reagents 001,2,3,7,8,9,10,11L,12,13,14,15,16 but FC and TC can only be measured from .5 to 5. I took what I could get but the guy did let me know they do water testing for free. Pool Company C recommended 6lbs of 38% potassium peroxymonosulfate with 4% available oxygen. I asked him why the recommendation to do a non-chlorine shock? He said basically if I used chlorine again I would be doing the same thing and expecting different results. I was already doing the same thing...asking pool store employees for advice and the different results I expected weren't happening. The videos I had watched and some of the articles I read said shocking is all or nothing and the problem will get harder to manage after multiple shocks without enough chlorine. Before I knew much about breakpoint chlorination, or this forum, I based what I was going to add on what I understood from the test kit at the time. "Superchlorinate to breakpoint to eliminate CC." I looked on the back in the instruction box that said superchlorinating and calculated what was in the column for 75% available chlorine for 32,000 gallons. I know now I overdid it because my TC was 4 and FC was 2 and I really only needed 18ppm to reach breakpoint, I think? Is my understanding of breakpoint correct? Anyway, because I followed the amount on the instructions in hopes to kill stuff and didnít consider breakpoint and the chlorine went up to at least 30ppm. I used 12 lbs of Turboshock, 75% available chlorine from Pool
Store B. I did this around 11pm about 43 hours ago. I have brushed and vacuumed at least 2 times a day since then and I still see light green fly-away floaty stuff grouped together at the bottom of the deep end and the shallow end. I'm testing morning and night.
These are my most recent test results using Leslies Total Pool Care DPD test kit. It has Taylor printed inside the kit but doesn't have the type number.
AM today: *FC =>5 *TC = >5 *CC= no idea *pH = 7.4 *TA = 100 *CH = 140 *CYA = <30
PM today: *FC = 2 *TC = >5 *CC= super high *pH = 7.5 *TA = 100 *CH = 140 *CYA =<30 *Water temp = 85
These are my questions; Hopefully someone can help me and let me know what mistakes I have made and how I can remedy them:
1. What exact test kit do I need to measure amounts of Chlorine less than .5 or greater than 5ppm? I vaguely recall reading something about a kit with powder that can do this. Please point me to the one I need.
2. How can I get the light green to go? Do I need to use floc?
3. Should I be adding any stabilizer since my CYA is so low it is immeasurable and all the Free chlorine is disappearing? I watched a video that said CYA reads false during a shock. Is that true? I came across a thread about the FC/CYA relationship.
4. Should I add bleach or wait until I know what my TC is?
4. Are the conditions of my liner, concrete, pump and filter contributing to the algae or is it possible to get this water balanced and then fix those issues in order of priority? I'm reading about the components of the filter system as well and feel like I want to fix those myself also. I've been burned by every pool store at this point. I can't afford a liner replacement this year and the concrete situation is beyond my control for now too.
5. What are my next steps?
Oh, please help me. I'm ready to get this right.