Earlier this summer I set up a 14 x 42 Intex Above Ground Pool. I am currently renting this house so the plan is to remove it at the end of the summer in a few months. I have been testing the water about 5 days a week using the Clorox 5 way test strips. About once every other day I add about 10 oz of bleach to the pool. I also use those 3in trichlor tabs in a floater. My FC levels is usually between 1 and 4 ppm. So far the pool water has been pretty clear, however over the last day or so I have seen what appears to be dirt at the bottom. However when I run my foot over it, it just dissolves. Is this dead algae? I also have a few other questions I am hoping you all can help me out on!
1. I know I have to get something better than the test strips. I know that the TF-100 is recommended but it costs almost as much as I paid for the pool. Not really trying to spend that much considering the pool will be taken down within a couple months. Does a decent test kit exist that is in the $10-$20 range?
2. Using the test strips my CYA is showing up as 0. I have not added any stabilizer yet. However, I read that since it is a smaller pool I should be able to get away just using the Trichlor tabs since they contain stabalizer. Within the last 3 weeks or so, I have gone through about 4 pucks and still no CYA is showing up on the test. Could it be that the test strips are just not picking it up?
3. I have yet to add anything to increase my PH. Using the test strips it shows at about 6.2. What is the easiest way to raise my PH? Should i use washing soda or borax? What is the process of adding these chemicals into the pool?
Thanks for all your help!!