Hello, My name is Major and I'm learning to take care of my first pool. Well, that's not entirely true. My parents moved into a house with a pool when I was ten and I learned a lot about taking care of that pool. (20 x 40 IG Gunite, 9 foot average depth) But this is my first pool as a pool owner.
So I found this site a few days after wasting some money at the local pool store buying CYA and Phos Away and Refresh. The Refresh I will actually use because my CH is low and even though I have a vinyl liner pool, I don't mind adding some calcium hardness to my water. I'm going to try to return the stabilizer. Turns out my stabilizer level was way high because the previous owners used the pucks in the skimmer basket. Based off the test strips that were left for me my CYA level was 100, and I believed that to be true mainly because they were using pucks, so while I was waiting on my new K-2006C test kit to arrive from amazon I spent four nights at work reading this site. I work as a night shift RN on a pediatric unit at the local hospital and I have a lot of "free time" at work during my 12 hour shifts, so I was able to read through "Pool School" several times and then I started reading through threads in this "Just Getting Started" section.
Based on what I learned I decided to go ahead and do a water exchange before my test kit arrived to drop my CYA level. So, on Monday, I closed the valve from my skimmer and began draining the pool. I thought, "I'll really get my sand clean by draining through backwash." After about 2 hours of "Backwashing" my sand I realized (Doh) that I was just filtering all this waste water through my sand from the wrong direction and that when I started filtering my water again all this gunk will wash back into my pool, so I jumped up and switched to drain to waste. I lowered my pool water by 3 feet by 1320 (1:20pm for those of you that don't use military time) and dropped three garden hoses into the pool and switched my pump back to filter. At around 1000 Tuesday morning my pool was full again.
Let me talk about the water for a minute. When I closed on the house on June 27th the water was crystal clear, but I noticed a couple of days later that the water had gotten very cloudy, very quickly. I used the dip stick and found that my chlorine was zero. I added some pucks from the shed to the skimmer basket and threw in 3 pounds of shock from wal-mart and went to work. The next morning the chlorine was still zero, so I added 3 more pounds of shock. Fast forward a few more days of this with no improvement and some money wasted removing Phos thanks to the local pool store. I was at work and I decided to look for a pool forum, first I found a different pool forum, but after registering and reading posts for a couple of nights I realized that the forum owner was missing and that that forum was dying. Then I found TFP, after the first night reading I started putting one gallon of bleach (8.25% great value from walmart) into my water every night while waiting for my test kit.
My K-2006C test kit arrived last night!!
My first set of results were:
Temp 85 F
pH 8.0 (I realize this is not accurate due to FC >10)
CYA between 30 and 40, so we'll say 40
I really wanted to get my pH reading, so I tested again last night before going to bed to see if my FC was below 10.
No luck, I went to bed.
This morning at sunrise I tested again.
pH 8.0 (acid demand reagent 6 drops to get to 7.2)
So I plugged these numbers into Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log spreadsheet and it told me to add 6 cups of Muriatic acid to get my pH to 7.5. I know I need to lower to 7.2 and aerate to bring down my TA, but I didn't want to start of with that much acid, just in case I got my pool volume calculation wrong.
UPS is supposed to be delivering my zodiac 7-400-00 Polaris Fountain System today. When It comes in I will start aeration and adding more acid.
My water is still slightly cloudy after the water exchange. I guess I need to keep my FC below 10 until I'm done adjusting the pH and TA, or should I just get the pH to 7.5 and then raise my FC to shock level and SLAM and worry about the TA later?
I guess that Is the main question for this very long post, What do I do now? The Muriatic acid that I added this morning (at 0720) has been mixing for about an hour and a half. Can I recheck my pH now? What next?