This is the new sheriff of the watering hole that was formerly known as Green Slime Pit and other, similar nicknames. I took office at the end of April and promised our pool (rashly, as it turned out) that I was taking over and was going to make it clean up its act and behave. Little did I know that it snickered wickedly somewhere within its green guts and vowed to prove me wrong. Danged near did, too!
During May and the early part of June, I acquired and at least attempted to use a sand filter, a new "real" vacuum and a TF test kit. That was when I discovered that there was no way to raise the water level high enough to give the filter access to enough water. I determined this was the reason it lost prime frequently, returned water in a gentle spray, didn't filter real well and would not vacuum worth a busted horseshoe. This all left me in the unenviable position of either needing to rebuild my pool on a level, compacted surface, or having to install a new skimmer, placed to make the "normal" water depth provide sufficient water for operation. So, here I am in mid-June - unable to swim despite promising that new equipment would make it happen, spending substantial cash on that equipment, and then having my wife question whether I knew what I was doing. And, of course, there was always my daughter yelling at me to just "take a sample to the pool store and let them figure it out". But wait! There's more! You ain't heard NOTHIN' yet!
On top of everything else, my wife and I are supposed to leave for a camping trip on July 3rd. She decrees that we will not be going unless I get the running boards replaced on my truck. I also need to scrape, derust and paint the rear bumper and the hitch on the RV. Meanwhile, we find out that her minivan is not long for this world and we will need to get her a new vehicle LIKE NOW. So, ol' Sheriff goes into overdrive. I get the painting done, get the RV cleaned up and loaded and a friend fabricates me a new running board for the passenger side. OK, takes care of that. Divine intervention then steps in. I spent two hours on the second Saturday before we were supposed to leave looking for a new vehicle for her since she had another commitment. Had a few ideas, nothing real useful. Salesman calls me two days later with a vehicle suggestion. I go and look at it. It's completely outside of what I figured my wife would ever drive. I call her and tell her about it. To my utter shock, she says she'd like to see it and test drive it. Well, to make THAT story short, we took ownership, had a luggage rack installed and had a left foot accelerator installed (long story - my wife was in a bad car accident and can't use a "conventional" accelerator any more) by Friday of that week.
Stay with me, because here is where it gets nuts! After we get her and her new car home, she casually asks me if the pool is ready for swimming because she has invited some people from church to come and swim while we are out camping! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! What else could I do?!??!!??! I told her I needed to put a new fitting on it, run the filter and it would be. She seemed OK with that. Now, mind you, come Saturday morning, the water is green, she and I are leaving the next day, Monday is a holiday, and we supposedly have company coming with the expectation of swimming in the clean, pure water we did not have at that point. OK, so I go get the "fitting" I told her I needed -- which is a new Hayward skimmer. I hold my breath and slit the liner -- which turned out to be so ridiculously easy to cut I had the new opening done in about five minutes. OK, I install the skimmer, leak test everything, get it down to a drip I will worry about later, and run the filter. I teach my brother to test chlorine and pH and tell him to test it every day we're gone and send me a text with the numbers so I can figure out what might need doing. He chlorinates it Sunday night. Unbeknownst to me, my daughter turned the filter on that night and ran it for at least 24 hours continuously. I text him the evening of July 4th. He gives me the numbers and tells me the water is crystal clear. I practically fall off my chair! So he monitored and corrected the chlorine and pH levels when we were gone. Man, I slept GREAT that week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When we got back, the pool was clear, the pH was fine, but it was snarfing chlorine.
So the sheriff starts looking for clues. I check the CYA and find there is none. OK, that's an easy fix. I get some stabilizer and put it in. Ol' Green Face stops snarfing chlorine. We've had clear water since July 12th with proper pH and reasonable chlorine consumption. I've gone in several times because someone had better swim in it after all the work I did to get it that way!
OK, Regional Office, I'm left with a situation I can't quite figure out. There is this fine powder or something on the bottom of the pool. It's kind of grayish and it won't vacuum worth a darn! I don't see how it can be algae since that vacuums up REAL good and we don't have abnormal chlorine consumption or murky or colored water. I've walked on it and it's not sand because I can't feel it under my feet. I have tried brushing it up from the bottom so that the filter picks it up. That may work, I will have to see.