Hi, I would really like some pointers and advice to know if I am or am not doing everything as I should. I am going to try to explain some of what I have been doing and I hope I make sense. If not please let me know so I can. Sorry if I ramble.. sooo many questions..
I know it is late in the season but I am determined to get it crystal clear for my young'ns to get to swim in at least a few times this year. Also maybe I can have better control of it for next year this way. But I guess what I want to know is if I am doing the right things and if so, I know it can take awhile but
1)HOW LONG IS IT GOING TO TAKE MY SAND FILTER TO CLEAR MY POOL??? (It's terrible I know but I have been so excited and getting very impatient --I have always wanted an IG pool and now I would like to get to enjoy it with our children! )
Here is what I have done (best I can remember from my notes).
We have scooped the bottom with a leaf rake and gotten as much debris from the bottom as we could find.
The pool chemistry has been steadily tested and maintained at normal/ideal levels since 7/22 (that includes Chlorine, PH, Alkalinity)
I have been using the bbb method (minus the bleach at first- the exception of also using Trichlor tablets and granules (XtraBlue 3"Long-lasting chlorinating tablets and XtraBlue All-in-one chlorinating granules, to be exact). We were doing small shocks 1-2 pds every other day or so, then I realized I probably wasn't reaching the breaking point so..
7/24 I super chlorinated (slammed as I guess you would say) with bleach to what the pool calculator said would up it to 30ppm (my test kit doesn't go over 5ppm; btw I know I need a better kit, I have heard a lot about the K-2006 so 2)WHICH TEST KIT DO YA'LL RECOMMEND??)
The pool color has drastically improved since superchlorination too.
3)HOW LONG DO I NEED TO MAINTAIN SLAM LEVELS? (the entire time until the water is clear or do I just need to maintain "ideal" chlorine levels now???)
We have been filtering 24 hrs/d since 7/22...but 7/25 started our best filtering day from there out. I have always backwashed as necessary (when psi reach 7-10 over normal). 7/25 I also started adding Clarifier (clorox pool & spa Super water Clarifier). I have added 4.5 ozs 3 different times, as the bottle says you may reapply after 36 hrs if water is still not clear. It has drastically improved the filtering because now I see chocolate milk colored water while backwashing and it was never that dark before. 4)DOES CLARIFIER DISSIPATE OVER TIME? SHOULD I BE ADDING MORE OR KEEP ADDING MORE EVERY 36 HRS OR AM I ADDING IT TOO OFTEN???? I know too much can continue cloudy water but I really don't think it is the case with this one but idk, I jus know it is helping improve the sand filtering.
I have been using my 5 way test kit every day, but on 7/27 I did buy a sample strip kit test to get an idea of the cya levels (yes I know they can be not as accurate). All other results matched what I have been getting with my normal testing. The strip results were
Total Hardness: 250
Total Chlorine: 10
Free Chlorine: 10
PH: 6.8 (I also added borax and got this back ideal)
Total Alkalinity: 120
Now on to my next question/concern. I know I need to invest in a better kit, but as of right now I would like to know if I am understanding chlorine results right on my current kit. I can read FC (up to 5ppm, then I have to guess from there) but I get confused with what it calls the Combined Chlorine reading. I guess I am not getting a TC reading. It says the "chlorine residual can exist as free (active) chlorine and/or combined (less effective) chlorine". To test, it says Within 2-3 seconds you can read the FC levels,and Wait 1-2 minutes to determine the CC "chlorine residual" as it calls it. 5)IS THERE A WAY TO GET TOTAL CHLORINE READINGS FROM THIS?) Also, almost EVERYTIME I test the FC and CC readings are almost identical...IS THAT WHAT I WANT TO SEE OR IS THAT A PROBLEM????
On 7/28 I tested with 5 way
My husband threw in some granules that night. (like I said, we don't know if the chlorine concentration should be higher while in the clearing process)
Tested again 7/29
FC-orangy-red (way above 5ppm)
CC-same as FC
I do attempt to brush the pool every other day or so (its a little hard to tell how good when I can't see the bottom).
Am I doing everything right/ok?? It seems to be slowly getting better, so is it just a waiting game or is there something I can do to speed up the cloudy water clearing process??? (Wish there was a magical process to instantly clear the water)
OMG I just previewed this and saw how much I wrote!! I know this is probably a lot of un-needed, jumbled information, but if anyone would dare jump into it and give me some advice I would Appreciate it SO MUCH.