I found this site after deciding that we are spending too much on chemicals from the pool store. I'm excited to take care of our own pool. I just ordered a TFTestkits TF-100, but it won't be here for a few weeks.
About 3 weeks ago, we had been on vacation for a week, so we took a sample to the pool store, and our pool pH and alkalinity were out of whack. We added what they sold us, but our FC stayed at nil, even after shocking several times. However, our pool water looks beautiful at the moment, clear and clean.
Meanwhile, we've been using test strips. I know they're not as accurate, but--
pH 6.8 (very low)
alkalinity 125 (OK range)
It's been hot here every day (upper 80s) with a thunderstorm most afternoons, so the pool has water evaporating as well as rain water added. I used the PoolMath and it calculates that I need to add 2.4 jugs of chlorine and 4 boxes of borax. I'm worried about waiting on a test kit and not working on getting the FC level up.
Would you recommend I add bleach (gallon/ day) while I wait on the test kit? Hold off on Borax or go ahead with that as well? Should I utilize the pool store until I get the test kit?
Thanks for any help or recommendations!