TLDR: SLAMming pool for past 5 or 6 days, colorless but cloudy/milky, not sure about filter effectiveness. The instructions for our filter talk about rinsing the filter with a garden hose and say nothing about DE, but the filter is a "DE" model. Should I try adding some DE?
I opened our pool for the first time ever (new house) about two weeks ago. Did a ton of reading on TFP first, ordered a test kit, etc. Took cover off, a lot of pine needles and other debris at the bottom of the pool, water sort of brownish green but fairly clear (colored but not cloudy), removed as much debris as I could with a leaf rake. We are talking hundreds of scoopfulls. Was unable to get the vacuum working properly (poor suction) so just did as much as possible with the rake.
Topped off the water (to bring it from below the return outlet to mid skimmer height). We have unusually pure city water here.
tested basic parameters before adding chemicals:
calcium hardness 60 ppm
CYA <30 (the lower limit of my test kit)
Placed a cotton sock with 2 lbs of CYA into the skimmer (should raise CYA by 20 ppm according to poolmath, have not retested) and have been adding bleach to keep the FC at least 12-14. (I test before adding chlorine, to try to see what the chlorine level is at its lowest).
I have been maintaining these SLAM numbers for about six days. The past few days have only had to add bleach once per day in the evening. the water is totally colorless now, but has gotten very cloudy to the point where it is hard to see anything on the bottom about four feet down. CC is 0.5. I have not done an overnight loss test because the water is nowhere near clear. Looking at the water, there are visible white particles in suspension. They look more organic than crystalline. I have rinsed out the filter several times (there is no facility to backwash it, you must drain all of the water about fifty gallons I would guess, then rinse it off with a garden hose), and the PSI of the filter starts around 12 but within a few minutes has already climbed to 15 or so. It gets up to 20 if left a day or more and does not move much water at that point.
Do I need to add DE to this filter (Clearwater II DE)? If so, how much. Everything about this filter on the manufacturers website and the paperwork left with the house says to rinse the filter but says nothing about adding DE. The label on the side of the filter says it is either 12 or 18 square feet, and does not say which anywhere that I can tell, that would suggest using about 1.5 to 2.25 lbs of DE, do I just weigh it out, mix it in a slurry with some pool water and pour in the skimmer after cleaning the filter? Any down side to this if it is actually not meant to have DE in it? The filter certainly does not seem to be performing very well currently.
Thanks in advance