Fellas, hows it going. New member here and a recent new pool owner. Had one forever growing up but my last one was when I was 16 and now I'm 30.
Haven't had too many issues except for one slightly perplexing deal. My pool builder has been great overall but one concern with him is he doesn't teach, explain or go over much of the installation stuff with me. I believe it's to keep me from having to worry about anything, taking care of it all but I'm a need-to-know person. I want to know everything, how it works, what it does and all the pertinent stuff.
My pool: 22x 48, 32,000 gallon gunite / quartz plaster pool with raised 8' spa. DE filter. Large 5' natural rock waterfall. Aquarite salt system, and all hayward equipment including Hayward Phantom sea monster (as my 5 year old calls it).
My issue: My nice water tester (Lamotte ColorQ) is on the way but for now, all I have is some mediocre Aquachek Yellow test strips. Since close to day one with the pool, I haven't been able to register much, if any, free chlorine in the pool. About a week after pool completion, we had bad storms in N. Texas and at one point 12" in 5 hours. Pool overflowed. Once I got it back down, I figured I'd add some bleach as to get the chlorine levels back to par quickly. Test strip showed perfect (3ppm) after 12 hours, then after a couple days, the strip was back down to showing minimal chlorine. A week ago, I turned the salt system up to 100% to see if it'd catch up and it's still pretty much 0.
Today, after looking at a lot of things, I noticed the timer had been set (by the pool builder I'd imagine) and it's only running 12 hours of the day. Our temps are up to the 90's (when it's not raining, which it has a lot as well; pools overflowed 3 more times). So, after seeing that, I'm figuring that the system has just not been running enough to allow the proper chlorine in. Today, I set it to turn off from 12am to 3pm and run from there on, for 21 hours. I figured that ought to help. If the strips show a steady incline in it, then I'll start turning the salt system down some.
The pool has been 100% crystal clear from day one. I mean, it's wicked clear and I figured if it had 0 chlorine in it, it would've gotten hazy by now but it's super clear. Salt has been steady 3100 to 3200 since day one. I had to add 2 bags after my week vacation last week but it's never gotten below 2900. PH has shown to steadily be at the highest point on the strip as well but I'm trying to take care of the chlorine and then worry about the PH but I have added some stuff to drop it a couple times. I vacuum it regularly and keep it clean. The phantom runs 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon and it helps a lot, plus it's fun to squirt my little boy with the sprayer end.
Couple questions :
1) does the time frame the pool was running seem to be a good possibility for the lack in chlorine and/or are the test strips just not trustworthy?
2) if I was to turn the pool off for 3 or 4 hours a day, is the best time in the middle of the day or at night? I figured I'd keep it running at night to help circulate the water to help keep it cool.
3) Is there anything I'm missing, like skimmer socks or anything else I should consider?
Anyways, thanks for the help and I'll be back when/if I have more questions.