Hello everyone. I found your site trying to figure out how to keep my pool algea free and still keep the pH and ALK in check as those have been serious issues for me all summer. So to begin with let me tell you tests results, though until the other day I thought the two tests I had would be perfect. YES, I have switched already to using Borax and Baking Soda though I am still trying to use up last of bagged shock and tablets this season. Is that okay to do by mixing the two variations?
Anyway, yesterday I shocked the pool with not just 1 bag but 1 1/2 due to one bag per week has done nothing to keep the pine needles that fall into the pool each night from creating algea every couple of days in the pool bottom. Though pool water is always clear, never green or cloudy. However, my readings from the 6-way test strips from wal-mart that were suggested in the pool school if I did not have the required testing kit, which along with numerous posts on here, I have read several times!!! I will honestly admit though that now I am just beyond confused due to trying to do this half a#sed. I am getting the suggested pool testing kit from Leslie's for 2010 summer but until then want to keep the pool balanced so that closing it when the water drops between 50 - 60 degrees it will be easier for me to do and hopefully open it up easier come spring again.
I have had serious issues with either pH and ALK being to low or to high all year and it just keeps yo-yoing to no avail, which I know is from the chemicals I was putting in just counteracted the other. However now I no longer use those and still have issues. I have used Muratic acid serveral times and destroyed my husband's air compresser nozzle by placing in the pool for literally days upon end trying to remedy this whole problem and though it did work I always have the same problems.
Today however is the first time that my CYA isn't reading 100! And all year my FC has been at the last color, dark purple to no avail of anything I do. Is there a way to lower this without anything else? I drained almost half the pool yesterday before shocking which, Is this what finally lowered my CYA.
My tests results as of a few minutes ago are as follows:
TH - 250
TG - 10
FC - 10
pH - 6.8
ALK - 120
CYA - 50
Water temp is currently 75 degrees!
So my questions are as follows:
1. Is there a way to know my true FC and TC without having the new testing kit?
2. How can I raise my pH without having to keep fighting to loser the ALK which shows to be perfect right now?
3. And lastly, I know it is not suggested to leave this pool up for Winter but we did it last year and it was perfect come spring minus all the disgusting water left in the pool we had to clean! We live in Camp Lejeune NC and this pool is the best we can do living in base housing as it can't be that large and this fits perfectly for what we are allowed. However, we had to beyond scrub the pool come spring due to all the algea that had grown under the winter cover even though I did put in extra shock in Feb and also algea plus when closing last year. How do i prevent this? I read on here that I should wait to close the pool till pool temp is at around 50 to 60 and that is why it is not already closed now.
4. How do I lower the FC to normal as just leaving alone for days with no chemicals added or cover has done nothing to lower it. The TC lowers to almost nothing but the FC always reads high.
I put in a new filter every week and vacuum about every couple of days due to the pine tree in our neighbors yard that I really hate but cannot due anything to prevent it as the cover that came with this pool was a piece of **** and with the kids always in and out it was too much of a pain to always put on and remove at several different times of the day for each of them and upon the 100th time I did, it ripped upon cinching down. I am already looking at replacing with a different type of cover for next season.
I am going nuts here because i am at a loss on doing this the right way with what I have to do it with at this time. I can honestly say I do not remember my parents ever having this much trouble with our pool growing up in Texas. Can someone please help me without telling me to read the pool school as I have seen many suggest when reading other posts. I have read it numerous times but I just get more frustrated due to not having the testing kit that I need but due to swimming season ending and Christmas around the corner I have to wait till after Jan to purchase. Also, I will be getting a larger pump come January for this pool also as I think this one is struggling to hard though it does keep it clear with regular expensive filter changes each week.
I am sorry if I am bouncing around and am if I confused anyone. I just want to do this the best way I can right now with what I currently have or little more invested until I can properly obtain what I need after the first of the year.
thank you for reading and I welcome any suggestions anyone might have!!