My husband and I have just bought our first home in San Diego with a pool. I have to tell you I'm very excited to have found this forum because I'm a scientist and love the concept of water testing and managing the pool on our own with bleach, baking soda and borax...
We've been in the place for 6 weeks and the pool looked in good condition when we moved in. It had been kept uncovered with the chlorine pucks in a floaty-thing. I had a pool guy give me the run-down on things - said the chlorine, pH and TA were fine. We then kept it covered for a few weeks which, may have been a bad idea as the pool cover was NASTY - lots of black mold. Put it on anyway not knowing any better. Now we're ready to take control of this thing.
I think it is a plaster pool - kind of rough surface. It does have some brownish patches on sides and floor but they don't seen to scrub off or feel slimey. This morning I noticed a small group of black spots on the steps which are underwater. These also don't feel slimy and I can't scratch them off with my fingernail. Unfortunately we haven't owned it long enough to know what "normal" looks like for this pool, and I can't say whether these black spots are new or not.
There is also a white ring on the tile at the water level - I assume this is calcium deposits
I've removed the pucks and been using bleach for the last week. My TF100 arrived today and have run the numbers...
CH >800 (is this possible???)
Borates ? (test strips in the mail)
What now? I have muriatic acid and chlorox but what to do about the CYA and CH???
With water restrictions in San Diego we'd been catching the water off the roof after rains and saving it in plastic trash cans - can I use this in the pool?
Thanks and I look forward to your advice.