I have spent a good bit of time reading and absorbing the information here. You helped convince me to perform a partial drain and refill to remove CYA due to the previous owner's heavy use of pucks and powdered shock. I completed a ~50% drain and refill yesterday and completed the overnight Chlorine loss test.
Results: (Before/After drain)
pH - 7.5 / 7.4
TA - 90 / 60
FC - 11.5 / 5.5 (this morning 5.0)
TC - 11.5 / 5.5 / 5.0 (always 0 CC)
CH - 450 * / 280
CYA - >100 (diluted to show 160) / 75
Temp - 80 / 73
* there was a lot of specks in this test as I approached completion. More so in the first test, but it was visible in the second test too. Is this normal?
My water is clear and if I run the filter for >8 hours it really sparkles. I did a Polaris 380 tune-up and replaced the worn tail and backup valve. I've cleaned the cartridge filters and have about 8 lbs of pressure now. Previous owner used the Frog system and a Rainbow auto-chlorinator using pucks. I shut down both and removed the Frog insert. I might want to switch to a SWG later, however I'll need to do some creative plumbing to make that happen.
My problems / goals:
1) I have a lot of water-line build up of very hard white materials. I'd love to get that cleaned up.
2) The floor and walls have a lot of dark patches and white patches. Ditto on the cleanup. (They do not brush out.)
3) I want to use the BBB method and would like to control my own water. Also, we will be water metered starting in 2012, so I'd like to get past the "drain/refill" as much as possible this year.
4) What suggestions do you have based on progress so far?
5) Living in Northern CA, I am not really clear on what "closing the pool" really means. We don't freeze. This question can wait.
Thanks for this great resource and for the advice!