Hi, have learnt a lot in a few days reading here but have some questions.
As a new pool owner, I was very uneducated on it water chemistry. Pool was established at the end of our swim season and we are now entering warmer weather again now, over winter I had nil problems, then lifted the cover kids swam for an hour and day or two later I had signs of algae growth. Took a sample of water to my pool shop and followed their recommended procedure to rectify the water chemistry. Having spent quite a few years studding marine life I have a reasonable understanding of sea water chemistry, after purchasing the products recommend for my pool, reading the content I quickly realised there could be cost savings in buying non pool branded chemicals and I was also confused by the recommended schedule in that I was first raising my Alkalinity then Ca then Acid them raising FC and reducing TA.
Why not raise Alk. & Ca in one step at the same time and in the correct ratio using Calcium Hydroxide solution (Ca(CO)2)? Sure it has to be added slowly to prevent precipitation of calcium carbonate, adding to the skimmer box should help a lot, and I am only assuming CO2 levels in the water would cope. Or better still add some vinegar (Acetic Acid) as a CO2 source, mix a solution prior to adding to the pool, you would have balance of free Calcium ions and free bicarbonate ions in solution that you could dump straight in to the water. And I would suspect nil shift in pH or much less due to not chewing up CO2 from the water column (less Acid required).
Now for FC, I understand that the shop got me to shock the system with a extremely high level of free Cl, and after reading this forum it may not have been such a bad thing as I first thought due to having some algae starting to be visible. However, since shocking my pool the FC level in off the measurable scale for my testing kits, and my CYA is testing as nil.
Previously the CYA was tested at 40ppm, I have since added CYA (800mg to 38000L pool) which I feel should have shown an increase of about 20ppm, but still after 48 hours I have of the scale FC and no measurable CYA.
Question: Could the hi FC level influence CYA test results, using Accucheck strips the only test I have available at the moment for CYA. I am reluctant to dose more CYA till FC is measurable as I would like to aim for CYA of 60ppm.
I do have a SWG, (Zodiac TRi) and am considering BBB method once I'm more confident with the benefits/hazards of adding Borates.
I spoke with a supplier of Boric Acid marketed for pool use, after being amazed that 3 pools shops I contacted had no idea that boron were even used for pools, yet one store sold boric acid labelled Optimiser Any way, contacting the supplier I was told 24ppm was the recommended level to use, this is far lower than the 30-50ppm recommended here, what are your thoughts, is 24ppm a bit low, it would feel safer to me, but I would be using it for a reason, no good half doing the job!
After a couple days reading here I am confident I can get my water chem. sorted once I get more accurate testing kits. Maintaining stable conditions won't be hard, time permitting. When I work I am often away for days at a time, so daily testing will often go un attended. So my aim is to Automate FC and may be pH. Any suggestions on controllers to do this would be great, or any other element worthy to Automation.
Hopefully with Borates and FC pH automation, testing weekly will be acceptable. I can use less chemicals, less FC and possibly even lower levels of elements.
Big post for a newbie, if you followed this far I thank you