First off, no, I haven't got "the test kit(s)yet. I'm new here
Had a new IG small fiberglass pool put in with an extensive backyard/deck/3 season porch remodel last summer. Pool was finished last Sept. and got to enjoy it through Oct...with few problems. Wish I had found this site before the install, as I found it hard to get good info from the builders/vendors, but thats another story for another day...
First off, KUDOS for running a very helpful site. For a newbie, pool chemistry isn't simple, but this site has made it about as simple as it gets.
As a youngster, I helped run my Dads self made brick and motar pool, and we never had issues. Why, because we ran the pool for the few summer months, dumped in gobs of powdered clorine/tabs and some dry acid to keep the PH in check. Then we drained all but about a foot for the winter, emptied the next spring, cleaned and bleached it and started again. Never ran it for a long period like pools of today where the chemistry could get out of whack.
From what I know now (from this site) I'm sure by the end of the season, the CYA levels would have been getting high, and the ORP of the pool and effectiveness of all that powered chlorine was probably dropping fast...good thing we drained back in those days and missed the algae bloom.
Anyway, My jerk pool installers dropped in my pool, installed everything, but really were incapable of telling me how to run my new equipment (like my SWCG) It was hard enough getting info on how to clean the canister filter. They left me with a SWG running on 75% and a super clean pool that bleached everything! (oh and of course the PH went sky high)
After some fits and bad starts from some local pool supply shops (they tried to help, but never really asked enough questions to have a clue what was going on, I started educating myself.
Good thing I found this site. ANyway, last summers end, I had a slightly over chorinated pool as I played with the settings on my autopilot digi controller, and I had the PH under control.
After reading this site, I;ve really begun to get a grasp on the important relationship between FC and CYA.
I had read all the euphmisms like "sun kills your chorine"-"cya is sunscreen for your chlorine" and was confused by other statements "CYA binds up and reduces the effectiveness of your Chorine"
At first, it seemed like the two issues were contrary to each other...but after reading about ORP and the effects of sunlight/organic matter on CL and CYA on ORP of CL, I began to understand there is a sweet spot...a bit of CYA helps hold your CL reserve until it gets hit again with CL replenishment (either from a bottle or a SWCG) but too much CYA you begin to have diminishing return as your ORP of the CL drops to a point where the CL is unable to kill algae and organisms....
I am a bit concerned by the SWCGs recommendation of CYA levels of 60-80...this seems a tad high from my slight amount of research here...so I am cautious about bring my CYA levels up that high...(I wonder if they recommend 60-80 because they fear installers may skimp and undersize the SWCG for the size pool)
I thinking of shooting for about 30-50 to give my FC some stability in the pool, but maintaining a high fast kill rate, and should I ever need to shock the pool, less bleach will be needed.
My pool is very small, and my SWCG is already only running at about 30%, and it gets overchlorinated. I also have the salt a bit high since installation (around 3500) but my understanding is this is ok as it also means the SWCG will need to work less hard to make chlorine....
In my understanding from reading, many pool owners get into a vicious cycle with pool tabs.powdered chlorine building up CYA in the water, and killing the ORP of the FC in the pool. I'd like to avoid that trap..
Also Now also My understanding is having a bit of CYA will mean I won't need to run my SWCG full bore during high bather loads, sunlight, organic boo-boos.....and even if the SWCG kept up the FC level, the high rate of CL production causes hydrogen to be release (I have seen small bubbles near my lights) which is what drives up the PH...
So far, I envision running low side 30-50 ppm CYA, keep my FC at about 4.5% of the CYA level with the SWCG and add muratic acid only as needed to keep the PH in check....
My numbers so far this first year with crappy aquacheck 7 test tabs...
TH stays constant 250
PH 7.8 (it creeps up from time to time)
CYA - lowest reading (which means its below 30)
Allmy neighbors run their pools all winter, so I gave it a shot, and despite getting worried, I lucked through this "man-bear-pig' (South Park reference) of a winter...
This picture was one of the scary days...when I had 8 inches of snow around the pool, and its shimmering away!
Anway, I plan to up my CYA a tad to the 30-50 range, get better test kit, run my FC at about 4.5% of the CYA level, and never add anything to the pool except chlorine (generated or bleach) acid, baking soda and borax if I ever need it... If I am off in my understandings, please feel free to set a newb straight..
Anyway, thanks to all the people who contribute helpful advice to this site..
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v28/D ... C05331.jpg