This is not so much about how to get levels where they should be (finally did that today!!!! yay!!!), but more about why they were where they were.
This is the first year our pool has been such a bear to 'get right' (our 4th season opening it). In the past, we just had to shock it in spring, and then light maintenance to keep it in line. Chlorine wasn't really an issue - 4 big jugs of bleach, 3 lbs. of shock, and opening the feeder full throttle got that taken care of. But this year, pH, TA, and CYA dropped essentially to zero over the winter. It took 15 lbs. of borax, 30 lbs. of baking soda, 6 lbs. of "pH UP", and 5 lbs. of stabilizer to get in the 'comfy' zones.
It has blued up nicely, and is starting to become un-cloudy. All tests are now in the sweet spots.
What could cause such a big difference year over year? We didn't (and have never) winter-cover it, and the water was balanced the last time tested before it got too cold to dip a hand in it. The only thing I can think of that was different was that we were about 3 weeks later opening due to fixing a bad multi-port.
Any ideas? Why did it get so acidic? Where did all the CYA go? I don't want a repeat of this next year - it was a pain!
P.S. Yay! Pool is blue!