I thought I'd take a moment and share some 1st time pool owner lessons I learned trying to get my pool crystal clear. This is the first pool I've owned and been responsible for maintaining. My parents had a pool when I was a kid but they had a pool guy and a system that practically ran itself.
When I toured the house, the pool was clean and everything looked good. Sometime after I put an offer on the house the owner stopped doing anything. The seller's agent said the buyer would send out the pool guy who ultimtely didn't do anything (more on that shortly). Next thing I knew I had a algae infested pool and nothing I did worked. I enlisted the help of a buddy who is a pool guy and it still cost me $400 in time and materials to get everything cleaned up.
Lesson #1: Understand your equipment. It doesn't matter how many chemicals you throw in your pool if the equipment isn't working properly its not going to do anything. All my numbers were spot on and the pool continued to get greener and greener. On my own, I discovered the oring on the skimmer basket had fallen off and had been off long before I started maintaining the pool. So, the pump wasn't cycling effectively.
Next, my buddy showed me that there was a new cartridge in my filter but it wasn't clean. He also found the filter is a little undersized (whoever plumbed the pool didn't know what they were doing). Last, he found that the Polaris filter was the wrong type. Someone had a filter for use with DE pools. Putting the right filter on really improved the performance of my Polaris.
Lesson #2: Maintain your equipment. Previous owner neglected a lot of the basic parts of the filtration system which added to my headaches. My buddy found that the pool and pump baskets were broken which lead to the impeller getting clogged on the pump leading to additional problems with getting good flow. One of which was the filter not being fully utilized. Long story short there by the time I got help and figured this all out ... it took 2 filter cleanings a day plus chemicals to get the pool clear again.
Lesson #3: Understand how to maintain your pool (non-chemical) and make it a priority. Had I done the "pool school" earlier I could have prevented a lot of problems earlier. I also would have known that the seller's "pool guy" wasn't doing anything and actually making things worse not only for the water but the filtration system as well.
Emptying the skimmer baskets, emptying the bag on the cleaner, vacuuming, leaf eating, brushing, netting, etc goes a long way. I literally pulled a 55 gallon trash can worth of leaves out of the pool that I couldn't see because the water was so green.
Lesson #4: Finally ... monitor your chemical levels and adjust as needed following the BBB method on a regular (I do daily) basis. Yes, in my experience, chemicals was the last (or least) of my worries. I'd been balancing the chemicals from day 1 and it didn't do me any good until I took care of the equipment issues.
Lesson #5: Plan ahead. One thing I learned is that my filter is too small for my pool. No clue why the previous owner did that but knowing that I can really help my cause by upgrading to a bigger filter before next season starts so I don't have nearly the maintenance I have this summer.
I went from needing a bottle of bleach to needing a fraction of a bottle to maintain a good Chlorine level.
If I wasn't clear on something or there are questions please let me know. I'm by no means an expert but hopfully my experience will help other 1st time pool owner.