I was quite active here a couple years back, but have had some major life changes that resulted in my not even opening the pool last year.
I had a serious accident while taking down a tree, that led to my having a ruptured aorta. The emergency surgery to fix that resulted in the blood supply to my spine being clamped down for to long, and I came out of surgery as a paraplegic.
Last year I was pretty much doing rehab and other stuff learning how to live in a wheelchair, and trying to make the house as accessible as possible (I can still only get to under 1/3 of it...)
I said that I'd only open the pool if I could use it, as it wasn't worth the effort to take care of it since.
We just purchased a used SR Smith "PAL" portable pool lift off E-bay, unfortunately the seller didn't tell us that the lift didn't come with it's special 24v Nicad battery pack, or the charger for it. (We are talking to the seller about this, if she fails to do something reasonable to correct this, she will not get a good feedback rating....) Any particularly recommended vendors for parts from SR Smith? I have their part numbers, but they don't sell to individual customers.
While I don't have the lift working yet, I did get the pool opened with much help from a friend, and was surprised at how reasonably good it looked even after a year and a half of being closed. It used to look worse after one winter back when I was pool storing it.... At any rate, I've been dumping a fair bit of liquid chlorine into it, along with 10 boxes of Borax, and using up a lot of our old supply of powder shock and chlorine tabs left over from the pool store days. (Figure this is a good time to use the old stuff as I need to bring up the CYA level at any rate)
The water looks great already, but there is a lot of crud on the floor in the shallow end - something is wrong with our Polaris pool cleaner - it just runs around in circles in the deep end, won't go up to the shallow end at all. (Suggestions on fixing, or links to relevant threads appreciated...)
I've also been dealing with the challenge of figuring out how to do pool care from a wheel chair. I don't have all the details down yet, but I'm working out some of them... I found a small hoe in my garage tool collection, and found that it works pretty well for fishing the floating debris out of the skimmer, and then if I put the blade under the metal handle, pulling the basket out for dumping. I've found that I can do water sampling by duct taping an empty plastic bottle to the end of a broomstick. If I then plunge the stick down into the water, most of the bottle filling water comes from about a foot down. I've also found that if I leave the front panel off my equipment shelter, I can prop the hinged roof up enough to work under it, and hinge the side out that I need to get to the backwash valve on the filter. Backwashing is still a pain as the valve is down near ground level and is hard to reach even with a "cheater pipe" It is also very stiff, and it is hard to get a good position to pull / push on it. I may talk to the GF about getting a different filter eventually, as even without my problems operating it, we have had trouble getting parts and such for it as it is a fairly obsolete unit.
I do need to figure out a better way to get the bleach into the pool. We've been getting the 5-gallon carboys of 12.5% from the pool store, which I have a pretty good bit of trouble moving around - can't pick them up, but it works OK when they are on the pool deck to push them around with the power chair... However I can't really measure how much I put in, I just push the carboy up to the edge of the pool, take the cap off and tip it so that it glugs in a bit... I know they make dispenser pumps for chlorine, but don't have a source. Other options might also be worth considering...
At any rate the chemistry is looking pretty decent, though it does need some fine tuning... (BTW, how long do the reagents in a TF100 kit last? I still have lots of everything but CYA, are they still accurate?)
Test results as of yesterday evening...
OTO chlorine was 1.5 FAS/DPD was 1.0 FC, 0.5 CC, so the TC matched the 1.5 I got with the OTO test
pH was 7.8
TA with the standard procedure was 31 drops, or 310, but when I did it with the smaller test volume alternate, I only got 11 drops, or 275 - seems like a lot of variance...
CH was 220, which seems low for a plaster pool
CYA was something below 20 - I used all the sample in the bottle, and could still see the black dot fairly well.
Borates were a tough call, but probably between 50 and 80
Sounds like I need to get some muriatic acid and drop the pH and TA to start with, along with adding some more CYA