So, bare with me here, I feel like this is going to get a little long, but I could really use the help. I am so fed up with dealing with a pool right now!
Ok, so way back toward the middle of May or so, I started working on getting our pool ready for the season. It had been green and all that. I followed the instructions here, which I've used pretty successfully for the past two summers, so while I'm not very knowledgeable about pools in general, I feel like I have an idea of how to deal with them, thanks to this forum.
So, the pool turns blue but stays cloudy. Like for a long time. It verrrry slowly gets clearer - but never actually clear. I continue on with the bbb method, but we have been out of town a lot this summer, so I've been tossing in a floating puck dispenser whenever we go away. When I started out, my cya was super low (in fact, I added a little, because there wasn't really any there), so I figured I was fine with the pucks.
Now it's the end of June. My pool is still not clear, and I don't know why the heck not. Whenever I vacuum, I feel like the water coming out of the returns is dirty. I'm wondering if we need new sand in the filter? My husband says he thinks it looks normal - like, a little dirty, but cleaner than what I'm sucking up.
We have had an insanely bad pollen season, maybe that is playing a part, but it's definitely not all of it, as my neighbors' pools look great.
Anyhow, last week, we were leaving for camping, I tossed in the floating puck thing and just ignored the pool all week. I went out there to take the water readings this morning and this is what I have right now:
PH: 7.3 (or at least between 7.2 and 7.5, according to the color gradient)
FC: .5 (makes sense, since I haven't been adding any chlorine all week)
CC: 0 (when I did the test, added the five drops of whatever back in, it didn't turn red at all)
TA: 50 (this seems to be a little low, but if I add baking soda, I raise my ph, which I don't want to do, right?)
CYA: Nearly 100, I'd say
Calcium Hardness: I hadn't done this test until today, because I have a vinyl pool and didn't think it mattered, so I didn't bother with it. Then, I read that high levels of calcium would read as a cloudy pool, so I tested it. I know it's not high, as the water turned blue really quickly (like, light blue within 3 drops), but I wasn't sure how blue it should be before I called it "blue," you know? It seemed a little subjective. At any rate, I don't have high calcium.
Whew. I realize I'm rambling, but I'm just not sure what to do. Does anything stand out here? Anything I can do to clear this dang thing up once and for all?
I added 120 oz of bleach to bring the FC level up to around 5. If I don't have to repeat the shocking process, I really don't want to. I didn't have any CC show up in the test, so do you think I'm ok? I guess I'll do the overnight loss test tonight, too. I can do the bbb method for the week, but we're going to be gone again for four days next week. I'm concerned that I keep adding these pucks, when my cya level is getting pretty dang high already, but I don't know how else to handle it. I don't have anyone who will come over and add bleach every night.
Also, can my kids safely swim in this water, even if it's not crystal clear? I can easily see the bottom, but the pool is only about three feet deep, so that doesn't say much. The water just looks dull and not right, yk?
Thanks so much for any thoughts you have!