Hi. I'm a new user and I've read LOTS on this site. There's still LOTS I'm trying to figure out. I live in sunny Phoenix, AZ which brings me to my question.
The two things I'm encountering over and over on TFP are CYA and FC levels. Unfortunately, I use the Walmart HTH test kit and my CYA regeant is gone. From what I can tell, my FC is at 4ppm, pH is between 2.2 and 2.5, TA ranging daily from 120-130. My directions got ruined and I don't remember how to read the CH test.
I thought I need to lower TA and get a CYA reading so I took a sample to PS to have it tested. The gentleman (who takes care of 20 pools in PHX regularly) says my TA and CYA are both reading high (I think TA was 170 and CYA was 190) BUT in this extreme heat (120 degrees) we need higher CYA levels to protect our chlorine from our intense, constant sun exposure. He also said that my high TA balanced my high CYA so they considered both readings right on target.
He said all my numbers were great except (CH 700) phosphates (over 4000) and chlorine which was zilch. Made sense as I've had a heavy load of swimmers lately, hadn't shocked yet and backwashed filter 4 times this week and vacuumed 3 times due to the amazing dust storm! He blames my high phosphate level on cheap tablets which he claims add phosphates to the water.
He recommended a $50 phosphate treatment (which I haven't bought yet) and a good shock which I did (dichlor 99% with some stabilizer in the other 1%). This brought my chlorine up to 4ppm overnight. I see that ChemGeek thinks 4000+ is a high phosphate level that requires treatment, but everyone else seems to think phosphates don't matter. I do have a constant battle with yellow algae no matter how much chlorine I put in. I can vacuum or brush most of it off and shocking seems to take care of it but it always comes back. Other than that occasional yellow on the walls, my pool is very clear and sparkly.
I usually find that my pool just laughs at bleach and liquid chlorinator. I put in way more of the latter than is recommended on the container (like 2x) and still don't get good chlorine readings or algae kill. But dichlor and trichlor always seem to do the trick. As for borax and baking soda, I wouldn't think of adding any as my TA is always high, perhaps due to a very old pool with deteriorating plaster. (Can't afford to replaster).
Because my CH was near 700, PS guy recommended I drain and refill this winter, NO CAN DO in a PHX summer.
I'm trying to figure out if I can use your recommended BBB methods or just stick with what I'm doing. I was hoping to find a way to make pool care much cheaper.
Help or suggestions anyone?