I've been reading the site for the last few weeks. This looks like where I need to be. I've been having a problem keeping chlorine in the pool this summer. First some history:
I've had my in-ground pool (spec in my signature) since 2002. My typical routine was a once a week shock, add a smart stick, algecide, a pool perfect phos free. Easy as 1,2,3,4. I suspected I was paying a bit more than I needed but the routine was simple, effective and easy. The pool looked clear, test strips always showed acceptable levels of chlorine, and I had water tests 4 or 5 weeks at the store. Occasionally I had to add some "stuff" to adjust the pH because we get a lot of acid rain and I have a heater. Life was good, ignorance was bliss for 9 years.
This year was a whole different story. I went in for my post opening water test and chlorine was virtually non-existent. They had me add 15 gallons of liquid chlorine and said that if that didn't work I'd have to drain my pool and start fresh because I likely had nitrates from lawn and shrub treatment services in the pool that is chewing up all the chlorine. 3 days later the test strips showed no chlorine. I figured I'd try my luck at a different store cause I wasn't ready to drain the pool (in retrospect I probably should have). Store #2 said draining the pool was ridiculous and had me add bags and bags (and more bags after a few days) of shock. Regardless of how many bags I added the chlorine would hold for a few days and then the levels would quickly drop (according to the test strips). I went to Store #3 and they said, "get used to it, you are going to have to add a bag of shock every few days." I could accept that if I hadn't had 9 years of trouble free operation.
3 different stores, 3 different answers. So now I'm here, ready to take control of my pool. I've read the site, I bought the TF-100 test kit, did the tests and need help to figure out what my next step is. My water looks great. Clear, no cloudiness, no burning eye complaints. I do have some brownish coloring on the white stairs in the pool which is very difficult to clean off if that is a sign of a problem. I've tried using "Off The Wall" but it doesn't stick to the surface under the water well enough to clean them. Seems worse this year than others but that may just be due to it building up.
Here's the numbers. I did the tests very carefully, a couple of them twice. Not sure if I should have done them outside, but I did them inside cause it was raining but the kitchen is well lit.
FC - 2 ppm
CC - 1 ppm
TC - 3 ppm (FC+CC)
pH - 7.5
T/A - 200
CH - 280
CYA - 80
Temp - 84
any help and guidance is very much appreciated.