I just bought a home with a pool and need some help to get started. The previous owner had a pool service and the water was crystal clear when we moved in. Now, after a couple of weeks, the water is a bit cloudy and slightly green.
I've been to the pool store twice for water testing and chemicals and the pool is gradually getting worse. I've since discovered this site and see the error of my ways. I ordered a TF-100 kit tonight, read through the pool school stuff, and looked at several "just getting started" posts to familiarize myself with what you guys need to help me out. So, first off, the results of my last water test:
The pool store recommended adding 3 bags of chlorine shock treatment and an algaecide, waiting 12 hours between each bag of chlorine. About 10 hours after adding the last bag, I tested the water for chlorine using a test kit that the previous owner left but was not able to detect any chlorine. I'm not sure if the test kit is any good since it looks like it may have been stored outside in the weather for several years, but I'm sure the high CYA level isn't helping either. Either way, I should have the new test kit next week.
Regardless, I don't know how to proceed and other than turning the filter on and off, I'm not sure how to properly operate the pool system. Can someone help identify what each lever does in the following photos? Specifically, I'm not sure which lever to adjust to backwash the filter and I'm not sure where the outlet is. I thought it was the pipe with the viewing window (far left vertical pipe closest to heater), but that goes into the ground. Is that normal?
Update: I thought the pool had a sand filter but now realize it uses a cartridge, so I guess that's why I couldn't figure out how to backwash it. So, now I guess the question is how do I drain water out of the pool?
I probably should have taken some pictures of the pool while it was still light out but didn't. However, it is about 9000 gallons (I think) with a separate spa. The pool has two drains in the deep end, four return jets in the pool walls, and one skimmer. The spa has a drain on the bottom, another near the bottom but vertical, a return jet in the center of the bottom, and four jets around the sides.
Anyway, the photos: