I bought a house in this area in mid-October 2011, and it has a 10k Gunnite/Plaster pool. The equipment installed with it is a 1 HP, single speed StaRite Pump, with a Mechanical Timer. This is plumbed to a StaRite Cartridge Filter (300 sq/ft). In line is a Pool Frog (which is now emptied and bypassed - purposely), and there are Jandy Valves and stub-outs for Solar. The Pool was built in 2008 by Patio Pools and Spas, and the previous owners of the house used Patio to maintain the pool.
When I moved in, of course, the end of the swimming season was over, and I maintained the PH and Chlorine with the BioGuard 1200V Test Kit that the previous owners left. The water parameters were as follows..
TC - 0.0
FC - 0.0
CC - 0.0
PH - 8.0
TA - 240
CH - Off the scale
CYA - Off the scale
TDS - Off the scale (WalMart TDS Meter)
Salt - Unknown (no way to test)
Borates - Unknown (assuming none)
Temp - 50
Obviously, there was also significant scaling on the tile at the water-line and the water was pretty cloudy. I've been pumice-ing the scale.. what a pain!
I'm now opening the pool, preparing for summer. There was a light green tinge to the water, despite the small doses of Chlorine over the winter. I purchased some KEM Tech Shock and added it to an oxidizing level, and let the pump/filter run constantly. Two days later, the water was relatively clear.
I took the system down and cleaned the Filter Cartridges by spraying them, then soaking in a concentrated chlorine solution overnight (huge Rubbermaid Garbage Can), then a good spraying again. I also took this opportunity to plumb in a CircuPool RJ-30 System, and I added Morton Salt (eight 40# bags) and began dissolving it. Sweeping the salt up against the wall in the shallow end of the pool pretty much made it dissolve in a couple of hours. After re-assembling the plumbing, and all of the components, and firing up the filter, I let the pool circulate for 24 hours. This finished clearing the water of dead algae, and allowed the salt to finish mixing. Now, I initialized the CircuPool, and noted that the initial Salt Level reading was right at 3300 ppm, and I verified that the SWG was making Chlorine, visually and by a test the next morning, which wound up at 4 ppm. Over the next couple of weeks, I had to adjust the SWG from the initial recommended 75% output, recently landing at about 20% for an 8 hour run time, resulting in +- 9 ppm FC (high CYA levels) with 0.0 CC.
Last week, I purchased a Taylor K-2006-C and a Lamotte 1766 Kit. I began by using 14.5% MA from Home Depot, and Pool Calculator. I wound up finding some 34% MA at Patio Pools (for the same price as the watered down stuff at HD), and I'm now using that for maintenance. Over the last three weeks, I've aggressively attacked the TA with MA and aeration. My tests this morning with the new kit(s) were as follows.
FC - 8.0
CC - 0.0
PH - 7.6 (Taylor and Lamotte)
TA - 130 (uncorrected for CYA)
CH - 950
CYA - 200
TDS - 6500 (Lamotte 1766)
Salt - 4500 (Lamotte and SWG)
Borates - 0.0 (assumed)
Temp - 60
CSI - 0.02
Not bad for my first pool.. but the results leave some questions.
First, the pool has an Auto-Leveling system. The CH is 250 right out of the tap. This would mean that with even a total drain, the water test would result in a new CH of 250 or more right off the bat. Obviously, the TDS would lower (I haven't measured the fill water yet..) and the CYA would lower (depending on how much the Plaster has absorbed and how much would leech out of the plaster with a refill). While reading HEAVILY in TFP for the past month, I've seen mixed reviews on CYA and CH levels.. differing opinions..
Also, being a Salt Pool, naturally, this will raise the measured TDS over non salt pools, but by how much? Is there a conversion formula for this, or perhaps established TDS levels that I should be striving for?
Given my geographic location, are these parameters worth the cost of a drain and refill or will keeping a FC level of 9 and lower PH and TA levels be sufficient? I COULD lower the levels by a drain and refill, however, living in Southeastern AZ, water is scarce, and high priced. I tried calling a business in PHX that uses an R/O unit to clarify the water, but he bowed out due to gas prices and distance.. Soo..
What's a guy to do??
Here is a picture from two weeks ago..
and here are pics of my set-up..
Thanks in advance for any responses and advice! Nice to meet all of you!