First I want to thank each contributor to this forum. Unbelievable amounts of great information.
I found this forum by a link when looking for opening advice, and am so glad I found it. My dad had a pool and growing up I learned that opening the pool was a time intensive, costly event. He used the "traditional" method to clean the pool up and rarely did he get to enjoy the pool.
I don't want to be that person and thrive for gaining knowledge which my chemistry knowledge and desire to learn really are inline with the BBB. My fiance and I just purchased a home in Evansville, IN with a pool and due to the unusually warm weather, I decided to open it now because I don't want to repeat my dad's fight when the weather is nice enough to allow swimming.
So moving past the intro, here are the details to our pool:
I decided since I didn't have a good test kit I would take it to the local Leslie's for testing and to purchase a thermometer for the pool. I also looked for Taylor kits, but during the test, the store said they can only read to 5ppm, so I decided to stop looking at their test kits and just order the TF-100, which is now on its way
*note: I added 3 gallons of 10% super shock (previous owners had left) and let the pump run for 3 hours. This was what the pool calculator said I would need to get to 15ppm which I thought would be a good place to start until I knew more.
Temp was unknown but likely 68 degrees, based on temp after I added the thermometer I bought.
FAC - 5+
PH - 7.0
CYA - 50
TDS - 450
Phosphates - 500.
Their suggestion was to just add 18 lbs. of "Alkalinity Up" which she pushed me to purchase at least 30 lbs. (for just shy of $39), I did so *knowing* I would return it and trade for some supplies today but did not want to offend, upset, or otherwise feel I took advantage of their free water test.
Then I went to Sam's club and got my baking Soda (13.5 lbs for $6.88), I got two bags and I also got a 3-pack of 1.42 gal chlorox ($8.54). With other chlorine chemicals I didn't want to get a lot until I had consumed all of the Super Shock" the previous owners left.
I added one bag of baking soda and began leaf duty/mowed for a couple hours, then I noticed the chlorine could not be smelled anymore so I added another gallon of the 10% stuff. I then remembered they left some test strips and thought this would be better than nothing, and they actually go to 10ppm so I had a better idea where my chlorine was at. The test strip said my PH was too high (over 8.4) so I put some leftover MA to get it back down, and let the pump run the night.
This morning, pool still is green so I used the strips (can't wait for the TF-100) and it showed my chlorine level was about 3ppm, and everything else was "ok" so I added the last of the of the 10% stuff that was left and all 3 of my chlorox to attempt to get back into the 15ppm range. I have let it run for a couple hours since and the chlorine level still tests to over 10ppm on the strip.
So with the information provided (and sorry if it is excessive, but I feel details only help with more informed answers). Have I used the information provided on this forum correctly? Is my strategy correct so far, and do I continue to just add chlorine until the green clears? I know I will be better armed when the test kit comes next week but I really want to take advantage of the great weather and the fact I have time to work on it now.
Thank you so much for any feedback and all the great information I have already found!