I hate to go right into my problems\details vs. saying Hi and Thanks for having me but I am desperate ...so I apologize for this LOOOOOOOOONG post but just trying not to leave anything out...
Hopefully I read enough to know what I need to post
I've been reading as many posts as I can in regards to High levels of CYA and having to keep the FC levels higher due to high CYA but it's been almost a month since I bought a 25 lb bucket of granular 65% Cl and I only have about 1/4 left.
Ok, I'll try to get to the point but do want to give some background. I've been around pools all my life and understood the basics of having Cl in the pool and the Ph at a certain level but that was about it. I live in FL and have very hot and humid summers so for the past 2 summers it's been a struggle to keep out algae, and seemed like if I just let it go for a week, I would begin to see green forming around the ladder, in the step crevices and around the pool light, etc. not much but enough to where I could brush and get that green dust cloud, so I would shock, vacuum out and then rinse and repeat.
So starting this past December, I had enough, I began learning everything I could on pool chemistry and how each item related and affected each other. I figured I first should be a good test kit as the Red and Yellow was just not cutting it, especially since I wanted to begin knowing the actual levels vs. just trying to guess with colors. I was close to getting a Taylor kit but then was able to get the Lamotte ColorQ 2056 kit from Amazon for about $118 and went with that. I then started constantly testing it a minimum of each week and then following the chemical dosage recommendations from the onlinepoolcalculator site. Things seemed to be going ok, my Cl FC reading was very high at first (around 8 to 9) and then all of a sudden started dropping each week until starting in January I just couldn't seem to keep the levels above 1.0 and I was under the impression that it was easy to keep Cl when the water was colder, so as the weeks went on, it didn't matter how much granular Cl I put in, each week and sometimes twice a week the Cl levels would be lower than 1.0, so off I went to the pool company to get some answers.
I went to two different places and both told me the same, that it sounds like my CYA is too high and that is the problem and that I would need to drain my pool a little at a time or down to the skimmers due to having a vinyl liner and would have to do this repeatedly until my CYA levels came down. Also they told me that most granulars sold by Chains have stabilizer in it which meant the more I shocked the higher I was making the CYA levels and of course when I looked at the granular I was using, it did in fact have stabilizer in it, so bought a 25lb tub of just 65% Hypo they sold.
So that weekend I started and would drain from the skimmer, closing the main drain, until the level got below the skimmer, then turn the pump off and fill and did this about 6 times that weekend. I didn't know to dilute my samples to get an accurate reading (duh moment) as every time I tested my CYA levels it would just say Hi. After that weekend of draining I diluted the sample (1 part pool water and 2 parts distilled water) and tested and got the result 45, so times that by 3 and got 135 and then figured I would start checking forums to see if there were any other options...
I found several threads here and other places about using plastic sheeting, etc. and then found the Best Guess posts about having to maintain higher levels of Cl with higher levels of CYA and figured perfect, this is what I can do as it seemed like the draining option wasn't doing anything....
So starting 3/21 when the CYA reading was 135, I used the granular that had no stabilizer in it and is 65% and added 120 oz (which from the pool calculator said that was 40ppm for my 15,500 gallon pool using 65% with a current reading of 0 FC.
Ever since getting this new Variable Flow Pump, I run it on the schedule below which turns it almost 4 times (I think) and the 4 hours at 2100 RPM's is to run the skimmers good:
From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 1000 RPM's
From 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 2100 RPM's
From 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. 1000 RPM's
On 3/24 my readings were as follow:
CYA: 160 (diluted by half this time and didn't have any tablets so not sure why it went up or if my other result was off)
CH (don't test, was told doesn't really matter if using vinyl, of course probably wrong but did want to say why I wasn't listing these results)
So from these results I added 27 oz of granular based on the poolcalculator, trying to get the FC to 15ppm and added 152 oz of Borax (finally learned about that the other week )
I then figured I should be ok for at least a week, WRONG!!!! on 3/31 my readings were as follow:
So from these results I added 75 oz based on doing a shock to get FC to 25ppm according to thepoolcalculator. I also added 4 Tri tablets to chlorinator since it's been empty for almost 2 weeks and added 8 oz of algaecide as just a weekly maintenance dose.
I hadn't had a visible breakout of algae but it seems no matter what I do that when I brush around the edges of the skimmer and inside that I will ALWAYS get a little green dust. My pool is and has been clear since I started doing this weekly in December and I run my Polaris about once a week due to leaves blowing in but soon I am getting a screen pool cage.
Ok, this time I wasn't going to wait another week, I only waited 2 days or today and just tested the FC and the reading was already down to .13?????? I am getting so frustrated and don't know what else to do as I can't afford to be putting this much Cl in it every 2 days as the 25lb bucket of granular is about $60 a pop and I can't drain it more than about 4 inches at a time and after I put water back in, am I even pumping out the CYA or just the water I am putting back in? Should I get a different kit, the Taylor one where it just tests the Cl via the FAS-DPD to better track without having to dilute or is the ColorQ accurate?
So today I put in about another 100 oz of granular and was going to check it again tomorrow but I just came across some other posts saying that if the CYA readings are over 100 that I actually need to shock it around 40ppm which I was just doing 25ppm when I was at 0 and 15ppm when I actually had a reading.
Well that's it and I am sorry for the too long of a post but wanted to give all the information I have so that the experts can do their thing.
I believe I listed any and all information but if you need anything else or have any other questions, just let me know and again thanks for this forum and happy to be a member.
Update: One last question\note, when the CYA level is this high or as high as mine is, is it safe to be in the pool if I have FC levels of 15 or so or does the CYA dilute the Cl to make it safe or comparable to when you have normal CYA levels and FC levels in the 1.0 - 3.0 range? It just seems like 15 is high and would be dangerous if any water gets in the eyes, or hair or that it would bleach the swimsuits?