I finally opened up my pool this weekend, my first time ever. I have a few questions, so I will give the break down of what I did. I am fully adopting the BBB method from the start, so I stocked up on my chemicals from Sam's club, and got to it.
To start off, the pool had been sitting for many months before I purchased the home. The worm infestation in the bottom was disgusting. My initial readings showed zero chlorine, therefore my first step was to add about 2.5 gallons of Clorox. This brought my FC to ~20. The rest of the readings looked like this.
pH: <6.8 (less than the kit read)
CYA: 100+ (The previous owner used trichlor pucks exclusively, so I am guessing it is high, but couldn't get an accurate reading. This may be due to everything else being out of whack?)
After shocking, I vacuumed, swept, and cleaned everything before my next step. I also washed out the filter after vacuuming, which was quite nasty. My next step was to bring my TA up to around 70. I used pool calculator to add 164 oz of baking soda. I added this over the course of 6 hours, a little at a time, brushing the sides and bottom in between adding. After running the filter for 5 more hours after the last addition, my TA read 80.
In the mean time, I took a sample of my water to the pool store to have them check it. (I was just curious how their numbers looked compared to my TF100) They showed I had a CYA of 25. Everything else was similar to my tests +/- 10. Why would my CYA be low there, when I was getting well over 100. It had a very heavy precipitate forming when I added the solution to the sample bottle.
As of 20 minutes ago, my numbers looked like this.
My TA is now where I want it, next I will start adding Borax until I get my pH up around 7.5. My chlorine has fallen very slowly over the past 2 days, just now getting to around 10. I did have a little CC, but I assume it is from all the cleaning and stirring I have been doing. Does it normally take this long for TC to fall after shocking, or is my high CYA making it fall slower? (It was in full sunlight all day, too)
After adding the baking soda, my water has went cloudy. It was perfectly clear this morning when I started. I am wondering what my next steps should be. Shock again? My TC is still at 10. I want to add borax tomorrow, to get my pH up. I am also concerned about my TA going high when I add the borax. I would like to get my borate level around 30 for its benefits, but how can I do that without increasing my TA dramatically?
If you made it this far, I apologize for the book I have written. I will break it down into questions.
1: Could my initial low TA and pH, combined with high TC give a bad CYA test result? If so, why did I get 100+, where as the pool stores spectrophotometer showed i had 25ppm?
2: Does it sound normal for TC to take 2 days to fall from 20 to 10ppm when in direct sun all day?
3: Could the addition of baking soda be the cause of my cloudy water?
4: Is my next step adding borax to increase my pH up from <6.8. (Slowly of course)
5: How do I get my borate level to ~30 without raising my TA too much, or should I not worry about it?
Whew, this is fun stuff. Sorry for the long post!