Hi all! First post, just found the site the other day.
I bought a foreclosure on 11/1/11, with a small, odd-shaped in-ground pool by Blue Haven. Not sure the material, but it's gritty, has a few patches of light damage, and very hard. Using the formulas provided here and some guesstimating, it's between 5000-6000 gallons. I'll post pics tomorrow or so, but it's basically two hexagons, each one 11' across, joined in the middle by a 5' x 4' section. Shallow end is 3' (I think, maybe 4'?), deep end is 5'6" - 6'.
So, I got the pool as-is, brewing a bit of leaf tea. Honestly the water looked decent, and it was just a matter of getting and keeping the leaves out. As it warmed up, I finally decided to check my various chemicals...
So...I decided to drain it and start from scratch, especially after reading here about how much easier it would be to work with a low CYA around 20-30ppm. I checked our groundwater levels (Las Vegas), and then realized the pics of the pool on realtor.com were taken when it was empty, so I figured it was safe from floating up. Shame though, since the other numbers (aside from FC obviously) looked decent.
Couple hours with a little electric pump rented from Home Depot, and we're empty! I took a little pressure washer (the cheapie ones you put on a garden hose), sprayed everything down, and realized the decking stone is sandstone...and it likes to fall in the pool. Must have pulled out ten pounds of combined grit and ground up pool surface when all was said and done!
I filled it back up, threw a one pound bag of Walmart shock in it, and gave it time. I thought that stuff had CYA in it, but apparently not as my CYA levels are unmeasurably low/non-existent. This was back on 4/9/12. Also threw a 3" puck in my float.
So tonight I tested, my pH is too high (8.2), found no FC and no CYA still, so I tossed another bag of shock (super this time), and bought but have not yet added a 4lb can of CYA. After an hour, FC tested off the scale (brown brown brown!), I didn't bother testing CYA since the shock makes the water cloudy anyway. It should be clear enough to test tomorrow evening. I'll probably end up adding a half pound, testing over the next week, and then repeating as necessary to hit my targets.
My plan is to get CYA to 20-30ppm, then get TA, CH, and pH where they need to be, and finally go BBB and call the pool open for business!
So that's it so far, and thanks for such a wonderful resource! Any comments, thoughts, and warnings are welcome. I have read all the Pool School sections that were appropriate, so advanced manual stuff is also welcome!