Good evening pool friends. I am hoping that I can pick your brains for some guidance about an issue I am having with my pool. My wife and I purchased our pre-owned home 6 months ago. The home came with an existing pool that was installed anywhere from 3-5 years ago. It seems that the pool wasn't well cared for by the previous owners. I live far from a pool store and have a basic test kit with a better one on order. Here are the problems I am having with my pool along with some actions taken.
1) Pool has generator installed running at 90%. Chlorine continues to taper to zero within a day and a half of spiking it to ~5ppm with liquid bleach. The cell was completely clogged with deposits. I soaked it in a 1:5 water to acid solution. It took over an hour to dissolve the deposits. It is now clean, but the same drop in chlorine occurs.
2) PH sits at a pretty solid 7.8. I can put 2 quarts of acid in and circulate. PH goes to 7.4 for the day and returns to 7.8 the following day. So far I have put in about 5 gallons of acid in the last 4 months. I am now following the TFP recommendation of dropping the pH to 7.2 and aerating back to 7.6.
3) Pool has artificial rock on the deck that sits in in the water. There is a significant buildup of scale on the tile and rocks. I tried using a diluted muriatic acid (1:5) scrub. After 15 minutes I had cleaned 6 inches of water line to about 50% completion. I noticed the solution and scrubbing was removing the rock paint. I stopped.
4) Unrelated to my cleaning attempts, many areas on the artificial rocks have either peeling or worn off paint. What is the best way to make them look good again?
I had taken a water sample to the pool shop when we first moved in. The report I was given (which I cannot find now) stated that my CYA was high but acceptable. My pH was 7.8. My TC and FC were 0ppm. Salt was a bit low and I added some. Now my salt sensor tells me I have 3100ppm. Phosphates were almost non-existant. CH, I cannot remember the value, but I seem to recall he didn't balk at the result either. TA is currently 2200ppm.