So this all began on April 4th. There was a short heatwave of 80F for a week or so I got the bright idea to open the pool. The water actually got up to 68F which is bearable for my crazy kids.
I found an empty bottle of bleach under the deck which got me thinking about not wanting to deal with the jugs all summer. I decided to go with a SWG and found out that Intex still sells the non-copper ionizing model directly. (I've since found out that Lowes sells the non-copper model too!)
After the kids were done and the heatwave was over I decided to go ahead with borates. I added borates up to 64ppm and got TA to 90. After making sure my pH was on the mark I went through through the shock process via liquid bleach with a CYA of 50.
The water was now 55F and I figured I wouldn't be messing with it for a few weeks so I put 4 leftover trichlor tablets from a previous owner into a floater and left it alone.
A week later I tested the FC and it had actually risen from 18 to 24! By then my SWG had arrived and was installed. I added CYA with a sock in front of the return and overshot by 20ppm. This was probably due to the tablets, the cold water I used to run the test and/or the longer dissolve time.
Two weeks later at the end of April I had 90 CYA and 18 FC. I actually unplugged the SWG thinking it was malfunctioning and producing chlorine!
Last weekend I tested the FC with an OTO test to see if it was beginning to fall in range and to my delight it was actually 5ppm! Finally I am excited to use my SWG, although I did feel odd wanting to lose FC.
Over the course of the week I test again and it's still 5ppm! Friday comes and it is STILL 5ppm! I assume my OTO test is bad so I use the FAS/DPD test and it confirms FC is 5.5ppm. The kids and family used the pool all weekend with the water around 77F and FC held at 5ppm the entire time.
The SWG is still unplugged and there are no tablets floating. All I can think of is that the combination of high CYA and the borates is reducing my demand to ridiculously low levels. At this rate my SWG should last years!
Thanks TFP for helping me get my water almost maintenance free!