I just bought a house last July, we are first time home and pool owners and we had the pool operating for about a month using the standard shock it once a week and use chlorine pucks method, all the chemicals were things left behind by the previous owner. I did a best effort job of closing the pool last year, not really knowing what I was doing and opened it up last weekend, I brought the water level back up to a little half the height of the skimmer and I had ordered a "pool startup kit" that contained; 2 bags of granulated shock (cal-hypo), a bottle of algecide, a bottle of "stain away", and a bottle of "clarifier", I started running the filter/pump 24 hours a day for the last few days and added the 'stain away', algecide and shock (one bag the first day, second bag the second day). It looked like the pool was doing pretty well, water had turned from green to a slightly cloudy blue, I added some chlorine pucks to the skimmer (trichlor), things looked decent so I had some folks over for a swim yesterday.
Well, this morning I woke up to find that after my 'pool party' the pool has changed from that 'slightly cloudy blue' to a murky swamp looking green, it actually looks even worse than when I initially opened it! I had been using the 'Aqua Check' strips and this morning the FC is showing zero, and PH, TA, and CYA are all showing low, looks like my pool is in trouble.
I had started reading 'pool school' on your site over the last week but I had figured since the water was starting to turn blue and clear up that the shock and puck method was working out, turns out I was wrong.
So, long story short, I have been feverishly reading pool school and I just placed an order for a Taylor K-2006 test kit so I can get things back on track and looks like from all the pool school info and posts on this site that a decent test kit and not the 'test strips' that come from the store is really required before I can start making some intelligent moves to get my pool looking good.
A couple of initial questions; I read the guide on putting my pool info in my signature, and I measured the depth of the water in my pool at 42" today and I know it's 24ft across, so the gallons I should list is the amount of water in the pool based on the current height of the water and not the total depth of the pool, right?
Second question; all the pool school info is based on the test kit results, is there anything I can do now to get the ball rolling with the minimal info I can get from my 'test strips' or should I wait it out until my test kit arrives towards the end of the week/next weekend? I bought a bottle of 'Original' Chlorine while at the store since I had started reading pool school and knew i would need some, but it really looks like I'm going to be making a trip back for quite a bit more. Based on my low PH, TA and CYA it looks like I'll need to pick up some Borax, baking soda, and some stabilizer from the pool store.
I know there's not much that can be done for help until I get that test kit but I just wanted to introduce myself, say thanks for the great website as I am already learning a lot, and see if there was any preemptive measures I could take while waiting for my new test kit to arrive.