First time/first season pool lover here who barely passed HS chemistry... and starting to get a bit overwhelmed by it all. Whew. The pool has been up for 3 weeks now.
When should I test for chlorine ... when the SWG is running? Just after it stopped, middle of the day, etc? And, from where in relation to the return?
I've tested in different scenarios and get wildly different readings. I've even tested with the SWG running, getting the water right from the return to ensure my used Intex 8110 SWG is working. It obviously is working in that that specific test sent the chlorine off my Homedepot purchased, little, not T100 , Poolmaster Basic 5 test kit. Straight from the return tested bright neon yellow! Yowza. I've tested in the middle of the day with "ideal" 2.0-3.0 readings on the chlorine (ideal according to the test vial text!).
My water is clear, though I can't say it's crystal clear.
And, <ducking for cover> , as far as chemicals added, so far I've followed the advise of the decent guy that I bought the SGW from ... he said salt and only salt, that's all the chemicals he ever added. He sold the SWG, BTW, because he went from AGP Intex to a much larger, sunken Doughboy w/all the fancy upgraded gadgets for solar, SWG etc. He did tell me to he used muriatic acid to clean the plates at the end of the season.
To start with, I've been running the Intex 2650 sand pump/filter 4 hrs starting at 6PM with the SWG running 3 hrs during that time (manufacture's recommendations from the manuals). I chose 6PM so that it is running while I'm home, at least until I grew confident that all is well mechanically. It is. So, today I'll change the timers to start at 2pm, for 4/3 hrs for the time being.
I just read some of Pool School info, again, and am overwhelmed. I'm almost embarrassed to post readings here as they are varying so much with time/location taken. But, here goes.
Today's readings (take at 12:30PM), for what I bothered to test for before giving up in fear and running to TFP:
Chlorine: 0, didn't even register
Ph: 7.8 - 8,2
Acid demand test: 2 drops to bring it to 7.4-ish.
When I'm reading the levels, what background should I hold the vials to? It seems to make a difference. I'm bouncing back 'n forth between holding the vials up to the blue sky and the white pool ladder.
My chlorine levels shouldn't vary so drastically between SWG daily cycles, should they?
Egads, as is apparent from this post going every which way, I'm feeling lost and not sure where to go from here: CYA = cover your Axxxx to me. I'm a rockhound, I've got oxalic acid for cleaning my crystals and trusty 20-Mule-Team Borax for rock tumbling (and keeping ants out of the dishwasher). I like simplicity.
I still love my pool and this site, though!! I'm learning that pools are like my horses, a labor of love. And, oh so worth it!
Thanks for any and all input!
PS I can hear all the exasperated gasps from you seasoned pros out there! LOL Thanks for bearing with us countless newbies!