I am new to the forum, but have been reading/learning for a couple months. I switched to BBB this season (4/15 opening) and love it so far.
I have a 20x40 (33K gall) in-ground gunite (plaster?) with a sand filter. It's located in central North Carolina and I get direct sun/full sun on it roughly 4 hrs/day. This pool is "super old" (80's style) and I'm sure the water is too...7 years ago it was on Baquacil, then we got it and changed to di-chlors and tri-chlors which we've been using for years, unknowning how it affected CYA)
We have been struggling for the past for years with super high CYA levels (up to 150 last season!) and couldn't figure why we had to keep adding so much Chlorine just to get a 1-3 reading, not to mention how fast algae would grow and the 'circular refernce' of shock/ ph adj/vaccum to waste/pump running continuously, repeat! After doing mad research before opening this season, now I know why we struggled! I cant afford to replace 52% of my water, so I'm trying to keep my chlorine levels up high to compensate til the CYA (eventually over lots of time/displacement goes down).
I have been using basic strips to monitor TC/FC and Ph. (I have only had to adjust Ph 2x since April, yay) But, Did a k-2005 test today to check a few things. the chlorine reading doesn't go high enough on this test and i didn't trust myself on the CH levels, as I don't use this kit often, yes, I know i should more now! so, I took to my local store to get tested. (turns out the CH was correct my test vs. thiers..yay, but boo).
I realized (hopefully not too late) I haven't been paying attention to my CH level and have a questions. Here are the results I got from store:
TA: 105 (i thought I got an 80 or 90 on my K-2005 test..) hope this TA level is OK
Total Hardness: (i assume this is the same as CH): 74!!!!!
I also got a saturation index of -0.7. not sure if this is same as CSI?
*re: chlorine.. I need to get this up a bit more today.. I know!
Anywho- they wanted some $155 for 57# (matches what pool calculator calls for) of cal. chloride to bring my CH level up. I have a few questions re: CH
1. is there a better/cheaper place to get this?
2. Do you suggest all at once or a bit at a time?
3.Will it affect any of my other levels?
I also have a question re: PhosFree. Last year we did a lot of research on phosphates. Some (not so) wise soul decided to put this pool in the "forest" near a lake, so...I have lots of "nature" around,(ie- trees), including ducks, who like to poo in there semi-regularly (i try to keep up with it and scare 'em away as much as possible). anyway, last year we did a couple PhosFree treatments and it seemed to help. My question is, would it behoove me to do a PhosFree treatment while using the BBB method? would it help or hinder do you think?
Any advice on my CH questions and PhosFree question, or anything else you see fit to throw in would be much appreciated! Thanks!