Ok, let me preface this post by saying that I know if I wanted to read through the forum then I'd probably find an answer to my problems. However, patience is not one of my strong suits. Let me also say that I am a complete newbie with a T-total of 3 months experience owning an inherited 3 to 4 year old pool. The only thing I knew about pools before now, was you had to add chlorine and other chemicals and keep them in check (which was a nightmare as described to me). Therefore the intimidation factor was already in affect before I even got started.
I know just a little about my current pool setup. We bought our house in March and it came with what looks to me like the world's smallest in-ground pool. After having a friend over to show me how to turn it on from the winterized state it was in and clean it, things went great for the first couple of months. The water was clear and I had the chemical levels in the "preferred" range according to the HTH test strips I have. A few weeks ago, the water started turning "cloudy" or "milky" if you prefer. After shocking it once, trying algaecide a couple of times, clarifier once, and some Leslie's Ultra Bright once, I still had no cure. Finally, I broke down and took a pool sample to Leslie's and got my results. Turns out the conditioner level was too high and nothing but time would clear that up. How much time will it take? Crud, I didn't even know what conditioner was before then (CYA after looking it up).
Here's a breakdown of what I know.
FC - 3
TC - 3
CH - 100
CYA - 90
TA - 80
pH - 7.4
Copper - 0
Iron - 0
Phosphates - 2500 (I know it's super high, but I live in the sticks and I have a living dead frog in my pool most mornings, not to mention all the bugs.)
Here's what else I know.
It is a gunite pool in an hour glass shape. It's ~3 ft. in the shallow end to ~5 1/2 ft. in the deep end (my friend who helped guestimated it to be around 10,000 to 11,000 gallons.) I have a Hayward setup, with a 1 1/2 HP Super Pump, a Hayward Pro Series sand filter (not sure on the size, but I have pictures and can find out), a Hayward Chlorine Feeder, and some smaller pump (Simer is the brand?) that looks like all it is for is discharging water maybe? The strainer is Hayward also. It has two (2) "ports" in the bottom of it. The front "port" appears to produce more suction than the other. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to cap the other one when I vacuum or not (tried both ways and it worked both ways), so any advice there would be appreciated.
The guy at Leslie's told me, which sounds right, that there is nothing I can do to lower the CYA (conditioner) level except to turn down my chlorine feeder and wait and see. What I failed to ask was, how long do I have to wait? Any ideas on how long it will take or other options I have? I read somewhere about draining part or all of the pool and starting over. Does that sound legit? Now that I've turned my chlorine feeder from 4 to 3, I show zero (0) FC when I test with my strips. I would like to use my pool this summer, and so would my 11 year old.
I know the phosphates are an area of concern and apparently the CH is as well, but my main concern is making it look like a pool I'd want to swim in and not a murky pond. Once I get the water clear, then I'll work on the phosphates and anything else. Where I'm at, I get a lot of dirt/dust blown into the pool, so any advice I can get on dealing with that would be helpful as well.
I am open to any and all advice/critiquing. I will not get offended by comments, unless they are just direct attacks, so feel free to be constructive in your criticism or comments. I want to thank each and everyone who posts help here in advance. I will actively monitor this post, so I should respond to comments quickly if more information is needed. There is probably more to say than I can remember, so this will be the start, and if I remember anything else, I'll post it. Thanks again.