Second year with this pool and new member to TFP so a little background before the questions. Last year as a new pool owner, I fell into the step 1-4 plans and got all the various chemicals and using 6 way test strips could never get an FC result over 1ppm while all other reading were OK. Used Cal-hypo 1 inch tabs (3) in the filter basket till gone and dissolved shock treated weekly and almost daily vacuum with a hose and sock. Ended up with slimy walls, green cloudy water in July but kept buying and over-using the Cal-hypo products, won the battle and cleared it up. By the middle of August, testing ended up being if the water seemed clear and you didn't step off the ladder and feel like you hit an ice rink, it was good. And the pool was taken down and packed up early September once the evenings start chilling it to a less than bearable temp.
So the pool is up now for about 4 weeks, water is perfectly clear and this is the current chem recipe:
No Stabilizer yet (tight budget), 3 inch Cal-hypo tabs in the filter basket (new one as needed) and weekly shock BUT with Trichloro (cheaper) and weekly "super-algae" liquid (4 oz).
Still doing Daily vacuum and filter rinse off (I'll replace when it first becomes dinghy) and I have 2 Cal-hypo tabs and plenty of Trichloro left so by next Friday, I'm looking to join the BBB crowd. So here come my questions...
FC - 0 (strip)
TC - 0 (OTO tester)
ph - 7.5 (strip and OTO)
TA - 80 (strip)
TH - 100 (strip)
CYA - 30 (maybe-hate strips) Having been to Pool School, I suspect whatever amount came from Trichloro since I didn't add any?
All the water in the pool comes through the home salt water softener (yes, for sure and it makes for no water spots after a car wash too!). Need to mention that during the daily vacuum drill (because I gave up on trying to cover it), I must release some treated water to stay below max water level. And direct sun all afternoon till dusk...Just having written this out tells me I should probably make an effort to find a better cover (that doesn't constantly blow off) and use it. Also have a shower attachment on the outlet into the pool which I allow to spray into the air overnight as we discovered last year how much cooler the water was once it stayed hot enough to turn the pool into bath water.
1. Is the softened water screwing with the Chlorine and do I need to do anything different or just ignore it and adjust FC till I actually have some?
2. Is my nightly shower routine assisting with clarity and clearness as aeration along with lowering the temp some?
3. I do plan to use up the Trichloro, so do I start trying it nightly and hope to get some FC out of it before going to bleach and not end up with too much CYA?
Having read some of the great advice in the forums and success story results, I thought that before I hit the Pool Calculator, I'd run this by everyone to start me off on the right track. And I'll try and pick up the 6 way drop tester tomorrow so my future results aren't based on best guess of colors.