After months of trying things, our pool maintenance people have not been able to correct our pool problems, so as they say, if you want something done properly...
First off, our pool:
Pool volume: 16,000 US gallons
Type of filter: Cartridge
Type of pool: In ground
Pool surface: Plaster / cement
Pump size & flow rate: 420sq.ft. / 150gpm
Date of pool build / install: Unknown. At least 3 years old
A week ago, the maintenance service installed a Pentair Water Model 300 Offline Chlorine / Bromide Feeder was recently installed onto pressure side of pump. This was an attempt to avoid the zero TC during the weekly check.
Second, test results from this morning:
FC=0, CC=0.5, pH=7.9, TA=120, CH=450, CYA=45, Borates unknown, total alkalinity=120, acid demand=2, copper=0, iron=0, total dissolved solids=3000, phosphates=100.
Note the high TDS, pH, phosphates and CH. There is no FC. We are recovering from algae. Still traces remaining.
Here's the background. It all started one day with a big algae problem. We are in California. It is sunny with Summer temps mid 80's. The pool hovers at mid 80's. Sometimes I lift the temp to 90. We have solar but I have a clear pool cover that does the job easily. One day after a warm period, I took the pool cover off and there was a lot of algae. The pool guy (I'll call him dude#1) comes once a week, just tests for chlorine and pH and invariably adds a gallon of liquid chlorine. He pretty much adds a gallon every week. He shocked the pool once, the algae mostly went away (We also scrubbed the pool), but he reported every week that the chlorine was zero. He also added acid once, saying the chlorine problem was related to cyanuric acid. After 2 gallons of chlorine didn't do it, finally his boss turned up (dude#2) and showed me an off the scale phosphate reading, which he treated with some stuff that he said bonded to the phosphate. That turned the pool blue for a few days but did clean up the algae. Also, he installed an offline chlorinator. After a week, dude#1 turned up as usual and said again, zero chlorine. Another gallon added.
I don't know much about pools, but it seemed to me these guys are treating the symptom. So I took a water sample to the local pool shop this morning, the results of which I have posted here. They thought TDS was the chlorine problem and that I needed to drain the pool. But I went online and read this article about TDS (http://ppoa.org/pdfs/What%20is%20the%20 ... Solids.pdf). Is this really the root of the problem? I *suspect* the water may be old. We have been here 3 years and the previous occupant of 15 years never used the pool so I am trying to find out from them when the pool water was last changed. So it is possible over time that salt has accumulated. But according to this article, the liquid chlorine can add to that problem, yet that on its own should not be the problem of zero chlorine. Plus we have the offline chlorinator. Dude#1 thinks the pump is not circulating enough water. I asked him what the gauge should read. He said 19psi. Well, it's reading 18 or 22 with the solar on. It is worth mentioning that I don't think dude#2 has come back yet to clean out the cartridge that should contain the algae. Finally, I run the filter 5 hours a day. The pool shop says I should run it for 8. That *sounds* like a lot (It cetainly is expensive), but what is the norm?
The pool guys have no idea why we have zero FC each week, even with the chlorinator. Is it really the TDS? Or do the other high readings point to another cause?