Hello everyone. My name is SGT Fulmer, and I am currently stationed at Ft Gordon, GA in Augusta. I was out in the field, and when I returned, my wife had bought a nice little 10x30 Intex pool from Academy sports. The kids are excited, so I filled her on up with water from our hose, and the first two days let them swim in it. On the third day, I started to notice the water was a little cloudy and not sparkling like it was. So I did what any person would do, I researched it online, and found myself here. I had bought cholorine tabs from walmart, as welll as a couple orange packages of shock, balancer, and a bunch of other stuff I later found out I did not need. I studied pool school for a couple hours, continued researching various things, and went back to Wally world to return the excess unnecessaries, and to then get what I needed. After I bought some borax and a 7 dollar thing of baking soda, along with a 3 way test kit, I thought I was set. Here are my issues.
#1 - The color coding on the test kit I bought is not very accurate, of course...........The chlorine shade I came up with is around the 2.0 - 5.0 range, which should be safe for swimming, so I guess I am good there. My PH on the other hand is very dark purple, and I am sure it is over 8.0. Until my T 100 test kit comes in, which I ordered from EBay for around 35 bucks, should I keep my kids out of the pool? I cannot get a definite reading, but my kids and wife think I am going too "in depth", or "overboard" so to say on the whole testing thing, and I will not allow them into the pool until I am 100% sure its safe, even if its just the pH. I an unsure of how much muriatic acid to add since I dont know the exact reading, so what would you all do until the good test kit comes in? Keep em out of the water, or let em swim for 2 hours at a time, and then shower off directly after getting out? I dont even have the muriatic acid on hand, I haveto run out and buy some, but what should I do? Just guestimate, and add the MA in in very small amounts, and keep testing 15 minutes after adding the stuff until the color gets in range?
#2 - Should I buy a vacuum for our little pool? There is not that much on the floor of the pool as of right now, and I scrub it with a plasic push broom every day, and then use my net to try and get most of what I can out of the pool after doing that. Should I go ahead and get the vacuum just in case? I do like taking care of the things I have....... I plan on using our pool from May thru October, so what is a good cheap vacuum that you all would recommend? Keep in mind that Im an E5 in the Army, and dont have a ton of disposable income!!!!!
#3 - I have heard alot of talk about stabalizer, or CYA,and i am wondering that if I am using the BBB method, should I use any CYA? My wife is a couponer, and we have a grip of regular bleach, so chlorine really isnt a concern for us, but would it do me good to just "take the plunge" and get some CYA, so I wont use up her stockpile of Clorox in 2 weeks? Is it worth it, or is that one of the chemicals I could do without with regular testing, cleaning and adding of the BBB?
Sorry for all the questions, Im just really new to this whole pool thing. I guess I am a worst scenario type of guy. I even got a door chime put on our front and back doors, just so if my 3 year old opens the door, we'll know, and there is no chance of him trying to get into the pool when we aren't paying complete attention to him. Everyone but me in my household thinks I am off my rocker and being a worrywart, but I try and remind them that an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.