I recently stumbled across this site and love it. I have a 3 month old SWG gunnite pool. I'm not exactly sure what volume it is but based on some recent conditioner addition, I'm estimating its 20,000 gal. I've read all about the BBB method and I'm slowly moving my pool that direction. Truly, I wish I had run across this sooner as my alkalinity was perfect range but I added quite a bit of baking soda to get my alkalinity numbers up as I believed higher alkalinity 100+ ppm was disireable.
My pool is consuming an incredible amount of acid to keep the pH in check. Haven't exactly been measuring the amount but I've got access to industrial strength MU (37%?) and I've added 2 gallons of it over the last 6 weeks to keep the pH in check. I had a saltwater pool at my last house, it was also a 3 year old gunnite pool, and the acid consumption was significantly lower with 30% acid. Is that because the gunnite was fully cured?
I have a Oreq deluxe test kit I'm using to monitor chlorine, pH, and alkalinity and I'm using Leslies to help with CYU and CH. FC has been probablematic keeping in check so I suspected my CYU was low so I got my pool were I thought it should be and took some samples into the Leslies. The first Leslie's was out of reagent so I took the same sample to a second store and had them run as well. Based on yesterday's results, my conditions were-
My results Leslie's Store 1 Leslie's Store 2
FC 4, 4, 4
pH 7.6, 7.4, 7.8
TA 150, 100, 80
CYU -, 35, 40
CH -, -, 300
Salt -, 3400, -
So I bought a gallon of conditioner to bump up my CYU and put the whole thing in. Today, my results are -
My results Leslie's Store 1
FC 3-4, 3
pH 7.5, 7.8
TA 130, 80
CYU -, 50
CH -, 350
Salt -, 3900
I'm working on trying to bring my alkalinity back down so I added another 1/2 gallon of MU this afternoon and turned on my sheer descents. An hour later, I've measured a pH of 6.8 and a TA of 110 ppm. I can see it is going to take a while to bring my TA in range.
So questions -
1. I'm using an Oreq deluxe test kit(came with the pool) to monitor FC, pH, and TA. I'm concerned with the wildly different numbers I'm getting between the pool stores and myself. Is the Oreq kit reasonably accurate to trust over the pool stores? I know the forum recommends the expensive kits but I would think that once CYU is set at the recommended levels, its not a test I need to monitor closely and can get that run at the pool stores from time to time. Same with CH.
2. I'm normally measuring water levels about an hour after additions. This may tie into question 1 but is that too soon to get a stable reading or is just fine? In both cases, I did my measurements an hour after additions and took a sample to Leslie's.
3. Is the high acid consumption (which seems to me excessive) normal for a new pool?
4. Is there a cheaper source for CYU? Paying $37 for a gallon of Natural Chemistry Conditioner @ Leslies.