Let me start by saying what a great forum/boards you have here. I've been reading up on the BBB method and I have decided to give it a try.
A little bit of background.
6 year old white plaster pool, 19k gallons, polaris, cartridge filters, auto-feed chlorinator and a Nature2 vessel (do not use it though - long story). Going along great until several months ago, when we started to get this reddish/pinkish spots all over the pool which did not want to go away (reading up on it - it appears to be bacteria and not algae?). Went to the pool store and let them talk me into "No More Problems" and shocking it back to normal. Worked great for a few days and then it started to come back. Additionally, I could not keep the chlorine levels up at all - typical reading was 0 or .5ppm.
Here are the sample results from two pool stores:
Store #1 Store #2
Free Chlorine 0.0 0
Total Chlorine 0.2 1
Combined Chlorine 0.2 -
PH 6.8 7.1
Hardness 175 280 (Calcium Hardness)
Alkalinity 70 70
Cyanuric Acid 110 120
Copper not run 0
Iron not run 0
Total Dissolved Solids 1600 1200
Base Demand - 2
After reading the boards, I decided to drain the pool due to the CYA being so high.
Started yesterday afternoon and finished this evening - drained about 75% of the water. As I was draining it, I made a mixture of 50% water and 50% Bleach and using a wire/nylon pool brush I worked my butt off brushing the plaster as the water level dropped. The pink/red spots came off and the plaster is nice an white again. As I was rinsing it off, the runoff into the pool had a white, milky look to it - I assume that is the CYA which attached itself to the plaster?
So now I am filling the pool again - should be complete tomorrow. I am picking up a Chlorine FAS-DPD Service Test Kit from Leslie's tomorrow, which according to the forum is the Taylor K-2006. I plan on bringing a water sample to see what my CYA level is at, run my own sample at home using the test kit, and then use the pool calculator to add bleach and borax as needed based on CYA reading.
I am hoping that is correct and am looking for some guidance from the forum pros. A couple of questions I do have:
1. Do I bring the chlorine up to shock level first or adjust PH first to the correct range, or CYA if it dropped too much?
2. I've turned off the inline chlorinator, but still have a shark float with three pucks floating in the pool. Assuming my CYA has lowered dramatically, do I keep the shark in the pool or totally remove it?
We live outside Austin, Texas. Very hot here, pool is in full sunlight pretty much the whole day, and we have hard water to contend with also. In the past I've used a product to soften the water per directions from the pool store - do I still use something like that using the BBB method? For the life of me - I cannot remember the name of the product.
I also still have a bottle of Pool Perfect which is supposed to remove the phosphates (per pool store) as a preventative - whats the scoop on that?
I also have what appears to be blotching and streaks in various parts of the pool - some grey, some darker. I've tried the puck test on them, the vitamin C test on them and nothing seems to work. If anything, they might have lightened a little bit with the vitamin C tablets, but it could be my imagination. I've taken pics and will post as soon as I figure out how to get them under the limit here on the boards.
Sorry for the rambling.
Thanks in advance for any advice.