I just recently (well, in the fall) bought and moved in to my first house, which happens to have an inground pool. I have never owned a pool before, and up until a week ago knew close to nothing about them. Since then I have been reading non stop, and I think I have the basics all figured out. What I need to know is exactly what I should do from here on out chemical wise. First the story:
I uncovered the pool on Tuesday, and was greeted by a nice swamp. I think the previous owners let the chlorine drop before covering and closing, and probably had an algae bloom started. The walls were completely covered in green algae, and the surface had a nice green slick on top, as you can see in the picture. It was not a pretty sight, as a friend of mine is so clearly demonstrating.
As I did not yet have a test kit (already ordered based on suggestions here) I took the water to the local pool store. The results on their test showed the following:
The guy at the store suggested that these numbers weren't bad enough to worry to much about, and for the moment to just worry about shocking the algae. He suggested 6 1 pound bags of Bioguard Burn Out Extreme, which the package lists as 47% calcium hypochlorite, and 53% clarifier/scale inhibitor. I bought a case of 12, as well as some 3in trichlor pucks for my feeder, and some 4 in 1 test strips to hold me over until I got a real test kit.
I got the pump up and running after cleaning and soaking my cartridges, and everything ran smoothly. I predissolved and dumped in the 6 bags of burnout, and the test showed over 10ppm FC. 15 minutes later it showed 0 again.
By the next day things were looking much better, but because the FC was 0 I dumped in the other 6 bags. Again, it shot up, then back to 0.
Now it is thursday, and I need to know where to go from here. Here are some pics from today.
Currently the test strip shows a PH of about 7.5, Alk at 100, CYA at near 0, and FC at 0. I don't know the CC level, but I can smell chlorine so I imagine there is a good amount. I know these aren't entirely accurate, and I am planning to get it tested at the store again tonight. Good signs are I see a lot of brown residue collecting on the floor (dead algae I am assuming) and the filter pressure has risen 8psi meaning it is catching stuff. I will disassemble and clean it tonight, and vacuum again.
The question is what is the best thing to do from here on? Should I worry about bringing my alk up, PH down, and CYA up, or should I just concentrate on the chlorine for now? I have a chlorine feeder full of triclor pucks going full blast, but it obviously isn't enough to get FC past 0 yet. Should I get some bleach and just shock the **** out of it until it holds, and then worry about the other levels?
Some extra basic info i may have missed:
About 25,000 gallon inground vinyl pool, 4 cartridge filter, still pretty cold (around 55 degrees)
One other question, I have read with a vinyl pool a low hardness level is perfectly fine, but fiberglass pools want some. My pool is vinyl, but has fiberglass steps and a mini 2 seat spa, which you can see in the pictures, so I am assuming I should worry about getting my calcium up right?
Thanks for the help guys, I really appreciate it. Can't wait to get it cleaned up and fire up the heater!