AquaChek 7 way test strip results (this is what my local pool store used, so I bought a 25 pack end of last year)
FC - 0
CC or TC - 10
pH - 7.2-7.8
TA - 180
CH - 500
CYA - don't recall
I bought the pool, er house, last October. It is a 20x40 "play pool", roughly 5' deep at the ends and about 7' deep in the middle, vinyl lined. It has a skimmer at one end, and a main drain in the bottom, 3 jets and a booster jet. There is a sand filter and natural gas heater. It has 2 walk in entries, one end and the opposite end in the corner.
I paid a crew to "open" it, which was largely a waste. I was hoping to get some answers on plumbing and maintenance, and also expected a balanced pool- but I gather that what I got was typical: remove and stow cover, skim, check for leaks, throw some shock in, as well as some algicide and floc (with subsequent vacuuming.) $515. Blech.
So, when I tested with some strips, I got the numbers above. From what I have read so far, I need to replace about half the water in the pool to drop the calcium as my first step. The problem is that when it got below the skimmer, it stopped. Since there is a main drain, is there a way to determine if I can divert all suction to that? It is plumbed into the sewage, so waste water just goes into the sewer, which is nice. I do have an old above ground pump I could use, but would need to dump the water somewhere?
I plan to start using liquid chlorine once I get the hardness down, and I would consider the better testing kit, but the strips are convenient.