My wife and I bought our first home in March 2013 and it had a pool (my wife's dream!). Neither of us had any experience maintaining a pool, but were excited to have one! The previous owner's had paid a pool service to come out weekly for years to maintain the pool. I wanted to see if we could take care of the pool ourselves before paying people a good chunk of money every month year after year. Unfortunately, we didn't do much with the pool initially, except skimming leaves/debris. I did some research online and of course found a whole range of ideas/products/theories, etc on keeping your pool clean. The previous owners had left some 3" chlorine tabs and granular chlorine that I occasionally threw in (based on an OTO test).
I finally had a pool service guy come out and go through a "pool school" explaining the basics and fundamentals of how our pool system operated and ways to maintain it. (He was actually real helpful answering all my questions, not trying to sell me on his service). However, about a week later (after just putting 3" tabs of chlorine in a floater) I noticed a green color to the pool that didn't seem right...so I search the wonderful world wide web and found TFP! I was a little skeptical at first, but once I started reading through "Pool School" and different posts on algae I was hooked
I decided to submit to the BBB theory, get rid of all the store chemicals and shock our pool with bleach.
I only had at the time a 6 way kit from Wal-mart, so I decided to go by the color of the pool until I could order the FC test.
I wouldn't classify our pool as a "swamp" but it didn't look crystal blue and inviting to swim in.
So, on Monday evening April 15, I went to Wal-mart and bought 4 jugs of 8% bleach (thinking this would be a good start).
We poured about 90 oz of bleach every 45 minutes that evening and let the pump run 24/7.
Then we did the same thing all day April 16th (my wife would do it while I was a work- what a trooper).
We started to notice a slight change from green to blue/green. I still didn't have the FC test yet, so we kept adding about 90oz of bleach every 45min-1 hr during the day on April 17th, 18, 19. By early on the 5th day the water was looking very blue and clear (such a good feeling!), we still hadn't received the FC test I had ordered so we kept adding bleach every hour just in case.
When I finally was able to test the FC with FAS-DPD, I couldn't even get a color change from pink to clear after 100 drops. We stopped putting bleach in and I did the test the next 3 days and I quit adding drops after 70-80. So I decided the algae must be dead and gone, so we'll wait. All in all we used 47 jugs of 121oz bleach!
We waited almost 2 weeks and finally the FC tested about 20. Just today it tested at 7 FC, so now I'm using the pool calculator and adding the necessary bleach each day.
It's definitely been a learning experience and tested my patience and faith in the BBB theory but with lots of great education on this site and lots of P.O.P. I am happy to say we have a great clear, blue, balanced pool without lots of excessive chemicals and relying on pool service companies.
Here are my latest test results:
One question I do have: is it still accurate if you add 5mL of pool water with 5mL of distilled water and then do the FAS-DPD test? I have done it a few times and it has been within about 1 ppm of using 10mL of pool water. If it is about the same accuracy, it seems like a good to only use 1/2 as many of the drops (just count the number drops which is equal to the FC, instead of multiplying by 0.5) Any thoughts?
I will attach a few more pics on the next post.