Bought house 2 years ago. Blindly chlorinated with pucks and powdered shock the first year and used the test strips (I know, I know).
Massive rain storm in June of 2012, turned the pool green. Switched to using liquid chlorine at that time on advice of local pool store. Still didn't switch to decent testing supplies. Dumped about half a jug of 10.5% once a week when it was hot and cleaned filter every week or two. When it was cold I hardly had to do anything.
Fast forward to May 2013. Rained for a week solid, pool turned green again, water up over the top of the skimmer. Finally ordered TF-100 and am awaiting its arrival, so I have two testing method, these crappy 6 way test strips with expiration of 5/2014, and a generic 5 way drops in tubes based test kit. Dumped a full jug of chlorine in the pool brushed, cleaned filter, etc. Pool turned greener. Tested water with strips. Total chlorine zero, free chlorine like 10ppm+. What the huh? Tested with the drops, which only go to 5ppm. Test says check the free level immediately after mixing, and then wait 2 or 3 minutes and check color again for combined chlorine. Both say 5+. I brush, clean filter every day, run pump 24x7 for several days, pool is still bright green. Filter is not getting the dark green stuff like I am expecting. Went to pool store yesterday on the way home and picked up 4 jugs of 10.5%, dumped one in last night pump running filter 24x7. No change this morning. I dump in another 2.5 gallon jug, clean filter, which is still not getting very visibly dirty.
Right now, the filter pressure is 6psi which is as low as it goes. Based on the test strips, which I absolutely hate, because they don't seem accurate and I have a hard time distinguishing between the colors, my readings are approximately:
Total hardness: 250ppm
Total chlorine: 10ppm+
Free chlorine: 20ppm+
pH: Cannot tell from the strips. The colors from 7.2 - 8.4 on the sticker look too similar to me
Total alkalinity: ~120ppm
Stabilizer: Can't really tell, color doesn't look like the bottle. I think somewhere 50 - 100?
From the drops, the chlorine is way over 5ppm, which is as high as the chart goes. The top of the chart is deep yellow, the water is almost red.
The pH from the drops appears to be up over 8.2 which is as high as the chart goes. Another test on there is acid demand, which indicates I need 1.5 - 2 gallons of acid to get down to 7.4. The only other test I have right now is the total alkalinity test from the drops, which seems about 200ppm.
The water smells very strong of chlorine right now, so I really think I am good there for the time being, but I don't understand why the green is going nowhere.
On another note, prior to the rainy week, the pH registered really, really high, and according to the acid demand chart, I needed 2 gallons of acid, so I put that in and it stabilized around 7.4 for several days before the rain. How in the world does the pH keep skyrocketing like this? Or is there something else going on that makes the pH reading wrong?