Been reading here for a couple weeks and have a few questions. My wife and I purchased a home with a pool in Tempe, Arizona, in December. We moved into the home in February and kept the previous owner's pool guy. Neither my wife or I had owned a pool and knew nothing about maintaining one. With a list of home-improvement projects to tackle, we put off taking over the pool maintenance ourselves. When he came, the pool guy seemed to only rake the surface and empty the skimmer basket. I had enough of this when he made his last visit in April and didn't pick up his monthly check, which was a few feet from the skimmer. He clearly wasn't doing much if he didn't notice the payment. After that, I nicely told him we were going to handle the pool maintenance ourselves.
I've kept a log of the pool chemistry readings, beginning May 1, the day I took over pool maintenance. I took a water sample to a Leslie's Pool store nearby (I know, I know). They said the FC reading was 0 and pH was 7.8. He told me to add chlorine and muriatic acid. I bought a couple gallons of muriatic acid there and then picked up AquaChem Plus 3" chlorine tabs and a box of one-pound bags of Aqua Chem Shock Plus at Costco. I went home and added 1/4 gallon of muriatic acid and two 3" tabs to the floater. The next morning, the readings were FC 0.5 and pH 8.2. I added another 1/4 gallon of muriatic acid and two one-pound bags of Shock Plus. Twelve hours later the readings were FC 3.5 and pH 7.6.
At this point, I felt like a genius and that I had this pool thing down. Ha.
Over the next two days, the FC readings were steady between 5 and 6. The pH went back up to 8.2+ and after adding a gallon of muriatic acid, it dropped to 7.4 within a 24-hour period. On May 4, the reading was FC 5, pH 7.4 Perfect. I took one tab out of the floater, leaving one in, hoping the chlorine level would not get too high.
Life happened and I didn't get a chance to measure again until May 8. The FC reading was 0.5 and pH was 8.2. I added back another chlorine tab and a half gallon of muriatic acid.
This morning, May 11, my Taylor K-2006 kit arrived. The readings were FC 1.5, ph 7.8 and CYA 30 (maybe 25). Impatient and curious, I added a half-gallon of liquid chlorine (10%). I did not have a chance to take other readings (TA, Calcium, etc).
I've read Pool School a few times and am sure I'll be back there many times. I'm hoping I can be pointed in the right direction from some experienced people. It seems that I need to increase my CYA, correct? The pool receives direct sunlight all day and the spillway from the raised spa aerates the pool, as do the sheer descent fountains (these automatically go one for five minutes a day, unless I'm outside and turn them on). Is it normal for pH to fluctuate? How can I stabilize it?
Thanks for any advice, and I apologize for the long, long post.