My wife and I just bought a home in March, and it has a pool. While I was not looking for a pool when purchasing, I am certainly excited by the idea of having one, as I grew up with a neighborhood pool. I have read a lot of posts on Trouble Free Pool, and am very happy with the knowledge I have obtained. Thank you everyone. Now to the point. This is my first opening. I paid local pool shop to open, as they had closed it. They opened it, and I won't complain here, all I need to do is fix my water, as I want to swim. I have taken water to the pool store a few times now to be tested, and I just keep leaving with more chemicals in hand and less money in pocket. I also keep getting differing advice from the store attendents, so I need some good advice. I am interested in getting my water balanced and then using the BBB method (With SWG) to maintain it.
First test results: (5/15/2013) (Water was slightly cloudy, brown/dirty stains on walls)
Water temp was 70 F (Per my thermometer).
Shock Treatment 0.2
I was advised to replace about 1 foot of water to get salt down, then add 8 gallons liquid chlorine, leave pump running, SWG and heat off. Then retest in a few days. On 5/16/2013, I drained probably 33%, cleaned the pool, and added 5 gallons of chlorine as I had removed so much water and different pool employee on phone advised to not add full 8 gallons. No one was home, so could not fill pool to top. 5/17/2013 I brought pool up to full level with hose water (non-softened municipal water).
Test results (5/17/2013) Stains on wall faded significantly when under water that was shocked.
Water temp 72 (per my thermometer)
Shock Treatment 0.1
I was advised to add 32 oz muriatic acid, wait 2 hours, recheck pH, then if in range, add 1 pound Aux Brite Shock, and 17 ozs Phosfree.
I purchased a vacuum so I could finally vacuum the pool. I added about 32 oz muriatic acid (probably more). Rechecked pH with dip strips purchased at pool store. Then added 1 lbs of aux brite and 2 gal liquid chlorine, since I brought my pH to about 7.2 per my dip strips. Also added 17 ozs Phosfree. I tested with strips, and my FC was 3-5ppm, pH 7.2, TA 120 ish (Color did not match picture on bottle, so I went by darkness if that makes sense) ,CYA was lighter than the 30-50 color, so somewhere between 0 and 30, and Salt read 1290 but I think i performed the test improperly.
The next moring, my FC was 5 ppm, pH 7.2, TA 120, CYA 0-30, Salt 3320. Water clear enough to read a dime in the deepish (6.5 ft) end. After 7 hours of sun light, FC now 0 with all others unchanged.
I have questioned adding stabilizer as my stabilizer has been low on the tests at the pool store, and was told that we could not measure stabilizer until all chemicals were properly balanced and the pool was at operating temp of 78-82. Other than that the stabilizer test is not accurate. My SWG is currently off, and I probably need a new cell, as my Salt has always read low, even after I cleaned the cell. The cell was caked in light bluish green to white buildup, probably 2 mm thick on all sides of the plate. I am assuming it was not checked or cleaned regularly. I cleaned the cell and ran overnight with it off. I then turned it back on and got he error, although it is reading 2300 salt now vs 1200 before I cleaned it. I will probably keep using Chlorine until my pool is stable, then retry turning on the cell to see if it still fails.
Now I am looking for advice for what to do next. I figure I need to add more chlorine, but should I be adding CYA at this time? I feel like everything I add is disappearing in the sun. I have been told to leave the cover off until we get everything stabilized. The pool shop also wants me to bring my CH up, but I am not sure that is necessary since I have a vinyl pool. Any advice? I currently have 2 bottles of chlorine liquid, with I am considering adding when it gets dark out, as I need to keep some chlorine in the pool. I am calculating 2 bottles of chlorine to raise the FC to 14 ppm for another shock, as I keep getting advice to keep shocking until we get an FC of 1-3 two days after the shock. I am planning on ordering a test kit as recommended on this site (TF-100 or similar). But, will be using my strips until then.
The water looks fantastic. It is clear and the pool is a nice blue color. I really want to get in. Please let me know if you have any advice. I am a DIY'er at heart, so I love to do my own thing and to get away from using overpriced experts that have "only worked here (pool store) for 2 weeks." I like all of the info I learned from the pool store, but believe I have seen a lot better on this site. Thanks in advance.