Hi all, good ol' springtime here in Michigan...beginning our tenth year of first time pool ownership (came with the house) and have had a few minor challenges but nothing I couldn't figure out with the help of my friendly local pool store (and my credit card, ha). Found TFP last fall while looking something up on the Interweb and after reading thru many many many of the threads I couldn't wait to open the pool this spring and get with the BBB program. I've always taken really good care to keep the chems balanced and have only had a ph sag issue every couple of years that of course was solved with ph up from the pool store. Used trichlor pucks in a doser the past few years (which until now I thought was the cat's whiskers) but of course I've had to add other stuff to tweak the chemistry back into line. Not too bad all in all, especially after reading the problems many here have had in the past, and the water usually looks very good but of course my blonde daughters really hate green hair (from the algaecide...NOW I know). Interesting thing is that for a few years early on I didn't need to shock...just kept the numbers in line with the Leslie's pool guide that was left in the pool shed and had beautiful water with no algae issues. Some years since then I've had to shock to clear up algae starting or to give the ppm a good boost when the FC was getting used up quickly but it's only been occasional. And a couple of times a year everything is perfect and we get the magical "invisible water": seeing the floor drain 10' down in incredible detail and being afraid to dive in with the light on at night because it looks like there is NO water in the pool...you actually have to touch it to tell that it's there. Something I'd like to have ALL the time.
And I figured out a few years ago that keeping the LoopLoc on too long after winter (early April) heats up the surface water and the algae party starts weeks before I think it will, turning pool opening into a chemical war. Spring has been much better since I learned that one.
Fortunately the chem balance was pretty good to begin with this spring, started using bleach right away although I still have half a bucket of pucks that I suppose I'll use when we go on vacation. Some Arm and Hammer washing soda to tweak the ph, brushed/vacuumed and everything else fell into line. Realized how much I love brushing/vacuuming so ordered a Maytronics Supreme M5 from Epic the other day. Pump rebuild parts came so I did that yesterday and swapped it back in and took the spare out. Pretty much had today free since I penciled in that I'd be working on the pool this weekend but it's ready...so I figured what the heck: BORATES!
I'll pre-qualify this by saying that our local pool store tried to get me to go with the Bioguard Optimizer stuff a few years ago...also happened that one of the people I worked with at the time had it in her pool, so I checked it out. Sparkly, soft-feeling water...pretty nice but I ended up not doing it due to price. This morning I remembered reading the borates info here and went back to it, then figured out that it's essentially what Optimizer was doing...but WAY cheaper. Ran over to Meijer, sure enough 20 Mule Team (only 17 boxes though) and muriatic acid (8 gallons), so I bought what they had (calculation for my pool is 24-25 boxes borax and 9-10 gallons acid). Came home, retested chems to make sure all was good, and put the correct balance in. Already starting to look better tonight, will hit another Meijer or a Malwart for more 20 Mule and acid this week. Ordered Lamotte borate test strips online, will see where I'm at before adding more borax. Looking forward to swimming after the cottonwood fluff finishes this week (and I turn the heater on).
Thanks to all for their informative contributions.
Oh boy, this site is great! (Think Flounder)