I am a "new" pool owner and have a bunch of questions. I bought my first home in December, 2011 and it came with a pool. (YAY!!) It's an 18' round, above ground pool with a Pentair Sand Dollar sand filter...which I ran pretty much 24-7 all season. The pool was installed in the summer of 2011, so it was pretty much brand new.
Last year, I fumbled through the season, checking this forum out to try to "fix" my problems as they arose. I'm hoping to get it right this year and avoid as many issues as possible, and maybe spend more time swimming than I spend vacuuming and adjusting chemicals.
The biggest issue I had last year by far was recurring problems with algae. My pool is in direct sunlight all day (no trees, so no leaves, so that's a plus!) so I'm sure all that sunshine helped that out a bit. I shocked, poured in algaecide (and lots of other chemicals as per the calculator), and vacuumed repeatedly over the course of the summer. Each time, the sides and bottom would be clean and the water would get nice and clear, but the algae kept coming back. When I closed the pool for the winter, I drained the filter and the last bit of water that came out was NEON GREEN!! eww!! I'm wondering if I never completely killed off all the algae? Is it normal for that water to be green??
One thing that I've learned is that I maybe should have backwashed...I kept looking at the pressure guage and it never rose to the point that indicated a backwash was necessary, but maybe I should have done it anyway (?) I guess I'm still not completely sure what backwashing is supposed to accomplish. At any rate, I never backwashed the entire season...could that be part of the problem? Is it possible some algae continued to live in the sand of the filter and that's why it kept coming back? Should I consider changing the sand in the filter? One site I looked at said to do it only every 3-5 years, but I was wondering if I should get rid of it to try to get rid of any residual algae.
Now, one thing I know for sure, I was not really "religious" about testing the water (probably only about once a week) and the chlorine did drop off from time to time, although I didn't think it ever got that bad. I'm considering getting an inline chlorinator as I think that will help me keep a more steady chlorine level.....any thoughts on that?
I really hope I can get out ahead of things this year. If I can't solve the algae problem, I'll probably sell the pool as the expense of running the pump and buying all the chemicals isn't worth the 8 or 9 times I was actually able to get IN the silly thing last year!
Thanks in advance for your help. I would really like to open my pool up this weekend. (It is the tradition to open the pool on Memorial Day weekend, right?)