First off, I want to say a huge thank you to the writers of pool school and to the stickies and articles i've read thus far. I've learned so much in the past day or so reading. Also, I feel like the pool calculator and BBB is like taking HS chem all over again. I've ordered the membership to this site and am going to use the discount to get the TF100 test kit asap- Now on to my pool.
We bought the house in the fall and used the pool one time. It was "professionally closed" because we were doing a remodel and were willing to pay to have it done.
In the spring, we had sort of a cold but wet spring. During a week of especially heavy rain I noticed that the pool was filled up to the brim and we had a huge pool that rose above the safety cover. I peeked underneath and found the liner was bulging out all around the pool. I feared the walls had collapsed with the wet earth. I called another pool store (the local one closes over the winter) and they suggested it was ground water and I had to pump it at least below the coping/near skimmer and simply wait for the liner to settle. I did this but more heavy rains repeated this groundwater issue about a week later in March and again I pumped it down just below the skimmer
Sure enough they were right and the liner went back down plus a few wrinkles and a few places where its come free of the track.
Fast forward to opening. We waited too long and opened on May 18th. Again we were clueless and very pool stored. - We are learning now though
5/18 - Filled from below skimmer but above returns with well water (needs to be tested). At this point its a dark green color, nothing floating but a layer of green on the bottom. Pool store sold us 10 bags of lithium shock and 32oz each of algecide and a metal Sequestrant. I was reading on the bottles and it didn't seem like all this should be added at the same time so I just started with Shock and added the rest the following day. The test strip at the point before chemicals showed mostly 'normal readings' except somewhat high TA and 0 FC. Also was brushing and vacing what i could see. At this point the strip reads PH 7.2-7.4, FC 0, and TA 170-200 CYA 30-50 TH 200 (i know they are inaccurate)
5/19-5/22 I couldn't afford or didn't want to afford more lithium and started to do some basic reading on similar shock and found dichlor might be good cause it wouldn't effect PH. That and it was less than half as much money. Pool was still greenish and reading 0 FC. I added 5 bags each night on 5/20 and 5/21 and was brushing/ vacing what I can see. Also put the triclor pucks in from last year (what the previous owners used) and figured any chlorine might help the 0 FC level (all the while not realizing i'm cranking up the CYA).
5/23 I find TFP - I read a ton - and realize what I have done / wasted. So now the test kit is on the way. Let me tell you what a strip reading is (although I know these are poor). FC 0 - PH 6.8-7.2 TA 180+ CYA 30-50 TH 200 (but may be higher as dichlor and triclor were in recently)
The pool is sort of a hazy or cloudy bluish green but mostly on the bluer side also I noticed as of today I can see to the bottom whereas I couldn't yesterday. I can add pictures if this is helpful
1. Should I be using the solar cover each day while balancing to help prevent FC burnoff or could it be damaged by other chemicals being somewhat out of whack?
2. I seem to have low PH and pretty high TA. I tried turning the jets more toward the surface but I do not really think its increasing aeration that much.
3. At current CYA levels the pool calculator wants me to use 11 or 12 jugs of bleach just to bring it to shock level. This seems like a ton of bleach. Assuming I get this under control, about how much bleach will I expect to be adding to the pool on a weekly basis to maintain FC levels and is this my next step (adding all the bleach)?
4. On that same note, should I be draining down this weekend, do the repairs to the liner to get it back into the track following the suggestions i've found here, and then fill from well to help lower CYA? (or, the answer to this may be test well water first)
Again thank you all for your time and expertise. I'm really glad I found pool school and this community.