So I've creeped on this board for a few years, read the pool school, and use The Pool Calculator to figure out what I need to add, but for some reason every year I can never get my openings correct. So I end up at my local pool store saying..."It's cloudy, now what" Once I get it clear I can maintain my pool no problem.
I have the 6-way kit from Walmart as well as my HTH Test Strips (I hate them as I can never tell the colors) and the Borates Test Strips, however just a few minutes ago I broke down and bought the TF-100 and am awaiting delivery.
So on my annual trip to my local pool store (a mom 'n pop store that sells only Bioguard products) I knew some of my numbers, I was sure my CYA was close to 30 (I had just got it up there when the rains came and to prevent my pool from overflowing I lowered the water level, but forgot about it when I was dealing with my sump pump check valve failure and now I need to re-add more water) and my Alkalinity was somewhere between 80 and 90, my PH was somewhere in the 8 range.
So the results come back, and of course I *need* to buy stuff , but do I really need everything they want me to buy most likely not, usually it ends up me needing to buy 3-5 bags of shock and that solves my problem.
Their test results says the following:
CYA: 26 Ideal: 30-200
Tot Chlorine: 0.3 Ideal: 1-3
Free Chlorine: 0.3 Ideal: 1-3
pH: 8 Ideal: 7.4-7.6
Tot Alkalinity: 89
Adj. Total Alk: 81 Ideal 125-150
Tot Hardness: 223 Ideal: 175-225
Optimizer +: 29 Ideal: 30-35
Iron: 0.1 Ideal: 0
Quat: 1 Ideal: 4
Then they recommend the following:
2 qts of Pool Magnet Plus (and to use Sparkle Up to aid the filter in removal) - Ok bought the 2 qts but not the Sparkle Up
22lbs of Balance Pak 100 (I don't think I've ever put 22 lbs of baking soda in my pool ever so I skipped that saying I need to check what I have at home [ about 1 lb left over from last year])
3.5lbs of Low n Slow - Bought that as my hardware store was out of muriatic acid
2lbs of Stabilizer 100 - Bought that for good measure
2 Bags of Burn Out3 (she recommended 4 bags though) - Bought that too cause every year that seems to be my problem every opening.
32oz of Pool Tonic - Skipped this as during the testing I made the comment "Oh what's this, didn't see this last year, they always seem to come up with something new" and was told its to remove phosphates from the water
7 lbs of Optimizer Plus and an additional 3.5 lbs of Lo ' n Slow - Skipped that as I'll just wait for the hardware store to have muriatic acid back in stock and get more Borax from Walmart (I wiped them out yesterday)
So after $138 purchase, I'm left wondering can I buy cheaper products that do the same things?
Pool Magnet Plus - 2 qts - 1 qt bottle is $29.99 a pop
Sparkle Up ( I didn't even price this as 2 years ago I got it and know it was one of the more expensive products she sold)
Pool Tonic (it was either 29 or 26 a bottle)
I don't have the heart to tell her that I use BBB but I know she knows I used to use HTH products because I did back in the day.
I feel like I was being scolded by her cause I told her I have cloudy water and her response was "I won't be able to fix cloudy water if you use HTH from Walmart"