I have been a pool owner for 18 seasons now. The pool was here when we bought the house and I have maintained it since then. I have no idea how old it really is. The pool itself could be as much as 28 years but my guess is between 20 and 25 years old. I have upgraded everything over the years so only the structure is original.
It had Baqucil for the first few years and I always had problems keeping the sanitizer levels up and then started having cloudy water problems plus BQ is very expensive in my opinion. When I replaced the liner in 2005 I went to chlorine and haven't looked back. I used the trichlor pucks and shock. The first few CL seasons were very good and then I started to have algae and cloudiness problems. This winter the cover ripped and a lot of junk got in the pool. It was pretty swampy when I opened it on 5/22.
I have had to deal with a swampy pool several times over the years but I wanted to do things better this year so I started poking around the internet and discovered TFP. I have been reading the info on this site for about 2 weeks and realized many things were contributing to my problems over the years. I think that CYA buildup is the biggest. I would get my water tested at the pool store and the CYA would just go up and up over time. I remember asking several times about what happens when it got too high. I never got a good answer until TFP. I never knew that the amount of CYA affected the amounts of CL necessary for sanitation and shocking. I 've learned a lot over the past couple of weeks.
My pool is now clean but cloudy which is where I always seem to be startng in the middle of the summer. I would like a crystal clear pool like I see at everyone else's house. I've decided to go with the BBB method to keep the extra CYA out of my pool. I realize that I need the test kit in order to do the accurate tests necessary for proper maintenance and shcoking.
Here are my questions:
(1) I think I want the TF-100 kit recommended by everyone. While it seems pricey that also depends on how many tests I get out of it. Does the TF-100 kit have enough materials to last for the whole season. In my area the season is mid-May through the end of Aug or mid-Sep at the latest.
(2) What do the reagents cost to replace; i.e. when I want to buy everything new for next year what is it going to cost? A ball park figure is what I am looking for based on a "normal" season of water testing.
(3) How long does the series of tests take to complete? A recent poster quoted a time of 1 hour to complete the tests. Is this right because that sounds like a long time to me? How long does it take after the initial learning curve is passed?
(4) I have been using up my Cal-hypo %68 shock. The pool calculator says that this adds CH. Can I assume that it does not add CYA since that is not mentioned? The note on the pool calculator says this "Note: Dichlor and trichlor add CYA and lower pH. Cal-hypo adds CH.
(5) I have a Hayward automatic chlorinator. I do not want to use pucks anymore but was thinking of trying to use bleach in the chlorinator. I would have to play around with the settings to get the rate correct but I am willing to experiment with this and share the info if it has not already been done. Has anyone done this?
Here are my numbers. They are from the pool store water test but that's all I have right now:
TC = 4.7
FC = 4.7
pH = 7.6
TA = 105
CH = 275
CYA = 30
My water is cloudy but I can see the bottom and it is getting better each day. I have been doing the DE filter enhancement.
I guess that's it for now.
I appreciate any time you can give me on the answers to the above questions.