I've read a ton before posting but I don't have a proper test kit yet. I've been using some HTH 6-way test strips. I know they are innacurate and I just ordered my TF100 kit. I recently had the valve on my easy-set inflatable ring pool. It was 12' x 36" and wouldn't hold air due to a crack in the valve. So, I bought an 18' x 48" ultra frame Intex. The first year we filled the easy-set pool I made the mistake of using a source that bypassed our water softner (well water with iron). The water was clear but tinted brown. When I added chlorine the iron began to fall out of solution and collected in the filter and pool floor. After a few days, a lot of chlorine and frequent filter changes/cleanings, water clarity was perfect. The following year I filled from an source that is fed from the water softener. That time water was clear before and after adding chlorine, and overall I had no issues. This year I setup the larger pool and filled from the same "softened" source. I stopped a couple times, added salt, regenerated the softener (which is much larger/more expensive than the box store type) all in the hopes of avoiding iron issues. Yet once filled the water had a green tint to it. Nice and clear but tinted green. The old pool had a white bottom which made determining color/clarity fairly easy. The new Intex has a blue patterened bottom. So, I'm guessing the water was more likely yellowish-to-light brown. I thought I'd follow the same patter as previous years and added chlorine via 1" Tri-Chlor tabs. After reading some on TFP in the past I knew I needed to keep an eye on CYA levels so I also used some 8.25% bleach along the way. The pool is not quite as level as it should be. This allows the pump jet to break the surface of the water a bit. I know from reading other TFP threads that this can elevate pH levels and I've been seeing that. To counter it, I've been using Muriatic Acid. Despite reading about a few other folks pools clearing on their own, mine did not. I ran the pump 12 hours/day and cleaned the cartridge daily hoping to find iron falling out of solution.
I read the metals thread and ordered some Jacks' Magic The Pink Stuff. Per what I had read I waited until FC levels were low and I added 10% Algaecide (non-copper version that I belive was called linear polyquat in one thread) and waited for FC to drop to 0. Once there I made sure pH was around 7.2 using MA. Then, given the pool calculator shows my 18' circular pool at 4' deep holds about 7600 gallons, I added 3/4 of the quart. The bottle says it'll treat 10,000 gal so my math is close. The pool color has improved but not cleared entirely. Since adding the pink stuff I'm seeing yellowish-orange in the filter. I clean the filter twice per day via the garden hose and I've kept the pump running 24/7 for a few days now. The water is now a blue-green or turqoise like color.
Here's a pic from this morning.
This evening the pH was up a bit so I added more MA and waited for it to come down. Once it had I added the remaining 1/4 (8 oz) of the pink stuff. I've read that I'll need to keep adding sequestrant over time to maintain levels to keep the iron in solution. However, it seems to be falling out of solution and depositing itself on the filter. I haven't been in the pool so I guess it's also possible some has settled on the bottom giving me a false sense that the clarity isn't improving as much as I'd thought.
I'm wondering what to do next. My FC level is still at 0 and I'm sure the Algaecide is the only thing keeping me from a full bloom. It kind of makes me nervous. Can I start adding Chloring and bring it to recommended levels or should I continue focusing on filtering out the iron, waiting until the water color returns to normal? Also, should I keep people out of the pool right now or is it OK for the kids to swim? My little ones are 7, 6, and 16 months (obviously he only goes in with me or mom).
Total Hardness = 0
FC/Bromine = 0
pH = 7.2
TA = 120
CYA = Not really sure. I did use some Tri-Chlor originally but I stopped over a week ago. At times this appears to read 0 on these strips and other times it seems the color that indicates "30-50".
Thanks for this great site. I'm on my way to being a true BBB practicioner. I can't wait for my TF100 kit to arrive so I'm not guessing anymore.
P.S. I have more pink stuff on the way as well.