First this website and the people on it are incredible. I am having problems I wish I could fix but cannot find somebody to help; I'm praying one of you can point me.
My pool is 4 years old. For the first 2 years the SWG worked great - would up it/down it depending on temp/sunshine and kept the FC at 1-3 (rec level according to manufacturer). My pH tends to drift up as well as the TA. I have been lazy over the years and there have been times when my pH was 8 or 8.2 for 1-2 weeks and my TA has slowly been drifting up and peaked at 200 - I'm now trying to get it back. Then 2 years ago, lightning struct a nearby house, and my SWG has not worked since then.
I initially called the guys who installed the pool - it would take 2-3 weeks to get them out, first they said to clean my salt cell - I did, didn't work. They then told me to buy a new salt cell - I did, installed it - seemed like it worked for 2-3 days then stopped. I had kept the old "sensor" when I replaced the salt cell and I now started looking at the error codes on my SWG control panel - Jandy aquapure 1400 - they were 180, 172 - did some checking and those refer to the "flow sensor" - Oh, I said ok and put the new sensor on that came with the new salt cell - maybe that worked for 3-4 days. I was doing a better job keeping water balanced during this time. So I called the guys back - they came out - said I needed a new PCB "front board" - about 800 dollars - so we did - it worked for about 2-3 days then same error codes. Since then - i'ts been another 18 months - I've called 2 alternate "pool repair" companies who come out and tell me to clean my salt cell - I do it - it doesn't work - then I can't get any response. Jandy's website pointed me to "authorized service centers" in my area - I went to 2 of them - 1 doesn't sell SWG anymore and the other said they only have 1 tech and they are only working on pools they put in themselves.
So during this time - I've been using trichlor tablets - not doing great with water balance or chlorine - it was running alkaline and with maybe 1 ppm chlorine - I run my pump 24/7 - water was always clear. I started seeing little green "spots" of algae on the sun shelf and steps. I decided to get serious again and starting lurking this site. I didn't realize trichlor tablets had CYA so I had that tested and it was off the charts.
So I drained 1/2 my water and refilled it it (have well water, lots of metals/alkalinity/phosphates). It rained 8 inches the day of my water turn over. The water, for the first time,w as cloudy after the refill. I shocked with lithium hypochlorite, I flocked it, I added metal free from pool store and ran the pump/vacumed/swept and the water cleared in about 4 days. I added salt back to where my SWG wants it (3000-3500) - I'm implementing the BBB method with store bought bleach (8.25%) and have been trying to lower TA per this website's recs by taking pH down to 7-7.2 then running waterfall till pH rises to about 7.6 then I add more muriatic acid back to 7-7.2. The algae "spots" are gone and water is clear.
So here are my issues now:
1. I can't get anybody to fix my SWG - considering saying screw it and just not using it, or telling somebody to take out the whole system and put a new one - although I've basically done that already - I'm a little concerned there may have been something electrical going on - again - worked 100% for 2 years - lightning strike, - hasn't worked since for more than a few days - have tried new cell, new sensore, and new "front board" - Local pool repair companies don't seem to know how to help me.
2. In the meantime, I'm doing BBB - I'm having to add almost a gallon of bleach each evening - now that seems to be slowing some - but see below on test results - is that standard for 25,000 gal pool?
3. I'm also burning through muriatic acid; mainly in attempting to lower my TA back to reasonable level. - I think it's working - but not sure - see below on test results
4. I went swimming today, there are several very small (3-4 mm) scale spots on the bottom of the pool - never saw those before - that don't brush off easily. I also found an area where the plaster looked "buckled" up a little - and a small crack in the middle - there was a lot of this white scale around that. I've had the white "scale" line at the water line since the first year of the pool - I've tried elbow grease with the soft stones and scale free products from pool store - but I think it's just my CSI has been so high for so long. Now I'm testing daily I hope to stop this process - wasn't worried about the scale at the tile water line but this stuff on bottom of pool is alarming as is the one area of buckled plaster - about 3 inches long, raised up maybe 1/4 inch. What do I do about that?
5. I've been doing so much testing I now don't know what to think. I have the Leslie's pool deluxe kit (DPD)
Took water to one LEslie's store: FC 5, pH 7.6, TA 120 (I was excited), CYA 60, CH 340, Salt 3300, phosphates 500
Took water to another Leslie's - same day, 1 hour apart: FC 5+, pH 7.4, TA 190 (I was crushed), CYA 30, CH 240, salt 2800, phosphates 100
So both professional pool stores differed on TA by 70 (190-120) and cya by 30 (60-30) and salt by 500 (3300-2800)
Now on my home test - several times, I'm getting consistent FC levels of 1.5-2 - hence the massive amount of bleach I've been adding. But both stores have my FC 5 or more (off scale) - this is a trend I've seen several times - my home FC levels are measuring consistently much less than the stores -
My home TA is 140, my home cya is 75, pH bouncing because I'm adding acid frequently to keep it low to get my TA down. My generator says my salt is 3300 but salt strips I bought say it's at 2750.
So: which numbers do I believe? I can see some subtle variations from test to test but a TA of 120- is way different than 190, and my CYA level seems to be somewhere between 30 and 75! Am I putting too much bleach in (pool stores saying I'm 5 or higher) or not enough (my home kit in evening usuallya bout 1.5-2 1 day after 1 gallon 8.25% bleach).
I'm tending to want to believe my home tests but the chlorine level seems to be pretty critical - and I'm consistently measuring much less than 2 stores - and I did buy new reagents by the way.
Are these white spots on my pool bottom just scale b/c shame on me for letting ph/TA ride too high too long - will it get worse if I keep the balance better from now on? DO I need to get a professional to look at the "buckle" in the plaster? And can ANYONE give me the name of a person who will get my SWG working again - I am willing to pay well for it.
Thank you for any advise.