New to pool chemistry and DIY, so will try to be factual and apologies if missing any info and lengthy description. Today my pool is clear but yellow/greenish cast and slowly lightening up since sunrise. Test strips show all in normal range, though chlorine on the low side of normal. Have been through a saga the last 12 days beginning with the metal stain removal treatment using ascorbic acid and Metal Free - twice - and getting too much info from my pool service and the local store. They don't respect each other's products or opinions but I know this is not the forum for complaints. But here goes the backstory and what I hope to learn:
15,000 gallon in ground, vinyl. Chlorine pool w/Hayward S210 Sand filter, - with new glass sand product several days ago, 1 HP motor/pump. Usually no serious issues except routine maintenance and we keep it open year round. Also have a unused Hayward Star DE? filter in line but no filter in it. I do not have a real pool test kit as I rely on a service but do have strips. Pool has been serviced for 11 or 12 years and liner is about 5 or 6 years old. We've owned it for four years.
This saga began as a request to our pool service to see if he could get the dark yellowish-orange streaks off the pool liner below water level - they appeared last summer and were slowly getting more visible. Pool service told me the staining on liner was permanent and liner would probably need to be replaced at some point. Also blamed it on the landscaper who got fertilizer with iron in it 2 years ago (he removed the iron spots with a metal remover?). Liner has also faded a lot in the last year or so. About 12 days ago I found the ascorbic acid test mentioned online and it was successful in removing stain, so went to local pool store to buy supplies. Used one container of ascorbic acid followed by a product called Metal Free. Kept the pump running 24/7. Pool was great for a couple days then went milky/cloudy. Pool store told me to shock it, and then do it again. Pool service showed up and freaked and also added more chlorine. He never heard of the ascorbic acid treatment. Metal staining came back within a day and I started again. Second round with ascorbic acid, Metal Free, and it clouded again- a milky white. Pool store gave me cellulose to add suggesting the sand filter couldn't get all the particles out - 2 cups every so often until pressure rose. Pressure never rose. So then the thought was maybe filter sand was old. Before we could address the filter, we had a tropical storm and gained several inches of rain and debris. Jets suddenly clogged and we shut down the system for most of the day. We changed the sand in the filter and blew out the jets and all was well except very, very cloudy water. Tons of sediment which I suspect was the cellulose and residual old sand.... (we rinsed but didn't backwash the new sand). Also replaced the filter pressure gauge. The pool store wanted a water sample..... So on Monday 6/9 their results showed 0 available free chlorine, 0 avail chlorine, 170 calcium, 40 CYA, 80 TA, 7.4 PH, 0 copper, 0 iron, 400 TDS. The water was still milky and with sediment so they gave me more shock, a bucket of calcium, a bucket of chlorine tabs and something called ultra bright. I used the shock and the calcium and hoped the pool service could do a real test when they came on tuesday. I did not mess with the Ultra bright. In the meantime I've still been running the pump 24/7 (except for the day the jets clogged and we changed the sand), vacuuming and brushing the pool several times a day. Yesterday the pool service came and again freaked and added a six tabs of chlorine. Said I had zero. Told me I should not have added the calcium. The water was pretty clear though and I was still vacuuming a lot of sediment but that was less and less. So late yesterday I noticed the metal staining returning - not as nearly as much but still there. Today I woke to yellow-green but clear water and very little sediment. It has lightened up a bit this early afternoon. The test strips show FCI either .5 or 1, Alk, between 80 and 120, PH, 7.2, CYA looks like 40 - hard to tell. Yes, I realize I need my own real kit soon!
Here are my questions:
Where do I go from here. I have an extra bag of shock. Do I use it? Do I keep adding chlorine tabs & try to get things relatively normal for a few days? Then try and address the metal staining again when I can babysit it? I leave town for four days and was told I should shock it again before I leave because we are having such hot weather.
Keep the pump going 24/7 ?
Take a sample when I return to a pool store? (been reading some not so nice things about that). Get a metal test? Use a different product than Metal Free?
What would you do? At this point I'm not trusting the pool service nor the pool store 100 percent. Pool service suggested draining the pool but I think that's a bit severe?
Also, what is all this chemical dumping doing to the water?
Thanks for any advice.