I have been a pool owner for about 6 months, and finally got brave enough (and found this site) to take over from the pool guy and manage our own pool. I'm in Phoenix, AZ, so its very warm here (approximately 108 as a high these days, in the high 80's at night), and the pool gets full sun all day.
The pool guy had been using pucks, so our CYA is fairly high (100, possibly a smidge higher, I'm not so good at the test yet).
Full test results from the T-100 kit:
FC- 24 (more on this in a minute)
CC- 1 (barely sort of turned pink, but it wasn't quite still clear, so I counted it.)
pH- 7.2 to 7.5 (more on this in a minute too)
CSI- .33 (according to poolcalculator.com)
Ok, so here's the thing. We've been doing this for about a month now, and no algae or craziness (knock on wood!)
The pH is a smidge low because the TA was high, and the CSI was high. So I added the acid last night, and will run the fountain tonight to bring the pH up. I think the calcium is so high because we have really hard water out here in the desert, but I'd love to hear anyone else's take on that, and whether its worth replacing water if the replacement water is high in calcium anyway. There is no scaling as far as I can tell (given my whole month of experience with such things!), the tile along the waterline is bright blue, I think it would show there, no?
The CYA is also high, so I've been shooting for 8-12 FC like the TFP recommends for CYA at that level. The problem is when I add the amount of chlorine indicated by the calculator, it ends up WAY higher than what it should be. For example, last night I measured the FC, and it was down to 4 (still working on the timing of adding more!), so the calculator said adding just over 1 gallon of 10% liquid chlorine would get me to 12. Awesome. I test today, its at 24! I did the test twice, I'm (99%) positive that is accurate. Last time we let the chlorine get low (let the pucks that the pool guy had used dissolve, they just dissolved a lot faster than we thought), it was almost zero. Added 2 bottles of 8.25% bleach, which was supposed to get us to 5 but it was all I had on hand. Tested the next day, it was 16. I haven't been measuring every day (I know!) but it seems to be losing 2-3 ppm per day, which I understand is normal, especially given the constant sun.
I'm pretty sure the pool measurement is correct (14, 000 gallons), and I'm following the testing instructions to the letter. What am I doing wrong to be so far off with the chlorine? Is it possible to add too much of the R-0870 powder? The water looks great (better than when the pool guy did it, it was really cloudy before), and is nice to swim in, but I want to get to a more constant level instead of really high/really low chlorine. I also realize it could go from great to a swamp rather quickly.
Final question: we're going to have to drain about 1/2 the water to bring the CYA to a reasonable level. Is this something we need to do right away, or can it wait for a bit? No more pucks, so it shouldn't get any higher, and we lose a fair amount of water through evaporation every day with this heat. Thoughts?
Thank you all in advice for any advice to a newbie. I hope I have all information necessary here. Water temp is 87 degrees. Filters about 7 hours a night (single speed pump). Please let me know if there's anything missing that would help.