Okay, so I'm a bit late getting the pool set up for this season, but I started filling it yesterday, after fixing a leak I found when I tried to start filling it the day before. When I get home from work in the morning, I'll install the pump and finish filling, provided I don't find any other leaks. I don't have one of the good test kits, yet, and unfortunately ordering it will have to wait until next payday. I do have the drop test kit from Walmart--I got that last year because the strips that came with the pool never seemed to show colors that looked anything like the little card thing.
On the way home, I'll be stopping for supplies, including bleach, borax and muriatic acid. I have baking soda at home already, but I still need to get the rest of this stuff. I've been reading through the Pool School articles, but there's so very much that I know I'm not retaining it all, so I have a few questions:
- 1. Calcium Chloride: I don't live in an area where snow and ice are often a problem--at least, so I was told when we got 13 inches of snow last winter. According to the Home Depot website, I can't get any de-icer at my local store. So I thought about getting refill bags of DampRid, having heard that's also calcium chloride. However, turns out that's not all it is. According to the MSDS, it's 60-100% CaCl, 1-5% KCl and 1-5% NaCl. So, assuming I don't want the extra stuff in there, where else should I look for CaCl?
[list:9qut8xg6]a. Lowe's sells something called 'Aqua Chem Calcium Hardness Increaser'. Anybody ever used it? Is this the right stuff, or should I find something else?
2. Cyanuric Acid: Walmart sells an HTH stabilizer/conditioner; Lowe's carries an Aqua Chem stabilizer ... Anyone have any preference for one or the other? And why?
3. I do not have a salt water generator, though I'm considering one. Do I still need to add salt to my pool?
4. My pump is the dinky thing that came with the pool when I bought it last year. I'm not sure what the model # or flow rate is--I'll have to check when I get home--but I know it sucks. I'd very much like to upgrade to a sand filter/pump, but the 2650 seems rather like overkill for my dinky little pool, and I don't, at the moment, have any plans to expand. Even if we end up needing to replace this one, we won't get one much bigger. It's just me and my mother, and we don't need a whole lot of pool. Would a 1600 gph pump/filter be sufficient?
5. Speaking of pumps, I see people saying they run their pump for X hours every day. Last season, before I found this lovely place, I just left the pump running 24x7. Is that a bad thing?[/list:u:9qut8xg6]
I'm sure I'll come up with more questions, but these are it for now. I'll post my first water readings once I get home and finish filling the pool.