Went to the pool store last Thursday with a water sample and got following numbers:
Adj. Total Alk 82
tot. hardness 296
At their suggestion, I added 12 lbs. of "Balance Pack" to raise alkalinity (which I understand now was very expensive baking soda?) They also suggested adding 2 bags of "burn out," which I did. I then called yesterday and told them it was still like pea soup and they said add 4 bags of shock, so I did (bag says it is sodium trichlor-somthing-or-other) and then added 2 or 3 more for good measure. Today, I bought and put in half a gallon of algecide, which was more wasted money I suspect. I am in the process of ordering a "real" test kit, but the cheap-o one I have should be dark yellow for heavy chlorination and it has been showing orange, which I assume is very heavy clorination, since I added all of that shock yesterday.
I don't think there is anything on the bottom of the pool leaf-wise as I have been running the vacuum a lot, but the pool is really like pea soup. You can barely see the second step of the ladder. I thought that my adding a ton of shock would have made a difference since yesterday, but I really see no difference at all!! Please help - 5 whiny kids here that want to swim!