I am new to taking care of my pool. My husband has always done it, but has been away on business. Before he left 2 weeks ago, the pool had started turning green. I was determined not to let the algae take over and I have been to the pool store MANY times to check my chemical levels and seek advice. It had been going pretty well, but I never have gotten it back to looking nice and clear. I just discovered your site. Over the past 2 weeks, my pH level kept going too high, and I have had to to add muriatic acid several times, I had to add a bunch of baking soda last week, and one of the days he had me add something for the calcium. For the past week, my levels have all been good, but on the 4th, the pool started looking a little green. I checked the levels with my little test strips - all looked well. I did some brushing of the sides, backflushed the filter, added 2 chlorine tablets to the skimmer basket for good measure, and left town. We have a chlorinater tower and it is set as high as it goes. When I came back yesterday, the pool was green. Today, I took water to the pool store, and here were the levels as of 3:00 pm:
Free chlorine 2.03
Total chlorine 2.23
combined chlorine .2
pH level 8.1 (!)
calcium hardness 280
cyanuric acid 40
saturation index 1 scaling (I don't know what that means, and it says that every time)
He also checked the phosphate level today, which he doesn't normally do. It was high (but he didn't write down the level) and recommended adding 5 oz of phosphate remover, which I did not buy.
He told me to add 46 oz of muriatic acid. Did so. I *think* it brought the pH down, but I'm relying on the little color chart on the Aqua Check bottle.
He also told me to shock the pool with Super Shockwave pool shock (Calcium Hypochlorite - 73% available chlorine). He told me to put in 2 1/2 bags with pool on recirculate and check it in 15 min and add more if the pool water still looked the same. I did that - no change. Added the other 1/2 bag - waited 15 min. Nothing. Added my other (last) bag. Nothing. So, I put the filter back on and left it because by then it was dark out. So, I don't have any way to get accurate readings until Monday (small town - things are closed on Sunday, and I don't have a test kit aside from my little strips). My little test strips show the chlorine to be "high" but I know that's not helpful. So, I have read through the Pool School information (helpful) and many former posts about algae, but I am still unsure how to proceed tomorrow. Oh, and he told me to put in Drop Out after the Algae is dead and vacuum afterward, but from the prior posts of other members, it looks like that is not a typical step. (I hate vacuuming and will be happy if I don't have to do it, but I am willing to do it if that's what I need to do.)
I should also add something about the pH level. We think it is bouncing back up continually because of the way the water is returning to the pool currently. We have a leak in the pipe that returns the water, so it is currently bypassed. We have a big hose that is returning the water to the pool and the water shoots above and into the pool which is adding oxygen to the pool. It's what we need to do for now. Also, we seem to have this problem every summer - great for a while - then it starts turning green and we fight it for the rest of the summer.
I would appreciate any advice regarding what my next step should be tomorrow given what I did today. I have read about the importance of continuing to check the FC levels, but all I have to go on right now are my little test strips, and I don't want to wait until Monday and lose any progress I may have made.
Thank you in advance.