Sorry to be one of "those" guys, but I have tried helping myself by researching a ton of forum posts and tutorials over a 4 day period, and I'm still somewhat lost. I've got a pretty good grip on what's needed however.....
Everything I read seems to contradict what something else says or what the labels on the chemicals say, the products/active ingredients, percentages are either not found at the stores or different from what is suggested. All I need is a clear clean pool that's not going to kill us . Bare minimum and as cheap as possible.
Here is what I have.....
15' round popup pool, 3,800 gallons.
Cheap paper filter/pump system.
Cheap vacuum head that came with it, has no brushes, a somewhat coarse collector bag, and a 5/8" threaded port for a hose. It also came with a skimmer adapter to attach a hose, but did not come with a hose.
I bought a 3 way test kit to test total chlorine, total bromine, and ph.
Startup instructions came from my fiancee's Uncle who has owned a pool forever, read below for what I have done so far.
Day one, filled and added a conditioner for fixing the minerals from our hard water.
1.) Day two, pool water slightly green. Was told I needed to "shock" the water, but first a concentrated formula of an algecide, so that is exactly what I bought. I added the algecide, then I followed the instructions on the bottle of shock according to pool size, added about 25-30oz. of it. I'm not at home, so I don't have the labels here, so if anyone needs info from the label to better assist me, I will be home in a couple hours and will respond.
2.) Day three, pool water looked great, blue and clear. I tested the water and it showed 1ppm total chlorine, and 7.2ph. I added another 25-30oz. of shock that night. to try and raise chlorine. (after further research I now know that there is total chlorine, free, and combined). I'm not sure if total chlorine gives me a clear enough picture of whats going on as there is no way to tell how much free chlorine is in there).
I also added a CYA, granule in a small tub, maybe 1lb. I followed the instructions and added the recommended amount, which was probably about 1/2 of the container. (upon further research I now know that I will need to test for CYA in order to keep the chlorine in check)
3.) Day four, pool water still good, tested and had .5ppm total chlorine, 7.2ph. In order to boost, I put in the max recommended amount on the bottle, about 50oz that night.
4.) Day five, pool still good, tested and had 4ppm total chloring, and 7.2ph.
5.) Day six (today), will test when I get home. My fiancee picked up a 5 lb. tub of calcium hypochlorite, I believe 67%. Her uncle uses 3" tabs, however I've read that I would need a device for them, and tabs are not recommended for small pools. If my calculations are right, a 5lb. tub of it should last roughly a month, and cost $16 for the tub. Is this what I should be using as my daily maintenance in order to keep chlorine levels up? Is there something better/cheaper to use? I've read a lot of people use concentrated bleach, but is that cost effective at only 3-6%?
I have a bottle of regular algae preventer, but have not used it. Some say as long as chlorine levels don't get low, it's not required.
After further reading, here is what I think I need....
A free chlorine tester, and a cya tester. Any other tests that would be mandatory?
A better vacuum brush.
Can someone offer me some insight on the best/cheapest way of introducing chlorine? As of now, I only have a small amount of shock, and a 5lb. tub of calcium hypochlorite, should I take this back and get something better?
We have numerous pool places, also
menards, walmart lowes, big R, etc.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.