Been lurking for a few months. Finally decided to post up the errors of my ways in dealing with my pool. Since this is my first post, it's going to be a long one. I apologize.
About my pool:
Chlorinator (turned off for reasons you will see)
Just bought the house last August. Pool was installed in 2004. Pool was great last year. Chlorinator was set at 1. Water was clear and balanced. No problems.
This year has been nothing but problems since I opened it. But after reading so many posts on here, I think my problem is I never killed off ALL the algae from when I opened it. It was cloudy at first, but not green. Added about 6 bags of powder shock to try to clear it up (stupid stupid stupid ) Didn't work. Had countless 3" pucks going through the chlorinator. Didn't work. Water tests always said 0 FC. Finally got the water tested at the Fool Store, I mean POOL Store, and she said it was because I had phosphates. Over 1,000. So I buy the phos-free (which ironically is the "most expensive chemical we sell." YEAH, she actually said that to me!!) and it worked! Water cleared right up!
But the clouds came back. I couldn't keep the chlorine up. Chlorinator was up all the way. Was adding liquid chlorine. And the FC level would go up. The water would clear up. But the clouds would always come back.
So I read. And I read. And I read some more. About phosphates, about chlorine, about CYA, etc etc etc. And low and behold, I bought a T-100 test kit (first smart purchase of the year). First thing I tested was my CYA. Over 100. ****. So I would sneak out about 1130 pm and drain a few inches off my pool down the side walk, across my neighbors driveway, out into the street. Then fill it back up with my well water. Did this about 3 times. No change in the CYA.
In the meantime, my water is going from cloudy, to clear, to cloudy, to green, to clear, to cloudy and so on and so on. After reading on hear, I knew I was toeing the line with algae. I was doing just enough to keep the water "clear" , but if I skipped a day of chlorine, it was game over. Then I was playing catch up. There was just no way I could keep my FC level at 7 ppm (based on my CYA) and have the pool burning through chlorine as fast as it was. It was impossible.
So I read, and read, and read some more. And I discovered SLAMming the pool. And for some reason it just clicked. I still have algae in my pool. And it's eating all my chlorine. It's not the phosphates. It's not the CYA. It's the algae! So I waged a war.
I drained about 6" off my pool (across my neighbors driveway...neighbor of the year, right?) filled it back up. Pool went green, but clear. Tested the CYA, still over 100!! ****!! Well then I read that tests that read over 100 don't really tell you how far over 100 they are. So mine could have been 200? 300? Who knows. So I did the half test and got between 90-100 for the CYA.
But decided to SLAM it anyway. That's right. 40 ppm FC here I come. 4 gal of chlorine to reach it. Let it come back down a little then added another gallon to get back up to 40. Came back down, added 2 gallons to get it back up, vacuumed, scrubbed the walls. Water has cleared up.
If you're still reading, then here is my question. I added chlorine to get it back up to 40 before I went to bed. I'm a fireman and I have to work 24 hrs tomorrow. My wife doesn't know how to test the water, and quite frankly doesn't care to mess with the pool at all, but can add chlorine. I plan on testing the water in the morning and adding chlorine to get it back up to 40 ppm, but what should into for the rest of the day? Oh, and I'm running out of chlorine believe it or not. 12 gallons just doesn't go as far as it use to . Should I have her add a blind amount of chlorine? Will that be a waste? I don't want to lose what I started and have to start over.
Thanks for all your help. Both in the past, and in the future.
I'll work on getting my signature updated.