We purchased our home back in August and it has a pool which is about 3 yrs old. The previous owners had a pool service so we continued with them. Things had been ok until about a month ago when I started questioning how our pool was being maintained. About 3-4 weeks ago I noticed the pool water was a little cloudy. The filter pressure was high also in the 27-28 range. So I ventured into cleaning the filter cartridges and taking a water sample to Leslies. Cleaning the filter brought the pressures down to about 12 but the cartridges were pretty stained even after cleaning, several bands broken. The water test from Leslies showed high CYA levels (200+) and high calcium hardness. The guy at Leslies said the pool had probably been maintained with tabs and there was too much CYA in the pool, it would need to be drained. He suggested close to a complete refill. He really didn't try to push or sell me anything. Just stressed the water needs to be diluted.
Talked to the pool service guy about the cloudy water, they noticed it too and so we looked at the pump, filter etc. He felt that the cartridges needed to be replaced and the water should clear up with new carts. I asked him about the CYA and he said Leslies was off base. He said they routinely keep the CYA levels around 150 and that's fine. So I thought maybe Leslies test was off a bit.
But after researching here and elsewhere it seems things are not fine. I got the Taylor 2006 test kit to check things myself. I also ordered new Hayward carts which I have not installed yet.
Here are my test results -
CYA was difficult. I knew it would be high so I took a 50/50 mix of pool water and tap water but the test level was well below the 100 mark so I took 7ml of that and mixed with 7ml of tap and redid the test expecting to multiply the result by 3. It was close to 100 at that point so I think the CYA was about 300+ (Uggg!)
FC - 1.5 ppm
CC - 0 ppm
pH - 7.8
TA - 190 ppm
CH - 600 ppm
CYA - 300+ ppm
So now...I cleaned the filter (old ones) and the pressure drops to 14 but within a few days, the pressure is back up to 24. The water is slighty cloudy, no obvious signs of any algae but outside temps have only been in the 50s-60s.
I'm not sure how to drain the pool but it seems that is the best way to get things back in balance at this point before summer comes and I have a real crisis on my hands. See if this plan seems reasonable:
1. Ditch the pool guy and his CYA at 150 is ok. (I think I'd be happy if it were only 150 at this point)
2. Drain the pool at least 75% (not sure how to do that with my equipment)
3. install the new cartridges with the new water
4. Test the water and balance based on new test results
5. Use liquid cholorine going forward, try to follow things here to keep the FC and other parms at a normal level.
Any advice would be appreciated. Obviously being a new pool owner and having to jump in I have a lot to learn.