I became a new pool owner last summer. I was fortunate to find TFP from the get go and was able to have a truly trouble free pool for my first partial season here in beautiful southern New Hampshire. As I am ready to open my pool for the first time and, after a long and heavy snow season, I am starting to think about the intricacies of pool maintenance. I tested my water for the first time just this evening. My testing has now left me with many interesting questions, perhaps too many to tackle in this single tread. I will post my results and a few queries and, if need be, will post other questions on a different tread.
I lifted part of the safety cover and was pleased to see that, except for a relatively small amount of leaves, the water looks good and I can see the bottom of the pool quite well. It was a very heavy snow season and my water level is now above the skimmers. It was closed by the people who built the pool with, I presume, partial drainage of the water below the skimmers...so, no doubt, some dilution from precipitation.
Test kits; TFTestkits TF-100 (FAS/DPD), AquaChek Test for Salt strips, Insta-TEST Borate strips.
pH - 6.8 current, (7.7 at closing)
TC- 0 (5.5 at closing)
CC - 0, (0 at closing)
TA - 10, (70 at closing)
CYA - 0 (70 at closing)
CH - 20
Borate - about 10 or between 0 and 15, hard to tell, (about 80 at closing)
Salt - test strip = 1, where lowest reading on chart is 1.8 = 370, (6.8 = 3460 at closing). So almost no salt!
So, here are a few of the questions I hope some of you might enlighten me on:
1) It makes no sense at all that my salt concentration is near zero. There has been no recent heavy rain; is it possible that I sampled surface "fresh water" and that there is a halocline separating it from deeper salt water? If so, it could explain all of my other unexpected test results. However, I would have expected that, by now, everything would have equalized by diffusion. I plan to start my pump this weekend, if I can find the time to get everything ready, and retest once things get mixed up.
2) If I have zero chlorine and zero CC, does that mean there is no algae/bacteria/organic material and, therefore, I don't need to SLAM the pool? There are plenty of leaves in the pool, so there must be some breakdown I would think. Is it possible that there is no CC simply because there is no chlorine to bind with "stuff" to form CC's and they will form only after I add chlorine?
3) Bonus question; is there a difference between shocking and SLAMing a pool. I haven't been able to find any posts on this, I hope not too silly, question.
Anyone interested in tackling this? Any input would be much appreciated!