We moved into a house with a 20,000 gallon in-ground pool about 4 years ago. The SWG was not working at the time so we've been doing chlorine- but my husband finally fixed the SWG a few days ago. (it just had a leak, and he never spent much time trying to fix it before now) Up to this point I have left the pool maintenance up to him since he grew up with a pool and also did some work cleaning pools in his younger years. However, since he is busy at work and I am home with the kids I tend to be the one doing more and more of it. (as a side note, I am 6 months pregnant and have my husband actually adding the chemicals but I'm going to be telling him what it needs) Tomorrow we are having family over for a Memorial Day poolside BBQ and the pool is green again. Algae has been a problem the last two summers. In hopes we can clear it up in time for the get-together I bought some commercial pool shock and water clarifier at walmart. In the past this has sometimes turned the pool around overnight, using the shock at night and clarifying in the morning. I still have questions though on how to best keep our pool from getting in this state!
I'll give as much details as I can from what I have gathered from obsessively reading this site the last 24 hours.
Filter type- sand
Current chemical balance: High combined chlorine (5+), low FC (1.5?), PH about 6.8 (although I added baking soda to it this morning and haven't retested yet, didn't read any info about borax until just now and thought we were all out of Ph increasing stuff! Hopefully it's raised up enough so the shock can work ok)
Salt- 4.5 (not sure if that is ppm or what- hubby just said that is what the readout on the SWG is and that it's supposed to be closer to 3)
Pool liner- fiberglass
We don't have the proper test kit- just a very basic chlorine/pH kit...so I don't have any other info to give! Last year we struggled alot with mustard algae. We ended up using a bunch of pool shock, the "angry egg" product, algaecides, etc. This year, before hubby fixed the SWG, we purchased a large container of dichlor from Sams Club.
-We are on a tight summer budget, is the pool kit worth the money or would having a pool store test the water be more economical just for this season?
-How do we know what percentage to run the SWG at? I think the instruction manual is long gone.
-Why does the SWG need to be turned off for 24 hours after adding salt? We did not know this and didn't do it! Will that cause damage?
-Why is it slightly better to run the SWG during daylight hours as opposed to at night?
-If SWG tends to need more CYA, and dichlor increases CYA...would it be better or at least ok to use up what we already purchased from Sams when the FC needs quick increasing? Or is bleach still preferable?
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time to reply. I am hoping we can do a much better job with the pool this summer (and maybe not spend so much money on treating it).