So I'm familiar with our pool but this is the first year I'm taking care of it 100% (grandfather passed away in Dec) and I think I've got a decent idea of what to do (especially from reading around here) but I was hoping you guys could guide me a little in any improvements or routine's I should be doing.
First, I've tried my best to balance it and recently added borates. 14 boxes of 20 Mule borax and 4 gallons of 31.45% acid about two days ago. It tested today as...
FC - 2.5
CC - 0.5
TC - 3.0
Ca - 400
TA - 130
CYA - 40
pH - 7.2
and borates I think are about 45 ppm
So I know that FC needs to go up and I plan to do that with bleach (what's my ideal target for a bather load of like two to three adults, should it be above 4ppm? I keep seeing warnings on pool care boxes saying not to enter if it's above 4 but here the range is like 3 to 7 or something...)
I want to increase the pH to about 7.5 or so also, but kinda want to bring TA down to maybe 100 or 110. I've got the return jets pointed as upward as possible for the last three days and the pump running 24/7. I know it's going to take time to increase pH this way, but any ballpark guesses to how long?
Do I need to shock it weekly, or with adult only use and maybe two to three times a week with just a couple people could I get away with shocking every other week? How long would it take to reach a safe swim level again after boosting FC to ~16ppm (which is what PoolMath suggests). Also, I've got an automatic cover, should I leave it uncovered for hours/most the day when shocking?
I have a Polaris 180 that doesn't need a full rebuild but needs a few replacements and adjusted to get it back to good cleaning, however, I don't think that's going to pick up dirt/fine particles. I don't notice them until I brush the pool but then I can see a cloud of fine dust or dirt being kicked up. I've vacuumed once and back washed/rinsed the sand filter (which is at ~20psi, same as when the pool was opened). Think I just need to vacuum a couple more times to remove the dirt or is that something being killed in solution and then dropping out to the bottom? (Though the pool has tested pretty steady for the last three or four days, besides FC dropping from 4.5 to 2.5 in about 48 hours.
I know I'm asking a lot and probably not providing enough or the right information yet. I'm still learning the actual capacities and brands/models of the equipment with the pool. Before I just always helped my grandpa add chemicals and read the simple color based drop tests. I'm learning fast that there's a lot more to know then just that, and the more you know upfront the easier the season can be for you!