Long-time lurker, first-time poster. First a little history. I have been around pools pretty much my whole life. My first real job was at a pool supply store in high school. I played water polo and was on the swim team. I took care of our family's pool. The pool store was an authorized BioGuard dealer and was taught to hate liquid chlorine as it is weak and loses it's strength.
Fast forward to 2010 when we bought our new house. It had a 37 x 12 play/sport pool with an attached spa. It was a short sale so the house was "as is." The old Teledyne Lars heater was not only broken, but disconnected from the plumbing and was just a rusting hulk. The previous owners had a Clean and Clear 120 installed which was IMHO WAY underpowered even for my little pool.
Last month we had our pool replastered with the area's most reputable company. They didn't do as good a job as I'd hoped but anything beats the chipped, stained plaster that was existing. Since we have a rectangular shaped pool, we just went with white plaster and their patented "plaster matrix" additive that supposedly helps make the plaster stronger. I new I wanted to change the way I took care of the pools and was fortunate enough to stumble upon this site. I have the TF-100 test kit and have been LOVING not having to spend a million bucks at the pool store!
My pool was plastered on May 16th and was filled completely on May 17th. We paid to have the company provide the initial water treatment. Unfortunately the guy didn't come out until Monday and thankfully I had found this site and brushed on Sunday but the pool went all Saturday without being brushed. This led to a few minor stains they said I could get out with fine grain wet/dry sand paper.
Here are my test results as of today (05/30/14):
CH: 320 (South Orange County water is RIDICULOUSLY hard!)
I've been following the protocol for a week now using PoolMath to add my liquid bleach and acid but simply cannot seem to get my pH to stay down (new plaster?) or my chlorine to stay high (CYA too low?) When we moved in, the CYA level (as well as the CH level) were off the chart so I'm nervous about adding too much stabilizer. I'm wondering if my calculations for volume are off. My pool is a 37' long by 12' wide rectangle with a small, attached 3 person spa. The shallow ends are 3.5' and the deep middle is about 5.5'-6'. I used the dimensions and an average depth of 4' in PoolMath and came up with 13,300. Do my calculations seem about right? It's tough with that spa. Here's a pic of my redone pool. I also had them raise the spa wall and put in a spillway along with all new equipment (listed in my signature.)
Thanks for all the great info here!