As a new pool owner and enthusist, I've been lurking this forum for about a month now. Figured it's time to make a big splash and sign up. Internet forums are still the among the most worthwhile places on the web IMO. I can tell already this one doesn't disappoint that belief. I post on forums for many of my other interests (music, motorcycles, ect.). So, I know to read first and ask questions later
I feel like I'm a fairly quick learner. But, I admit the pool chemistry stuff is a bit foreign to me. Reading the pool school has helped greatly. Thank you. I took the cover off the pool 2 weeks ago and found a dark green swamp. Oh boy!!! Per pool store direction, I poured 2-4 powdered shock bags in 2x a day for the 1st week and pump going 24/7. Was disappointed with only moderate results. Water went to cloudy emerald green and progress stopped there. I also noticed the circulation through the filter went to trickle even after back washing. To complicate things further, the pressure gauge was busted. Ok, I decided to change the sand (and the pressure gauge) since I had no idea if it ever was replaced in the 10 year life of the pool. Judging by the sticky oatmeal looking soup that was the old sand, I'd say it was never changed. Water flow issue now solved.
Like most newbies I see here, I only had test strips and the pool store to get any water readings. Essentially, there was zero CYA or FC with any test in the 1st week or so. PH was in range. TA was very high as was phosphates. So, pool store recommend Green to Clean and more shocking. Now, I've been in sales for 20+ years and I could tell the store testing wasn't really meant to be "free". Hey, they gotta make a buck too (or three $$$). In business school, they call this a "loss leader". They loose money on the testing in order to profit from the suggested related sale. That said, I tried the stuff anyway and went from emerald green to slightly blue-ish green and still a murky white cloud in the mix. Still the next test was basically the same results. Ok, time to do my own research.
Based on the suggestions here and through a friend, I switched to shocking with 5 gal jugs of liquid chlorine and ordered a Taylor K-2006 test kit. While I was waiting for test kit to arrive, I poured 3 jugs in over the next day and started slowly adding in CYA since I didn't want too much by accident before testing. Got to a rich blue color but still murky. At least now, I could see the bottom. I was vacuuming the pool everyday and found it pretty good when I could now actually see the results. While there was little debris, the was lots of algae still sticking to bottom and sides. I got a bit inpatient at this point and decided to try PhosFree. I guess I didn't really need it, but it did clear up what was left in a day. Some algae came back the day after. I dumped in another LC jug and a copper based algaecide. Our liner is blue and seeing the algae isn't that easy. So the algaecide was a safety net.
Ok, I finally got the test kit also found a neat Andriod app called "Pool Pal" to log my results. I'm finding testing as much an art as it is a science. With time I'm sure I'll get more confident with procedures and therefore the results. Today's test are: Temp 72, FC 6.0, pH 6.8, TA 100, CA 100, CYA not yet to 30 but almost (black dot almost disappears), CC 26. I know the pH dropped due to adding CYA. Soda ash was added after testing. The CYA has only been there for a couple days. That reading should increase I guess as it desolves.
So, am I on the right track here? I hope so. I finally took my first big splash over the weekend. Signing up here is my second.