I bought my house with the pool about 3 years ago and have been doing the pool myself or the past year or so. (fired the pool guy that came with the house, since he didn't seem to do much than add chlorine in large doses).
For the past year I've been using the basic Taylor kit that I got from Leslie's and was getting pretty good about keeping my CL, PH, and Alk in balance, but i am still using up the last of my Trichor Tabs and Powder (once done, I'll be looking toward using liquid). I began educating myself on pool chemistry, i stepped up to the TF-100 kit to get a bit more information about where the pool was (just arrived today). I never seem to have algae, and the water has generally been clear, swim-able and never irritating to the skin or eyes. I scrub and clean the pool on a weekly basis; check the levels almost every day, or at least 4-5 times a week (more as it's getting warmer). The pool doesn't have a heater, so it's typically doesn't get too warm, although it is in full sun most of the day and last summer got up to nearly 85 degrees or more. I was using some really expensive phosphate stuff I got suckered into buying from Leslie's, and occasionally I've put in the pool clarifying gel from time to time to make the pool super clear. (although it makes me change the filter more often) I use fiber paper material for the filter, rather than DE (wife doesn't like DE), and change it on a regular schedule. (i don't back-wash, but just fully clean it each time). I run the filter in the morning hours for about 3 hours, I've been told I should run it longer, or switch it to a 220v variable speed pump to save on power, but honestly I've run it for longer and don't seem to see a difference with water quality, although my power bill does show it. I don't have much mess in the pool unless it's windy; I don't any leaves at all so cleaning is pretty easy.
I do know the pool was built around 1963. I have some plaster stains on the bottom of the pool in a quite a few places, but other than it not looking "perfect" it doesn't seem to bother me too much, (although when I've had some guest come over they look at the pool a little weary) . I have a few spots where the plaster has chipped off (at the drain and at the steps in the shallow end). I think the pool was re-done in the mid 80's with some new coping and pipes, probably new plaster as well, (all of the pipes are PVC). I'd like to at some point get the pool re-plastered but I just don't have the resources to do that just yet. The pool is between 25-30K gallons. (it's 15-16ft wide, 28-30ft long, with about 8.5ft depth -- almost rectangle with a nook for the steps in the shallow end. So, here are my results -- (most were tested twice to be sure; especially the CYA and Calcium since I've never done those before.)
Calcium: 1275 (I did this test 3 times) - it took 51 drops to make it blue
With my CYA so high, does that mean I have to keep the Total Chlorine higher in order to avoid getting Algae? I usually try to keep my TC at about 2-3ppm and never seem to have algae problems; the water is clear too. (it measured high today cause I added some Chlorine yesterday - and by the look of it, added a bit too much).
I guess, the question here -- The CYA levels are too high. (along with the Calcium). I ran the PoolMath and it said that I basically had to drain 60-70 percent of the pool's water to bring the levels down to the 30-40 range. That's a very expensive endeavor and really having some issues with that since CA is in a drought. By my calculations, draining the pool will cost me roughly $250. (but this is based on my regular water usage; i'll have to call to confirm since i know the water usage goes up the more water you use) -- perhaps it may be worth doing since i may end up using more chlorine in the long run to keep the levels upl.
Anyways, If i have the concept correct, when I have the CYA that high, does the Chlorine not work as well, and to keep algae at bay I need to use more and more Chlorine? And if that's correct, why am i not seeing the algae when I regularly keep my TC at 2-3ppm? when i look at this chart: http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...rine-CYA-Chart it says I need to keep my FC @ 8.7? that seems insanely high.
so in conclusion, i seem to be a bit confused at what I should do....is the pool safe to swim in? Maybe there's not algae, but does it have tons of bacteria...I have some friends coming over for the 4th of July...what can I do before then? Is draining the pool the best route to go? Any advice about the draining the pool?
Thanks for reading - I appreciate any feedback