Well, I'm not quite sure where I went wrong... but I'm pretty sure Intex is lying about the volume of my 15' x 48" metal frame pool ... the manual and online docs say 4,440 gal. but I definitely screwed something up and hopefully someone here can help me figure out what so I can get things stabilized and corrected (for future calculations) ASAP. Math is not my strong suit.
I started this season on June 3rd with the intent of doing BBB / Borates since I had some algae problems last year and I was sold on the idea of "sparkling" water, so I purchased some ProTeam Supreme Plus.
At first, I just wanted to get things sanitized w/more-than adequate (perhaps even shock levels) of FC and 40 PPM CYA before getting the TA and pH prepared for adding the borates, but something went wrong either with my math or something I'm completely overlooking chemically... I haven't added any boric acid or anything yet, because I ran into some headaches managing pH and TA. Of course, I don't plan on adding any until things get stable. Anyway here's the run-down...
06/03/2014 pH = 7.2, TA = 85, CH = 90 (FC/CC/CYA = 0, presumed but not tested) [baseline tap water readings, no chemicals added yet)
I added 6 oz. of dichlor to get things started targeting an FC of 6 (figuring it would be easier to add dichlor for a few days to get some CYA and sanitize at the same time)
06/04/2014 pH = 7.4, TA = 85, FC = 4, CC = 0, CYA = 5.1 (estimated, from adding the dichlor)
So I added another 7 oz. of dichlor, mainly to beef-up the CYA more, and because I knew nobody was going to be swimming in it for a few days due to weather (it rained a lot during these few days).
06/05/2014 pH = 7.3, TA = 85, FC = 14.5(!!!), CC = 0 , CYA = ~12 (estimated/presumed from the dichlor adds, didn't test yet though)
So this is my first question... to go from FC 4 to FC 14.5, supposedly my pool must be 3,000 gallons. Intex says it's 4440, the volume estimators put it closer to 5000. I can't fathom it being only 3,000 gallons but perhaps it's true, even though it's filled to only a couple inches from the top? I am 100% positive that FC reading was correct, I even tested three times to be sure! At this point, weather was still not great, so I just figured I'd let the chlorine get baked off by the sun naturally over the next few days so I decided not to add any dichlor. I did, however, want to bump up my TA to 100 in preparation to add the borates soon, so I added 12 oz of baking soda. That's where things kinda went sideways...
06/06/2014 pH = 8.0+ (w/3 drops of acid demand test!!!), TA = 125 (bit higher than 12 oz of baking soda should have made it from 85ppm), FC = 0.5-1.0 (I doubt this reading is accurate, I don't see how that much chlorine burnt off in 24h -- perhaps the super high pH or TA change is influencing this reading?) Another observation is that the "Effects of adding chemicals" section of poolcalculator.com seems to way under-state the amount of pH increase adding Baking Soda will do... unless, again, I'm doing something wrong?
So tonight, I added 12 oz of 31.45% muriatic acid (and no other chemicals) to try and bring my pH down. That is slightly less than what I need to get it back to 7.6, according to the manual that came with my pool test kit (one that was recommended here).
So yeah, here I am. Again I haven't touched the borates and do not plan to until things are stable/normal, but what's really going on here? Is my pool really only 3,000 gallons or is there some chemistry or bad math on my part at play here?
Hindsight being 20/20, I should have just started the pool with bleach and stabilizer granules. I purchased 1lb. of them in case I need to go that route (to ultimately get to 40ppm CYA) and perhaps I should just forget about the dichlor for now...
Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated, as always!