Brief history here:
Opened my pool this spring and it was clear with fine dirt on the bottom. Vacuumed it up and the pool remained cloudy with a very small hint of green. I had some of HTH Green to Blue on hand so I used it and water became crystal clear again, but what I was vacuuming was like trying to suck up a cloud, it would just float "up" into the water never to settle.
I started following TFPs advice on BBB. I added the appropriate amount of chlorine and everything turned green within a day. I told the pool store what happened and they sold me 4#s of green-to-clean. It turned the water a milky blue. I double checked my levels and my clorine was nil (after two days of heavy shocking, chlorine was 8), I added some chlorine and again the pool turned green within a day. Rinse and repeat two more times for a total 12#s of green-to-clean within 6 weeks. I went to the green-to-clean website and they said in the FAQs that if the pool turns cloudy white, I very likely had a filtration problem and that my filter was a sand filter (I do have a sand filter). Well, OK. I take the top off my filter and do a huge flush and my ZeoSand (upsold at the pool store) was very gummy. I replaced the sand last year. I go back to the pool store and they tell me that they haven't had much luck with the ZeoSand feedback. I buy some plain jane filter sand and have discarded the ZeoSand.
I was complaining to a friend at work about my issue and he said that happened to him (about the pool turning green after adding chlorine), and he said that it was metals in the water oxidizing. A little research appears to verify this. The pool store then sold me Natural Chemistries Metal Free. The pool turned cloudy blue within a day. They also told me that my ph was too high and that I needed to added a quart of muratic acid every 12 hours until it returned to at least 7.8 so I can properly use their PhosFree Commercial product. I added a gallon of muratic acid over the course of two days. PH doesn't budge.
After doing some research about green-to-clean (I know - a little too late) - It appears that my pool is now essentially a bromine/bromide pool. Which makes complete sense. This would explain why I would have such low chlorine after a few days of shocking the pool.
So, here's my question, should I drain the pool to get rid of the bromine/bromide so I'm not constantly super shocking this thing just to maintain proper levels for the next few years?
My pool is currently clear for about 2', and then a deep hunter green thereafter.
Vinyl liner - replaced last March and has several wrinkles.
FC/BR - 5
PH - 8.4
TA - 130
CH - 180
CYA - 100
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I intend on getting a game plan together tomorrow to drain the pool this week and start over before spending anymore money (I'm at a grand so far in chemicals this season ) Please advise. I'm near the fill-in-with-dirt phase.