Hi, everyone! What a great community forum, and I'm so glad to have found this website!!
I have battled algae for years. The pool always starts off not bad, kind of cloudy/milky (which is as good as it gets), but it always gets green and murky by July and swampy by August. From following the advice of pool suppliers, it has been an endless cycle of shocking and algicide and other pool chemicals but nothing has ever gotten it crystal clear. From reading the pearls of wisdom on this site, I know now that I've never kept the FC at a high enough level for long enough to kill all the algae.
After I closed the pool in the Fall, the cover blew off on a really windy day and all the leaves that had fallen on the cover got dumped into the pool. I tried to scoop out as much as I could but just as much leaves were falling from the trees into the pool as I was fishing out. My parents had to come over and help me get the cover back on before even more leaves entered the pool so, unfortunately, those leaves stayed in there all winter. When I took the cover off (wish I would have taken a picture), it was a swamp! The amount of leaves that I scooped out was unbelievable. After getting all the debris out of there, I also wanted to try to get the algae out before it got disturbed from the bottom of the pool. I bought a Catfish Pool Blaster manual vacuum and put the microfiber sock in it and the algae sucked off the bottom of pool in sheets. It was gross, but pretty cool to watch all that gunk leaving the pool! Then I filled up the pool and took in a sample to the pool guys and these were the readings on June 8th:
Free chlorine: 0 ppm
Total chlorine: 1.36 ppm
Combined chlorine: 1.36 ppm
adjusted pH: 7.5
Total alkalinity: 90 ppm
Adjusted alkalinity: 90 ppm
Stabilizer: 30 ppm
Calcium hardness: 180 ppm
Borate: 13 ppm
So, following the advice of the pool guys, they told me to throw in a Klear Sok and then to use Alkalinity Plus to bump it up the alkalinity, shock the pool (which I had already done twice that week but was surprised to see zero FC), and to add Calcium Plus. I did all that...and then I found this forum! I wasn't going to pay $140 for a test kit from that recommended site here in Canada, and I discovered that Amazon US site sells the Taylor K-2006 kit and will ship to Canada, so that's a tip for other Canadians on this forum if you need to buy a kit. While waiting for my kit to arrive, I've continued shocking the pool and using my manual vacuum to get as much algae out of the pool as possible. It was actually looking pretty good, and then we had nearly a solid week of rain, and this is what it looks like today (I hope that I insert the photo correctly!):
2014.06.21 Pool - 1st photo.jpg
Using my Taylor K-2006 kit, these are my numbers today:
FC: 12.5 ppm
CC: 1 ppm
TA: 80 ppm
CH: 190 ppm
CYA: 35 ppm (it was about halfway between 30 and 40)
I am ready to go to PoolMath and plug in the numbers, but I just realized that the Clorox Bleach bottles do not say on the label the amount of sodium hydrochlorite (at least not here in Canada). I bought the 3-pack case from Costco, 3.57 L each of Clorox Bleach. I tried to call the 1-800 # for Clorox Canada, but the Customer Service is closed on the weekend. I even sent a tweet to Clorox Company, but no reply. If anyone can help me out with the % of sodium hypochlorite in Clorox Bleach, I'd really appreciate it! I would love to get this started this afternoon if possible!
Thanks so much for reading my post, and my girls are hoping that mommy can get the pool in shape so that they can go swimming!