Firstly, let me say this has been a great forum for learning over the last year - I've tried my best to read up on other threads and answer my problems without posting, but after 1 year of pool ownership, I.need.help.
I have quite a few questions so please bear with me, and if my terminology is wrong, again please correct me.
Firstly the setup -
Location - North Texas (DFW)
Pool size - I believe i have a approximately a 20,000 - 22,000 gallon pool.
Pool filter - Undetermined - Appears to be Pentair Triton II series but i can't determine the size as all markings and stickers are worn off. On my filter, the closure on the top is distinctly different from all the examples of the 40-50-60 models i can find. Rather than having a hexagonal look, it has slots in it which are used to twist it open using the tool. I can only find that on triton TR100C, TR140C and TR C-3 pool filters. Any ideas? here's mine (excuse the mess)
Pump - Appears to be a Hayward patent number 299143 with 2.4 HP.
Cleaner - Polaris 360.
So here's the state of play!
I've been having some fairly major problems with keeping the water clear and also keeping the algae at bay. Last summer I had a few outbreaks but managed to get them under control and eventually cleared up to sparkling water. This year, its been a weekly battle just keeping it even remotely swimmable.
So, i've been seriously shocking my pool once a week with Leslies powder plus, its having a minimal effect. I also used their Algecide which killed quite a bit, but the algae was quickly back. After leaving the chlorine levels to come back down to a reasonable state, i take my water to Leslies to test. My pool is turning green as i write this and the water is pretty murky - Here's yesterdays results.
FAC - 5
TAC - 5
CH - 400
CYA - 70-90 (Though he first said 90 and then backtracked from 90, to 80, to 70 when i said that was too high for effective chlorination)
PHO - 100
So, my first question is, if we assume my CYA is actually 80-90, is that way too high for my shock to be effective?
I've been shocking with 6lbs a time of shock and its barely making a dent. The guy at leslies said my CYA level wasn't an issue, but i genuinely believe he has no idea about pool chemistry. He said as the problem has been continual, i should probably check my sand (more on that later). Needless to say I've gone through 30lbs of shock in the last 6 weeks and its clearly not helped.
My CYA level is high, i assume because up until a month ago, i had no idea that my previous shock had stabilizer in it, nor the pucks i was just throwing in for fun at about 2-3 a week. Needless to say i've stopped using both, but i now understand that i cannot lower my CYA without a partial drain and re-fill. My main drain only appears to work as an equalizer. I drained my pool below my skimmer level last night and found that every minute or so, skimmer would fill up with water from the main drain equalizer port and then get sucked down into my pump from the port next to it. Presumably this is to keep it from burning out if there's no water going in.
Skimmer and equalizer port:
But.... if there's no way of directing all the water through the main drain, how do i drain my pool? Pump Sump?
And so - Here I am, Leslies telling me week on week my chemistry looks pretty decent, and my pool looking like ****. So as much as i didn't want to, i decided to go ahead and change the sand in my filter (as much out of curiosity as anything). I opened it up to find quite a lot of debris and cotton wood on top and as it turns out, mixed in with the sand. The filter was just about half full with sand. I've emptied out as much as i can, but i'm stuck with some wet sand at the bottom and no apparent way to get it out. Both the drain plug and union valves have been sealed in place.
The laterals look ok, but i can't get them out to inspect them because i cant remove any of the pipes without cutting. I really really dont want to start cutting things.
Next question - If i can't get every last bit of sand from my filter, can i re-fill on top, or does that negate the whole point of cleaning it out? Here's where i am :
Next question - If we can't determine exactly what model number my filter is, is there a safe zone for how much sand to put in generally speaking? Am i right in thinking half to 2/3s is about right?
Thats about all i have for now, as it stands i'm hating my pool and spending more time and energy on it that I do on my job which is ridiculous. Not to mention the money. Any help on any of these questions or just general info would be greatly appreciated.