Central TX / 12K GAL / IG / SWG / DE filter / Pentair SVRS & 3 swim jet pumps / Spa bench and jets / Single body of water / No heater / Coming up on 1.5 years old (the pool, not me)
Had a pool service person for the start-up and switch over from chlorine to salt. Maintained that relationship for a year+ until he decided to leave the pool service business. About the only problem we ever had was the water would get "slimy" (especially the hose for the cleaning mouse), he'd come over, dump in acid, and a few hours later it was fine. I always figured he knew what he was doing and never did any tests myself.
Start of the swimming time year, he never came around, couldn't get a hold of him, turns out he sold his "route" to someone else. About the same time, we started having large micro-thin white flakes appearing in the water. Each flake (there were hundreds) would shatter into a thousand pieces if you tried to touch it. Mouse bag was caked with the stuff repeatedly. Asked new guy, he said he didn't know but would check into it. Next time still said he didn't know, so we called in someone else, T'was apparently calcium leaching out of the water. Pool chemistry was ridiculously off. At the time, TA was 300, Saturation Index was 0.8, PH was 8 with acid drop of 22 to get to 7.4, CH was 0, CYA was 0, FC was 1. New guy got PO'ed that we called someone else for help and quit. Said he was certified and could solve everything (but said he didn't know what the problem was and didn't even try to find out across 3 visits, so how could he solve it).
So we took it over ourselves and have been doing a combination of testing ourselves and using the local Leslie's as well. We have slowly been wrestling the chemistry back into shape.
Had a phosphate problem as it was up to 2500 and FC was 0. I've read a bunch of posts here while lurking, with significantly different opinions as to whether that was a problem or not. Seems to me (the newbie, so be gentle), that if FC was 0 and phosphates was climbing and CYA was 0, we had an algae problem, even if it wasn't showing as visible. First attacked TA and got that down, then CH, then CH, and then Phosphates. Did a SuperChlor cycle on the salt cell as well. (This paragraph covers probably 2 weeks of fighting to get pool chemistry back in control while learning about pool chemistry at the same time).
Current readings are:
FC = 5
TC = 5 (yes I know it is supposed to be 0.2 difference, but every test from Leslie's has always been the same for both with the caveat note of they are probably 0.2 different.)
pH at time of test was 8 with an acid drop of 2
So perhaps my biggest question is what ranges should I really be going for? Leslie's state's theirs, the Taylor test kit book states theirs, I've seen a bunch of posts on here that say "We recommend..." Not sure who we is...pool service experts, home owners with many years experience, or what... And of course, they're all different.
It's hard to know what to treat to tweak into the ranges, if you don't know what ranges you're really supposed to be shooting for.
So long introduction perhaps, but that's the first question.
The next one pertains to trying to better understand the relationship between sun, CYA, TA, pH and CH. I understand that TA rises with the sun, pH rises with TA (and the sun), CH not sure, CYA is sunglasses for pH but gets used up by the sun.
Next one is better understanding FC/TC/pH/sun relationship.
Next one is how to get rid of the scale on the tiles at the water line and all around the sconces in the spa deck wall. Been using pumice stones...was hoping there was something that you could wipe over it to at least start to get it to dissolve and break up. Pumice is back breaking scrubbing efforts not to mention the resulting **** in the water.
Like many forums, I expect there is likely to be a ton of expertise and a ton of attitude. Looking for advice and expertise, NOT attitude. Been on the internet since it was Bitnet and Gopher, so if you give me attitude, I won't be afraid to give it right back.
Thanks in advance for the help.