Hello! First of all I'm going to say I am very new to pools and how to maintain them. My fiancÚ has always done the pool, but this year it has been a total mess! He has had the pool for 3 years now but had the liner replaced last year due to a mowing accident. It was a regular chlorine pool last year from my understanding(the Perma Salt box did not work) and he had no issues at all.
This year he replaced the PermaSalt box and tried opening the pool the way he was instructed to do for the PermaSalt systems such as a 25lb bucket of preparate, changed the sand in the filter, not sure how many bags of salt, then used the activate and Klairate and turned the box dial up to 8 for the first 2 days then down to 4. I did not pay attention during all this as I figured he wouldn't have any problems and I knew nothing about it lol. The water never cleared up! I guess I should mention it went all winter without a cover and he also had to replace the pump because the old one seized up. So it looked and smelled like a pond when starting.
After a week he called where he got the pool and they told him to put 8-1lb bags of shock in at one time. We never did a water test last year or this year at this point. The next day the water went from green to gray and he was very disappointed so I tried googling and looking around on the internet for info and came to the conclusion it was dead algae and he should put the automatic vacuum in. So he did and oh my! He was having to dump it every 10 minutes because of all the leaves in the bottom and even found a folded up lawn chair in the middle, had to unclog some rocks from the vacuum a few times. Anyway, this did nothing but make the pool green again!
So he put 2 more bags of shock in it along with an entire bottle of floc I think it's called...to make the algae sink to the bottom then turned the pump off for 24 hours. The next day it was still cloudy green but we could see the second step on the ladder.
Then put the vacuum in again along with the last 2 bags of shock he had, 2 bottles of klairate, and 2 bags of activate, but before adding anything I grabbed the test strips that came with the new PermaSalt box which only test the PH, ALK, and Copper. I know on here everyone is against the test strips but like I said I had no idea on anything to do with a pool but the test strips we had on hand had to be better than nothing.
So I did the test strip and it showed a PH of 6.2, ALK of 40, and Copper of 3.0. I decided I was going to our local pool shop instead of messing with the one in Nashville where he got the pool from(plus I was afraid of all the chemicals he was dumping due to the pool turning my hair green last year). He tells me our local pool shops do not help with salt water systems not to waste my time but I didn't listen.
Off to the pool shop I go with my test strip lol. This pool shop did in fact do salt water systems but did not do the PermaSalt system. I was eager for any advice they had to offer tho. The lady simply tells me the copper in the PermaSalt WILL turn my hair green along with possibly staining the liner. Asked since the copper level was that high and he added all that shock what did the liner look like and could not understand how any algae could still be alive. She gave me a bottle to take with me so we could bring in a water sample for her to test.
Nashville asked the same but told us the sample could not be older than 1 hour but the problem with that is we can't make it to Nashville that quick. Also while I was there I picked up test strips to test free chlorine, PH, ALK, and Stabilizer along with 5 bags of shock, algicide, clarifier, and a bucket of 3" chlorine tablets he wanted to keep on hand.
By now he has spent about $1k this year trying to open the pool! The lady spends an hour with me going over pool basics and such(not to mention I had arrived at 1pm when they close) and was super nice! I get back home trying to remember everything she had explained to me so I could explain it to him lol. He puts a chlorine tablet in the skimmer instantly.
The next day we go out to the pool and see it has turned gray again and I grab the test strips I picked up from the pool shop. It showed a Ph of 6.2, Chlorine shows up as 0, Alk of 40, and stabilizer of 0. I decided to do the other test strip also to see if it showed different. It showed the same PH and Alk but the copper was down to .6.
From what I understood from my research you must get the Stabilizer level first then the ALK, then PH, and finally the Chlorine last or you are wasting chemicals. Please someone correct me if I am wrong!!
I also found out he thought this entire time he had a 32,500 gallon pool because that's what they told him when he first bought it. Wrong! It is actually a 23,800 gallon pool after doing the pool volume calculater. It is round with diameter of 30' and 52" deep. I actually had to dig the receipt out to show him because he tried to tell me I was wrong lol.
Anyway, I wanted to hook the triangle shaped vacuum up and try to slowly vacuum the algae out like I had seen in some videos but he refused to let me due to the water still being so cloudy and you couldn't see the bottom. He adds 3 more chlorine tablets in the skimmer making it a total of 4 tablets, a measured dose of the algicide for 23,800 gallons I got from the pool shop, and whatever bleach I had in the cabinet(maybe half a gallon).
I seen he had a bucket of something that helps make the ALK come up and told him to put some of that in there which he refused to do and assured me he knew what he was doing even after I had told him what all I read. Even tried to get him to add some baking soda in the pool to help with the ALK but noooo! He wants to see what the chlorine tablets do first after I explain to him AGAIN he has to get the ALK and ph stable before working on the chlorine or he is wasting the tablets.
Within a few hours the pool had turned a lighter shade gray almost looking a creamy blue and I could barley see the 3rd step of the ladder. He takes the brush and starts stirring the middle up making the pool green AGAIN!! I tried another test strip of both strips and the same results! PH 6.2 on both strips, chlorine still at 0, ALK 40 on both, Stabilizer 0, and copper was .6. It's been a total of 2 weeks trying to clear this pool up.
I see all the empty bags and bottles of chlorine in a box on the deck and curious I wanted to see what ingredients were in them. The klairate did not show any ingredients on it, the shock he had got from wal mart showed it had copper ,sodium dichlor and "other ingredients". The PermaSalt activate showed sodium dichlor and "other ingredients". From there I was curious what the ingredients were in the stuff I got from the pool store. The shock says calcium hypochlorite and "other ingredients" which we have not used yet. The algicide shows 2 different Alkyl C dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides and "other ingredients".
I figured after putting the algicide in it may bring the Alk up since it had it under ingredients?? Maybe it's something different too? Anyway, we left it alone the rest of the night.
As of this morning, the pool is a gray cloudy color and can barley see the second step. He got the water sample to take it to the pool shop and I gave the test strips a whirl while we were out there too so I could see how accurate they are after the results from the pool shop. Still showing the same results! PH of 6.2, Chlorine of 0, ALK of 40, Stabilizer of 0, and Copper between .3-.6. Sorry for posting such a long story, but I was trying to be very detailed on everything we have done.
Any advice from anyone would be very much appreciated on what to do and if anything I have said is wrong please correct me. I have not seen many positive things on the web for PermaSalt and from our exp we don't really have much positive things to say either for the system it's self and the customer support from the store we bought it from.
Not mentioning any certain stores in this post. The fiancÚ did take a day off from work just to drive to Nashville to get all the stuff to open the pool the way it says to do and once he gets home he realizes they didn't load the 25lb bucket of preparate and double charged him for the brush. He did call to voice his opinion and they put some credit on his account but told him he would have to come get it himself they would not deliver. A few days later after getting the preparate he finds out the pump had seized up so we had to wait another week before opening the pool.
Our pool season has not been a good one at all this year. Anyway, looking forward to any and all advice! Could it be possible the reason no chlorine is showing up on the test strip is because of the copper messing with it? Just a thought.