I've been reading posts on here for a while and have decided to switch away from the Permsalt system that came with our AG pool when we purchased our house last summer. I had nothing but problems (green water every 2-3 days) with it last year, but the prior owners left me with an empty copper chamber. This year (with a new copper chamber), everything ran perfectly and I had crystal clear water all summer following the Permsalt add Activate/Klariate on alternating weeks. Water tests have been the same all summer, using the little strips I was sold at my pool store (yes I will be getting some real test kits going forward):
FC: almost 0
pH - higher end, 7.8+
TA - higher end, 180+
CH - unknown
CYA - low end, but present
Copper - between .1 and .5 I think, hard to read the strips.
You might be wondering why I want to switch after having a summer of almost 0 maintenance, and the answer is we just had our first child. By next summer, he should be in the pool and after reading multiple posts on multiple websites, the lack of chlorine to kill bacteria quickly with small children is scary. We did enjoy not smelling like chlorine after swimming, but based on what I've read if you pay attention and maintain your system, this shouldn't happen with chlorine either.
So, my main question now is how should I close my pool (keeping in mind I want to switch next year)? I believe I need to remove the copper, which would require draining it based on what I read.....maybe this will just remove itself over time since my levels are so low? The Permasalt system recommends a winterizer they sell, not sure if I should use it since I want to switch. Also, based on my equipment I think I just take the copper chamber off the return and go with what I have. Maybe change out the sand in the filter (5 yrs old at this point), not sure though. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.