First post. Our pool was built this summer and finished in early August. Pool was being maintained by pool company and was turned over to us in late August. Readings were OK during the first few weeks but now I'm having issues with low Chlorine readings. Initially we were only using the Aqua Chek Chlorine strips but I recently purchases a PoolMaster 5 way test kit and the Aqua Check 7 test strips.
Starting around 9/11 and 9/12 I was getting the following readings using the Aqua Check test strips.
FC .5 CC .6 pH 6.4 TA 80 CYA 30-50
I contacted the pool company that built my pool and he said to bring in a sample of my water, which I did on Friday the 12th. He said my readings were close but the TA was at 40. He said pH was 6.8. I'm not sure the test kit he was using. He said he would first like to start with raising the TA so he sold me some Alkalinity Rise (their brand product). I did 15 lbs at 5lb every two hours. He said to bring in another sample on Monday morning. I put out a bottle in their outside bin but did not hear back from him. I called today but no answer. I will have to try later.
I received the PoolMaster test kit on Saturday 9/14 and started doing my own readings every day around 6pm. I am at the point where I am getting consistent readings over the period of 4 days 9/14 through 9/17 as follows. Note that this kit does not have a CYA test.
FC .5 CC .6 pH 7.2 TA 80-90
Let me add that because of the Chlorine readings I have steadily increasing the dial on the Frog XL Pro which uses the 540C Chlorine Pak that has tablets inside the plastic casing. The dial can go from 0 to 8. The dial was initially on 2. I raised to 3 on day 1 and have had it on 4 the last two days, but the Chlorine level is not increasing much at all. I do remove the Chlorine Pak each day to look and it is using the tabs as I can see a marked difference in the amount of tabs remaining.
And, yesterday (9/17) I also accompanied my PoolMaster test kit with using the Aqua Chek 7 test strips I received. The readings from the strip are as follows. You'll notice a difference in some readings from the PoolMaster, so I'm not sure which to believe. They list Total Chlorine instead of CC.
FC .5 TC 5 pH 7 TA 120 CYA 30-50
At the rate that the Chlorine Pak is being used I think I would have to replace it again in about a week, and I know it is supposed to last much longer than that. I think the goal is to get the dial at about 1 and maintain good chlorine levels.
I'm thinking that I have to shock the pool, but I think about what the guy at the pool store said, "You know you should never shock your pool, right?" I wonder if this is true.
Any help you can provide in what I should do the get the levels back in order is greatly appreciated. Thanks.