I'm new to the forums, and to pool maintenance. My wife and I recently purchased a house, and it comes with a lovely in ground pool (info should be in my sig). I grew up with pools (FL resident), but I've never been responsible for maintaining my own. Well, here's a pic I just snapped (I know you guys love pictures)
A little history...after we closed on the house about 2 months ago, the pool was neglected for a couple of weeks while we did some work on the house before we moved in. Sure enough, I noticed the pool turning from blue to greenish - sure sign of algae. I sought immediate help at the nearest pool store (local, not a chain), and they did a fair job getting me the right stuff (liquid chlorine ($2.20/gal), baking soda, CYA, calcium chloride, and acid) to get the pool 'balanced' and back to clear blue. I also bought myself some test strips, then quickly realized just how useless they are. I took a few water samples to the pool store. Each time I went home with more chlorine and other chemicals, and a somewhat lighter wallet. Then I realized their system was a test strip read by a scanner hooked to a PC. Probably better at judging colors than my eye, but still a strip, right? I should probably mention that I have some experience keeping saltwater reef aquariums, so water testing is nothing new to me. In that hobby, we also have the mantra: "Don't add anything you're not testing for."
So, last week I ordered the TF-100, and now I have some data I can actually rely on.
pH: just under 7.8
CC: just over .5
Now, I'm just slightly frustrated that my CYA is higher than it needs to be - the pool store not once, but twice, told me my CYA was a little low and had me add stabilizer granules. And suggested I throw in some trichlor pucks - I didn't realize how much CYA those could add. My floater is now emptied, and I'll use the remaining pucks if and when I need a little extra stabilizer down the road. Although I recognize CYA is definitely a little high, I'm hoping I can let it deteriorate slowly over the next several months - the combination of high water temps (85-90) and bright sunlight should help that along, right?
For chlorine, the pool store had suggested I add about 2 gallons of 10.5% liquid chlorine per week. I've been doing 1 gallon a week (and all at once, should probably split that up). My last addition was Monday, and I'm at 10 today. Seems ok for my current CYA level. It looks like my pool's chlorine appetite either isn't as high as they estimated, or the chlorine was REALLY high a while back. I'll have to do more measurements over time to get a handle on that. The pool store was also pushing "shock" on me every other week or so - I believe it was Shocktrine - potassium monopursulfate 45%. After reading here that you only really need to shock when you have a problem, I'm going to hold off on that for now. Last addition of Shocktrine was probably a month ago. Since then nothing but a bottle of liquid chlorine per week.
CC went almost completely clear on the first drop, just a slight pinkish tinge remained. That's why I'm calling it a little over .5 rather than 1. Is that a fair way to judge the test, or should I consider it .1? It's been cloudy (and rainy) here the last few days, so not much sunlight to help break down CC.
Calcium is higher than what I see recommended, but is it an issue? The pool is plaster - diamond brite, I believe. Previous owners had the pool resurfaced about 2 years ago. Is 475 ok?
pH is towards the high end of ok, right? The previous owner told me the pool tends to have pH rise over time, so he dosed a little muriatic acid periodically to keep it in check.
Any general thoughts of suggestions? How am I doing?