I've been lurking around here for a couple weeks and thought I'd post our progress with the war on algae. I ordered the Taylor K-2006 kit and am anxiously awaiting its arrival today so we can get started!
My husband, 2 young boys, and I moved into a 25 year old house last May and immediately fired the pool guy because we figured we could do the work ourselves. There were stained areas of plaster and several worn areas of plaster, but it will be about 5 years before we can get the pool/patio redone. Everything seemed ok (I thought it was normal to brush up a little green now and then) until our automatic vacuum broke. I'm guessing that was vacuuming the algae so that it never appeared too bad, and it got worse after it broke. I've visited Pinch A Penny several times, and after using several rounds of what they said was the best possible/strongest algaecide (Spot Out Granular Tri-Chlor) and always having the algae return within a couple weeks, I basically gave up and agreed with the pool store that the algae was just living in our old and worn plaster and I'd just have to brush it up occasionally. We've mostly been using pucks and liquid muriatic acid a couple times a week.
Now that the weather is warming up here, the algae is growing quickly. The water stays mostly clear, but now when I brush I see clouds of green. The stains are growing and getting worse. So I finally decided I'd give this one more shot and see what info I could find about algae problems with old plaster. I didn't find any link between the two, but I did find this site!
Now I'm guessing we've got sky-high CYA and will have to drain some water. While waiting for our test kit, I've stopped using the pucks and just been keeping the chlorine fairly high with liquid chlorine and brushing every day or 2, biding my time until we know what our next step is. My poor filter is about 15 psi above normal, but I'm not sure exactly how/when to clean it during this process without wasting too much time.
I know we can't really take our next step until the test gets here, but I have a couple questions in the meantime.
1. What is a good starting point for CYA for a sunny South Florida pool?
2. I'm thinking that I'll spray the filter clean as needed during the SLAM process, but save the good, thorough cleaning for the end. I'm concerned it will just clog right back up if I do that now. Make sense or no?
Some pictures of the pool today (you can see the stains and worn spots, and some leaves - I usually vacuum on the weekend):