Hello all, I've read quite a few posts here and try to be a devoted pool owner, but I think I've failed my pool over this past winter. We just had it put in last year. It's about 15k gallons, in ground, plaster lining (over shotcrete), and uses a SWG chlorination system. I balanced as best I could before closing, and maintained periodically by testing and adding muriatic acid (the pH always seems to be high). With my safety cover pulled off in certain spots, I did the best I could to circulate the acid to make sure it was distributing.
I just opened the pool and have multiple issues that I can tell already -
1. When I reach my hand down on the side as far as it will go, the surface gets so rough it feels like 40 grit sandpaper. It also somewhat flakes off to my touch or light rubbing. I assume this is scale, since when I tested the water, my pH was (somehow) off the chart (that goes to 9). I quickly added a gallon of acid and will be running to the store to get more to get it back where it's supposed to be, but I don't know what can be done about the scaling. I've read that acid takes care of it, but I assume if I just add a ton of acid it will cause other problems for my pool.
Also, I'm not sure if this is indicative of anything, but I even saw chunks of white material that collected in my pump basket soon after I turned the pool on. When I took them out and examined them, they look off white in color and are the texture of coral. There were about 4-5 pieces, each over an inch long.
2. I'm not sure if the folks that fabricated and installed my mesh safety cover just botched the job (it doesn't look to cover much beyond the coping on the side where there is no decking), but there were a ton of leaves in the pool when I opened it. Some of them seem to have left behind stains. I've read these are likely iron stains?
So what is the process I should use to get this taken care of? Balance pH (adding acid) and FC levels (which are currently near 0 according to the test), then deal with the scale, then the stains? If so, what exactly do I use to do this? Also of note, my CYA levels seem to be between 200-250. I assume these will go down once I get my other chemistry worked out?
Right now I have the pump going 100% and I'm adding water. I'm *just* about to the skimmer level, so soon I plan to start circulating that through. My SWG is not running right now as salt levels are too low. I was planning on just using bleach for a little while until I get the chemistry corrected, then add salt and start it up. Does this sound correct?
I know I've asked a mouth full. I really appreciate all the help. Detailed responses are best as I'm a complete noob to pool care. Thank you!