Hi, Just joined the forum, having read all the info over the last few weeks. I appreciate you taking a look and helping out. It is a bit of a long back story, so please be patient
I am from UK, and moved to USA 4 years ago. Originally to AZ, but last 2 years in Florida - because my little girl needs numerous surgeries on her leg.
With that in mind, 4 weeks ago, she under went major leg surgery where she has 11 metal pins through her flesh and inter her bones on her leg. This means open wounds for the next 8 months. As part of Physical therapy, playing in a pool is recommended, particularly a salt water one.
I have had a pool company the whole time, but due to the importance of the pool needing to be right, I decided to do some checking. I was never happy with them anyway - they seemed to spend 3 minutes per week at my pool for $120 p/m and I had a big row when they charged me $1200 for a new T-9 cell and install ( at the time I knew nothing about pools , but saw that they cost 300 buck to buy, so asked them to justify the $900 install charge, ended up agreeing on $600). I also noticed that they always put chucks on Chlorine tablets in the pool on a floater thing - did not know why with a SWG pool.
Anyway, I took a pool sample to a pool place that does free testing, and spent 2 hours with them trying to learn all about pools. My levels were - FC 12, ALK 50, CYA 30, Salt 2200, Phosphates 400 , PH 8.2 , CH 80.
Firstly, as the Aquabrite said salt was at 3200 - I checked that with Hayward support and PCB seemed broken, so I got that replaced for $400 bucks.
Through literally 10 trips over 2 weeks to pool store,, each with testing, I added 80lb of salt which raised the level from 2200 to 3200, added gallon of stabilizer taking it to 90, 35lb of Calcium taking CH to 290, Phosfree taking it to 100, 6 cups of acid to drop PH to 7.4. I replaced filter with Leslie PA90.
After 3 weeks of adjusting and testing , back and forth, these levels seemed good - except FC was still over 10ppm. Could not figure it out, until , I did weekly clean and saw lumps of Chlorine tablets in my skimmer basket - the pool people came round after cancelling them, and put them in there - apparently they did not get the phone message.
Anyway, I then kept get too varied readings in the pool place , depending on who did the test, from just one day to the next. My gut instinct was that they were not really as knowledgeable as I first thought. Then I started online research , learned all I could and then found this great place
I bought the Taylor 2006 test kit and am getting different results to the pool place. I also use a test strip as it seems accurate to my eye for FC and PH, do not use it for any of the other readings.
I have run 5 tests with the Taylor kit and starting to get some consistency. I also bought a high end bacteria test kit, due to importance, because of those open wounds - I tested last week and it was all clear.
I am not exactly sure on pool size - measured numerous times , but it is free flow shape 3 ft to 6 feet deep , about 30 ft long and 15 ft wide. Pool person who installed new PCB on control panel said it was 15k as that was common in my area of Florida and he looks after many many pools.
Here are the readings I have been getting last week or so with Taylor test kit:
FC - 7.5-8
CC - 0 (although today got VERY faint pink with the single drop for CC test, so less than .5 , probably .2 )
CYA - 50-60 (Find this test SO hard as I am not exactly sure what the vanishing point is. It goes faint, then if I loo away and focus hard I can see it again, so I add more and more ) it seems SO subjective ! I like the test strip thing as it is clear, at least the shade of orange , changing to pink gives an indication. ) Any thought on how to accurately do this test ? thx
PH - 7.4 - 7.8 - happy with this and pretty consistent each time. I add about 1 cup of acid per week , and that seems to work
CH- now at about 475 ppm ! pool people were WAY of on there recommendation on this one.
ALK - was at 80 for last month, today read 60 - might need to retest, seems odd.
Yesterday, after reading on here about pool pup running times, I changed my timer from 10 hours per day, to six , and increased the dial from 25% to 45% output. I roughly figured 1 HP pump is about 50GMP , with 15k pool , that is one full cycle per day - is this correct?
I am not sure what my pool is made out of , I have attached pictures.
So I guess my questions are:
Should I mess around with any of these things? Or are my levels pretty much ok ?
I am thinking raise CYA to 75, and ALK to 90. Then keep FC at about 7 ppm (I would to be a bit over cautious on this, and err towards over sanitized)?
On the plus side, I have no bacteria, no algae , no stinging eyes anymore and the water is so crystal clear and sparkling, I presume I am doing some things right?
Please advise on what I need to do. It is so important for my little girl.
many thanks for reading.