This is my first post to the forum. It's my first time owning a pool and I've been using this website for a couple summers to help solve issues and learn more about my pool. Although I have a lot to learn, I've been doing my best to keep the water clear and usually perform the minimum tests for chlorine and PH which always seems pretty stable and I've been happy.
I've been using the tablets which I realize is not popular here, but when the chlorine readings are low I add a tablet which seems to spike the reading after a day or two. PH always stays at 7.2; haven't really seen it budge since we moved into the house. For a while I added borax to raise it a little with good results, but always seems to hang at 7.2.
So my dilemma is with some of the other tests and the numbers that I'm getting are wildly off the scale. These are what I found for my last test:
TA: 170 (!)
CYA: 150 (??) it was off the scale
Am I doing something wrong? Isn't there something contradictive about those readings? At the moment the water is clear and blue and probably deceiving me.
I think I can explain the high TA; it's most likely from my bone-headed handy work of using baking soda. I know about the aerating thing and I'm thinking I can get that back down to a normal range.
The CYA thing scares me because it seems the only method to lower that is to replace 80% of my water. I'm not sure that's feasible and that's just about like starting all over when I thought things were going good.
Any advise and help is greatly appreciated.