Hello all! I've been doing a lot of reading around here and it's helped me learn enough to take over maintenance of my pool myself. I bought my first house (and pool) last fall and up until last week, I have had a pool service maintaining my pool and spa. I ordered a basic Poolmaster test kit last week just to have something to get an idea of what's going on in the pool. It confirmed the horrible test strips of the pool having 0 chlorine. I raised it up with a bunch of liquid chlorine bleach trying to keep it up to at least 2.0 following dosage instructions from "The Pool Calculator," while brushing it several times a day. The pH was also a little low, but still within range. pH has been sitting at 7.6 now though after raising it a bit with soda ash. Total alkalinity was also on the lower side, but is now right in range after raising it with baking soda. The pool became cloudy for a couple of days, but cleared up. I had to backwash the filter twice as well. I've been able to keep FC at a minimum of 2ppm, with the exception of the Monday. I tested it later at night (had been testing it in the mornings) and it was about 0.6-1, so I added more bleach and ran the filter system for an hour afterwards. Been 2ppm+ since though.
I've got some black algae issues, though it has slowly been disappearing in certain spots since bleaching the pool. My pool water is now blue and clear instead of mostly clear with a green tint. Based on what I've been reading, it seems like I still need to SLAM my pool since I am still getting algae growth. I'm probably going to wait to do it until next week as it's supposed to rain at some point this weekend, and, my TF-100 test kit and Speed Stir won't be here until tomorrow anyways. I've also got a floater with 3" chlorine tabs in it. Seems like I should remove that from the pool, based on my readings?
Thanks for the help thus far, and appreciate what help I'm sure is to come. I'm actually excited about doing all of this testing and making the pool look great!