I have used what I thought was an embarrassing volume of chlorine in the past month - until I read about other people using 100+ gallons. I've gone through 16 gallons of 12% and maybe 30-174 oz 6%. I feel like I'm wasting money, so I want advice before I proceed.
I winterize and have a solid cover. The pool was clear on opening and there seemed to be no problem initially. After a month or so I realized I was using more chlorine than last year. I read TFP so I know there are no gremlins stealing my chlorine - just sun and organics. The pool is covered most of the time, so it's not sun and it must be organics.
Using poolcalculator I figured 2-174 oz jugs would get me 15 FC shock level, so I shocked. I've got a DPD kit, so I can measure to 5ppm. I never measure shock levels. I've never had visible algae. I just trust poolcalculator and add the right volume. That chlorine was gone and I was still using high amounts. I shocked again (2-174 oz) maybe a couple of times. Still using lots of chlorine. I opted for high-end shock (4-174 oz). I did this a couple of times, brushed the sides several times, ran the cleaner often. Still high chlorine use.
I didn't have a CYA test, so I got a pool store test. My store is reputable, uses Taylor tests, and matches my tests for the ones I can do. The pool store said zero CYA. ***? I know (or thought I knew) CYA doesn't go away. It should have been 30-40 based on fall closing readings. I didn't believe 0 CYA was possible, so I got a CYA test. I tested 0 CYA. ****. I added several pounds of CYA and retested. CYA was at 30 and PH dropped a bit. Makes sense. While bringing CYA up I added a couple of gallons every day just to maintain FC.
Now that I had CYA I shocked again (4-174 oz). I don't have time to test FC every hour. The best I can do is twice/day. I tried to check 2X/day to maintain high levels. I can't test well over 5ppm, but I made sure I was over 5ppm and added (2-174oz) which should be +15ppm. I was trying to use the algae clearing procedure even though I don't see anything. I brushed a couple more times. I thoroughly power-washed and brushed my cover and the cover tracks to help get rid of anything that might be there.
Through all of this I measured CC levels at 1-2ppm at times, but never higher. I figured my 2-4 big jugs was enough to eliminate the CC.
I have not retested my CYA since bringing levels up because I assume it can't go anywhere, but I stumbled across the stories of CYA eating bacteria. Now I want to retest CYA to be certain.
I have seen red dots on the concrete coping that overhangs the fiberglass. I was told by a couple of people that it's probably bacteria, not algae and not a big concern. Brush it off, but don't worry. I've seen this off and on for the past 3 summers - never a lot just some dots here and there. After finding a couple of bacteria threads here, I wonder about the red stuff. I have seen it this spring, but not after all of my brushing and bleaching.
I'm stumped. Should I do the extreme chlorine demand bucket test? Should I test for ammonia on the bacteria theory?
Pool store commented the CH is a bit high and TDS. I know TDS (generally) doesn't matter based on reading TFP.
CYA-30 (a couple weeks ago)
CH-350 (pool store)
TDS-3000 (pool store)