We put our pool in 3 years ago and had always intended to care for it ourselves - but somehow (due to injury, then our pool being "sold" to a new service and then sheer laziness) I've had it serviced until just this last month - I REALLY didn't love our last pool guy and finally decided to give him notice and figure all of this out myself.
Whew - I'm REALLY glad I did - I used my shiny TF100 test kit the day after his last day of service...
FC -- 50
CC -- 0
TC -- 50
Ph -- 8.2
TA -- 150
CH -- 530
CYA -- 0
I think he had NEVER tested my CYA - assuming that since there was yellow in a CL drop test that things were fine...we've had a calcium "dandruff" since we've owned the pool - I was told it was nothing - just a biproduct of salt and solar...
A month later - I'm almost back under control
FC -- 8 (I'm trying to get this down a bit more - salt cell is off until I get it to drop all the way - the CYA has been holding it in - and it's been pretty cool/cloudy here)
CC -- 0
Ph -- 7.5
TA -- 110
CH -- 530
CYA -- 50
my pool is no longer eating acid on a daily basis as it was at first and calcium dandruff disappeared instantly when I got the Ph down. I'll have to be careful to set my salt cell very low when I turn it back on and see what the right level is (it's way oversized - an IC40 on an 11k pool - overkill!) and I think need to up my CYA a little more. I'm not planning to do anything about CH - a 50% drain and refill is not in the cards with the drought restrictions in Northern CA this summer - will that cause problems if all else is in balance or do I need to look into some sort of floculant?
I'm REALLY glad I decided to figure this all out and take it back over - I assumed the "pros" would know better than I how to take care of my pool - and it's always been sparkly and we've never had bad smells or cloudiness so I thought all was fine, I wish I'd done this sooner! - appreciate the help this site has provided!