Hey all... This is the Simpleton's Wife again... I need help... I am confused. I thought I was doing great, I at least had clear water for maybe 2 straight months working your method (I thought). I got a little less then clear and increased my chlorine and ended up adding the stuff called revive (which I see referenced here as PhosFree... same stuff I think) everything falls to the ground I vacuum it up and we are smooth again for another couple of weeks.
about 3 weeks ago our pool use increases.. my teen has friends over with tanning oil addictions and I start losing ground fast. I start looking more then cloudy, I see shades of green. Panicked, I think the revive should help again I spray it everything falls I vacuum, it falls again, I vacuum... but I am vacuuming to waste and my water levels are dropping. my well has been a little temperamental in the heat (we try not to speak badly of her though) and I cant vacuum again in time for a scheduled party so I brush all the stuff into the deep end thinking if its 8 ft deep it wont stir too much and we have our party.
This is when we have the fall out. The next morning nothing had settled again. we are green funky and cloudy. I put the other half of revive (one bottle says it treat 25,000 galls and we are 30. I used half the bottle originally and then I just added the other half of the bottle) and nothing falls. I start chlorine and I am maintaining but not winning, so in frustration I start throwing ungodly amounts of chlorine in and we are now a beautiful shade of blue, quite stunning really, but you cant see the second step down the ladder it is so cloudy.
so lets talk specifics. I know you all like the numbers. We are a 30,000 gall IG pool with a vinyl liner. my CYA has been pretty steady 38-40. I havent tested calcium but when I went 3 weeks ago to the pool store for their free tests it was exactly at the number you guys say to target (cant recall) and so I imagine it is pretty close. When I test alkalinity I need 11 or 12 drops. at 11 drops it feels like it really wants to turn red but then it goes back to this gray color but the 12th drop it holds red so I am saying 120 ppm right? my pH was pretty steady at 7.5 until I went crazy with the chlorine and now it is 7.2 so:
pH 7.2 -7.5
TA 120 ppm
these numbers have stayed pretty constant.... so help me understand this chlorine deal. first of all my test kit has 6 shades of pink which they number 0-5. you add 5 drops of dpd1 and it goes cloudy then 5 drops of dpd2 and it goes pink. you are supposed to look at the depth of the shade of pink and then you add 5 drops of dpd3 for combined chlorine. it looks very much like one of the kits you recommend here but I bought it at the pool store and it is "pool life" brand.
I was keeping the chlorine right between the 1 and the 2 before we went to war. then for the last 2 weeks I have been trying to keep it at the 5. I found that adding 8 gallons of bleach moved my number up about 2 levels (so that if I was on 0 I went to 2 etc) but each scoop of shock moved it up one level. after hauling 8-10 bottles of bleach around with 3 kids and having them bust in each of our cars and ruin my good shirts and our car interior and everything else I gave up on the bleach and went to these huge containers of shock from the pool. they are $86 a container but when I calculated my cost in bleach to raise the same level it was comparable and I couldnt keep up the with all the bleach containers and a 3yr old... sorry.
so I threw in 4 scoops of shock in the morning got it up to the 5 and by the afternoon i was down to nothing again and threw in 4 more scoops of shock. I am on my 6th bucket now and finally I come on here for help. I read all through your algae forum and I see people keeping their chlorine levels at 40 um... I can not afford to barely keep it at 5 what am I doing wrong?!?!? I am willing to try the bleach again but is there some way to buy it by the keg and keep it on tap? 20 to 30 bottles a day is dangerous to have around.
I know we are winning the war because the color is so lovely now and I am just running and running the pump but in your algae forum you say to keep it at shock level until you dont lose but a certain amount of chlorine overnight and I am thinking my test kit isnt the kind that can show me that.
so what say you pool gurus out there... any advice?