Never had a pool before and have just purchased a home with one. Have spent the last week or so reading as much as I can to get my head around what needs to be done. We are in Winter here (South Africa), pool temp sitting at about 58F so no swimming until November probably. Ordered a solid cover to stop the children from getting wet, which will also let me forget about it until we want to start using it.
I thought I'd get a water test on it though, just to see what is there. The results I got from the pool shop are:
TDS - 1700
FC - 0
CC - 0
pH - 7.5
TA - 90
CH - 1280
CYA - 0
Now I'm sitting with the issue of knowing that my CH is off the charts... I had them test my supply water and its CH is 120. The guy I bought the place from said that all I need to do is use a cup of HTH a day (which after looking at the bottle discovered is calcium hypo) and occasionally some acid when the pH gets high. He's had the pool for 20 years, so the CH build up makes sense. I'm not sure I know what scaling would look like but I don't see major signs of it. My concern is that I'm basically sitting with super saturated water and a spike in pH would be scale city...
I'm thinking that I should dump water sooner rather than later, only thing is the water table is evidently quite high in the area so I'm only going to be able to drop down by about 3.5 feet before having to refill otherwise I might end up with a boat... (so much to learn.)
That will hopefully drop me down to about 600 and then after I repeat the process will hopefully be in the 300s.
Once I get to that point, what do you guys suggest I do before closing up? The water is as cold as it's going to get (58F) and I will be covering it with a pvc cover that shuts out all light. At this stage my only source of testing is the pool shop or test strips, and from what I have read, the test strips are pretty useless... Thinking about ordering a TF Test Kit but the shipping is $40 and I cannot find anything locally, still pondering that...
Anyways, do I try and get a perfect balance before I leave it or just add a decent amount of chlorine and leave it until November? (I have found a source for 12% Sodium Hypo.) I guess that's what I really want to know.
Also, there seems to be a bit of black grow in some areas of the grouting, not looking super bad but it looks like it could be an algae of sorts. Other than that the pool is perfectly clear and even a bit sparkly.
Your advice would be most appreciated.