Man, what a joy and a frustration it was for me to find this site yesterday. Frustration that I didn't find this site 4 years ago when we bought our house (and inherited the pool with it) and joy that I finally found the place. I came across TFP after searching for a good way to stop leaks in my pool hose fittings of all things. Yesterday I probably spent a good 6 hours reading through all kinds of posts and a few more hours this morning.
As I said, we have had the house and pool now for 4 years and it has been a constant frustration for me.
I just took my pool cover of this past Saturday (if you are in New England, you know what a rainy and cold start to the summer it has been) since the temperatures haven't warranted going in the pool yet. Once again, I was unable to get the cover off the pool without dumping all the pollen buildup and leaves that were on top into the water, but that is for another post I guess.
I placed an order for the TF100 test kit last night and am eagerly awaiting its delivery this week so I can get a good reading on my pool water levels. Up until now I've bounced back and forth between using test strips and a cheap little droplet tester from the local store. As a result, I haven't taken any readings yet this year after finding this site because I'm sure they won't give me an accurate and complete picture of my pools chemistry at the moment.
Anyways, enough rambling. I do have a few questions after reading through a lot of the site. First, I'll happily do away with the chorline tablets and all that nonsense and convert to the BBB method. I just have a few questions on procedure and on my current equipment.
As a point of reference, here is a photo of my pool from this morning.
I took the cover off on Saturday night (today is Monday morning) and filled the water level back up and hooked up all my equipment. Yesterday, Sunday, I added four gallons of pool shock because I know there is now all kinds of organics in my pool that fell in when I removed my pool cover. This was before I found TFP so I used the following pool shock instead of bleach:
Judging by the ingredient listing on the front, it appears to me that its fine since its 12.5% concentration. I still have 3 gallons of this left as well. After having the filter running since last night, I came out this morning and vacuumed and scraped the bottom of my pool with my leaf net rake and cleared at as much debris as I could. Still can't see the bottom so I'm sure there is quite a bit still in there. I took the above photo after I was finished.
While, I'm on the subject, this is the type of vacuum I have for this pool. I just hook it up to a hose and skimmer plate. I'm hoping someone tells me this vacuum is junk and guides me to a better way to vacuum an AG pool.
My real questions are this. Once my kit arrives and I test my levels, I can begin using BBB in earnest. From what I've gathered the first and most important step is getting to the point where I'm only losing 1.0 or less of FC overnight. This is achieved by shocking with bleach and vacuuming/cleaning out the pool. Once I'm able to get to losing 1.0 of FC overnight, do I just let my FC slowly lower down from the high shock levels into the "acceptable" range for my CYA level and then maintain that level from there? Also, at what point is it safe to actually let my family use the pool after I'm maintaining the >1.0 FC drop overnight.
Also, when I start the shock cycle, should I try to get my CYA level up to 40 first and then do the shock based on that, or do I just always do the shock cycle based on whatever my CYA level is at?
If my pH is low (and TA for that matter) do I wait for the shock cycle to get stabilized and then raise my pH level, or do I need to get all the tests in the correct ranges at once at the start of the process?
Lastly, when trying to find all the information to fill out my signature, I was having a hard time trying to figure out the details for my pump/motor. Here are two pictures of that I took that I'm hoping will help someone lead me in the right direction.
I can't tell from the labels what the HP is (it seems the HP line has --- in it) and other needed info for my pump.
Sorry for the huge first post, but I'm thrilled to finally have found this site and looking forward to the promised "ease of maintenance" in the future and am ready to stop being frustrated with my pool and actually start enjoying it after 4 years.