First of all, hello! I've just found this forum and it seems like a great place!
I'm trying to get my pool ready to close for the winter (live in south-western Ontario, Canada) and the last few weeks has been an absolutely ridiculous battle with far too many trips back and fourth to a near-by Pool Store. I'm hoping to gather some insight here.
- moved in to house 3 weeks ago
- previous owners used "cheap" chemicals (HTH shock [cal-hypo], no-name pucks, etc) and probably never took the time to properly balance the pool water
- water was crystal clear when we moved in, but appeared to have algae "sediment" in various places on pool's floor
- being new to the pool, I had the water analyzed within the first few days of being in the home, and thus the battle began.
Some of what I've been doing
- Brought stabilizer up to 50 ppm (initial reading had been zero)
- Shocked with ~5 gallons 12.5% liquid chlorine (killed algae, but has now caused very high phosphate levels)
- been fighting with phosphates (and apparent inherent lack of FC) ever since (used 2 bottles of Calypso "Phos-free" ... still had high phosphate readings ... just today poured a bottle of Aqua "No Phos" in and awaiting the results of the next few days)
- also been fighting to attempt to bring down calcium hardness levels since they've been very high ever since my first testing (vacuuming all the sediment from phosphate removers to waste has meant replacing water, but nothing too significant yet).
Adj. T.A.: 110
Phosphates: it's a judgment call on color-matching the test, so I'll say ~1,000 ppb
So, I've been told a couple things that concern me. One is that I shouldn't close my pool with CH readings this high. Two is that until the phosphates are brought down significantly, I will have a very hard time getting my FC readings up (which I want to do before closing). Third is from another local pool store who told me that they don't "deal with" phosphates and that I should totally ignore that part of the equation and just shock the pool multiple times a day for as many days as it takes.
Without babbling on too much more, I'm just looking for any ideas and/or suggestions as to what I can do to get my water "ok" to close the pool for the winter. I understand that dilution is the only way to bring CH down, so maybe that's the best answer I can get, since dilution will also bring down phosphate levels...?
Thanks in advance!