Hi all, I've been lurking here for a few weeks soaking in a ton of great information, and I sincerely thank everyone who contributes here! Two years ago i bought a house with a pool. Starting from ground zero and eager to learn, I even bought the most expensive test strips because they came with a booklet on water chemistry. Surely this would tell me everything I needed to know, right?
The first year I hired someone to open and close the pool, and the season actually went pretty smoothly. Last year I decided to open the pool myself, which wasn't too bad either. Early on I kept adding CYA based on the persistently low reading I was getting from the previous year's test strips. When those old strips ran out and I got some new ones, I found the CYA was maybe 70 or 80, yikes! This was much higher than the 30-50 I was shooting for based on the booklet's recommendation. (Note to self: don't trust old test strips, especially if you leave the bottle outside one day and it gets rained on. ) I didn't know if the high CYA was a problem I should do something about, or that 70 was actually OK for a SWG pool, but more importantly had no idea more cyanuric acid would require higher chlorine levels.
I was shooting for a FC level of 1 (from the booklet again), and all summer I had minor algae outbreaks on the shady southern wall of the pool, grrrrr. The free chlorine level dropped to zero a couple times too, which seemed very strange. The SWG controller looked like it was working fine, so I put some dielectric grease on the connector contacts of the cell to make a better connection, maybe it was shorting out. It had rained that day, maybe water was getting in the contacts. That seemed to work, with the chlorine production set a little higher the FC level came back up! Funny stuff, eh? The algae kept creeping back of course. After some research I even wondered if high phosphates were the problem.
Anyway, even though the pool is still covered it all makes a lot more sense and that newbie is gone forever.... Thank you all again!