This is only our 2nd season with a 22,500 gallon inground pool - we thought to play it safe and have a pool service help open and balance our pool by Memorial Day. I knew things were going wrong when the pool was green and getting worse about 1.5 weeks ago. I kept asking for a chlorine demand test. They never did it, so yesterday I brought my water in for a chlorine demand test and they told me to drain and refill the pool 2x because it was a lost cause - I have ammonia in the pool and they talked about phosphates! Although as of 7 days ago the pool was clearing up - AND yesterday it was actually fairly clear. The other alternative they gave me was buying 130 bags of Burn Out for over 1000K!
Instead I found your website and spent 4 hours studying it last nite. I have 3 different brands of bad test strips AND some OTO along with Phenol Red to do better testing of the chlorine levels and Ph. (Yes, last nite I bought one of the recommended testing kits, but can you help me before my equipment completely is corrupted?) My recommended pressure for my sand filter is supposed to remain between 14-15...BUT, after only a few days of circulating 24/7 the pressure goes up to 18-20...I backwash and the water is dirty - definitely affecting pressure. (I know how to backwash and rinse...). But, there's a problem here, just changed the sand completely in March 2009.
My reading per the weak test strips and OTO/Phenol drops (I've used all 3 to try and make sure it's at least close) is:
**Bromine (I NEVER added it - just shows up on strips) @3
**This AM Free Chlorine at 0 (per the strips) - BUT per the OTO test (where I add the drops) - @ 1
**LAST NITE at midnight (after studying your website for HOURS - and adding 364 oz. of 10% bleach) the test strips showed .5 - 1 for Free Chlorine and the OTO test was still @ 1
**This AM Ph per the test strip @ 6.8 - BUT per the phenol drops 7.2
**LAST NITE at midnight (before adding 375 oz of Borax) 6.2
**Total Alkalinity (per test strips - I've orded the recommended testing kit!) is @130-150 ppm
**Total Hardness 100ppm
**LAST NITE Cyanuric Acid per the test strips below 30 (between 0 - 30)
**This AM Cyanuric Acid seems to be at 30 (how could this be?)
I added the Borax 2 hours before adding the Bleach...to make sure I brought the Ph up enough...the Ph was ridiculously low -- and although the 'pool guys' kept giving me balance pak 200 it did absolutely nothing. Smaller amounts of Borax from last nite brought this up more than the expensive stuff.
Didn't know to clean my sand filter until researching things yesterday - So yesterday purchased a bottle of a cleaner and added it to the skimmer (per directions - during backwash).
What should I do next? Please help. DON't WANT to DRAIN MY POOL or spend 1000K on burn out!