I need help! First of all, I'm new here and I am relieved to find this forum. The pool stores are killing me. Each time I come out of there, I am more confused than when I went in. Nothing they tell me to do ever works. I have been battling algae all season. We haven't been in the pool since last year. I have an 8,000+ gallon in-ground fiberglass pool with a cartridge filter and an auto pool cleaner and chlorinator. Since Friday, I have added a total of about 20 gallons of liquid chlorine to try to kill the extensive algae. It is looking a LOT better! It was very, very dark green. Now, it is turning light green and I can see the second step now. I only have the test strips available to me at the moment since it's Sunday and, of course, my chlorine level is off the chart (I'm sure over 20 because it is dark purple) and the pH is dark purple (indicating excessive sanitizer according to the instructions on the test strip bottle) and the alkalinity is 0. I have been cleaning the filter cartridge every morning and evening and letting the pump run continuously. I have also been brushing down the pool about every 4 hours or so. My question is should I be adding any more chemicals (for the pH and alkalinity) at this time or just worry about the chlorine for now. I am going to take a water sample to the pool store (I hate that place) tomorrow to get my numbers and I will post those. I will also get more chlorine. I also read that regular bleach is okay to use, correct? (even for a fiberglass pool?) However, to get my chlorine refilled is only about $1.25 a gallon, so it's about the same price as a gallon of bleach.
We've had the pool about 8 years and I have NEVER been able to stabilize the water. I just never took the routine testing and shocking seriously but when I sat down and figured out how much cash I've been throwing away by trying to fix the algae problem each season, I decided it was time to get serious!
I hope I'm on the right track. It does look a lot better since Friday. I just wanted to make sure if I needed to worry about the other chemical levels (pH and alk) or just the chlorine for now until I get to cloudy water instead of green water! I will check the chlorine level in the morning and see if it is holding. We do have nitrates in our water from an orange grove across the street (we have well water), so I don't know if that has anything to do with my problem of not being able to keep the water chlorinated. (I'm no chemist, obviously!) Once I do get the water back to blue, how much chlorine should I be adding every day, if that's what I should do? I will definitely become an everyday tester from here on out!
Thanks in advance for any help and advice!