Ok, lots to say here, here's some info-
Location - baltimore
30,000 gallon, 20'x40' rect, 36 sq ft DE filter, heat pump on it but not used, one skimmer at mid depth, floor drain was cemented over.
Built in 1985, this vinyl liner pool went until this year (08), that's 23 years, before I replaced it due to leaking. It was a baquacil pool for all of those years with lots of trouble-free use. My family is new to the home as of nov of 07, so I tried for the first season to open it up with baq, no luck, it remained pond green. I drained it and had the replacement liner in place within a week, filled with resevior/drinking water for $1k (60 degrees too). The installers threw in 3 gallons of baquacil sanitizer before I could stop them, that was on July 2. I had not added anything until last night. My plan is to convert to chlorine, so I had the water tested on july 10, it showed 12ppm of baq present. The pool store manager sold me three 32 oz. bottles of a chemical whose label states that it is used in converting to chlorine by eliminating the baq from the water without sludge, slime nor clumping. So, I diluted that and put it in last night, no change to the water btw. The instructions are to wait 24 hours, then shock, then wait 12 hours plus and begin to add chlorine to raise that and cya levels. I have a good kit, I'll be testing and submitting water samples for the pool store to test.
My plan is to get this pool clean and clear again within 6 days. There is a little bit of algae starting to set in due to nothing being in it. We enjoyed its chem free-ness for all we could, waiting to convert on a sunday night. I will be pouring in bleach in the future, once the cya level is up and the FC is manageable. Comments so far on that?
As a payment for advice and answers in the future, I offer up a nice tip that I invented this weekend. I bought a hose driven circular vaccume with a bag on top, they are fairly common. I replaced the bag with a pair of pantyhose that my wife had snagged and was about to toss out. I used a rubber band from the kid's punching balloon to secure it around the lip of the vac. I then put a tennis ball into each leg to keep the bag up and inflated underwater. Man, it worked great on the small grit, leaf dust, worms and other small particles that would have passed right through the stock bag. I plan on switching to leg tights, as my wife explains that the mesh is even closer in tolerance. Without a floor drain, my deep end gets crusted with stuff. When I was done, I cut out the balls and tossed the hose into the garbage. Give this is whirl, its easy.
I can't seem to find 12.5% liquid bleach. Not that I have been looking for it all my life, but I have a sam's and a super walmart and I plan on looking there before paying for shipping via a web purchase.
DE - I found that Ace Hardware can special order a 50lb bag for me at about $20 a bag. Does that sound about right?
I got the usual policy at the pool store about bleach, also about the benefits of Baq, and they sell DE for $25 for a 12lb box. What a rip off!
One last question I can't seem to solve-
I have to purge off the air (45 seconds worth of hissing) in my filter tank every so often. I also notice that it pushes bubbles through the return jet and into the pool. Somewhere, there is an air leak. Its not the skimmer, could be the basket at the pump, but wanted to know of other places to check. I have no water loss, so does that mean this leak is between the skimmer and the filter?
ps - I know that I will miss the swimming in the drinking water, do any of you know how nice that is? Hopefully, the pool will be swim-able by this weekend - 5 days?