Hi all, first post but I've been learning a ton over the last week or so here - this place is fantastic!
I bought a fast set pool a couple of weeks ago on a whim, setup went ok although it took days to fill as I'm on well water, using house supply that goes through a Rust Buster and water softener first. Raw output from one of my hydrants looks pretty gross - reddish brown from all the iron here in Saskatchewan.
Having gone into this on a whim, it didn't occur to me to put *any* chemicals in the pool water at first. I figured I'd have to sort that out eventually but I thought I had a week or two. No pool store anywhere near me to consult and I hadn't found this place yet so don't laugh too hard . Anyway, a few days after I finished filling and we'd used the pool a couple of times I suddenly had, you guessed it, green water. So, I went out and bought some unstabilized chlorine crystals and dumped 'em in - which turned the whole pool a disgusting brown inside 20 minutes. I thought it was dead algea but have since determined it was the iron in the water - in the meantime though I followed the shocking instructions here and am pretty sure the algea is gone.
After a lot of frustration and research here I discovered AA treatment - once I burned up enough of it to bring the FC down from shock level to 0 (ouch) it worked like magic. I now have cloudy but clear water, I can see the bottom again. However, there are large patches of reddish brown sediment sitting on the bottom - I'd like to vacuum these up, but this (finally) brings me to my first question:
The vacuum that came with my pool isn't like what I've seen others describing here - it doesn't attach to my filter at all. Instead, you connect a hose to it, turn on the water, and it jets the water around a bend and into a small cloth bag, creating something of a vacuum in the process. While this appears to work for large items, I question the value of using it to vacuum iron sediment. Should I try anyway or am I just going to stir it all up, then have to wait for it to settle again and go buy a different pool vac? I've spent a lot of money on chemicals, etc. lately that I hadn't planned for so hate to spend more on a vac if I can avoid it. On the other hand, I want to use this pool!
Next question: test strips. I know, I know. I'll buy a proper kit as soon as I can but for now I need to get by with these. What's driving me batty is this: I wait 15 seconds and then compare the colors - and they continue to change before my eyes while I'm trying to get a reading. Should I wait for them to stabilize, or should I be going with the reading exactly at 15 seconds? It makes a huge difference in the readings... for example, just a few minutes ago I got:
15 secs - 30secs or so
PH: 6.2 - PH: 7.2
FC: 0 - FC: 0
TA: 180 - TA: >240 (off the scale - blue color)
CYA: 0 - CYA: 30-50
The CYA especially seem suspicious to me - I got those same results before I ever added any stabilizer, and even now I've only put a very minute quantity of it in - like maybe 10 or 20 grams. BUT - my FC seemed to hold just fine while I was shocking, but of course I couldn't do a very accurate measurement of FC at shock level so maybe I'm mistaken there. Pool is in full sun most of the day though... sigh - I'm confused.
The PH was 8.4+ when I first started testing, I've dumped a LOT of PH down in the bring it down, which seems to also have helped the obscenely high TA - it used to turn blue as soon as I dipped the strip.
And, regarding the AA treatment I did last night - I've added plenty of sequestrant (aquarius brand stain preventer) and put in a maintenance dose of algeacide. I'm nervous about adding chlorine again - how long should I wait and how slowly should I bring it up?
So - sorry about the LONG rambling post, I guess I saved everything up and now it's all burning in my mind screaming out for answers Any thoughts on any of the above would be most welcome and appreciated.