My Brain Hurts

My Brain Hurts

Sooooo…..I have this pool problem.

I know I shouldn’t complain because having a pool is a blessing.  I think I spend as much time in the summer floating around in the water as the kids do splashing and diving for toys.

But it has been a battle.  Lisa vs. Algae.  And for the past 2 years I am the big loser in this war.


We made the decision this year to invest in our own pool testing kit.  This kit tests for a bunch more things than just basic chlorine and PH.  It sounded like a great idea until the kit arrived in the mail and I opened it to discover that I would need to go back to school for a degree in chemistry to understand how to use it.  My mad skills in watching TV and sewing pillows don’t come in handy when you are trying to calculate how much bleach you need per 10,000 gallons of water depending on your PH and TA levels.

This is what I was doing yesterday, “Reference the CYA/Chlorine chart to know what your FC shock level should be.  Adjust the PH to fall between 7.2 and 7.5.  Slam your pool no more than once an hour using the PoolMath calculator and run the pump 24/7 until you pass the OCLT.”

I am not kidding.  And that’s the easy part.

My 15 year old son and I decided to make this “swamp to oasis” a mother-son bonding project, so crying was out of the question.  I started to well up once when the kit told me to decide if I wanted to measure my CC by .2 or .5ppm.  But I pulled myself together and confidently said to him, “This is your time to shine, son….you choose.”  And we forged ahead.

For next summer I am considering hiring a pool man.

Except for the brain exhaustion of doing complicated pool math, I have been enjoying my week at home.  I have done a lot of resting, replying to emails and talking with the kids.  I took a three hour nap on Monday, which you would think would keep me from sleeping that night.  But nope.  I rubbed on some lavender and slept like a baby.

Even though I was planning to go light on the extra projects, I did pick up some paint at Target to try.  Did you know they sell paint there?!  I had no idea!  It’s a bit expensive, but the colors are nice and that guesswork being done for me has value.  Plus they have wallpapers that coordinate with the paint which makes me so happy.  I’m not generally a wallpaper person, but I kind of got in the mood when I was looking at their options.  My bedroom desperately needs painting and this might be just my solution.  I bought a sample container and put some on the wall where I can look at it for a few days to see if I like it.

SO much easier than the pool test kit.

I may send Target a thank you note.

Unless I have to figure out how much paint I need using a complicated online chart.  In which case, I will be having my son do that part.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pool pictures!


  1. Shannon White :

    I so feel your pain! Two summers ago I spent everyday battling my pool and the green haze. After two months and an unbelievable amount of money, I sat on my patio with tears in my eyes. Eventually we got it all figured out and it’s crystal clear now, but I never want to go through that again. Just curious have you had your water tested at a pool place? Our problem was phosphates. Good luck and may the force be with you!! 😉

  2. Wow! Who would have thought? You are the second person I’ve read in two days, that is remarking on the complicated chemistry of the pool. Personally I just head to the college pool-then the chemistry is their business and swimming is mine….=)

  3. Lisa my parents had that same issue with their pool!They finally threw their hands up & went to the pool supply store who was willing to test the water for FREE and tell them exactly how much of each chemical they needed to use to get the water just right! Of course, the store let a computer do all the work for them… LOL
    Hope you’re able to get swimming soon! 🙂

  4. We have had the same problem in years past. If I could afford I would definitely hire someone. Instead we got a saltwater system and that made a huge difference! We don’t spend as much on chemicals anymore. We have purchased a sand filter system this year and hoping good things come from it! I have heard of pool places testing your water for free and can tell you what you need to add.

  5. I know people who have a sand/saltwater filter system and love them. I too battle with trying to get the pool water balanced each year. Grrr…so frustrating, not to mention expensive. So after spending $200 to start-up my pool for the summer, I started researching the sand/saltwater systems. And by saltwater, your poolwater will be like saline (tears) not the ocean. I’m kicking myself now for not returning the chemicals and getting one because they really weren’t that much more than what I will spend this year. All you need to buy is sand and salt. Somehow the system creates some sort of natural, amazing chemical reaction and your water is crystal clear…and no faded swimsuits or burning eyes. I’m thinking the reason you don’t hear about them is because it’s like natural vs. big pharma. There is just far too much money to be made in chlorine, algae cleaners, pH balancers, etc. I did an online chat with a company called Fox Above Ground Pools and they were sooo helpful. I am not at all trying to promote them, they are just who I happened to find and they gave me really good information. Hope this helps. As far as for me, I’m off to put the last chemical in that will hopefully, finally clear up my pool… : )

  6. We put up an 18′ round above ground pool last year and use the methods described on this site. It works great and is CHEAP and EASY. I am not a representative of the site I am providing a link for – just a believer in the method.

  7. Hi lisa
    Oh my! My head would hurt too. But I’m sure you guys will figure it out and be enjoying the pool in no time. And aren’t those three hour naps heaven? Here’s to a great summer with lots of naps and swimming. Cheers