I've been reading and learning here since we decided it was time to own a pool. After many starts and stops in the process, we ended up buying a home with an existing 18,000 gallon in-ground. Thanks to all of the things I learned here (and my TF-100 kit) I was able to monitor the pool through the purchase process and had the kids swimming in it the day after we bought the house. I only needed to bump CL with bleach and lower PH with acid to make it a pleasant and safe first swim. Since then I have partially drained and refilled to get CYA down to 80 (was 120), cleaned the DE filter and replaced media to get a handle on what clean pressure should be, and bumped the SWCG run time to get CL levels where I want them.
By reading the things others were going though I was quickly able to get a handle on the pool and the way things work. The only hiccup I had was that the pool equipment is below the water line, so I had to quickly learn to cut off water flow using the jandy ports before emptying the pump basket!
Since any questions I have had had already been asked and answered by others (thank goodness for the search system) I am mostly lurking, but am constantly amazed by the people on the board and how they truly want everyone to succeed in making their pool trouble free. I look forward to helping to share what I have learned with others.