Today I opened the pool. The guy came over did a great job changing the sand in the sand filter and getting everything up and running. Just before leaving he dumped (3) 1 lb. bags of shock (turbo Shock), and 20 lbs of Bioguard Optimizer Plus in the pool. Didn't test the water before adding anything. So the pool looks really nice right now, but I think I'm getting taken to the cleaners with all the stuff they sell me and I want to take control of this chemistry deal with the pool. I know some basics which boil down to keeping some chlorine sticks in the floating skimmer, I was told never to put them in the pool skimmer because it's too much chlorine going into the heater and it will corrode it prematurely? Last year the store told me I should add borates to the pool because it would keep things in balance, so I did. I use Pool perfect Plus Phos Free once a week in addition to the Turbo shock and skimmer chlorine sticks. I try to take a water sample to the store every other week during the season, but of course each time I end up buying something. I do use Muriatic acid to balance PH when they tell me too.
So If someone has suggestions please feel free because I'd really like to simplify in addition to hopefully save a little money. Thanks!