I'm trying not to get overconfident, but this really seems so easy and it makes perfect sense. My pool has been running for a month and everything is right where I expect it to be every time I test it. I have never felt like I really had control of my pool before. I almost know what it will need before I even test it.
I kept my old pool mostly blue for 3 years using tabs and granular shock but the fourth year it was a nightmare of aqua green and $cash$. I don't have a pool store locally so without knowing, I was doing it to myself by dumping tons of calcium and cya into my pool. My simple oto test kit was always off the chart one way or the other. Trying to decipher the minimal difference in shades of yellow was extremely difficult for my eyes. The FAS/DPD chlorine test in these kits use a color shift from pink to clear to indicate and you count drops to calculate level. It is very accurate, reads the level down to .2 and leaves no doubt. With the old test I was never able to get my tablet feeder adjusted to maintain any kind of constant level, pretty sure my results changed with each test. I dumped in bags of shock weekly without any idea why. I heard some just used bleach, but I could never understand why anyone would want to buy and lug home all that weak bleach. I could buy a simple little packet that was so much more powerful, or tablets that were so convenient. That is of course until I read and understood why.
Reading many posts here, I struggle to understand why some will whip out their wallet and blindly spend hundreds on chemicals, yet clamp down tight at the thought of buying the test kit that can tell you exactly what your pool needs. Don't walk, RUN to your keyboard! Get yourself that seemingly expensive test kit and follow the directions. While you are at it get a speed stir, unless you are a pro at rubbing your head and patting your stomach at the same time. I finally figured out how to drop and swirl, but the speed stir makes it super fast, easy and even fun! I mean come on, who doesn't like to play chemist! Carry that bleach, its not that bad. You can buy the stronger stuff and cut down on some of the lugging. It really doesn't take that much, I'm currently using less than 2 gallon a week despite hot weather, full sun, lower cya and maintaining a slightly higher FC level. Stop dumping all the extra stuff in your pool with every tablet , bottle or baggie.
I have found I really like to test, test, test. I'm sure some of that will wear off, but I love to test and find all my levels right where I thought they would be. Pretty sure that sometimes my wife thinks I've gone off the deep end. My pool is beautiful, sparkly blue and we can enjoy it without worry. It makes the public pool look like a cesspool, no way I could force myself into that water.