I joined a few weeks ago but I'm just getting around to posting. I tend to lurk in forums and not post very often, if at all...but I felt compelled to join this time and at least post an intro. If nothing else, I want to give my thanks to all the great pool gurus here. I am a second-time pool owner...this year I installed an above ground 21' diameter, 52" round pool and since day one, I have used the information provided here to maintain it. Pool School should be mandatory reading for anyone in the pool maintenance business! About a decade ago, I lived in a house with a beautiful in-ground pool that was around 30,000 gallons. At the time, I didn't know any better and merely followed the advice of the local pool store. Maintaining the pool was a chore, with hundreds of dollars spent every season and constant adjusting of just about everything. This time I found your site as I was beginning to consider purchasing the above ground pool, and after much reading I went to the local big box store to purchase my needed chemicals. Instead of spending hundreds on the special pool store "ph up" and "clarifier," I walked out with gallons of chlorine, a few boxes of borax and some muriatic acid for well under $100. I did also purchase the Taylor K-2006 test kit online, based on forum advice...which was well worth the $60 or so I dropped on it. After I filled my pool, I brought the FC up to shock level and after I passed the OCLT, I began adjusting the rest of my parameters based on your methodology. Using my trusty test kit, I have monitored the pool over the last several months and needed to do very little after the initial adjustments, aside from adding liquid chlorine daily and occasionally dropping the PH down. Since initial setup, I have not once needed to shock the pool again, and maintenance has been almost carefree...with the result being sparkling clean and clear water. The only downside is that I have been unable to use the "credit" I gained from the pool company through purchasing the pool, as they don't really carry any chemicals that I would want to put in my water...just the standard overpriced generically-named containers that don't do a good job at identifying what they actually contain.
So in short, this pool season has been a marvel of simplicity...and I'm sure that if I do run into any trouble in the future I'll find any answers to my questions here. You all do good work. Thanks a million!