The first year I used Baquacil, I thought I had to use the Baquacil products for the water balance. I bought the ph increaser/decreaser, calcium hardness increaser, etc. However, this year they sold me the generic versions at the pool store and said they were okay to use. So, I am wondering - can I just use Soda Ash or Washing Soda (to raise PH and Alkalinity), Borax (to raise Ph w/out raising alkalinity) and Baking Soda (to raise alkalinity alone)? If so, can you buy calcium chloride (to increase calcium hardness) at the "store" rather than a pool place and could I use it as well?
Secondly, is there a test kit that will test the water balance and my Baquacil chemicals? I hate the test strips and do not trust their accuracy.
Thanks for everyone's help!