Hello! Newbie here. We moved into this house 11 months ago and it came with a pool. It also came with the pool guy who has taken care of it for the past 8 years or so, as well as the neighbor's pool. He's been super nice, and the pool has stayed clear for the most part, until just a couple weeks ago. So, for $75/month, he comes in, checks the PH and Chlorine, then dumps in some liquid chlorine and some muriatic acid. That's it. It cost extra to have him clean the DE filter, extra for the CYA, and now this week he's supposed to be bringing some PhosFree (phoshpates are up around 2000), and some sort of pellet algae killer (we have black algae) at cost. He's also bringing me a brush for the pool. We have a Polaris sweeper that does a pretty good job, but no one ever told us we were supposed to sweep the pool or do anything more than scoop leaves and such out. The sides of the pool have a golden tinge to spots that do brush off with some elbow grease, but I was told not to scrub the plaster with a stainless steel brush (which I had just bought for the algae). My husband's friend has been telling us we're paying for nothing and that the pool needs to have more attention than once a week. In fact, the past two weeks, the pool guy said our chlorine was at zero so he's been adding extra chlorine. But if WE had been checking it more regularly, it would not have gotten to that point, which is also likely the reason we got areas of black algae? So, are we getting our money's worth? I just ordered the K-2006 test kit which should be here tomorrow. My husband and I are going to read through the Pool School materials and we're hoping that we can learn a lot and be able to handle this on our own. Thanks for any tips and thoughts!