This has been my first full season 100%, as much as possible, following TFP methodologies. Last year, I tried following TFP except w/o a recommended test kit, which in retrospect, is a really bad way of caring for a pool; almost as bad as following traditional methods. Even though I feel I probably never had a real problem with the pool last year, using pool store results to provide some of my levels (CYA & CCs; primarily), I kept getting reports claiming that I had cc's even as the clerks did not recommend shocking (suspicious), and due to the fact that I had no FAS-DPD tester, I over chlorinated on one occasion and faded the liner. This was due to the fact that I was going by the store report on FC and pool math. Also, w/o FAS-DPD, I could not SLAM as per TFP instructions, but probably did not need SLAM anyway.
This year, the only possible way that pool care could be easier than my experience would be to have a center drain. The $68 test kit is a God send. No shocking or Slamming all year. No cc's showed up using reliable testing. Back in April and May, I had to ease up the TA level with some very small increases at a time until the PH stopped dropping. Since May, I've added stabilizer/conditioner/CYA once, and bleach every day. That's it for chemicals since mid May! PH has stayed in range the entire year with zero adjustments. Even after adding stabilizer in mid July, which dropped PH near the low end of the recommended range as predicted in pool math, but only for a few days, I still did not have to add borax. In contrast, last year, until I learned on this site that TA is sort of pool specific, I was adding acid two-to-three times per week and then soda to raise TA back up to 70-90. Last year, the TA level that ended up keping the PH constant in my pool turned out to be fifty. This year, it turned out to be 70. But w/o TFP learning, I'd still be baffled regarding PH.
Thanks again TFP.