I guess i am going to start to participate instead of lurking so an intro is in order.
I am in the Okanagan Valley of BC, this will be my 6th season of pool ownership and I have always been pretty good at maintaining my pool without an indepth knowledge of the actual chemistry behind it, TFP is soldifying my knowledge base.
I am/was a chemistry geek in High school, but still love it and owning a pool allows me to 'geek' out!!! I love it!! The kids love it too, its the neighbourhood pool, i also own a hot tub and have for 10 years. I have pretty much made every mistake their is to make with regards to water balance, maintenance and just general neglect, but i have learned from every last one of those even moreso now that i have spent countless hours pouring over previous posts.
I work at a ***** dealership, we also do pools. I must say I am little disturbed by all the bashing PS workers get. No not many of us know what we are talking about because some only have 'half the picture'. Many i am sure dont own pools and are only going by what they have been told by the boss, which brings to mind the saying "tell me, show me, involve me..." and some of us know so much that we have to 'dumb it down', without getting into a chemistry discussion and confusing the customer, sell them what they need with specific instructions (which dont always get followed for some reason even if i write them down, its funny that way) on what to do with it. No i dont tell my customers that they could use washing soda, baking soda, bleach, muratic...yadda yadda yadda, why would I? Pool ownership is supposed to be enjoyable, things that are easy are enjoyable, I make things easy. Buy this, do this. Easy. Costs more, yes. I get very disheartened by people who actually tell me they hate their pool and i am imagining that they hate their pool for a few reasons.
1) they buy their chemicals from big box stores, and receive no advice
2) they buy their chemcials from a place with employess who have little knowledge of water balance, they just use the water testing equipment and that tells them what to 'sell them'.
3) they keep going from store to store buying their chemcials never really having any one place keep track of their pool, a pool really is a living organism and if i am going to help you care for it then i want to be the only one giving advice so that i know exactly what we discussed and you did last.
4) they dont ask questions and take the time to learn, I would talk and talk and talk and explain it all if people would take the 15-20 mins to learn and apply but they dont.
5) they havent thought to go online and find a place like TFP, and i for one am not going to tell them while i am employed in this industry.
ok, glad i got that off my chest.
I am really just a guy trying to learn and help all i can. I might make the odd post because for the most part other people are on it way faster and will respond with the same info.
One thing about a forum i will mention though, dont get all caught up in the forum's collective mentality, think for yourself, all the other stuff on the PS shelves is their for a reason, a specific one, just because someone on the internet told you so, doesnt make it gospel.
Cheers, and thank-you whoever took the time to start this, i have not looked into the membership or sponsorship but i will soon, you deserve to be compensated, very valuable information here.