I just wanted to give a great big thank you to all of you on this board. I've been reading through the various different threads and the pool school for the past month or so and I finally got up the guts to fire my pool company today. TFP finally helped me realize that pool chemistry isn't as hard as I was making it, and pool repairs don't require a mechanical engineering degree. I am planning on using the BBB method from now on. I've got the TF100 test kit, and should have listened to you guys about getting the magnetic stirrer. I have one coming tomorrow along with my Liquidator (Thanks PST!) and will post test results once I have the stirrer to help get accurate readings.
From reading all of your posts and seeing your pictures, I realized I could handle repairs, and actually installed a replacement header for my heater and a new multiport valve today, both of which were damaged in February's ice storm. I replumbed everything, which was much easier than I thought it would be. Without this site, and it's great knowledge base, I would never have attempted this, or the daily upkeep.
Tomorrow the Liquidator arrives, and I'll be itching to install it. I probably won't have time until next weekend, but look forward to doing this also.
Pool School + The Pool Calculator = No more Pool Service!