I just had to take a min and say how glad I am to have found this forum. I am grateful to all who started TFP and those that keep it going.
We purchased a home with a pool last year and I was really excited...until the costs associated with it caught up with me. We were set up with a service the previous owner had been using without question for years. I having no knowledge just kind of gave him cart blanc to take care of it. The people I bought the house from paid to have it opened after that I was into it for about $250 a month with a weekly service and chemicals. I was told to run the pump 24/7 and it was all just killing me.
I travel a lot for work being in the helicopter business. We have contracts all over the country so travel is mandatory. Typically the schedule is 12 days on and 12 off in the winter/spring and can be as much as 12 days on and 2 off in the summer. We moved for work and the pool for the kids was supposed to be a carrot and not a ball and chain. My wife wanted minimal involvement and was pretty happy to just have the pool guy come once a week.
In the fall I found this forum and started reading all I could about pools and what makes them work. I am a pretty handy guy and realized that with a little help we could take care of just about anything on the pool. On my last 10 day break home I was able with great help of the forum and my trusty TF-100 test kit open our pool for about $160.00. THat included bleach, a pump rental (CYA was sky high) and some water. Lucky for us water is pretty cheap.
I had to leave on a trip shortly after I really got things settled down and was a bit nervous about taking off. i gave my 11 year old son several days of testing instructions, and my wife a bit as well. Well fast forward 10 days and things are still going great. They have been testing every night and adding bleach as necessary, They ran the full set of tests except for CYA today and things are spot on. The pool looks great and they are totally confident in keeping it that way. As they say in some circles we have achieved "buy in"!
Anyway this is pretty long but anyone reading about the BBB method and on the fence just trust the process. I brought ours from a green swamp to Sparkling Blue in 4 days using only Bleach from CostCo. I have cleaned all my own filters, changed a leaking pump seal the pool guy installed at the end of the season and am a happy pool owner.
Thanks Again everyone