We had our pool remodeled during most of May. We paid for startup balancing, which wound up being the pool guy throwing conditioner in the skimmer, and shock in the pool. They did come back three weeks later to add the salt and start up the SWCG.
I have since been borrowing my parents (same neighborhood) TF-100 Test kit for those days when more than basic FC and PH testing were needed. My parents and us both had the same company remodel our pools, at the same time. TFP gave us a very high level of confidence around balancing and maintaining our water.
I did figure out pretty quickly that the Speed Stir is a must have for many of the tests, so I included that when I purchased my own TF-100. Since startup, my salt is a little high (3800 ppm), as is my TA (100), and my CYA is a little low (60), but I am sneaking up on the number (70-80) so as not to overshoot it. I have a sand filter, so between our monsoon season (now) and backwashing, salt levels will come down a little. The SWCG is happy though.
I will be adding Borates later this season, which will require decreasing my TA a bit. Acid the PH down and aerate it back up worked great for my folks, and the borates give the water a good feel, stabilize PH creep, and seems to keep the bugs away too.
Looking forward to contributing more here. Thanks again.