I've been following other threads to get tips for my own pool and hot tub, but it's time for me to stop lurking and start my own thread.
We bought a house 2 months ago that included an IG pool and a hot tub. If the rest of the property is any indication, these things were never maintained properly (house is 14 years old, pool and hot tub are probably 8-10 years old). We had no clue on how to maintain either, so we went to a local pool store for advice. The upside is we've had almost no trouble with the pool as it's been sparkling and clean for the summer and the hot tub has been fine. The downside is that it cost around $500 for all of the chemicals the pool store pushed on us (and we naively accepted). I know now what to do for next summer (I think), but there are still a few things I'm unsure of.
The pool store had us using the trichlor pucks, which according to How to Chlorinate your pool is bad. We haven't had any issues so far and like the post says, they are incredibly convenient. How dangerous are they truly? I have had (twice now) issues with the chlorine getting too high. We put 4 pucks in each week and the pool store guy told us to put the new ones in each week even if the previous week's batch hadn't dissolved yet. I don't know if that is sound advice, but when the chlorine levels get too high, I just take the skimmer basket out for a day and retest. That seems to do the trick.
The pool also came with a propane heater. We had a big Labor Day party yesterday, so we ordered a propane delivery so we could make sure the pool was useable in case it was cold (it wasn't!). I tried turning it on, but I couldn't get it to work (I don't think, hard to tell). The pilot was lit, but I turned it on for a good 25 minutes and I don't think it used any propane.
Oh, I just bought the TF-100 test kit, but I've only used it for the chlorine and pH tests, so far. The other ones seem daunting! Counting drops and doing math...yikes! I really hate the subjective nature of looking at the colors (same with the test strips that we've been using until now). How much are those digital testers?
Most of my other questions are related to the hot tub. Should I post those in the hot tub section?
Thanks for any advice!