I originally found this site when researching solar panels about 3-4 years ago. Prior to that, I had been caring for the pool myself, using a pool store purchased book as my guide. Had trichlor pucks and was constantly battling pH and total alkalinity and FC, measuring and adding one thing or another, almost daily. I was going through several huge buckets of pucks, alkalinity up and down, pH up and "shock". I'm sure that i spent $500 pr more every year. I never had an algae bloom, but the water was less than clear often. The water was warm about 2-3 weeks per year. Outside of that, we did not swim all that much.
I read the site and "converted" to BBB. Fast forward to now. After solar panels, solar cover, BBB, cutting out the puck feeder, SWG, borates, a little automation... We now have a pool in high 80s or low 90s from mid May to Mid September. Always clear. This am, the pool is already 90, despite the rain and storms and cool nights. Our season went from a couple of weeks in July to over 4 months. I now try to remember to check the pH and FC every couple of weeks. When I do, I often need to add a half gallon of acid. I have added nothing else since mid May since a couple days after opening! What a difference.
I am so relieved that I found this site and community. Thanks.