I am new to the forum and new to having my own pool (have an AG Intex last year was my first.) Spent better part of last summer screwing around with chemical test strips and lots of chemicals that were always out of wack in some way shape or form. Not going back to that again!
I took it down this past fall (live in central, FL) as I wanted to re-level the pool (it wasn't bad at all, just ended up being uneven in spots) and since no one was going to use it all winter I didn't want to have to maintain it.
In other words I am starting fresh this spring. I have a 2650 g/h pump w/ sand filter, and will be hard plumbing that in with a Hayward in-wall skimmer (thanks to some posts on this site!), and will be getting a real test kit, and want to go to BBB method.
So on with the questions:
1. As it pertains to opening the pool, do I just run the test and adjust based on recommendations from PoolCalculator? I would assume that it would be better to partially make any large adjustments (1/2-2/3 recommended amounts), wait awhile, and then re-test?
2. I travel for business at least 2-3 days/week. I could charge my wife with testing and adding bleach every day, but with a 2 year old and a 2 month old, I think I would be better off not asking. So my question is, can I fore go testing/bleaching for let's say 3-4 days and then adjust when I get back? Or am I better off leaving a floater in while I am gone so that things don't get too hairy while I'm gone?
3. I should mention that in central, FL we can receive torrential rain almost every day in the summer, and with that rain comes high wind (read: lots of leaves and bugs in my pool.) I have a sneaking suspicion that part of my issues last year came from the introduction of large amounts of new water each week as well as acid from leaves (I have to drain my pool on a regular basis during the summer to keep it from running over into the plants.) Would I be better off covering the pool to try and keep the chlorine in (no sunlight) and the rain water out? My thought on the cover is that it will just make the pool warmer (90 deg water is pretty common in August without a cover.)
I appreciate any ideas anybody has out there.