Greetings all from central Oklahoma!
Just thought I would introduce myself. I've been a pool owner for over 5 years, and was about to be the owner of a bigger back yard (yep; I was ready to fill that puppy in!).
When we bought this house, our family thought "Great! Our own pool!"
But over the past years:
* Being told by a pool store to keep putting shock (I know, shock is a process, but that's what the pool stores called it) in the pool because we supposedly had mustard algae, and the water got browner and browner (Pool store: You need more shock and some algaecide!) until we go to another pool store, and they say: "Are you on well water? With lots of iron? Try this chelating agent." After the chelating agent: the water is clear as a bell two days later!
* Let's try not to cover the pool for the winter one year (bad idea!). Result: An unbelievably difficult pool to clean!
* Having a clear pool until one day, all of the sudden, the pool looks like the aquarium I had as a 9 year old (it wasn't a pretty aquarium). Thanks chlorine pucks!
* Being told by another pool store that your pool's phosphates level is too high, and sold a $60 bottle of stuff, only to find out (from this website) that sufficient levels of sanitizer will keep phosphates from turning into algae (I could have bought a nice test kit... )
* I could go on, but I know everybody has a life...
Then one day I was poking around on the web, and discovered this web site. Great web site! I lurked around reading the forums, and discovered the BBB method. Freedom!!! (from over-priced pool chemicals 20 miles from home). Knowledge!!! (not using chlorine tablets, finally understanding Cl/CYA relationships, etc.)
Based on my past experiences, if I bought a new house today, it probably would not have a pool. But I have one now, and my kids love it. Hopefully with this web site and its members help I can at least not go broke financing a pool store owner's vacation in the Bahamas single-handedly while having a great looking pool.
And who knows, maybe I'll finally warm up to it...
Anyway, I am looking forward to participating in your forums, hopefully learning a lot and even maybe helping out those less knowledgeable than me (that may take a while though )
The Nth Traveler