I read all the articles in the Pool School section, and I am intrigued at the prospect of severing ties to the local pool store. I like to DIY whenever practical. I generally purchase acid, stabilizer, and occasionally baking soda (balance pack 100) from the pool store on a regular basis. I also purchase this product called Pristiva (see http://pristiva.net/). The reason I started buying it was about 2 years ago, I had rock hard, stalagmite-like formations on my spa tile between the spa and the pool (there are 4 steps between the spa and the pool where water splashes when the pump is running). I tried acid on it, didn't do a lick. When I talked to the local pool pro, he said you can bust out the tile, or you can try a couple other products, one of which was this Pristiva. So i did, and after about 2-3 months, the rock-like formations dissolved and now the tile looks perfect!
I really really want to follow the instructions and advice from this website and stop spending money on Pristiva (very expensive salt & primer), but I am afraid that if I drop the pristiva, the rock -like formations will return.
In case it matters, I live in Houston Texas, and the pool is open year-round.
Please help me decide what to do.