We got a pool built just under 2 years ago. The first year or so everything seemed to be fine but this year we had algae for the first time, and a really bad case of it (what I was calling "crocodile water".) I was using strips to test the water and all I could tell is my CYA was over 200! I felt there was something very wrong with the instructions I was given (like shocking with granules every 12 hours 4 times in a row while using their expensive algaecide.) I have been reading this forum for months and with your help have gotten my water crystal clear. I had to half-empty my pool 3 times to get the CYA down and I intend to follow the advice here to switch what I've been doing entirely.
With that in mind, I am ordering myself a real test kit, I'm shopping for bleach, researching about the liquidator, etc.
I do have two questions regarding the pool school info. Is there a method where I don't need to test the water every day? And how important is it to empty the skimmer baskets daily? I guess I'm just lazy but my definition of "trouble free" would be only having to maintain the pool on the weekends. There are seasons where I have to clean the pool every day due to leaf and/or oak acorns falling into it. But the bigger part of the year the skimmers will only have a handful of leaves/flowers, even if checked only weekly. My schedule doesn't really allow me to take care of the pool every day in the daylight and testing the pool at night with insufficient lighting is not ideal.
I feel like I'm waking up after being hooked up to the Matrix. Thanks for all the help so far!