Been lurking on the forums for a week or so now...
Knew nothing about pool care a week ago. Recently moved into a new apartment and the owner was complaining about having had a pool for two (going on three) years. Unfortunately, she spent hundreds at local pool stores and was left with nothing but a cloudy pit of unhealthy water ever since she got the pool!
I'm an engineer by trade, so I take these kinds of things as a challenge.
The resources here -- old user success stories with pictures, pool school, chemguy's posts... amazing content. Thanks to all your resources, even though I had absolutely zero knowledge about pool care, I turned the cloudy pit into an oasis in less than a week with nothing but el cheapo HTH test strips and some bottom rack chlorine. Probably spent less than $25 to date and now have a crystal clear pool to swim in (granted, she already had some 15% sodium hypochlorite, test strips, etc. on hand).
I'm cheap, so I'm going to stick out the test strips and what non-phosphors, etc. that I have... but I'll definitely be picking up one of the Taylor test kits in due time.
Thanks you to all the mods and contributors that work to keep these forums alive. Chalk up another success story and another person completely sold on the BBB method.