This discussion was split from Store Test vs Home Test . Zea3
I have had the same question. Especially with the "fierceness" that I've read in some of the posts over time while mostly lurking. To a newbie, the in your face is off-putting to say the least. When I did ask a question (which admittedly had some wrong assumptions in it), I was simply told I had a lot to learn, which wasn't a very helpful answer. So I've learned a lot, but mostly elsewhere than these forums. I went to the pool store and asked questions there because here wasn't at all friendly or helpful. I got told to buy some stuff, I did buy some of it, didn't other stuff, and have been trying to learn by taking their results, my results, reading Pentair's web site, etc.
I think it's largely dependent on the store, which I guess is the forum's point. I find my local store actually has decent results, except for the salt. Their salt meter is off by over 1500 ppm. My tests confirm to theirs for FC, TC, TA, pH, Calcium, and CYA. I don't have a salt meter, so I bought ridiculously expensive salt test strips and that conforms to what my salt cell tells me.
I currently have a pool plaster problem and I'm trying to understand when it was damaged...whether by me in the last 3 months that I've been doing it myself, or prior to that by the pool maintenance guy I paid a lot of money to, to apparently not do much (based on the initial sets of water tests I did and what I had to do to get the pool in health)