As a first time owner of a new to me pool I'm realizing I had a basic misunderstanding of CYA or stabilizer. I thought it was similar to salt in that salt does not normally leave the pool water unless it's diluted in some fashion such as backwashing or draining and refilling of the pool.
I found this great web site early on and was lucky enough not to have my mind polluted by pool store advice. I love the idea of knowing exactly what you're adding to the water and more importantly why. Because of this and reading the high CYA horror stories I've never used pucks of any type. Over the last two months of regular testing with the TF Test Kit I've realized that a little CYA is required on a weekly basis to keep my CYA level appropriate to my pool. The advice here of using the sock in the skimmer basket has been great.
It seems to me now that CYA additions are required on a regular basis to protect chlorine and appropriate levels must be maintained through proper testing. Unfortunately, many people using pucks think they are the Ronco (set it and forget it) of pool care leading to excess CYA. The excess CYA then prevents the remaining chlorine that is in the pool from doing it's job leading to a swamp. If I have an improper understanding of CYA please continue to educate me.