I just wanted to relate my story...
My wife and I moved into our newly built house this past December.
My wife always wanted a pool, and as such, we had one installed at the same time the house was being constructed (30k Gal, in ground.)
Never having owned a pool, I really did not know what was involved in maintaining it. So, off I went to do some research...
I first started asking family and friends who owned pools what they did to maintenance their pools.
Almost without exception, their responses went something like this... "I periodically test with strips", "I keep 3" tabs in the skimmer", "I get my water tested at Leslies, and they tell me what to buy." Additionally, everyone I spoke to also had problems with algae that they dealt with by using algaecides or shocking the heck out of the pool.
Being a computer geek, I also spent a lot of time Googling "Pool Maintenance" and came across poolforum.com. I was intrigued by the information I was reading on poolforum, but (as you know) poolforum is not accepting new users. That is when I found TFP.
For the past month or so, I've been lurking on this site absorbing as much info as I could so when our pool was completed, I would be reasonably knowledgeable about what I would need to do to maintenance the pool.
Well, last Friday was the big day (they filled the pool and started the filter.)
Saturday morning the PB came to my house for "Pool school."
He showed my how to use the equipment, he put 3" tabs in the skimmers, and gave me a tube of test strips.
He mumbled that eventually I may want a good test kit (I already had purchased a TF-100).
During his training, I listened carefully, but bit my tongue and did not say much.
In my mind, I was thinking...
* My CYA and FC are probably zero.
* My pool is exposed to direct sunlight the entire day (so I better get some stabilizer in there quick)
* I'll probably go with faster acting liquid CYA (as opposed to crystals) even though it costs more.
* Probably not much point in shocking the pool until I get the CYA up.
* I can probably use 3" tabs and granulated CL to shock in the near term without much risk of raising CYA.
My point is that had I not educated myself about basic pool chemistry from this site, I'd be mindlessly dumping chemicals into the pool without a plan or any idea how they worked.
At this time my stats look like this:
TC: 9 (down from 10ppm at sunset the day before)
CYA: ~22 (I want to get it closer to 30-35)
My current goal is to get my CYA a little higher, get FC to around 3, and then start looking at Alkalinity and PH.