Okay, reading through things here on the forum looks like maybe I don't need it? Maybe just keep it around just in case I might need it in the future??
I have the PH test strips but think I will order the one from here. I have SOOOO much to learn! :?
You are finding like I did, that the minute you ask a question, you find the answer!!
The tabs will eventually raise your CYA so high that the amount of chlorine in them will no longer be effective at preventing problems.
The Back up is unnecessary. If you keep your FC level in the right range for your CYA by adding a little bleach every day, you will prevent algae.
Almost all pucks have stabilizer. There is a very rare exception that has calcium instead. In either case you are adding something to your water that is going to cause problems in the long run (though it might be great in the short run).
I seriously doubt that a pool store does not sell stabilized pucks. Just shows the level of "expertise". As far as your observation "that all pucks are evil", I don't necessarily believe this is actually the consensus. As long as a pool owner knows what they are adding (CYA) and the side effects (lowers pH), then as Richard (Chemgeek) has deduced in the past, they are actually the cheapest form of chlorine, and IMO the easiest to use. HOWEVER
Most unsuspecting pool owners don't have a clue and seldom even check their pH much less their CYA so once they find out about the pucks, they feel they are evil little beasts. I personally use bleach 90% of the time and pucks about 10% of the time, but I "Stay ahead of my water" as CarlD says. Others use Cal hypo if they need the added calcium. They only way you can get chlorine for your residential pool is if it is mixed with some other ingredient due to the nature of the chemical. Liquid chlorine (bleach) is mixed with salt water, Trichlor (pucks) and Dichlor (shock) are mixed with CYA, Cal Hypo is mixed with calcium and then there is the shocks mixed with lithium. They all will leave behind something other than just chlorine so most of us here feel that the salt water left over from using bleach is the lesser of the evils.
When my pool was new, it was started with BioGuard products, just like yours.
Two important things I've learned about BioGuard products:
1. You don't need them. (Alternatives are equal or better)
2. They're over-priced.
These forums are all you need.
I dropped BioGuard when I fired my pool guy.
Okay, so most everything I got was BioGuard. I have ordered the tester from Dave here (duraleigh) so hopefully I will be all set to run this thing in no time. It is all just a bit overwhelming right now though. :?