Hi, Carl! Your friend is right! And for a real eye opener, check out Pool School, linked at top of the page. You can also download the Pool School ebook for free on Google Play! It explains the critical elements for keeping your pool water balanced and safe. It’s actually pretty simple, and easy to do yourself!
We do recommend a good test kit. Try tftestkits.net. I have the TF100, which has enough test chems to last the year.
We’re glad you are here, and just let us know if you have any questions!