So do sulfates cause any issues on vinyl pools? It seems like it's all about issues with grout in the threads I've found. The dry acid isn't THAT expensive, so I'd prefer to stay with it if I can.
I use Dry Acid, despite the recommendations against with my SWG because I used MA once and was overwhelmed with fumes. I live in a very windy area of the country, the air is seldom still, and the wind only stays in one direction if there is a storm. Otherwise it changes direction every couple of seconds. Trying to get downwind of the stuff was almost impossible. My SWG is on it's 9th season with no issues.
That being said, I use acid seldom, maybe once or twice a year. But I have a problem with pH drifting low, not high, I believe because my fill well water is <7. If I had to use it as often as others do, I might get a mask and deal with the MA.
+1 to safety glasses for working with muriatic acid, and +1 to muriatic acid for the pool.
Getting comfortable with MA by using the weaker percentage for a while is a good idea.
My better half gets a half full pail of pool water first, then adds the acid into that water. This kills the fumes right away. Water from the garden tap would be fine as well. Then she takes the pail to the pool for pouring it in.