I joined this forum myself back in October (apparently!) but never really started paying attention to all the posts until the pool was finally completed around Memorial Day this year. At first I was hesitant that the responses I was getting were either from pool dealers trying to push their products on me, or worse - from other pool owners who THOUGHT they were experts but instead were giving me really bad advice. But I can tell you after just a few short months of being on this forum that NEITHER of those could be further from the truth!! The actual moderators of this forum give very sound advice, and even those who aren't moderators also chime in with as much info as they might know on a topic, but always defer to the "experts" when necessary. And as for those on this forum who are also in the pool industry....I have seen so far that they are all very professional and eager to help in any way they can - without - pushing their products or services on you.
If you commit yourself to reading everything this forum has to offer - especially the Pool School stuff, and more importantly, actually DO what they tell you to do, I assure you that you'll have a very Trouble Free Pool that your neighbors will envy.
Without an accurate test kit, you're just guessing. And undoubtedly wasting chemicals and not getting things balanced. Just save the trip to the pool store and order the right kit online. Spring for the speedstir, too. It will seem like a lot of money at first, but it's probably less than the pool service charged you, and you'll save more than that in useless chemicals.