Thank you for your kind words. I totally agree with you and in fact I was one of those pool owners 6 years ago since I started out using Trichlor tabs/pucks in a floating feeder and had no idea of how quickly it would increase the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. By the way, I am just a pool owner and do not work in the pool/spa industry at all. I have an opaque electric safety cover so at the time my chlorine usage was fairly low at around 0.7 to 0.8 ppm FC per day (the pool was used a couple of times per week and usually on weekends). I also have a cartridge filter. During the winter, I used a pool cover pump to pump winter rains on the cover into the sewer. So I had very minimal dilution of my pool water.
I started out with the recommended 30 ppm CYA but after just 11 months of Trichlor tab/puck use (over 1-1/2 seasons) I started to get an insatiable chlorine demand in my pool requiring more Trichlor pucks and had a hard time keeping up. The water started to turn dull. My CYA had risen to 150 ppm so my 3 ppm FC chlorine level would no longer be enough to prevent algae in spite of my using PolyQuat 60 algaecide, but I was only using that algaecide every other week (had I used it every week then I could have gone longer, but not that much -- perhaps to 200-250 ppm CYA if the FC remained 3 ppm). 0.7*0.6*30*11 = 139 ppm (splash-out and slow oxidation of CYA by chlorine netted the CYA increase to 120 ppm). I was also using clarifier and non-chlorine shock. The Trichlor tabs in the floating feeder also rusted mounts of stainless steel bars when the feeder parked itself nearby. The acidity of Trichlor is strong. That's when I decided to learn pool water chemistry and figured some things out and also ran into The PoolForum
both started by Ben Powell.
There is no question that Trichlor pucks/tabs are convenient because they slowly dissolve so you only need to refill them every 5 days or so -- roughly once a week if you overfill. Chlorinating liquid or bleach have to be added every day or two unless you have a pool cover that is opaque to UV. In my case, I add the chlorine twice a week and it's no big deal at all. Since I maintain the appropriate FC/CYA ratio in the pool, I don't need to shock so I only add chlorine these days at around 0.8 to 1.0 ppm FC per day (the pool is now used every day for 1-2 hours per day plus more on weekends) and I add a small amount of acid every month or two since the pH is fairly stable. It costs me $15 per month -- that's all. To refresh my water and to keep the salt levels from climbing too much (they increase around 330 ppm per year) I dilute the water with winter rains. I am also using 50 ppm Borates in the pool that I added this year mostly just to try them out and as insurance in case I ever let the chlorine get too low by accident.