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Thread: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

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    Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Hello folks, I've been using Bioguard products - antialgae backup, blue water clarifier, and 1 pound chlorine bags burn out 3. I also keep 3 chlorine Bioguard smart sticks in the skimmer. I must say that everything has been working quite well, with no issues. Reading many articles here in this site, I am now concerned about adding other chemicals to the pool that come with 1lb bags chlorine.

    Now, I would like to try bleach but am afraid I will screw up!
    My pool is 20k, de filter, pump running 8 to 8. I am in New Jersey, essex county. I have the proper test kit, purchased at the advice here on the site. All of my measurements are fine with no issues, but FC does fluctuate so need to add more regularly.

    I've read all I could (I think) but still have the following concerns :
    -what is the equivalent in regular bleach 8.5% to the 1lb of Bioguard shock? I assume if I add the equivalent of that spread out each day, then I am fine. Said differently, how much of bleach do I add each day to keep my chlorine level constant? Are we talking cups, or quarts, or half gallon a day? What is the approximate amount I should expect to add weekly assuming normal conditions/no issues? How many gallons of bleach should I buy per week fir a 20k pool?
    -do I stop adding the antialgae and water clarifier altogether?
    -is bleach all I add replacing ALL of Bioguard products?

    Appreciate your help in advance and any pointers you may have. Pls share links that I may I have missed, too.

    Thanks a lot!
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. I see you have been a member for a couple of years, do you have one with fresh reagents?

    Order a TF100 test kit. That will give you what you need while you are clearing the pool, and probably enough reagents for a couple of years normal use. i fyou already have a kit, but the reagents may be old you can order refills from the same place.

    The only other real option for a test kit is a Taylor K-2006. Be careful comparing prices because the K-2006 comes in sizes, designated by a letter. The basic K-2006 has .75oz bottles. You need to get the K-2006-C to get the larger bottles that you want. Even then it is a little short on the reagent & powder for the FAS/DPD test.

    I also have the SpeedStir and Sample Sizer. They speed testing and accuracy.

    Once we see some test results we can make some specific recommendations. How does the water look now?

    I might also ask you to add your location to your profile. Recommendations may be different depending on what area of the country your pool is located in.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Thanks Tim.
    I own the t100 and use it daily for ph and chlorine. Don't own any strips as I find it easy to use t100.
    I did my tests Saturday but didn't write anything down. All variables were in the range. The pool is and has been crystal clear.
    I am in New Jersey/essex county.
    Rgds
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Ok. So the BioGuard burn out 3 product is basically 57% cal-hypo and the Smart Sticks are basically trichlor.

    So, to help you out the most, the folks here need to know your stabilizer level (CYA test) and you CH levels. And all your other test results as well. Since you have basically been on the shock & trichlor roller coaster, your water may or may not be over-stabilized (too much CYA).

    Let's us know your results and everyone will do their best to give you advice.

    And it would be good to know what the algaecide active ingredient is. If it's copper-based, then we might want you to take a water sample to the pool store for metal analysis.

    [EDIT]

    I think the algaecide is polyquat-60. Just stop using algaecides, you don't need them.

    [END-EDIT]

    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Thanks! I will provide exact levels tomorrow.
    The algaecide is called back up/inhibit - here is the ingredients link http://www.norflowinc.com/images/BioGuard_Back_Up.pdf

    Best regards
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Quote Originally Posted by quentin_1 View Post
    Thanks! I will provide exact levels tomorrow.
    The algaecide is called back up/inhibit - here is the ingredients link http://www.norflowinc.com/images/BioGuard_Back_Up.pdf

    Best regards
    Ah. Ok. Those are linear quat type algaecides. They are cheaper and less effective than polyquat algaecides. They also breakdown more quickly from chlorine oxidation. Sometimes the breakdown of linear quats can cause foaming but that's not a big deal.

    As I said early, you can just stop using them as they aren't doing you much good.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Hello, got my levels today.
    Ph 7.6
    TA 91
    Cya 55
    Tc 4
    FC 3.2
    Hardness 416

    I'd like to switch to bleach, as mentioned in my original post.

    Many thanks!
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Those numbers don't look like they came from a TF100. Or did you make some typos?

    At the moment, your pH is good.
    TA is good.
    CYA is surprisingly good. Most folks who used sticks or pucks have too much.
    Hardness is a bit high, but that's expected after using all that Cal-hypo.
    If TC is 4 and FC is 3,2, then CC is .8 which is too high. Also, your minimum FC for 55 CYA is 5, so you're too low. How does the water look? Is it cloudy at all?

    Bleach only replaces the sticks and the shock and the algaecide.
    Muriatic acid is used to lower pH instead of Lo n SLo
    Baking Soda -- exactly identical to Balance Pack 100, just cheaper
    Washing Soda is exactly the same as Balance Pack 200 to raise pH

    It's all explained in depth in Pool School
    What does what and how to add it Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How much to add Pool School - PoolMath
    How often to check Pool School - Basic Pool Care Schedule
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    I would recommend you perform an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test to see if your high CCs are just a transient thing or if you have something brewing in your water. Direction are HERE.

    You will need one of the recommended test kits though. That is the critical component of the TFPC Method.


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Richard, you are correct, these levels are so exact because I got them from the pool store - my own levels from tf100 were close enough to these. I wanted to be absolutely sure so got levels from the pool store. Obviously, they tried to sell me things although I don't need that much, I don't think

    The water is perfectly clear, no issues.
    I will do the overnight chlorine loss over the weekend.

    Thanks!
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Hello everyone, I retook all the tests today and the results are as follows:
    Ph 7.4, FC 3.5, cc .5, ta 7.
    The water is crystal clear and I see no issues. My ta seems or is low - the level should be 100-120 for normal pools.
    Quick question - with granular pool shock, I would just add 1lb weekly and sticks in the skimmer and be done. With bleach, can I do the same or must I apply a little bit if it daily? Also, I thought I've read somewhere that I must pour bleach slowly by the returns (mine are towards the shallow end if the pool) as opposed to dropping granular pool shock in the deep end. Can someone please confirm if I got it right? Also, what does "pour slowly" mean?

    Thanks a lot and I can't say enough how appreciative I am for the help. Best rgds.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry missed the cya level - it was 60.
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Quote Originally Posted by quentin_1 View Post
    Hello everyone, I retook all the tests today and the results are as follows:
    Ph 7.4, FC 3.5, cc .5, ta 7.
    The water is crystal clear and I see no issues. My ta seems or is low - the level should be 100-120 for normal pools.
    Quick question - with granular pool shock, I would just add 1lb weekly and sticks in the skimmer and be done. With bleach, can I do the same or must I apply a little bit if it daily? Also, I thought I've read somewhere that I must pour bleach slowly by the returns (mine are towards the shallow end if the pool) as opposed to dropping granular pool shock in the deep end. Can someone please confirm if I got it right? Also, what does "pour slowly" mean?

    Thanks a lot and I can't say enough how appreciative I am for the help. Best rgds.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Sorry missed the cya level - it was 60.
    You have to feed the pool every day. Over time, you will learn your pool's appetite and it's just a matter of walking past and pouring in a certain amount of bleach every day and testing and correcting things a couple times a week. I find daily pool care to be no more difficult or time consuming than brushing my teeth daily.

    You'll see what pouring slow is once you start doing it. You'll see the yellow cloud from the bleach disperse and fade away to nothing when you dribble it into the return stream. You just want to pour slow enough that it spreads out instead of just sinking and collecting in one spot on the floor.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    I'm surprised nobody told you this:
    Your TF-100 is much more accurate than any reading you will ever get at the pool $tore. Chemicals are the only reason to ever go there again.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    You are right - even before I found this website, I felt I was being played at the pool store. Every time I showed up, there was something wrong with my pool water! Buy this or buy that.

    I am going to Walmart right now to buy bleach! I must admit it is a bit scary to add bleach to the pool since I know that bleach is so potent in destroying clothes etc.

    By the way, how much should we wait between adding bleach to the pool and swimming?
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    they usually say about 30 mins is good. it depends on your pump and how good it does at mixing it in.

    bleach in a wash tub is diluted by about 2 or 3 gallons. bleach in a pool is diluted by thousands of gallons. Big difference. No need to be concerned except during the actual pouring into the pool. Just pour slow, in front of a return and you will be fine.

    Only plain old bleach. No splashless or scented or any other special stuff.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Quote Originally Posted by quentin_1 View Post
    I must admit it is a bit scary to add bleach to the pool since I know that bleach is so potent in destroying clothes etc.
    See if this helps to alleviate your fears...Say you add 8 oz of bleach to your next load of laundry, ok? Now lets assume that your washing machine holds 30 gallons of water, ok? Adding 8 oz of bleach puts your FC at 177, without CYA!

    In order to get your free chlorine to that level in your pool would require 13 Jugs of 8.5% bleach! Food for thought...
    39YO 13K gallon former SWAMP/MONEY PIT, concrete bottom/Fiberglass Walls, Ecotech VS pump, Hayward Sand Filter, Dolphin DX5 Plus, Loop-Loc safety cover and YES, I have a TFT-100 test kit!

    Shock Level and Maintain - CL/CYA Chart

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    The active chlorine level at the recommended minimum FC level for each CYA level in the Pool School Chlorine / CYA Chart is equivalent to only 0.06 ppm FC with no CYA. That is an extraordinarily low amount of chlorine that would oxidize swimsuits, skin and hair. Fortunately, it takes very low levels of chlorine to kill bacteria and prevent algae growth.

    You can't look at the FC level alone when evaluating how much active chlorine is in the pool. Around 97% of the FC in a pool with CYA is bound to CYA and not active. It is there in reserve to be released as the active chlorine gets used up, but the chlorine bound to CYA doesn't kill pathogens, doesn't prevent algae growth, and for practical purposes doesn't oxidize swimsuits, skin or hair.

    Finally, all chlorine in water is the same so if you were using chlorine before that is no different than using bleach in terms of the chlorine in the water. The difference is that some chlorine products increase the CYA level of the water (Trichlor, Dichlor) or the CH level of the water (Cal-Hypo) while chlorinating liquid or bleach do not.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    thanks folks for your kind words and reassurance, and hand-holding!

    please congratulate me - I ADDED BLEACH THIS MORNING FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! Call me another convert? lol!

    on a serious note - i use my tf100 test kit weekly, and use the ph/chlorine basic test daily (i.e. easy to use "doubletube"). is this daily Basic test routine enough to accurately measure CH level? it goes up to 5 ppm chlorine only, however, so it may not be enough and i have to pull out the CH dedicated test from the kit.
    how do i measure chlorine daily? i want to do it right!

    thanks again!
    24k gallon plaster pool; Pentair FNS Plus DE Filter; Polaris 380; Essex county, NJ

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Quote Originally Posted by quentin_1 View Post
    thanks folks for your kind words and reassurance, and hand-holding!

    please congratulate me - I ADDED BLEACH THIS MORNING FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! Call me another convert? lol!

    on a serious note - i use my tf100 test kit weekly, and use the ph/chlorine basic test daily (i.e. easy to use "doubletube"). is this daily Basic test routine enough to accurately measure CH level? it goes up to 5 ppm chlorine only, however, so it may not be enough and i have to pull out the CH dedicated test from the kit.
    how do i measure chlorine daily? i want to do it right!

    thanks again!
    I don't think you meant CH (calcium hardness), did you?

    Once per week testing with your TF-100 is a fine regimen. Since you're new to bleach, you might want to do the TF-100 tests twice a week or little more frequently for the first two weeks so you can learn your pool's FC consumption habit. I do a daily/weekly test regimen - daily pH and TC testing using a Taylor K-1001 basic kit (DPD-based TC test) and then on the weekends I do a full suite of tests with my K-2006.

    The thing to remember is that your basic chlorine test is Total Chlorine (TC=FC+CC) so you have no way of distinguishing how much actual FC you have unless you use the advanced FC test (DPD-FAS test) in the TF-100. But, as long as you find a consistent test routine that lets you learn your pool waters consumption habit, then you'll be fine. You should keep some kind of log (either written or digital) so that you can spot trends. Also remember that manual bleach additions typically have to happen daily so you need to maintain a consistent pattern of testing and additions.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Ready to switch from Bioguard to The TFP method - pointers needed

    Not sure if your first question was answered, so here goes:

    Quote Originally Posted by quentin_1 View Post
    I've read all I could (I think) but still have the following concerns :
    -what is the equivalent in regular bleach 8.5% to the 1lb of Bioguard shock? I assume if I add the equivalent of that spread out each day, then I am fine. Said differently, how much of bleach do I add each day to keep my chlorine level constant? Are we talking cups, or quarts, or half gallon a day? What is the approximate amount I should expect to add weekly assuming normal conditions/no issues? How many gallons of bleach should I buy per week fir a 20k pool?
    -do I stop adding the antialgae and water clarifier altogether?
    -is bleach all I add replacing ALL of Bioguard products?
    Welcome from another BioGuard convert!

    Running some numbers in PoolMath, here's what I came up with for your pool (6300 gallons):

    16 oz. (by weight) of BurnOut 3 (57.8% cal-hypo) will:
    1. Raise FC by 10 ppm, and
    2. Raise CH by 7.9 ppm.

    128 oz. (1 gallon) of 8.25% bleach will:
    1. Raise FC by 13 ppm

    128 oz. of 10% bleach will:
    1. Raise FC by 16 ppm

    128 oz. of 12.5% bleach will:
    1. Raise FC by 20 ppm

    How much do you spend (per pound) on your BurnOut? You will probably spend between $2.00 and $3.00 for a gallon of grocery store (8.25%) bleach, and can probably find 10% bleach for around $2.00 per gallon. PLUS you aren't adding to your CH when you chlorinate with bleach.

    Keeping your FC levels at the appropriate level for your CYA/stabilizer will make BackUp or any other algaecide unnecessary. Keeping your other water chemistry in check with Muriatic Acid, Baking Soda, and Borax will render other BioGuard products unnecessary, as well.

    Trust me, the last 3 summers I spent between $60 and $180 per weekend in the local pool store buying BioGuard products. Now I'm adding 2 quarts (1/2 gallon) of 10% liquid chlorine daily, and adjusting pH with Muriatic Acid every couple days (~24-32 oz. each time). I have to increase my Total Alkalinity just a bit with Baking Soda each weekend.

    All told, it now costs me about $1.50 per day to keep my pool sparkling and, well, trouble-free. Compare that to $10+ per day using "the pool store way," and it's a considerable savings. Plus, I actually know what I'm putting in my pool and, more importantly, why I'm putting it in there.
    25,000 gallon freeform gunnite/plaster, built in the 1970s/80s; Sta-Rite 9463004 575-lb. sand filter; Sta-Rite DuraGlas/Max-E-Glas (P2RA5F-125L) single-speed 1.5 HP pump, manufactured 12/1993 (1M93M).
    Helpful links: TFTestKits; Pool School; ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry; Chlorine/CYA Chart; PoolMath; SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

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