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Thread: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

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    Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    I found this site late last year while building my outdoor kitchen, and have made most of my posts in that section. I started searching this site for pool info(since I have one!!!), and have just started to come around to the BBB method after using tabs and granules to stabilize my pool since it was built in late 03'. Purchased a DPD test kit, and am hoping some of the guru's on here can provide some guidance/advice as to where to start getting my pool balanced.

    First, the info on the pool:

    Inground, plaster, approx. 18500 gal. Starite 450 sq. ft. cartridge filter, 1 1/2 hp circulation pump motor

    Current pool temp is 64*, and rec. full sun for 75% of the day.

    Water Values:

    FC= 3
    TC= 3
    CC= 0
    PH= 7.8
    TA= 130
    CH= 150
    CYA= 180

    I am just about ready to get the pool open for the year, and after going to "Pool School", and reading it about 6 times, I finally understand where I think the water values should be. I am currently having a slight bout of mustard algae on the wall on the shaded side.

    FC/CC- The pool needs to be shocked, I beleive. Based on my current CYA level, where do I need to take it to?

    PH- a little high. Should I adjust before shock?

    TA- I know this value is affected by PH level. Should I adjust PH and re-take this value? If not, should I adjust TA level now?

    CH- According to the recommended levels at PS, this is low. Adjust when??

    CYA- I know the use of tabs. over the last 6 years has increased my CYA level, so a partial drain is in order to bring this value down. Any advice as to how much I should drain?? Several smaller ones or one big one?? Do it during the night hours to avoid direct heat on the plaster?? Does that even matter??

    I look forward to any/all advice you good folks can give. I think one of my biggest questions is what order to start adjusting the needed values?? Thanks for any/all help in advance.

    Mike

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Welcome. Check out The Pool Calculator, plug in your numbers, and it will give you the recommended dosages and tell you approximately how much water you need to drain. It's important to know what your water table is, before draining....to know how far down you can go in one step. If you water table is low and the ground drains well, you can drain more pool water, if the water table is high and your ground is soft and mushy, you should only drain small amounts at a time....

    Did you purchase a DPD test or an FAS-DPD test? Is it a Taylor K-2005, what brand/where did you purchase (this tells alot about the test and/or results.)

    The pool needs to be shocked? What color is your water?....I couldn't really recommend a shock level for you, your CYA is really too high for shocking to be beneficial and would cost alot of money on chlorine. You definetly need to drain and refill, recirculate, and retest and try to get the CYA down to at least 70. No point in shocking now if draining is necessary first.

    Your TA is a little high, which sometimes causes the PH to drift up. Your CH is low for a plaster pool. Trying to adjust these things at the same time you have unbalanced FC could cause your water to cloud up.

    I would test your fill water, if its from a well this could be a problem for you.

    It's best to do the drain/refill first because this will affect all the other test results, so no point in adjusting them yet.

    If we know your fill water is o.k. and you are comfortable with how much water you need to drain (water table wise) then that's your first step.

    It's alot to take in, I know....I hope this helps. If I've confused you just let me know.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Hi MCR500,

    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    I think one of my biggest questions is what order to start adjusting the needed values??
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    It's best to do the drain/refill first because this will affect all the other test results, so no point in adjusting them yet. If we know your fill water is o.k. and you are comfortable with how much water you need to drain (water table wise) then that's your first step.
    I agree. Your CYA is the first problem to tackle. Do your drain/refill dance until you get your CYA level to an acceptable #.

    Once you do that, retest and post back. We'll be waiting!
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    The test kit my wife purchased at Leslies. I'm pretty sure it is a FAS-DPD kit. It was the one that is comparable to the TF-100.

    I assumed the water needed to be shocked because of the presence of the mustard algae. The water is crystal clear, always has been. I agree that until I get my CYA level down, there really is no point in shocking.

    The fill water is from the city tap, no well. Shoiud I test it and report the findings here? Would this info be useful to all of you on future recommendations??

    The water table is at about 150' here in the central valley of Calif. I don't think I need to worry about floating the pool.

    On draining: is it critical to do this during the evening hours? Will direct sunlight on exposed plaster hurt it? This is my biggest question/fear.

    Keep the info/help coming. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks, Mike

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Go ahead and post the tap water test results, good practice for you and also a predictor of future problems (high TA or CH).

    I'm not sure about the plaster/sunlight, never heard of any issues before. But if I'm wrong someone will chime in.

    Did you see the section on the Pool Calculator telling you how much to drain?
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Yes, I ran the numbers on the pool calculator. I'm going to check my pool volume numbers tonight. If I use the stated 18,500 gal. number( which I think is pretty accurate) it tells me to drain 56% to get to a 70 CYA #. I'll probably do less, and see what happens.

    If anyone else has info/experience on draining a plaster pool, and the effect of sunlight on exposed plaster, please chime in.

    I will post my tap water results asap.

    One other question. When I tested my CYA level, it didn't come close to the first graduated scale on the vial(100 ppm). I guesstimated how far it was from 100, and came up with 160.

    Can I fill the test vial with half distiilled water, test again, and multiply the found value by 2 to come up with a more accurate number?? Pls. advise.

    Thanks a bunch for the info, peeps.

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    One other question. When I tested my CYA level, it didn't come close to the first graduated scale on the vial(100 ppm). I guesstimated how far it was from 100, and came up with 160.

    Can I fill the test vial with half distiilled water, test again, and multiply the found value by 2 to come up with a more accurate number?? Pls. advise.
    Yes, in fact for diluting the CYA test you can just use tap water as it won't have any CYA in it.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    The test kit my wife purchased at Leslies. I'm pretty sure it is a FAS-DPD kit. It was the one that is comparable to the TF-100.

    Keep the info/help coming. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks, Mike
    Does the chlorine test in your kit use a color comparator with red color blocks or do you determine the chlorine level by counting drops of reagent until your sample turns from pink to clear?

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    Yes, I ran the numbers on the pool calculator. I'm going to check my pool volume numbers tonight. If I use the stated 18,500 gal. number( which I think is pretty accurate) it tells me to drain 56% to get to a 70 CYA #. I'll probably do less, and see what happens.
    You might find that this is not sufficient because when a pool has very high CYA levels the
    CYA can deposit on the pool surfaces and redissovle once you start to lower the levels. This often is a bit frustrating since it means that the 'drain and refill dance' has to be repeated a time or two.


    If anyone else has info/experience on draining a plaster pool, and the effect of sunlight on exposed plaster, please chime in.
    I have never heard of any problems as long as the plaster was cured (over about a year old).

    I will post my tap water results asap.

    One other question. When I tested my CYA level, it didn't come close to the first graduated scale on the vial(100 ppm). I guesstimated how far it was from 100, and came up with 160.
    The scale is not linear so this is not valid.

    Can I fill the test vial with half distiilled water, test again, and multiply the found value by 2 to come up with a more accurate number?? Pls. advise.
    Yes, but you will lose some precision by the dilution. Bottom line, your CYA is too high and you need to drain about 1/3 the water (unless you REALLY know your water table), refill, circulate for several hours, retest, and repeat until you reach your target. Then retest in a week and see if it's crept back up because of CYA that had deposted redissolving. If so repeat. Sorry, there is no easier way.
    Thanks a bunch for the info, peeps.
    Hope this is helpful.

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    The test kit my wife purchased at Leslies. I'm pretty sure it is a FAS-DPD kit. It was the one that is comparable to the TF-100.

    Keep the info/help coming. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks, Mike
    Does the chlorine test in your kit use a color comparator with red color blocks or do you determine the chlorine level by counting drops of reagent until your sample turns from pink to clear?
    It uses a color comparator with red blocks. Is this kit a good one???

    After all the reading I've done, I should have just ordered the TF-100!!! Wife might get a bit upset if I do, though. She thought she was doing me a favor!!

    Thanks for all the info on CYA/draining. I am going to dilute the CYA test, and see what my number truly? is. Draining pool this w/e.

    I'll post my tapwater results for comments this afternoon.

    Thanks again for all the help, truly appreciated.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    That Edit: sounds like :end Edit the DPD test.

    You can order a seperate FAS-DPD test from TFTestKits....it's the individual test as opposed to the entire TF-100 complete kit. This will supplement the kit you already have.

    The FAS-DPD is simple and easy to read, you are counting drops instead of comparing shades of colors to a comparator tube. Plus it can test up to 50ppm as opposed to the DPD test which goes up to 5 or 10, I believe. Going higher is helpful when you are shocking your pool and have high CYA. I think you would find it invaluable in your situation!

    The link to the TFTestKits site is on the homepage. Fast service, you should get it in 2 or 3 days.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    It uses a color comparator with red blocks. Is this kit a good one???
    No, next question...on the comparator is the ph side the same size as the chlorine side or is the pH side a much bigger vial?

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    This is the kit my DW purchased:http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...400000/I/81329

    I hope this will suffice.

    Comments?? Thanks.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    That link looks like the the K-2006, which is a good kit, and comparable to the TF-100. The FAS-DPD test is the part of the kit (in the picture it's the two bottles next to a tube with a lid and a little blue scoop) where you take a sample of your pool water, you put in a scoop or so of the powder reagent...the sample turns pink indicating chlorine (if the water stays clear the FC is 0) Then you add the drop reagent and count the number of drops until it turns clear again...this determines how much FC you have....then you add the second reagent, and if it turns pink again, you have CC...then you add the other reagent and count the number of drops till it turns clear again, and this is how you figure out how much CC you have.

    This test goes up to 50 and that's why its very valuable for those who have to shock to high levels for Mustard Algae, when CYA is high.

    If your test kit does include this test, you are good to go and can begin your drain/refill process before you shock.

    Hope this helps....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Well, it looks like I will be ordering the seperate FAS-DPD test from TF, because the DW purchased this one FOR SURE: http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...400000/I/81330

    It can only read FC levels to 5ppm, and I now see the need to read higher levels for shock purposes. Oh well.

    Thanks for the help!!! Going home now to get a good reading on CYA, and test fill water.

    Will let you all know!!!

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Well, went home tonight to re-test water, and test fill water. Here are the findings:

    Pool:
    FC= 1.5
    TC= 1.5
    PH= 8.0
    TA= 140
    CH= 470
    CYA= (1/2 diluted with tap water), 200 straight up

    On my first post, the CH # was obviously wrong. I re-tested twice, and came up with the same value both times tonight.

    Fill Water:
    FC= .5
    TC= .5
    PH= 7.4
    TA= 110
    CH= 70 (checked it twice)

    Comments on fill water/potential issues please.

    I have a pump to remove water this w/e, to lower the CYA # as my first step. I realize this may take a time or three to get it to where it needs to be. A question in my mind; Plaster pool w/ bleach should be 30-50 CYA. If the pool receives full sun 75% of the day, should I shoot for closer to 80-100 on CYA?? Comments pls.

    Thanks to all of you for the help, you guy's/gal's are great!!!

    PS- ordered the TF FAS-DPD Chlorine Test today to get a good reading on future shock treatments!!!

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    You want your CYA level below 100 no matter what. It is plausible to aim for a CYA level of 80 for now, though I recommend going all the way down to 50. Keep in mind that the higher the CYA level, the more chlorine you are going to need to get rid of the algae.

    Your fill water numbers look reasonable. When you are done replacing water there will still be some minor fine tuning to do to your levels, but that should be fairly simple.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MCR500
    Well, it looks like I will be ordering the seperate FAS-DPD test from TF, because the DW purchased this one FOR SURE: http://www.lesliespool.com/browse/Ho...400000/I/81330

    It can only read FC levels to 5ppm, and I now see the need to read higher levels for shock purposes. Oh well.

    Thanks for the help!!! Going home now to get a good reading on CYA, and test fill water.

    Will let you all know!!!
    yep, that's the rebranded Taylor K-2005, not the K-2006. Get the FAS-DPD test from TFTestkits and you are good to go. Actually your kit can read higher chlorine levels at the expense of precison by doing dilutions and the test comparator has the dilution marks on it. There is a mark near the bottom of the vial that if you fill to that and fill the rest with distilled water you will have a 4:1 dilution so you can multuply your test results by 5 to be able to test up to about 25 ppm and there is a mark at the halfway point for a 1:1 dilution which will allow you to test to 10 ppm, once again at reduced precision.
    Be aware that doing dilutions is a PITA!

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Glad you got that all figured out....

    Good luck with the draining/refill, keep us posted!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Re: Newbie to BBB Method, seeking advice

    Thanks for all the comments/suggestions.

    Drain/refill commences this w/e.

    Will post results!!!

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