I'm just starting to learn the TFP / BBB method from reading all this info on the site. This is my first pool and it was installed about 4 weeks ago. Water is looking great so far, but I have not started the TFP method just yet! I just bought my first supply of liquid Chlorine.
When I bought the pool package, it came with what they called the "lazy mans package". That's not to say that I plan to be lazy, because so far I've tended to the pool daily as needed. I will admit that I told the wife that pool care was her job since she wanted to pool, but I've willingly and graciously accepted the responsibility. The package came with an Aqua Smarte trichlor tab method for adding chlorine automatically and a silver mineral add-on and that is what is currently installed & running. I've read about this method here and how many feel it is an unfavorable system (in the eyes of TFP users), but so far it hasn't failed me. The dealer raves about it, "set it and forget it, adjust with testing" From what I have read the only real downside is the increasing CYA and cost of the canisters.** ** now that I look back on previous notes about trichlor dropping pH and TA, this may explain my low pH and why my pool "wants" to be at 6.8 even after dosing twice with A&H soda ash. pH rise to 7.8 then drop to 6.8 within 2 days. Maybe/hopefully the liquid chlorine will remedy this.
Each canister has lasted me about a week, so 2.5 lbs of trichlor a week with a 3-5 ppm average of chlorine. Based on this, I'm burning through +/- 3ppm per day. I'm not really seeing the CYA creep up beyond 40ppm. Don't laugh at me too hard, but I'm still using the supplied Aqua Chem Yellow test strips. ..... OK stop laughing. Perhaps I haven't been using the pool long enough to see any real rise, I don't know for sure. I've heard that winter kills the CYA levels, SO how high can the CYA levels get using the trichlor tabs at my usage rate? If I remember correctly the trichlor is 0.6 CYA per 1.0 Chlorine. Will the winter reset CYA to low enough levels?
I couldn't find answers to these questions in the Pool School. IF / Once I decide to switch over to TFP method, how much and how often should I expect to add liquid chlorine? I know testing needs to be done to check & verify what the pool needs, but is this testing & adding Cl something that you guys have to do daily? Or once things get going in the Spring, I would test every couple of days and just add the expected usage amount of chlorine on days without testing? Based on 3ppm per day burn, I'd have to add ~50oz per day of 10% bleach. Does this sound about right? If I have to add Cl every day from a bottle, surely there has to be a trade-off to what your time is worth and what CYA levels are tolerable. One of my biggest concerns is that I would have to test and/or dump Cl every day. There will be times where this just isn't practical. What do you do about this? keep the baseline a bit higher and add 100oz every other day?
I know many on here will just chime in to "just use the vetted TFP / BBB method" but I'd like to hear opinions on my questions above.