I am also doing a very modifed version of the BB method, which works OK, but not great. My only real probem is that I can never kill the mustard algae. I understand that the BBB method is more about the "spirit" and the testing, than the literal meaning. Still, I wonder if I am missing something.
What I end up doing is using cal hypo in the winter, just to keep the pool from not being green. I seem to have a leak that causes me to add a lot of water throughout the year. So, by the time summer comes around, I usually have fairly low cya, as result of the leak and not using trichlor in the winter. For pool season, I then starting adding trichlor, which builds up the cya, and lowers the ph. Then, I try to balance that with bleach throughout the summer, to offset the cya and the acid. I try some polyquat 60 occasionally, and use muriatic acid as needed.
I have never used Borax. Also, between the past use of baking soda, the bleach and winter use of cal hypo, my TA tends to be high enough to not need anymore alkaline substances throughout the year. So, I become more of the "B" method.
My pool is about 35,000 gallons, which makes me very hesitant to go out and buy the hundreds of pounds of Borax and muriatic acid, to meet the recommended amount. (Someday, I might break down and I hire somone try to figure out the leak, and fear the repair could lead to the pool being drained, which makes me even more reluctant to invest in that much Borax.)
Anyway, I have few questions. Since Borax, bleach and baking soda are all highly alkaline, even if Borax is suppose to act as a buffer, isn't acid really one of the main items needed, rather than anything else? Is there anyway to really avoid relying upon muriatic acid, to regularly offset the bleach, other than trichlor? Muriatic acid has gone from about $2.00 a gallon to $5.00 in the last 5 years, or so. As far as I can tell, all other acids are even more expensive, for their relative strength. Anyway around this? Next, does it do any good to add Borax, if it not raised to the very high, recommended levels, which would require hundreds of pounds of Borax for my pool and gallons and gallons of acid (which does not seem that cost-effective)? If my TA is already high enough from baking soda, bleach and cal hypo, is there any pont in adding Borax? If I keep adding bleach thoughout the year, doesn't that already keep my alkaline up? How do your keep a pool close to the proper ph using the BBB method, when everyone of the B's is highly alkaline? I understand why stabiliser isn't emphasized much in the name, as that is more of a once a year adjustment. But isn't some of form use of acid, on regular basis, a pretty vital ingredient to offset the bleach, more so than any use of baking soda or Borax. As it is, my pool already tends to run high in ph from the chlorine, how does adding even more alkaline substance help that? Am I missing something?