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Thread: Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

    Having been on here just a short while, and having only had a pool for the 3rd season now, this is the first year of having a decent clue what it's all about. My short stint here thus far is proving to be a huge learning experience, far more than I anticipated when I first stumbled in. At first when I saw this business about the BBB method, I thought, "Why go to that effort when I've got a perfectly good system already?" It wasn't until I noticed that once CYA reaches a certain point, you've got to drain the pool a lot...I then thought I needed to look a bit further into this. For now, I've got no worries as my CYA is very low...zero at last test with The Strips (TF100 is en route) but that likely isn't true. I honestly had no idea about the CYA in that there is no means of getting rid of it short of draining the pool. I do NOT want to do that if I can help it, though I can if I have to since I'm on a well.

    So, here I sit wondering what to do and when to do it. I really don't want to mess with having to add chlorine manually since the tab feeder works great IMHO, so then I ponder adding this Liquidator gibrone you guys talk about. So on the other hand, I don't want to fool with plumbing this thing in either. But...the CYA does seem like something to be very cognizant of, so I'm not dismissing it either. Or, can the SWG be used in place of bleach? I haven't quite figured out ALL the parts mentioned on here and their specific task.

    Curious, can you get 3" tabs w/o CYA in them? Wouldn't that be one solution?

    This whole site is Bitter-Sweet in that I now feel enlightened, but now I'm even more ticked off at the local pool store for giving me flat-out WRONG information every time I go there. Not to mention their high prices and pushing every chemical on the shelf. They are a one-off mom & pop shop, but seem just as off-track as the franchises.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

    Remember that rain will dilute your pool water, so if you get much rain your CYA will fluctuate as water leaves the pool, by overflow drain or pumping off. So, consider your annual rainfall.

    With a sand filter you will backwash from time to time, again removing water from the pool and replacing it with fresh water with no CYA.

    In WA without the intense sunlight and heat that helps to drive chlorine consumption here in Texas, you probably do not go though nearly as many pucks as I did. And with rainwater, you get free replacement.

    Question is, after 3 seasons, managing with pucks, what exactly is your CYA? On strip it says 0 so that is probably close to correct. If so, then you have the LUXURY of using pucks... until such time as it gets above maybe 50 ppm.

    If you don't have that by now, I have to wonder if you ever will. I was using 7 pucks at 7 oz or 49 oz trichlor per week, adding nearly 10 ppm of CYA a week and so got to 150 ppm in a matter of months, even with winter rains and a leaking pool that required about 900 gal of top off a week.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

    We just replaced the liner a month (or less) ago and of course with all new water. We also had a leak last year that consumed about 1,000 gallons per week. So, we've essentially started over this year but I also want to do this right so I'm not fighting it later. We do get a ton of rain and only get to use the pool for about 3 months (lucky to get that this year). So, CYA probably won't be an issue for a while, but want to stay on top of it. Right now, the pool is looking absolutely fantastic. It was green for a little while, which I am pretty sure was due to minerals and not algae since it was very clear. Now, though, I've got it looking really nice and clear in spite of my former naivety!
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

    ChicnnNutz, I just tested my pool using strips and got what appears to be 0, certainly less than the 30-50 color block and yet a couple of weeks ago I tested CYA at 38. So be patient, wait for the TF100 to arrive. You may find that you have 30-something CYA as well.

    If you began a month ago with fresh fill water, then you can calculate the CYA if you know how many pucks you use a week. Use the Pool Calculator, down at the bottom, Effects of adding Chemicals. If you have filled in the pool volume at the top, it will calculate the ppm of so many oz of trichlor for you. Like I said, I was using 7 pucks a week following pool store advice, adding almost 10 ppm CYA a week. Also check the shock you use, should be cal-hypo or dichlor. If you were using a certain amount a week you'll want to add that in. There is some natural loss of CYA, as I said before due to overflow from rain and backwashing so take that into account.

    ChicknNuts, I just realized that we have hijacked this thread, perhaps the mods can break it into a new topic.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    mitch08's Avatar
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    Re: Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

    I successfully used pucks for 6 years straight and always had sparkling water.
    I never even concerned myself with CYA for the last 4 years because I was ignorant and didnt know it existed.

    I started testing for CYA last year and my CYA level remained at or around 20 for most of the summer. I do backwash frequently and I also only use 2 pucks a week and suppliment them with Cal-Hypo.

    This summer I stopped using cal-hypo and used a few more pucks. By July this year my CYA was up to about 40. So I switched to bleach. Everything is and always was sparkling perfect no matter which method I used to sanitize the pool.

    When my CYA goes back down to 20 or less I will begin using pucks again because of their ease of use...

    I guess the moral of the story is, TEST TEST TEST with a good test kit like the TF100 and understand what is going on and what you need to do about it.
    18x38 Inground Liner (25k gal) Paver surround, multi-speed pump, DE Filter, Raised spill over spa, TF-100

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    Southern Indiana
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    Re: Should I use 3" tabs in automatic feeder with BBB?

    I'll second what Mitch08 said. We also alternate using pucks and liquid chlorine with great success. As long as you know where your CYA is and keep track of your chlorine (referencing the pool calculator and chlorine/CYA chart), that approach should work extremely well. Our pool season is about 5 months long, so CYA can creep up there with the pucks. When the CYA goes below 30 due to rains or backwashing/refilling, we use pucks for a week or so, re-check CYA and switch to liquid chlorine when CYA gets to 40. We also consume more pucks than Mitch08 - perhaps it's because we are surrounded by heavy forest and organics blowing into the pool.
    25 K gal, vinyl, IG, next to forest,liquid chlorine and tab chlorinator backup,55gpm sand filter,1.5hp pump

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