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Thread: BBB, Floatron, and CH

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    BBB, Floatron, and CH

    We have just purchased a new home and with it came a 36,000 gallon inground pool. It wasn't something we were looking for in our purchase but we fell in love with the house and have the pool as a bonus. Or so we hope After looking into the cost of traditional pool supply chemicals we've decided to go with the BBB method our first summer and see how it works for us. Others I've talked to also have purchased a Floatron device with says it cuts down 80% of chlorine usage. I found a used Floatron and purchased it.

    Will the Floatron hurt the effectiveness of the BBB method? I know that i will be testing the level of the ions in the pool rather than the chlorine, but I am somewhat unsure of how this is going to play out.

    Also, I've purchased "professional" test strips that test for TC, FC, pH, TA, and CYA...do I need to worry about CH? Is scaling a problem with inground concrete pools?

    Any help would be very much appreciated!!! I've never owned or maintained a pool before and this is very overwhelming

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    Re: BBB, Floatron, and CH

    Another question... the tap water we are going to use to fill up the pool has the following results:
    0ppm TC
    0ppm FC
    6.8-7.2 pH
    180ppm Alkalinity
    30-50 CYA

    I used the pool calculator and according to the default settings, I need 2 gallons, 1 quart and 1 cup of bleach and 16 lbs of borax. But my question is actually about shocking its. Since it's completely dry right now and going to be filled up with tap water do I still need to do an initial shock? And if so, do I do that before or after adding the bleach and borax? And will I continue to need to shock it weekly even if I keep the BBB treatment going and at appropriate levels?

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    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Valley, CA
    Posts
    233

    Re: BBB, Floatron, and CH

    Welcome! Read pool school thoroughly. It got me out on the right foot as a pool owner and I've had no problems. First, you need a good test kit like the TF-100. Your fill water has 0 CYA which is evidence test strips aren't accurate.

    No need to shock a new fill, just keep up with chemicals right from the start. Again, read pool school and ask question s here and mods will be sure to help. Also, don't necessarily worry about borax - it's just an acronym. You may or may not need it. You will need bleach or liquid chlorine and stabilizer (CYA) which is the only item you'll need from a pool store, although big box hardwares and Walmart sell it as well. Oh, and no need to weekly shock if you follow BBB - the most important part being regular testing with an accurate test kit.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

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    Re: BBB, Floatron, and CH

    So how do we know CYA is actually 0? I just tested a random sample from my kitchen sink to see what the pool water might be when we fill it up....it wasn't actually tested from my pool. Could that be why the results aren't accurate?

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    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Valley, CA
    Posts
    233

    Re: BBB, Floatron, and CH

    you tested it with test strips? If so, the test is simply inaccurate. Walmart does sell a CYA test with reagent and a tube but the TF-100 is most complete. The best CYA test mixes your sample water with reagent and then you drop it in a test tube until you can't see a black dot. If that's not what you did, the test is likely not accurate.

    There is no need for CYA in tap water and probably regulations against it so it should be 0.
    Garden Leisure Voyager 12x24 AGP, 7500 Gallons, Hayward Power Flo Matrix 1 HP pump, dual speed, Hayward XStream Cartridge Filter, 120 GPM,

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: BBB, Floatron, and CH

    As for the Floatron, it is a solar-powered copper ionization system. It is not only not necessary but most certainly will not reduce chlorine usage by 80%. Also, copper ions in the pool water, especially at higher pH, can stain pool surfaces. Copper ions are an algaecide, but they do absolutely nothing against fecal bacteria and kill most other bacteria much more slowly than chlorine (see this post for technical details if you are interested). Basically, you still need chlorine to sanitize, but chlorine alone can prevent algae growth so there's no need for a metal ion system.

    There is no Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in drinking water. Test strips are useless, especially for the CYA test. You should most definitely get yourself a proper test kit such as the TFTestkits TF-100 or the Taylor K-2006. You can see the Test Kits Compared and note that the TF-100 has a larger volume of reagents you use most frequently so is economically priced. Also, the service at TFTestkits is impeccable with extremely fast shipping (Amato shipping is slow, taking a week or more).

    Yes, Calcium Hardness (CH) is important for your pool because it is concrete. Plaster and concrete pools need to be saturated with calcium carbonate in order to protect their surfaces and prevent them from dissolving. You do this by setting up your water parameters to achieve a near-zero saturation index, but that's fairly easy to do. There are no test strips that test for CH -- they only test for Total Hardness which includes magnesium that is not relevant. You can get some idea of why test strips are not good by seeing them compared to drop-based tests in this post.

    You can read other articles in the Pool School to learn more about how you can care for your pool easily, inexpensively, and trouble-free. We're all here to help as well.
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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